Google Pixel XL review

Fanatics of the nexus range, you could now wince as google’s iconic nexus variety is dead. But, in case you’re interested by the natural android enjoy as google imagines it, you need no longer worry as the google pixel and pixel xl deliver with them many of the equal characteristics.

Supplying a pure android enjoy coupled with the new ai-based google assistant, does the pixel xl have sufficient to stand out against a plethora of smartphones, each running android and no longer? Will the established design deter users far from google’s flagship or have to you appearance past it to any candies that may lie within?

With the galaxy observe 7 now consigned to an early dying, are the pixel and pixel xl the suitable replacement? Allow’s find out on this, our google pixel and pixel xl assessment.

On this evaluate, we’ve focused at the experience supplied with the aid of the pixel xl as it is almost equal at the pixel, other than the show length, decision and battery capacity. We’ll be following this up with a similarly study the pixel to see if these differences impact the overall experience.
At first we posted our first impressions of the pixel xl as we weren’t equipped to provide a very last verdict on google’s new smartphones just yet. You can test out our pixel xl preliminary review and then come again right here for josh and lanh’s video above and nirave’s written assessment underneath.

See additionally:
Google pixel xl preliminary evaluate: first forty eight hours
Google pixel xl initial review: first forty eight hours
October 18, 2016
Google pixel xl preliminary evaluate aa (19 of 48) front featured

Allow’s deal with the elephant inside the room – the pixel xl is largely the nearest you’ll ever come to an iphone going for walks android. Someplace in cupertino, there’s probable to be a crew of lawyers pouring over google’s today’s flagship and searching at every patent, which is likely what google did while arising with this design.

By manner of assessment, the nexus line-up has continually offered quirky, precise designs (though sometimes intently stimulated through google’s accomplice oems designs) that stood out among a sea of competition, and the general design of the pixel xl eliminates this. The the front in particular doesn’t stand out at all, and you could effortlessly mistake it for another regularly occurring cellphone, particularly with the bottom chin underneath the display basically being wasted area.

Thumb google pixel xl vs nexus 6p quick look aa no watermark

The layout itself is sort of positive to be the most polarizing element of the pixel xl and personally, i’m at the fence. While the layout became customary at first, it has simply grown on me however on the identical time, i do miss the quirky design of the galaxy word 7 and s7 side. With such a lot of android smartphones available on the market, google is largely relying on its advertising and marketing push and word of mouth to assist the pixel xl stand out as it’s not going many customers will pick this handset based totally on its design.

You might like: exceptional google pixel xl instances

On the returned, there’s a mixture of a matte metal end and a glossy plastic end within the top 1/2 of the lower back, and it’s an eclectic aggregate, which leaves plenty to the creativeness. The matte a part of the finish offers welcome grip while the sleek part adds one of the few factors that make the pixel xl stand out. The back additionally homes the fingerprint sensor, which is as a substitute snappy however greater on that later, and google’s g logo, which replaces the nexus brand of vintage.

Google pixel xl preliminary evaluation aa (29 of forty eight) usb-c usb

Shifting around the rest of the phone and at the right, you’ve were given the energy and volume buttons, which might be pretty stiff, but easy to press. At the left, you’ve were given the single sim card tray and for those used to dual sim and/or microsd card growth on other android phones, neither of these is available on the pixel xl. Up top is the headphone jack at the same time as at the bottom is the usb type-c port, single speaker and microphone.

The build of the pixel xl leaves a lot to be preferred for me; regardless of no longer being dropped in any respect due to the fact that i’ve had it, there are a few dents on the body already and a couple of scratches as well. In a bid to ensure the software program and camera elements are incredible, it does appear that google has cut corners with the design, at least in my view, and really, i wouldn’t count on these issues from a flagship, let alone one which fees as a good deal because the pixel xl does.

It’s no longer flashy and it doesn’t seem attractive to quite a few humans, until you switch it on and quite a few goodness comes out of it.
Say what you like, the nexus variety ought to usually be relied upon to provide a completely unique enjoy and if google is choosing common designs for the pixel variety going ahead, this may pose a as a substitute large hassle. Many could say the iphone has a widely wide-spread layout however that’s clearly come to be a big energy and from usual, it’s now turn out to be iconic. It remains to be visible whether the pixel xl design language in its contemporary form can end up iconic but from my time with the handset, i think google wishes to tweak it as a minimum a piece extra with the following generation. As josh places it, it’s no longer flashy and it doesn’t seem appealing to a variety of humans, till you switch it on and plenty of goodness comes out of it.

Google pixel xl initial overview aa (17 of forty eight) front

The main distinction between the smaller pixel and the bigger pixel xl is the display, with the bigger handset sporting a 5.Five-inch quad hd amoled show. Carrying 2560×1440 resolution and a pixel density of 534 pixels consistent with inch, it’s a vivid, vibrant panel that’s a pleasure to apply, even in outdoor situations. Corning gorilla glass 4 safety also facilitates to guard the handset so the show ought to live to tell the tale a bump or two, even though the real construct may additionally look worse for put on.

Running the pixel xl’s amoled display via our display assessments reveals a slightly cooler shade temperature of 7859 kelvin, which basically way the display has a blue tint. Curiously, at the least consistent with our spectrophotometer readings, the while the display is about to the same old mode (as opposed to the default adaptive mode), it ratings 7131k, that is a lot extra correct as compared to the encouraged temperature of 6500k.

Anything you want to do in this phone, you won’t be disappointed.
A max brightness of 420 nits, even under direct light, doesn’t quite inform the overall story as despite the fact that the pixel xl has a lower max brightness than different devices, there are no important legibility issues in direct daylight. General, i’d should trust lanh whilst he says some thing you want to do on this cellphone, you received’t be dissatisfied.

Overall performance
Google pixel xl preliminary overview aa (36 of 48) display gaming

Under the hood, the pixel xl is powered via the modern day snapdragon 821 chipset – which functions 2 excessive-power kryo cores at 2.15ghz and 2 high-efficiency cores at 1.6ghz) along 4gb of ram and an adreno 530 gpu. With this bundle, the pixel xl is mostly destiny proof, at the least until qualcomm’s subsequent flagship chipset – predicted to be the snapdragon 830 – lands subsequent year.

Earlier than entering into the actual real world overall performance, let’s see how the bundle stacks up in opposition to the flagship processors inside the opposition, inclusive of the a10 fusion chipset powering the iphone 7 plus.



First up in our benchmark tests is geekbench 3, which tests a cellphone’s capacity to address various cpu-intensive duties, and the pixel xl rankings 2234 in the single-center take a look at and 5054 within the multi-core take a look at. Turning again time, it’s easy to see how hugely advanced the snapdragon 821 is over the snapdragon 810 chipset inside the nexus 6p, which rankings 1282 and 4212 respectively. Qualcomm’s today’s processor does fall barely brief of the new a10 fusion chipset within the iphone 7 plus, which ratings 3419 and 5395 and samsung’s exynos 8890-powered galaxy s7 side, which scores 2107 and 6397.



Next up is antutu which combines cpu checking out with an detail of gpu testing and is a incredible manner of checking out all spherical performance. On this take a look at, the pixel xl ratings 136883, which puts it excessive above the a10 fusion (114975) and exynos 8890 (127507) however it does fall slightly brief of the snapdragon 820-powered xiaomi mi five, which scores 142084.



Finally, we come to heavier gpu checking out, with the adreno 530 gpu within the pixel xl scoring 2476 in 3dmark’s slingshot take a look at (the usage of es 3.1). Through manner of evaluation, this is higher than the iphone 7 plus’s a10 fusion chipset (2210), the exynos 8890 inside the samsung galaxy s7 aspect (2187) and is on par with the snapdragon 820 that powers the lg g5 (2447). Qualcomm’s adreno gpu has continually led the benchmark tests (versus the mali gpu utilized in maximum different chipsets) and this certainly seems to hold with the snapdragon 821.

Basic, the benchmarks display the pixel xl has a computing package deal that’s on par, if no longer higher, than the one internal it leader rivals however as we’ve seen previously, benchmarks scores don’t necessarily reflect real international performance.

Google pixel xl preliminary evaluate aa (22 of 48) quick settings

If anything, any performance hole feels large than the benchmarks could have you ever accept as true with as the pixel xl is probably the fastest telephone android to-date. As josh determined in our initial evaluate, that is one very speedy cellphone and, regardless of the garage on my entire handset absolutely complete, the handset barely showed any signs and symptoms of slowing down.

Josh makes a exceptional factor that whilst the energy and overall performance of the chipset makes a exclusive, google deserves credit for paying right attention to element and i’m able to’t help however agree. On previous nexus devices, there has usually been small delays in elements of the os ensuing in a gradual and slow revel in but with the pixel xl, everything is wonderful easy and this feels fast.

Google pixel xl preliminary evaluate aa (21 of forty eight) latest apps

The nice instance of this is the multi-tasking because it takes just a cut up second to turn between the most recent utility the use of the new shortcut of double tapping the button. More at the software facet of things later but i will say that at the same time as inventory android turned into regarded for offering the smoothest experience possible, this feels just like the first time that an android oem has managed to actually fit the performance discovered at the iphone.

Due to the snapdragon 821, and due to pure android itself, this is one of the maximum reliable and smoothest reviews available
Normally the iphone has lesser hardware but apple manages to supply overall performance that’s on par with whatever else thru vertical integration of the hardware and software program, and google is the primary producer if you want to come near this. As lanh says, “it really is going to show what google can do when it has manipulate over both the hardware and the software program“, at the same time as josh echoes this via pronouncing “because of the snapdragon 821, and because of pure android itself, that is one of the most reliable and smoothest reports out there.”

Google pixel xl initial evaluate aa (35 of 48) returned featured

On the hardware the front, the pixel xl certainly appears to be on par with most flagships, store for the shortage of microsd card enlargement. There’s storage options – 32gb and 128gb – and while you do get unlimited full resolution uploads to google pics with both pixel, you’ll probably need to grab the 128gb model. In only 10 days, i’ve managed to expend 25gb of the 29.7gb to be had out of the container albeit this changed into without having backups to google pics became on.

Having complete uploads to google snap shots enabled coupled with automatic backups when related to wifi and charging makes it as a substitute easy to always make certain the images have been synced to google’s servers. Whilst you do run low on area, assistant’s loose up space feature tests which pics in your phones were subsidized up and might then delete them from neighborhood storage to loose up space. So long as you’ve got an internet connection, you’ll nonetheless be capable of see and get admission to those snap shots in the images app, however it’s quite sluggish, mainly on a cell information connection.

Google pixel xl initial overview aa (18 of forty eight) fingerprint nexus imprint

Garage aside, the pixel xl does include a plethora of hardware capabilities you’d assume to peer on a flagship phone in 2016, together with lte cat 12, twin-band wi-fi n/ac, bluetooth v4.2, nfc and a reversible usb type-c three.0 connector.

Also onboard in a fingerprint sensor on the rear, that is slightly larger than maximum fingerprint sensors used on other android smartphones. Just like the sensors in huawei handsets, the pixel xl also helps a swipe-down gesture that helps you to quickly pull down your notification panel and even as you received’t use it all the time, it’s without a doubt a nice characteristic to have. The fingerprint sensor is also instead quick to release your handset and seems to work almost all the time, although every so often it’s possible to eliminate your finger earlier than it’s been recognised. That being said, you’ll most possibly discover it the simplest way to release your telephone, in particular as you may free up and wake the telephone from sleep using simply your fingerprint.

Google pixel xl initial evaluate aa (forty one of forty eight) again featured

Sturdiness is fast becoming a function found on maximum flagship handsets, but at the same time as most gadgets appear to have an ip6x rating for proper dirt and water resistance, the pixel xl is rated at just ip53. What does this mean in actual international utilization? It’s alternatively simple – while the iphone 7 plus and galaxy s7 area must survive a drop in the lavatory or being caught in a heavy rainstorm, the pixel xl maximum probably received’t. In case you’re a person who’s damaged a phone way to the liquid damage before and need this degree of safety, the pixel xl genuinely doesn’t deliver.

At the same time as the hardware without a doubt appears to be on par with maximum flagship gadgets, it honestly seems that google has stuck to the naked minimal. A software and services company at heart, this certainly shows as the pixel xl relies on software program factors to make up for any deficiencies inside the hardware. The trouble for google is that charging a big amount for a flagship and then providing the naked minimal hardware isn’t a combination that entices customers and against some thing just like the galaxy s7 area, which gives tons better hardware at a similar rate, the pixel xl definitely comes up quick.

Battery lifestyles
Google pixel xl preliminary review aa (30 of forty eight) battery

Under the hood, there’s a three,450mah battery powering the entire pixel xl experience, that’s slightly extra than the 3,000mah unit in the pixel. The greater ability doesn’t deliver any different battery lifestyles (thanks to the larger, denser display) and josh, lanh and i’ve all had combined outcomes when it comes to the battery life.

Lanh’s handset commonly lasts a whole day and always achieves around five hours’ display screen on time, even with very heavy usage. Meanwhile, the battery existence on josh’s handset is on the decrease quit of the average, with round 4 hours’ display on time, again from an afternoon of heavy utilization.



Myself, i’ve been very inspired by way of the pixel xl battery lifestyles; as a person who travels quite often, i typically run into the trouble of horrific sign abroad, which in flip has a marked effect on battery lifestyles. In the course of the beyond 10 days, i’ve been in china and hong kong, and most effective on one event did the pixel xl fail to ultimate an entire day.

That precise day was once I spent many hours taking pics the usage of the camera with the display mostly on medium to complete brightness, and even as i simplest common around five hours’ display screen on time as well, i’m much less concerned. Genuinely positioned; i’m so used to having to control battery when the use of other android telephones (ahem, in especially the galaxy s7 area) that it’s alternatively refreshing not having to simply worry about the battery at the pixel xl.



Setting the handset via our custom battery testing app, we found the gaming battery existence to be four hours and forty five minutes, that is on par with the experience we’ve all had. Of route, factors including show brightness, how many apps are syncing in the history and what sort of you’re the usage of the telephone truely impact on battery life however most, if now not all, users need to without problems be capable of get through an entire day’s usage.

For the instances whilst you are going for walks low, the pixel xl helps speedy charging and inside half-hour, you’ll find you can upload up to 40 percent battery, despite the fact that everything does take round 2 hours to price, which is virtually slower than qualcomm’s own quickcharge solution. Both way, rapid charging sincerely enables to top up the battery while you’ve only were given a restricted quantity of time.

Google pixel xl initial evaluate aa (25 of 48) digicam

At the release of the pixel and pixel xl, google centered on five key selling points for its flagship handsets, with the digital camera one of the key messages. Google claims the pixel xl has the best dxomark rating for any telephone (with a score of 89) but as we’ve visible formerly, it doesn’t usually replicate what’s most desirable to the eye. As it stands, the pixel xl camera virtually seems to live as much as google’s claims, broadly speaking.



Josh, lanh and i all agree that during daytime, the images are very sharp, very well designated and the digital camera has top notch dynamic variety. This is mainly true inside the hdr+ mode that does a wonderful job of toning down the highlight and shadows, with out making the images appearance unnatural or fake. Way to hdr on the sensor (instead of in submit processing as with preceding nexus devices), the processing is the first-class component with the digicam taking subsequent to no time to technique an photo as opposed to the slower enjoy found at the nexus 6p.



During the last 10 days, i’ve been journeying to hong kong and china and the pixel xl has not allow me down, proving time and time once more to be a completely reliable performer. Pictures are surprisingly sharp in almost all conditions and while the dearth of manual controls doesn’t provide you with a lot flexibility in adjusting your pictures, contact-to-consciousness focus on a subject and adjusts for the conditions hastily and the exposure slider offers you more ev degrees than maximum android devices.



In lowlight, the digital camera additionally continues to deliver, although it does have a few chinks in its armor. The largest of these is the shortage of optical image stabilisation as at the same time as the es (digital stabilisation) does deliver somewhat, you want to keep your hands flawlessly still in any other case you’ll probably emerge as with a noisy photo full of grain. At some stage in my time with the pixel xl, i’ve determined that at the same time as the low light performance isn’t the satisfactory, maximum of the time, the snap shots are nonetheless excellent enough to percentage on social which is all most people will use it for.


Moving on and google used the use case of of video recording to tout the advantages of its specific method to stabilisation. Rather than ois which provides elements to the sensor itself, es is based on records from the gyroscope to correct your shot and effects were basically advantageous.

Pixel xl digicam samples:

[camera samples gallery]

In the course of my trip, i found the handset become able to taking pictures relatively nevertheless video when transferring in a automobile – even though now and again it does make amends for the wrong element ensuing in as a substitute warped video – or even on a harbour cruise. In the meantime josh took the pixel xl for a spin to check out whether or not it is able to be used as a vlogging smartphone and observed even as the es is able to compensate for popular movement and probable in case you’re walking, it gained’t perform miracles with greater sporadic movement, which includes in case you attempted to file while jogging. As he placed it, you turn out to be getting a video that’s attempting to find the region to stabilise but doesn’t actually find it.

Google has made a camera that makes it easy for each person to take fantastic pix.
Universal there’s absolute confidence that the digital camera inside the pixel and pixel xl is vastly advanced over the competition and in the long run, google has made a digital camera that makes it easy for everybody to take amazing pictures. Offering great velocity – even if the usage of the double press of the strength button shortcut to launch the camera – wonderful snap shots and proper video recording, there’s no doubt that this smartphone digital camera is on par with the very exceptional. As lanh places it, “google has long gone from having the worst to the first-class cameras in a smartphone and i might say the pixel telephones are without difficulty within the top 3 for phone photo fine.”

Google pixel xl preliminary review aa (16 of forty eight) google assistant featured

The pixel and pixel xl run the today’s android 7.1 nougat os out of the container – at the side of all the candies it brings – with google’s new pixel launcher on pinnacle. The pixel launcher, new in its personal right, is the evolution of the google launcher and brings with it a revamped-yet-acquainted consumer experience with google assistant and some minor changes that have a massive impact on the general consumer experience.



By means of far, the largest promoting factor for the pixels is google assistant, google’s new ai-primarily based voice assistant that gives some notable capabilities. The same assistant that powers google allo – but now to be had through all of the android interface – it’s far most effective available in the pixel and pixel xl, at least in its current shape. Basically, it’s far a far-smarter version of google now and permits you to communicate with google the use of more conversational speech styles.

The capability to be greater conversational way you could say lots extra to it, you could funny story with it and you could even ask it to read you a poem. The basics haven’t been forgotten either, as you may additionally use it for the basics, which include placing a timer, checking the calendar, the climate, sports activities scores or more. For those who often have a complete diary, the day by day briefing function lets in you to digest your agenda for the day beforehand along different facts, while not having to do a great deal aside from set it up and say exact morning. It’s a surely, absolutely beneficial function and is likewise to be had in google home which is probably more realistic over your morning espresso.



At the beginning, i used to be skeptical of ways beneficial google assistant might be – after all, voice assistants haven’t genuinely added on their promise in the past – and some terrible voice reputation aside (or changed into google trolling me about siri?), it’s truly a really terrific enjoy. Each josh and that i agree that the hotword (good enough, google) is a exceptional way to release your phone and hearth up the search before having a verbal exchange; as an example, during my travels it was the easiest manner to look up alternate charge records, search for things close by and discover the climate or time everywhere in the world, all with some nicely-selected words.

Of course it’s not all ideal and there’s nonetheless many capabilities we’d want to see introduced or better implemented. We’ll be going into google assistant in a better feature in the close to future, however hte large takeaway is its an awesome function to have that must with any luck best get higher with time.



Android nougat

The pixel launcher also brings with new icon packs, this means that maximum apps at the moment are displayed with a circle heritage at the icon. Some apps do keep to have their personal designs and, short of google forcing every app to opt for a circle heritage, that is not likely to exchange but basic, it brings extra uniformity to the overall enjoy. It’s not perfect, but it’s a huge step within the proper direction and at the least all the apps are actually the same length.

There’s also some minor capabilities which heavily improve the usability of the pixels, and the largest of these is a reboot/restart choice. Google has left it out of inventory android most of these years but it’s a function that, literally, saves you time so it’s brilliant to see it finally baked into inventory android.



The brand new lengthy press feature is much like apple’s 3dtouch, minus the 3dtouch and lets in you to lengthy press an software to get admission to certain functions (inclusive of sending a message through the messages icon or sending a new email via gmail) without having to open the application. One ordinary occurrence i for my part observed was, even though it’s natively supported in android 7.1, it’s handiest google’s apps that presently help the lengthy press characteristic: when you have any other launcher set because the default launcher, the function doesn’t paintings till you set the pixel launcher to default.

Google assistant is a exceptional layer on pinnacle of android 7.1
The pixel and pixel xl are extraordinary to verizon – unless you buy them unlocked – which brings with it carrier bloat as you may count on however google really appears to have had a hand in proscribing the quantity of bloatware established on the handset. There’s only a few desire apps and those can all be uninstalled leaving you with a stock revel in. With google additionally updating the pixels at once – in place of letting verizon trouble updates – and promising to keep them updated for two years, the pixels are in all likelihood to keep offering a clutter-unfastened exquisite experience. As josh puts it, “google assistant is a fantastic layer on top of android 7.1” and we’re hoping it’s to be had on all android 7.1 smartphones, no matter oem.

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