Google Pixel XL review: 10 key takeaways


Google has been making the Android ecosystem that has served as the backbone for some of the most successful phones out there: from the Samsung Galaxy series, to LG's G family, HTC's One devices, Motorola's Moto devices, and many others.

None of them, however, seemed to be a perfect platform for Google's Android, and that's why this year Google itself has decided to build a brand new phone that will be just that.

The 5" Google Pixel and 5.5" Pixel XL are exactly that: devices where Google makes not only the software, but has complete control over the design and hardware. Up until now, this has been Apple's biggest bragging right: its iPhone had both its software and hardware made by one company, perfectly optimized for all sorts of added efficiency.

To explore all of the secrets of the Google Pixel XL, you can take a look at our detailed review here, but if you want just the most important stuff about the new 'Google phone', feel free to browse through the slides right below.

Related phones

Pixel XL
  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12.3 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, Quad-core, 2150 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 3450 mAh(32h talk time)

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32 Comments

1. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

I hope that they make a 5. 7" version in the future

3. DavMor0069

Posts: 266; Member since: Dec 09, 2015

The Pixel xl plus

5. sgodsell

Posts: 7215; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Phonearena in your review you never touched on the new Vulkan graphics, and the Daydream VR capabilities of this new phone. Why? You didn't even give a hint to any VR, or that it could be another reason why someone would want the new Pixels.

27. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Because who gives a s**t on VR is getting a dedicated device, not a PHONE.

2. jellmoo

Posts: 2563; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

I'm curious if you realize that in 4 of the above categories, you essentially point out a strength of the Pixel, and then go on to say that the iPhone still does that item better. It's things like that that cause people to say that Phonearena has an iPhone slanted bias.

4. whatev

Posts: 2202; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Then why are you coming to this site if it is of your distaste?

6. jellmoo

Posts: 2563; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

I didn't say anything about distaste. Merely brought up a long standing issue people have.

7. Marienx

Posts: 117; Member since: Aug 27, 2013

Why would an Apple fan come to this site? There aren't any news regarding Apple that are important enough to come to this site.. iOS is one phone one decision that's it. Whatever you can find on this site regarding Apple you can find it anywhere else. I'm a fan, a fan of Android... And no brand in particular.

25. whatev

Posts: 2202; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Again, I'm gonna make the question with a little change because maybe you can't read properly or have comprehension issues, why you people keep coming to PhoneArena if you don't like it? Don't you think this is such a masochistic behavior that speaks really bad about your minds? Me, for example, I don't even go to android blogs complaining about their line of thinking because android is mostly irrelevant for me, I'm seeing this review because Pixels are the only androids that catch my attention recently, I don't even care if PhoneArena says good things about them, they can say whatever they want about any phone and if anytime I feel they are posting things I don't like then I just don't see it, period, I could even stop visiting PhoneArena, but I won't be here complaining because they think the iPhone is the best phone or the note 7 has all the headlines everyday. You all should do the same and stop being so ANNOYING!!! Smh

8. XDAdam

Posts: 276; Member since: Feb 03, 2016

Whether you want to admit it or not, Apple has set the bar... so with articles/reviews like this, Apple is going to be mentioned. If the Pixel did something better than the iPhone, I'm sure PA would say "and the Pixel does this better than the current iPhone7". You can look at it either half empty or half full. I personally like to see how the newest phones stack up to the iPhone and see which parts of each phone shines better than the other... because people look for different things when they go to buy their next phone.

10. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

Rofl....they hide it or downplay it when an Android phone does something better than the iPhone. Open your eyes man. Lol

13. jellmoo

Posts: 2563; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Oh, I completely get it. In a comparison article that makes perfect sense. In the context of key takeaways from a review though? I'm not so sure. It's not something that bothers me, but the comment sections of almost every article is bound to include something like "iPhonearena". At this point, I honestly believe that PA is feeding this line of thought on purpose, and using it as a sort of clickbait.

19. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

We did some home testing at the store i work. Pixel XL vs iPhone 7 and 7+ Samsung S7 edge LG G5 Moto Z Pixel XL take better picture in ALL condition than any of those device. The difference is so obvious its funny. We also made a 1080p video play in loop and the Pixel beaten all the others for battery life. Its open apps faster than any of them beside the iPhone 7/7+ ( wich tend to open them a milisec faster ) but can keep app in memory longer than any others phone we tested whitout reloading them. Its also hold a faster LTE speed on Telus network compared to any others phone. the issue here is they often downgrade a phone for stuff like ( dual speaker not there as a con on the pixel but not as a con on older iPhone model ) So i am sorry but as much as i agree its good to compare.. its not when one phone get biased review.

23. jmonteiro829

Posts: 261; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

To tell you the truth most IOS users that I know don't even read forums like this! Or any site that has to do with smartphone tech!

16. phonearenarocks

Posts: 606; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

Yeah that's what i felt while reading every paragraph.

28. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Maybe you should ask Android producers to do those things better to match - and maybe surpass- the way they work on iPhone, instead of complaining that the tech world is stating what is obvious.

12. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

3D Touch is faster? Lol why no mention that it's fatter and heavier while Googles solution doesn't need to add useless hardware. 3D Touch is hilariously useless right now though. You lose a lot more time hard pressing something that has no shortcuts than you will ever gain with the menu short cuts lol

29. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Use it first and then come back and comment on it.

30. Branson28

Posts: 55; Member since: Mar 26, 2014

I have used it, and I and many of the customers that come in the AT&T store don't like it. You have to literally just barely place your finger on the screen in order to do a long-press, or you'll incidentally open up the force touch menu that you didn't want. Of the several customers I've asked about it 98% of people say they've never used it, many didn't even know it was there but blew it off as a useless feature. I personally like the menus, but not the implementation. I think the long-press does fine for the same purpose, and Google integrated it in pretty well in the Pixel

31. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Ah, you have use it for a few seconds in the store and you think you're opinion matters?

32. Branson28

Posts: 55; Member since: Mar 26, 2014

Lol no I literally work at an AT&T store and have iPhones in hand probably more than someone who owns one does.

34. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I think you're lying, dude (try peek someday and let us know how Pixel does it); I think you don't have a clue what 3D Touch is all about and I pity your customers - if you're in mobile phone selling business - who are buying phones, based on your recommendations or experience.

35. Branson28

Posts: 55; Member since: Mar 26, 2014

That would be something ridiculously silly for me to lie about haha. I still sell a ton of iPhones. I have never once recommended an Android phone to a person who wants an iPhone and vice versa. Maybe 5% of people come into the phone store looking for a recommendation of what to buy, the other 95% know exactly what they want and I'm not going to try and sway their opinion one way or the other like most sales people in the industry. Give a damn if LG gives me more money to sell their phones, I'm not gonna bully someone into buying a lesser phone that I make more money off.

36. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I'm not implying you are lying about your job but that you are lying about knowing what 3D touch is all about.

33. Leo_MC

Posts: 7212; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

your* - mofo Apple f**ked up the keyboard...

14. UglyFrank

Posts: 2193; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

You can't actually take this site seriously sometimes, the S7 battery life smear campaign is never ending. They tested the Exynos S7 5.1in version and got over 10hrs in their test. Surely they should report the Exynos scores for the edge/non edge as opposed to 7 hour S820 scores.

18. adsg48

Posts: 79; Member since: Apr 18, 2015

It looks like Pixel camera is better than iPhone 7 or S7...may be the best in the market right now...waiting for V20 camera reviews.

37. Dawgman80

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 23, 2016

My Pixel XL is a Bricked tonight after I powered it off. Take a look on youtube. Search Google Pixel XL Bricked!

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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