“Ok Google – How good is the Google Pixel?”
In my pocket, my daily driver handset is the Google Pixel. Back when it was first announced I was excited to see what they had to offer. A lot of people were not impressed with the design, but for me, it was a nice understated slab of perfection. I’m not one really for a phone that stands out from the crowd (unless it was the iPhone 7 in red, that is sexy). I was eager to try out the Google Assistant, that camera too, from the press release, the shots that were shown looked great. I know, they always do. Were they true to life though? I had so many questions, and when the chance came along to get one, I jumped right on board. We haven’t got an initial review, as you’re probably aware, we weren’t around then, but, what we do have is a longer term review, so let’s jump right in.
Hardware – Design
As I said in the opening, I really liked the understated design, the only bit of flair being the glass panel on the back. The panel itself feels rather nice and adds that bit of grip the phone needs. When the handset was announced there were a number of colour options, however, only 2 were available at release in the UK, the grey and white, I opted for the grey. I didn’t like how the sensors stood out on the front of a white panel. The blue would have been great, and it was nice to see something different.
Hardware – Build
Build quality so far has been great. It’s a solid bit of aluminium, which has stood up to the test of time so far, it has been dropped a couple of times, and whilst the grey paint job has taken a couple of knocks, no denting so far.
In terms of internal build, the processor hasn’t gotten any slower, memory has been great, having the option of 128GB has been awesome for me, being used to 32GB and then an SD slot, I have got around 32GB worth of apps & games on my phone now =D
Camera, I absolutely adore the camera, I don’t know whether it is the sensor itself, or the software, but, this thing takes some unbelievable shots. It has been nice to be able to use this everyday as my main camera. The detail on it is great, the colours do pop. The only thing that really lets it down, and this is the same for all cameras, is when you start to zoom, it becomes a bit washed out on the detail.
The speaker, whilst loud, has been placed awfully, when I’m holding it landscape, I’m always covering it, I kind of have to arc my hand so that sound comes out of it. Something I’m not a fan of doing really.
Software – Design
I’m a long term Nexus fan, and while the nexus is now long dead, now in favour of Googles vision rather than an AOSP vision, the way it looks and the way it performs is brilliant. Google have put a lot of work into the design of the software and the features too. Being able to swipe down the notification shade with the fingerprint scanner was a nice touch, a bit of a homage to Huawei there. The software buttons look great and the way the Google colours pop out of the home button when you load up the Google Assistant is rather cool too.
I’m a big fan of Material Design, the way it stands for bold colours, and beautiful transitions from one screen to another. There is a lot of Material Design in this phone. IF you want to know more about it you can click here
Software – Usability
Now in terms of usability, if you are coming from an iPhone, you will notice quite a bit of difference, now don’t let this put you off. If you are coming from an Android device, it is a little bit easier, but still a bit of difference. We are now seeing the same set up on newer devices that are launching now.
Basically, the launcher of the phone (the first thing you see when you unlock your device), instead of the traditional app button, it is a simple swipe up to get to everything. For me, this is a nice easy gesture to do as you can do it from anywhere along the bottom of the phone, rather than having to rely on the button.
The biggest extras which I have loved since having the phone is the Google Assistant, and the unlimited storage for photos & videos.
Firstly, the Google Assistant, is the next level of what you may now as Google Now. It has more personality than Google Now and you can even play games with it. I say it as it has no actual name unlike Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri. The games that you can play aren’t just you and it, but there are multiple multiplayer games to have fun with too. One that I have enjoyed in the past is Mad Libs. A game where you say the type of word you are being asked for, and it then gets turned into a story. A lot of laughs to be had there.
Secondly, the unlimited storage, this is done through your Google Account. You use the Google Photos app like you would with any other device (iOS/Android), and it backs up your photos and videos, however, unlike other devices, you get full resolution backups forever with no limits. For me that’s a huge win, what also makes it great is that if you do start to run out of storage, the “smart storage” system works automatically to remove the device copy of the photo/video but still leave you access to it through the app.
My final thoughts, this is a great device. I have loved my time with the phone, and it will get better with time. There are many features that I do like, however, if I did list them all, you would get bored of reading it. How would I rate, this. If you have read our other reviews we have done here, we have a rating system of “Buy it”, “Try it” or “Goodbye it”. I give the Google Pixel:
Why do I say that? Firstly, it is now 6 months old, and as we know in this industry, that is getting old. A new one isn’t that far away, and technically speaking, there are better phones out there. If you like it when you play with the phone in a store, then go ahead buy it, you won’t regret it. But please do try it.
Made it this far? Let me know your thoughts on this review in the comments. Also do you have a Google Pixel? Do you agree with what I have said?
Look out for more reviews soon!