Google Pixel XL
- One of the best cameras on a smartphone to date
- Stock Android operating system & regular updates
- Google Assistant is better than Siri
- Great display
- It's a shame it's not waterproof
- Surprisingly, no stereo speakers
Google Pixel XL Review: Key Features
Perhaps mistaken all too easy for an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, the Google Pixel XL is a smartphone that is determined to provide an unparalleled user experience at a premium. Positioned as the staunch competitor to Apple's flagship series and the Samsung Galaxy line, the Pixel XL takes a lot of the factors which make these devices succeed and takes it for a spin.
Handling all the essential functions you have come to expect from a smartphone--especially at this price tag--the Pixel XL offers a superior degree of functionality and finesse without much flair. Put simply, the Pixel XL is a cell phone that places function over form, and succeeds.
In a world of Samsung Galaxies and iPhones, why bother moving to Google in the first place? Well, let me explain.
Perhaps the most important feature of the Pixel XL is that it comes with the purest form of the Android operating system to date on any smartphone. Other cell phone manufacturers like HTC and Motorola tend to preload their devices with their own apps, tools, and features. The necessity and usability of these preloaded apps are up to debate, but most people find them an obtrusive waste of space.
Built (mostly) by Google, the Pixel XL features a clean, unadulterated version of the latest Android software. This means no bloatware and, more importantly, more space to fill with apps, games, and other important stuff. In addition, a stock Android OS enables more customization and faster processing.
Whether it's opening apps, browsing the web, playing games or just jumping between screens, the Pixel XL is the smoothest Android experience around.
On the topic of what runs under the hood, let's dive into the Pixel XL's other major add-on: the Google Assistant.
At first, the Google Assistant won't come as a shock to you. It's yet another virtual personal assistant the likes of Siri or Cortana. It also does many of the things these AI are capable of: it can schedule events, place calls, open apps, and track your agenda. What makes the Google Assistant stand head and shoulders above the rest is that it leverages the full might of Google's data analytics to deliver a premium, more personal experience.
Most surprisingly, it understands the context in your words, such as 'it' and 'here' and uses that to hold actual two-way conversations. The Pixel XL also does a better job understanding how you speak, able to pick up low tones or mumbles. Does speaking into your phone make you feel awkward? Now you can type your commands to Google Assistant.
Head back to our Google phones directory for more reviews, analysis, and recommendations.