Google Pixel XL is an Android 7.0 Nougat smartphone with a 5.5-inch WQHD AMOLED display, 1440x2560 resolution, and 534ppi index. It is equipped with a 2.1GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB onboard storage, and the Adreno 530 GPU. For photos, the device has a 12.3MP rear-facing camera with 4K video recording and an 8MP camera in front. The 3450mAh battery has the ability to last up to 32 hours of talk time and 21 days in standby mode. The phone comes with NFC technology. Color options include Quite Black, Really Blue, and Very Silver.
Google's latest offering to the smartphone market is something truly unique. Called the Pixel, it's their first original phone that's been designed solely by the company inside and out. Their other flagship phone, the Nexus, was designed with influence from other Android devices. However, the Pixel was built entirely from the ground up by Google. The Google Pixel XL is the larger model that boasts better specs and a beautiful 5.5-inch screen.
Google has made bold decisions to vastly improve the smartphone market. It's evident that the company took time to evaluate the market and where it's headed. The Pixel XL takes the helm in advancement and contains a number of changes that force innovation in both software and hardware.
Like the Nexus, the Pixel XL is available for any major US mobile carriers. It is being offered by Verizon, but the smartphone can be purchased from Google or a number of other third-party retailers. Because Verizon is the only carrier to offer it, the phone may come with a number of applications designed specifically for service. However, these applications are easy to delete. Users can simply insert the sim card of their carrier and the phone will operate the same way.
The body of the Pixel XL is sleek, modern, and familiar. The XL model measures roughly 6x2.9x0.3-inches in size. It's clad in an attractive anodized aluminum and features soft rounded corners. The front of the smartphone features tough Corning Gorilla Glass 4. This durable material resists cracks and damage. It covers the entire 5.5 touchscreen display. Unlike other popular phones, the front is free of physical buttons. The home button is virtual, resulting in a smooth and sleek appearance. The touchscreen is flanked by a simple border on the top and bottom.
On the back of the device is a prominent fingerprint sensor. Dubbed the Pixel Imprint, this sensor picks up fingerprints quickly. This makes it easy for users to gain access quickly with little lag while still maintaining strict security on their device.
In terms of design, the Pixel XL is reminiscent of Apple's iPhone. It features familiar materials and a similar streamlined design. Even the antennae lines located throughout the device are similar. This simple, yet effective design is great for potential smartphone users looking to make the jump from iOS to Android. The familiar form factor makes it feel as if it's an iPhone, but the robust operating system inside adds something new and refreshing for smartphone users.
Overall, the Google Pixel XL is a surprisingly fast phone. It uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 823 and features 4 GB of memory. It's responsive and doesn't have the same lag that many other smartphones do. One area in which the device's speed is most apparent is with app switching. Users can easily switch between two apps by double-tapping the designated button. While there may be a bit of lag with other smartphones, the Pixel XL seamlessly switches in an instant.
The same applies to opening applications. The process of opening and closing applications is easy and quick. There's no downtime, allowing users to navigate the software without issue. Native included apps run smoothly, as expected. But this speed and high processing power is apparent with downloaded apps as well. Processor-heavy apps run as they're designed to and multi-tasking is handled well. Even stubborn apps that are notorious for lag run smoothly and efficiently.
When compared to the Nexus, the camera on the Pixel XL is vastly improved. It features a very fast focus speed and absolutely no shutter lag. This can be a benefit for capturing fast-moving targets like kids or animals. The phone utilizes both laser detection and phase detection autofocus to quickly lock onto the subject. With the 12.3-megapixel rear camera, photos come out crisp and clear. They do appear a bit over saturated, but photos still come out looking great. The front-facing camera is 8-megapixels, allowing users to take photos and make video calls with great clarity.
The video-taking capability of the Pixel XL is also great, but it's not perfect. Videos tend to stutter a bit when the phone experiences significant movement. Unfortunately, this stutter is very obvious during playback. To get the best video possible, users will have to minimize their horizontal movement. Luckily, the camera includes image stabilization. This feature minimizes slight movement caused by walking. Normally, the video would be shaky with abrupt movements. The image stabilization technology helps to smooth out this movement and keep it relatively level.
The Google Pixel XL ships with a modified version of Android Nougat 7.1. It's the first device with this operating system, providing users with a number of new features. New Android features include app shortcuts and a fun GIF keyboard. While the new Android operating system is great on its own, Google took liberties to enhance user experience. It includes a number of exclusive features that won't be found on other phones with the operating system.
Google Photo Storage
One of these features is Google Photo storage. With the Pixel XL, Google is providing unlimited storage space for photos and videos. Not only that, but it stores this media at full resolution. The smartphone has either 64 GB or 128 GB of onboard storage. But this cloud-based service provides virtually infinite storage space. Google does offer a similar feature for other popular smartphones on the market, but it stores the media with decreased quality. Photos and video can lose their sharpness and clarity. With the Pixel XL, photos and video are stored at full resolution. Media is stored in the cloud intact without any down-scaling for efficiency. Users can store as many photos and videos as they need to, even up to 4k resolution.
Another great feature is built-in support. Instead of having to call a customer support line for help, there's a direct service located in the settings menu. This feature will connect users to a support specialist at any time around the clock. They can help with a variety of issues that may arise with the smartphone, big or small.
Another exclusive feature for the Pixel line of phones is Google Assistant. This built-in virtual assistant acts very similarly to other options on the market. However, it has the power of Google behind it, making it very effective for finding any type of information fast.
The assistant can be triggered one of two ways: by holding down the home button for a long-pres or by simply saying, "OK Google." This voice command activates the assistant without having to even touch the device. From there, users can simply ask a question. The service understands regular speech and can pull relevant information from a spoken phrase. This makes the experience more realistic and natural as if it were a real person.
Google Assistant can provide information on weather, news, sports, and much more. Because it's powered by Google, users can ask a question to initiate a search query. The assistant will then perform a Google search to find relevant information. It will then take the most popular result and recite information aloud from the appropriate web page. If more information is needed, users can tap the prompt on the screen and be taken to the specific web page.
The assistant can also perform particular tasks on the smartphone. Google Assistant will walk through various steps, asking for information along the way. These tasks include setting reminders and alarms, creating calendar dates, and sending messages to people on the contact list.
While it is effective, Google Assistant isn't perfect. Like with other virtual assistant software, there are instances in which Google Assistant doesn't pick up the right commands. Users will have to speak clearly to avoid search mishaps and wrong information.
In terms of battery life, the 3,450 mAh battery life can prove to be beneficial to those that use their phone regularly throughout the day. Whether it's for productivity or recreation, the smartphone utilizes battery power efficiently. Users can continually check e-mail, make social media posts, and play games throughout their day with regular use and still have some juice to spare.
All in all, the Google Pixel XL is a great Android phone for those familiar with the operating system and those looking to make the switch. With its implementation of Nougat 7.1 and it's numerous exclusive features, the Google Pixel XL is one of the best Android phones available. It has a number of positive features that smartphones users can look forward to, including an outstanding camera, a long battery life, robust operating system, and beautiful form factor.
While it may not feature all of the hot-button features that leading smartphone manufacturers are including in their phones, it's a solid offering. As Google's first original smartphone, the Google Pixel is cleverly designed from every corner.
The Google Pixel XL is competitively priced alongside the current smartphone offerings. With Samsung's current issues with their now-defunct flagship phone, the Pixel XL is a great option for Android users. Whether it's users that want to stay faithful to Android or those that want to explore a new full-featured system backed by a trusted tech-giant, the Google Pixel XL is great for any modern smartphone user.
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