Google Pixel XL review – Phone by Google worth it?

The Pixel is the Phone made by Google, it has been launched in India available in two variants the Google Pixel and the Google Pixel XL. Here is the review of Google Pixel XL that comes for a price tag of Rs. 66,000 – worth it? Find out.

Unboxing the Google Pixel XL

Box content : Handset, user guide, warranty card, data cable (USB to USB Type C), premium quality earphone, SIM tray ejector pin, USB to USB Type C adapter, data cable (USB Type C to USB Type C) and travel charger (9V / 2A). Pixel XL SAR value : 0.455 W/Kg@1g head and 0.451 W/Kg@1g body.

Design and Display

The Google Pixel is using Aerospace grade aluminum body, build and finishing is excellent. The handset also to some extent looks different, unique. On the back, the camera and finger print area is covered by glass and the rest of the body is metal. This gives a unique feel to the handset. XL is 8.5mm thick and weight is around 167 grams.

Google Pixel XL box pack and unboxing

Coming to the screen it’s a 5.5 inch on the Google Pixel XL – AMOLED with Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution. Color reproduction, viewing angles and touch response are excellent. The screen is also using 2.5D curved glass and is Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protected.

Google Pixel XL review

There is LED notification on the Pixel XL, you will need to manually enable the same. This handset comes with a single nano SIM slot and there is no external micro SD support. XL comes with good number of sensors Accelerometer, light, proximity, magnetic, pressure, Gyro and hall sensors.

Google Pixel XL single nano SIM slot

Memory, Storage and OS

The Pixel XL is available in different ROM options, the one I used for the review is loaded with 4GB RAM (average 1.9GB free) and 32GB ROM (around 23GB free space on first boot). OTG works you can use the USB to USB Type C adapter, connect pen drive and access its content.

XL is running Android Nougat. I got an update before I started working on the review it’s the latest Android Version 7.1.1. Nougat OS comes with new interface and features and this being a Google, the major advantage is, it will be the first one to get the latest future updates.

Pixel XL Performance

The XL is using Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad core 64 bit clocked at 2.15GHz coupled with Adreno 530 GPU. The performance was smooth, lag free and heat up was well under control. Max battery temperature was 38 degrees i.e. when using the handset and while charging the battery temperature rose up to 44 – 45 degrees (that’s pretty much normal ~ fast charging).

Google Pixel XL metal back with 3450 mAh battery

Google Pixel XL Benchmark

Quadrant : 31260
AnTuTu / 3D score : 140780 / 56753 – 2nd time 139619 / 56588
Nenamark 2 : 59.3ps
Disk Speed : 221 MB/s read /  76 MB/s write
Multi Touch : 10 point

Gaming

This is SD 821 chipset; it can play many high end games. I tried Asphalt Xtreme and Modern combat 5 both games played buttery smooth – do note this handset is using Quad HD screen.

Camera

There is 12.3MP PDAF camera plus laser AF on the back with LED flash support and front camera can shoot in 8MP resolution. Front camera is fixed focus. Primary camera is with a f/2.0 aperture. This camera is really fast and even the focusing is almost instant, impressive. Press capture button and it captures images instantly.

Google Pixel XL Finger print sensor and 12.3MP primary camera

The image quality is also excellent when shooting in daylight as well as in low light conditions. This handset can play 4K video and also record 4K videos. Slow motion videos at 240 FPS are also supported – check video review for samples.

Google Pixel XL camera rating 4.7 out of 5

Google Pixel XL front and rear camera sample

Google Pixel XL rear camera night shot

Google Pixel XL rear camera low light

Google Pixel XL rear camera night shot 2

Google Pixel XL rear camera street light

Google Pixel XL rear camera sample day light train

Google Pixel XL rear camera sample day light long shot

Google Pixel XL rear camera sample closeup

Google Pixel XL rear camera sample mid shot hydrant

Google Pixel XL front camera sample hand

Download Original Image files (right click and save) (do not use it for commercial purpose, without permission of gogi.in).

Others

No issues with 4G VoLTE network. Sound is very loud and clear, there is a single speaker placed at the bottom and XL is packed with 3 microphones. The Google Pixel XL can also be used like a power bank – you can charge other devices. Finger print sensor on the back is fast and accurate. Other features supported – Google Assistant, Google Cast and Daydream VR.

Google Pixel XL buttons, port

Battery

The XL houses a 3450 mAh non-removable battery. Battery life is impressive you can expect 5 to 11 hours of non-stop moderate to heavy usage. For mixed moderate usage the handset will easily last for up to 2 days.

Google Pixel XL Battery Performance (time / battery % drop / battery temperature)

Running Benchmark app :  9 minutes / 2% / 38 degrees
Asphalt Xtreme + MC5 game play : 18 minutes / 6% / 36 degrees
4K video playback with full brightness (WiFi /4G on) :  50 minutes / 7% / 36 degrees.

It took me 2 hours 20 minutes to charge the Pixel XL battery from 1% to 100% using fast wall charger.

Verdict

The Google Pixel XL no doubt is a powerful handset, performance is excellent, heat up is under control, excellent for gaming, looks premium and can shoot excellent still and motion pictures, including slow motion. However it comes with a single SIM slot and its quite pricey at Rs. 67,000.

Google Pixel XL triple mic, single speaker vent and USB Type C port

Now OnePlus 3T using the same snapdragon 821 chipset, but with FHD screen is priced at Rs. 30,000. If you compare the camera performance the XL camera is slightly better than the OnePlus 3/ 3T.

Will customers go for OnePlus 3T for Rs. 30,000 or opt for Google Pixel XL with Quad HD screen and a slightly better camera by paying almost double the price – Rs. 67,000?

Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5

Google Pixel XL is available on Flipkart.

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