Google Pixel XL Review!

everyone Tim Schofield here it’s time to do my full review on the Google pixel XL Google has decided to ditch the Nexus line for whatever reason and go ahead and rebrand a new device called pixel but that being said I’ve got lots to say about the pixel XL things I like things I don’t like let’s get into the full review now before we get into it and take a close look at this device I want to go ahead and talk about a couple things first of all the price now the base model of the pixel XL which has 32 gigabytes of storage is seven hundred and twenty dollars so pretty much on par with other flagships out right now so kind of keep that in mind when we talk about some things now with flagship pricing you would expect it to have all of the features of other flagship devices now it’s missing a couple of

them and the big one for me is waterproofing that seven has it the iPhone 7 has it and Google definitely should have included it in their device I’m not exactly sure why they didn’t it is splash proof but you can’t dip it in water on accident I don’t know why you do it on purpose but there’s just no waterproofing and I feel like that as a flagship device at that price point you need to include that now there’s also no wireless charging and then also no SD card slot which can actually be eased a little bit not having an SD card slot because of a couple storage features I’ll talk about those when I get to software now you do have three color options black silver and blue I have an in-depth video on the color comparison I will link to that down below and of course why would I need extra pixels keep that in mind you might see something in a future video now with that being said I want to go ahead and take a close look at the back of

this device on the back you’ll notice you have your camera LED flash a fingerprint sensor as well I’ll get to that in a second but I do want to talk about the two-tone look to it now this is more of a glass back and it does add a lot of grip it’s much more grippy than you would expect it’s actually more grippy than this bottom aluminum and then down at the bottom you see this Google now this class does collect a decent amount of fingerprints and smudges as well I also want to make a note that I did drop this once from about three feet and you’ll notice a little baby scratch on the back of this glass right here so you’ll see that and also taking a closer look you’ll see this paint right here got a little bit of a chip and that’s it so that’s good to see dropped it from about three feet and that’s really the only damage that happened to it now with that being

said I went ahead and added a slick rack to my device to add some protection to it you see a nice little colorful G as well like this below if you’re interested but flipping the device over you see the blue model does have a white front so does the silver and then the black has a black front you’ll notice there is a lot of bezel going on especially down at the bottom there’s a very big chin just kind of seems like the front has way too much bezel going on I wish they would utilize this bottom more maybe add a speaker that would have been my preference and the speaker and the pixel XL is down at the bottom and it’s actually the bottom left one the right one is just for symmetry and also the microphone as well and then you’ll see you have a USB type-c slot for charging which does have quick charging as well charges very fast now on the right side yeh let’s take a closer look you do have your buttons in terms of your volume rockers along with your power button and you’ll notice that power button has a bit of a different texture on it which is

nice because then it’s very easy to differentiate between the volume rockers and the power button now they do feel very premium however I will make note that value down and volume up have a different feel to them the volume up feels a little bit more cheap and also sounds louder if you can listen so there’s just a bit of a difference between the two buttons however they don’t feel cheap by any means just the volume up just feels a little bit different than volume down of course at the top you have a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack on the left side is your SIM tray as well it’s also worth noting that on the front there is an LED light now you’ll notice that LED light is in the left-hand side of that earpiece and strangely enough it’s actually pretty intricate to activate it I don’t know why they hit it so well but you all you have to do to activate that LED light is jump into settings go into notifications then you’ll see an icon in the upper right hand corner go ahead and press that and there is pulse notification light right there you can toggle it on and off if you’d like to

I’m just not exactly sure why they hit it so much usually it’s in display settings but it’s not this time I also do want to make a note that touch responsiveness is notably better on the pixel google has done a very good job with touch latency so just kind of keep that in mind throughout the video I also want to talk about the fingerprint scanner on the back and like all flagships out now it’s very quick very accurate I really had no issues with it not working I just registered both my point fingers and I’m good to go of course some of you might not like it being on the back because if your phone sitting on your desk you can press the power button you can try swipe up but then of course if you want to use your fingerprint to unlock you have to pick it up and actually set your finger on the fingerprint scanner now you’ll notice there are some actions that you can use with this fingerprint sensor and I’m really glad they integrated these because it’s very useful took me a little bit of time to get used to

but you’ll see I’m not even touching the screen I can swipe down once swipe it down twice and swiped back up now that’s all just with my motion of my finger going up and down and it works well it works how it should it doesn’t act accidentally activate at all on me so good job Google also want to note that if you’re in full screen mode portrait or landscape you can swipe down on your fingerprint scanner to see your notifications and also bring up those soft buttons on the side as well so that’s really a nice quick shortcut quick way to do it without having to swipe on the side of the display also when I think a note that pretty interesting if you are in landscape mode you can only swipe down like this if I swipe down this way the normal way it doesn’t do anything but of course if I’m in full screen this way I have to swipe down and swiping left and right doesn’t work but I have noticed that I’ve used it a decent

amount just to get out of full screen mode without having to swipe on the screen moving along let’s talk about display and the pixel Excel has a 1440p 5.5 inch AMOLED display and honestly it’s great it is just as good as you would expect with the price you pay it’s definitely a flagship display looks great outside gets bright enough colors look great as well and I do have a preference of AMOLED over LCD so that’s just kind of a personal preference of mine and of course with the excel you get the 1440p display over the 1080p on the regular pixel now with that being said there are a couple display options to make note of one being a night mode which I can activate the night light I can activate right here if I’d like to I’m going to go ahead and close out of that video but if I jump into settings and actually go into display settings there is an option to

actually customize the nightlight to turn on and off automatically so you can select that to turn on and off where maybe at sunrise sunset or a custom time as well and also this is an Android 7 that a nougat feature but there is a display size option where you can customize how big everything is if you like it bigger maybe your eye set might not be as good you can kind of make it a little bit larger now for me I like to utilize that full screen especially with a 1440p display and I put it all the way down to small which is why I can add more settings into one page without having to scroll next I want to talk about battery life on the pixel XL which is going to be different than the regular pixel now the battery on this is a 34 50 milliamp hour battery embedded you cannot remove it and battery life has been great I would honestly say probably the best on any Android smartphone I’ve used potentially every phone it’s pretty

close with the iPhone 7 plus now you’ll see five and a half hour screen on time I generally get just over four hours average so five-and-a-half is great you’ll see here four and a half right there that was a heavy use day whoops let’s go ahead and go back you’ll see I 5 hours and 21 minutes five hours exactly and that’s about my average right there five hours I generally get five hours maybe a little bit more screen on time which easily gets me through the day and charging so quick there’s a lot of times where I’ll just use it halfway through the day and I mean all the way through one day and then halfway through the next day and then just kind of give it a quick charge middle through the day and be good to go for two full days moving along Google has been giving a lot of hype to their camera on the pixels so let’s go and load it up and it consistently

opens quickly as you can see really no lag you can also open it by double pressing loops pressing the power button you’ll see that loads it on up and then of course from the lock screen you can just swipe from the bottom right and that activates the camera as well the pixel and pixel XL have a twelve point three megapixel F 2.0 camera on the back with an LED flash right here and as you can see there’s the focus going you can’t really see that with your naked eye just the cameras picking it up but with that being said the camera is fantastic I would put it up in the top three potentially top four I mean you really have four solid cameras and smartphones right now the v20 you got the pixel you have the iPhone 7 and then all of em plus excuse me and then the galaxy s7 s7 edge now one thing Google does very well is at least with their new camera app

they’ve updated it so snapping pictures is so quick you’ll see very little shutter lag at all but you’ll also notice when you go into a picture afterwards it’s saying processing hdr+ so it does a very good job at post picture taking processing and that’s kind of something that they’ve capitalized on is their HDR plus mode and speaking of that by default they have hdr+ auto mode on and you’ll see you can turn it on or off but watch this if I don’t want this on if I turn each share plus off and I snap a picture you’ll see that it goes to the picture and there’s no processing going on but you’ll see I went to that picture and I went back and it’s still off but now watch what happens if I back out of the camera app and I go back into it for some reason it auto defaults through hdr+ Auto which I don’t necessarily like because if I have a setting set I want it to be saved I don’t want it to actually have to go back into it every single time if I want hdr+ off or on now for example if I do turn it on real quick back out of the camera app go back into you’ll see how snappy it is it still turns it back to auto so if I want it on all the time or off all the time I can’t if I back out

that camera app camera app is very simple up at the top you have some temperature controls as you can see you have flash on and off some grids and then a timer as well upper left-hand corner you have a menu where you can shoot in slow motion panorama photosphere lens blur and then there’s some various settings as well jumping into those settings you see very simply a burst panorama resolution you can shoot 4k front video is 1080p as well so if I press and hold this button it’s going to burst shot so it saved 11 pictures right there and I held it for very little amount of time so that works very well swiping over is where you get to your video recording now I also want to make note that there’s a quick shortcut where you can double twist and it flips to that front-facing camera as well double twist again and it will go ahead and go to the back something that this camera app lacks is actually a manual mode and that’s a bit unfortunate you would expect Google to actually have that on there just considering it’s a flagship device you expect that so that is

definitely lacking within the stock camera app now there’s also the issue of the lens flare going on and you’ll see this picture is very prominent and honestly it doesn’t happen to me very often but this will pop up occasionally in some pictures it’s only happened to me maybe two three times and I’ve taken a decent amount of pictures with this device Google says it will push out a software update I don’t really seen anything just yet overall though I mean aside from that lens flare in this picture you’ll see colors pop the camera does a great job in pretty much all lighting scenarios here’s in the shade with a little bit of sunlight as well a low-light bright light you are going to be pleased here’s just another two-tone lighting scenario and it does a good job I mean overall you’re going to be very happy I am I’m impressed with the camera that Google has put on the pixel now I also want to talk about performance and it has a

Snapdragon 820 one processor coupled with four gigabytes of RAM and honestly performance has been great I have no issues whatsoever I’ve had any slowdowns whether I’m high end gaming doing some high-end racing games or anything like that in terms of speed with multitasking let’s go ahead and try that so if I swipe over to the right press the recent apps button I can go ahead and maybe go to the camera app real quick go ahead and snap couple pictures go ahead and maybe jump down to the calculator app and everything is very smooth very fluid animations look very good as well let’s go ahead and jump back to YouTube maybe loads it on up and I’ve had no issues with RAM management either things stay in the background just fine go back to table tennis and you’ll see it just pause the game so with that being said performance has been

fantastic daily tasks lots of multitasking as well works just fine I like to transition from performance now I’d like to transition from performance to software now does run the latest Android 7.1 nougat as you would expect from Google and you are going to get the latest updates possible now with nougat updating happens in the background as well and it installs with your phone on and then when you reboot your phone it’ll actually be the update will be installed so it’s a very simple process and way more streamlined now and of course with performance it does have a multi window option so if I want to go ahead and let’s say watch a YouTube video you can press and hold it right here and drag here to use split-screen now there’s also a way you can do it where if you’re in an app you can press and hold the recent apps button it’s going to go

ahead and bring up your recent apps here and you can tap another one let’s say I want to go to the calculator app I can do so you can resize them up and down very simple and it works well I mean in terms of performance if I tap this again I can go ahead and quickly swap between recent apps if I press home it backs out of it but it remembers it and you’ll see up at the top that’s great that status bar turned red because I can tap this again and go back into that multi window option to exit out of it I can just press and hold this icon and it brings the app up in full screen so multi window I don’t use a crazy amount one thing that I do use a lot though is swapping between apps quickly so if I want to swap between my last app all I have to do is double tap this recent apps button and I use that all the time it’s really great really nifty works well

and it’s very quick as well to swap between apps now next time I go ahead and talk about the pixel launcher and they went away with an app for a button but they kept the app drawer in terms of a swipe up option so you’ll see swiping up brings your list of apps you can swipe back down if you’d like to now if you swipe over to the left you do have all your Google search options in terms of bringing up personal suggestions as you can see Premier League standings right there swipe over and then you have a button right here which is actually your Google search button where you can go ahead and type whatever you’d like any specific

search as well and then you have your weather in the upper right hand corner where if you go ahead and tap on it it’s going to bring up just today’s weather as you can see you can bring up tomorrow 10 days as well but also make note that you cannot remove it that is there permanently in the pixel launcher and you can’t add any icons up at the top either one thing I really do like about the pixel launcher is the wallpaper option they’ve integrated a download option in terms of they’ve sectioned it out between live earth live data new elements and they also have an option you’ll see if I go to landscapes daily wallpaper which is what I use where every day it comes up with a new wallpaper

and you can choose your category as you can see all of these will cycle through and I really like that honestly just something new every day something I don’t have to manually change and of course there is the Google assistant which is a big selling point for Google on this device so to activate it you press and hold did the Blackhawks win and you’ll see they did win and it will actually respond in voice if I head the volume on but you’ll see you can just do a bunch of different voice searches strangely enough you cannot type to the Google assistant which is weird because in Google a low that you can but anyways backing out of it it also has contextual search results so it reads your display so if I press and hold this and then swipe up it’s going to go ahead and read what’s on my screen and you’ll see Mark Zuckerberg came up you can go ahead and go to various YouTube Instagram his all of that James corny Barack Obama it’s a bunch of random things that was on this reddit front page as you can see so it reads it and gives you search results which is great I use that a lot in terms of if someone brings up a date and a time it will set a calendar event for me so that’s just another nice feature now a full

review on the Google assistant will come soon from me with lots more commands other cool things that you can do with it stay tuned for that I don’t to get too in-depth with it but overall I would say it does have a little ways to go in terms of being able to be used all of the time I do use it occasionally but not nearly as much as you think I just think it needs some more advancements maybe do some more things but you can’t control things on your phone turn the brightness down so you see you can do some various things with your voice if you’d like to and of course you can activate it hands-free by saying okay Google okay sorry I honestly just did that so most your phones would activate it now jumping into settings on the pixel there is a support option so you see support we’re here for you 24/7 chat and phone I haven’t used it yet I really

haven’t need some needed support yet from people that have used it said that it worked pretty well so there’s that option integrated in the phone so that’s kind of interesting especially because it says 24/7 and of course I have to mention it is VR ready so you’ll see Dee dream it has a daydream app right here you can install that from the Play Store on your device I haven’t got my daydream view just yet it will come on Monday I believe so just expect a video on me on the VR headset that comes with the pixel very soon I also want to talk about Google Photos in terms of how great it is with Auto Backup so that kind of backs up my apps automatically if you don’t use Google Photos definitely check it out but I also want to talk about go to settings and storage you’ll see I do have the 32 gigabyte model of the pixel XL but you can manage storage and you have smart storage turns on so when storage is almost full it’s going to remove your photos and videos that are on your devices storage if they’ve already been backed up to Google photos so it does it

automatically so you’ll see over 90 days old you can change it over 30 days you can also manually do it so you can go ahead and check specific ones if I have photos videos apps anything like that that I want to manually just back it that have already been backed up and just remove them from my device it will do that automatically well that doesn’t completely eliminate the need for an SD card it does help a little bit with some storage anyways that’s really about it that would be my full review of the Google pixel excel my pixel review is coming soon and I’ll just be kind of a quick comparison between the two devices so stay tuned for that but overall some final thoughts I really do like the device a lot aside from those missing features I mentioned earlier I really wish it was waterproof and of course the price it’s a little a bit expensive they really didn’t take any risks in term in terms of the design very standard design and there’s really nothing new they really kind of focused on software in terms of the Google assisting Google photos and their backup and just overall the fluidity of their software’s well performance has been fantastic and of course the downside being that single speaker a little bit below average really doesn’t get that loud but overall I really like the device I just wish they would have used a bit of a lower price point so that’s kind of what it comes down to for me and that’s really about it so hopefully enjoyed my review lots more videos to come so click that subscribe button you can follow me on various social media as well I’ll links down below as always guys thank you very much

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