The Good The beautiful design of the Google Pixel XL comes with a great camera, advanced display and reliable Google Assistant.
The Bad The XL is Google’s most valuable phone yet. The lens blur function of the camera needs refinement, and it is not as waterproof as its rivals.
The Bottom Line Get a fantastic Pixel XL from Google if you can cough up cash and just want more Android cleanliness on the big screen.
Update in early 2017
Let’s make it official: Google Pixel XL is the best, high-resolution, super-sized phone on the market. Like the very similar, though smaller, and less expensive Pixel brother, the Pixel XL combines premium performance, aesthetics and ergonomics better than any other phone in its class.
It is the ultra-pure Android Nougat 7.0 Pixel XL experience that gives it the edge over theSamsung Galaxy S7 Edge, the previous standard carrier in the jumbo smartphone category. This – and more natural integration with Google Daydream View VR – is forcing the Pixel XL Android phone to win.
And, since we’re not likely to see a new version this spring or summer, or a new iPhone until the fall, Pixel’s place as our favorite phone should be safe for at least the next season or two.
Editors’ note: The following is an original review of the Google Pixel XL, first published in October 2016.
It’s time for the Google Pixel XL to shine. When Samsung’s $ 3 billion exploded Galaxy Note 7 The 5-inch Pixel XL is the highest-end, high-end phone on the big screen.
Overall great camera and deep integration with the new Google Assistant software give it the edge OnePlus 3 and LG V20 . Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge remains an outstanding 5.5-inch phone, but the Pixel XL (and smaller, slightly cheaper) Pixel ) brings us to this pure, undisturbed Android experience.
I can (and I do!) Wholeheartedly recommend Pixel XL for large screen users who want a great camera and clean Android with online updates. To save some money, choose a smaller Pixel.
This review answers your basic questions about the Pixel XL, but since both Pixel phones are so incredibly similar, you should read my full Pixel review for all the detail with a pinch .
Google’s Pixel XL serves up more pure Android goodness
Wait, what happened to the Nexus?
For the past six years, Google has partnered with other phone makers such as Motorola, Samsung, and more recently Huawei and LG to create their Nexus phones. But Google throws out this sub-brand and starts over. Now they are putting these two phones into their own family of custom design products, known as Pixel (already included) a tablet and laptops ). Although HTC has assembled the Pixel and Pixel XL phones together, Google has designed and engineered it.
What’s the difference between Pixel and Pixel XL?
The two new Google phones are almost identical. The only hardware differences are the larger and clearer XL display (with higher pixel density) and the larger battery. It’s also cheaper, about $ 120, £ 120 and $ 190 more than the Pixel. Everything else, including the processor, camera and design, is the same.
Because there is so little difference, the choice between the two really comes down to size – if you like a bigger phone, get the Pixel XL. Otherwise, the Pixel is just fine. Unlike the case Apple iPhone 7 and dual-camera iPhone 7 Plus , you will not miss any of the features by decreasing.
Google Pixel Vs. Google Pixel XL
|Google Pixel||Google Pixel XL|
|Display size, resolution||5-inch; 1,920×1080 pixels||5.5-inch; 2,560×1,440 pixels|
|Pixel density||441 ppi||534 ppi|
|Dimensions (Inches)||5.66×2.74×0.34 (at its thickest)||6.09×2.98×0.34 (at its thickest)|
|Dimensions (Millimeters)||143.84×69.54×8.58 (at its thickest)||154.72×75.74×8.58 (at its thickest)|
|Weight (Ounces, Grams)||5.04 oz; 143g||5.92 oz; 168g|
|Mobile software||Android 7.1 Nougat||Android 7.1 Nougat|
|Price off-contract (USD)||$649 (32GB); $749 (128GB)||$769 (32GB); $869 (128GB)|
|Price (GBP)||£599 (32GB); £699 (128GB)||£719 (32GB); £819 (128GB)|
|Price (AUD)||AU$1,079 (32GB); AU$1,229 (128GB)||AU$1,269 (32GB); AU$1,419 (128GB)|
What’s so special about Google Pixel phones?
Two things. First, it comes with “clean” versions of Android 7.1 Nougat software out of the box, and will be the first in line for future updates. Second, Pixels has Google Assistant, an AI bot that uses machine learning and a large Google search database to answer all sorts of questions. Find facts and places to eat, schedule reminders, translate phrases, and more.
You interact with Now with your voice in a conversational, natural way, and it has a chat-like interface. After each interaction, there are additional requests that you can use to continue the conversation. Compared to other voice assistants, such as Apple’s Siri and Google’s own previous platform (both of which are checked after each task), Assistant builds on previous queries, so I’ve been interacting with it for a longer time.
Is there anything that will break the camera?
So. The Pixel camera blew us away. Photo quality is better than the iPhone 7 Plus, which was already stunning. There are only a few minor drawbacks. First, the Pixel lens blur function for portrait shots is absolutely pale compared to the iPhone 7 Plus’ bokeh effect in Portrait mode. But it’s an additional feature that Google will hopefully be able to improve with a software patch, though without two 7 Plus rear cameras, it can never get an iPhone good. Second, while the low-light images looked great on Pixel, the video didn’t look that clear. Next, take a look at my photos in the slideshow below and click here to go to the CNET head-to-head camera, as well as video between Pixel and iPhone 7 Plus.
Just how good is the Google Pixel’s camera?
Is the Pixel XL as fast as other phones?
The two pixels come out each other’s neck and other big screen phones like the V20 and Galaxy S7 Edge (all these Android phones use the Snapdragon 820 Qualcomm processor and the Pixels 821). In some tests, the OnePlus 3 turned off XL, but its own A10 iPhone 7 Plus processor went by all devices.
This is in diagnostic testing. In real life, pixels are fast and speed differences are almost unnoticeable. If you use any device for your everyday needs, you can go.
How does the battery last?
The larger Pixel XL battery does not make much difference in long life. Compared to the Pixel, the two are about the same (it makes sense: its larger screen takes up more power), but the XL runs about 30 minutes longer. In our lab tests he worked an average of 13 hours and 49 minutes of continuous video playback in Airplane mode. It’s longer than the V20 and iPhone 7 Plus. However, the OnePlus 3 worked in 14 hours and 17 minutes, and the Galaxy S7 Edge surpassed them all in 19 hours.
Google uses fast charging technology, which should charge pixels quickly. In 30 minutes, the XL returned to 36 percent and fully charged within 2 hours. This is not extremely fast considering that phones using Qualcomm’s fast charging technology typically take about an hour and a half to fully charge. Therefore, the Pixel XL could be delayed even faster.
If I don’t get the Pixel XL, which phone should I buy?
If Google Pixel XL’s impressive camera, useful helper, and clean Android OS aren’t convincing to you, you still have a few ace options. The iPhone 7 Plus is one of the most well-built phones around, fully immersed underwater, captivates XL with its portrait shots and fully integrated into the Apple ecosystem. The Galaxy S7 Edge is also shrewd, has extended storage and long battery life. And although I prefer the XL camera, the OnePlus 3 still takes decent shots, comes with high quality features and costs almost twice as much.
Google Pixel XL specifications comparison
|Google Pixel XL||Apple iPhone 7 Plus||Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge||LG V20||OnePlus 3|
|Display size, resolution||5.5-inch; 2,560×1,440 pixels||5.5-inch; 1,920×1080 pixels||5.5-inch; 2,560×1,440 pixels||5.7-inch; 2,560×1,440 pixels||5.5-inch; 1,920×1080 pixels|
|Pixel density||534 ppi||401 ppi||534 ppi||515 ppi||401 ppi|
|Dimensions (Inches)||6.09×2.98×0.34 inches (at its thickest)||6.23x 3.07×0.29 inches||5.9×2.9×0.3 inches||6.29×3.01×0.3 inches||6.01×2.94×0.29 inches|
|Dimensions (Millimeters)||154.72×75.74×8.58mm (at its thickest)||158.2×77.9×7.3mm||150.9×72.6×7.7mm||159.7×78.1×7.7mm||152.7×74.7×7.35mm|
|Weight (Ounces, Grams)||5.92 oz; 168g||6.63 oz; 188g||5.5 oz; 157g||6.24 oz; 177g||5.57 oz; 158g|
|Mobile software||Android 7.1 Nougat||iOS 10||Android 6.0 Marshmallow||Android 7.0 Nougat||Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow|
|Camera||12.3-megapixel||12-megapixel (telephoto); 12-megapixel (wide)||12-megapixel||16-megapixel; 8-megapixel (wide)||16-megapixel|
|Processor||2.15GHz + 1.6GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821||A10 chip (64-bit)||2.15GHz + 1.6GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapgradon 820||2.15GHz +1.6GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820||2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820|
|Storage||32GB, 128GB||32GB, 128GB, 256GB||32GB, 64GB (varies by region)||64GB||64GB|
|Expandable storage||None||None||Up to 200GB||Up to 2TB||None|
|Battery||3,450mAh (nonremovable)||21 hours talk time on 3G, 16 days standby, 13 hours internet use LTE||3,600mAh (nonremovable)||3,200mAh (removable)||3,000mAh (nonremovable)|
|Fingerprint sensor||Back cover||Home button||Home button||Back cover||Home button|
|Special features||Google Assistant built-in; unlimited cloud storage; Daydream VR ready||Water-resistant; taptic home button; dual rear cameras with 10x zoom and depth of field mode||Water-resistant; wireless charging||Rear cover release key; both cameras capture wide-angle images; secondary screen on top||Notifications toggle, dual-SIM, Dash Charging|