Google’s Pixel, promoted as a first phone by Google, has been launched with the Google brand name. The arrival time has also been lucky for Google. In holiday season, all other phones have to compete with Samsung, this time the case was different. Samsung was grappling with is negative publicity of Note 7 disaster leaving no competition for Google Pixel.
The timing of launch suited Google as the phone is at best slightly mediocre. It’s not as fast as iPhone and Galaxy S; Pixel’s photos are not as great as that of iPhone, and the built-in Google Assistant is dumb.
Google claims to have optimized Pixel to be speedier. The touch screen is really responsive and the virtual assistant would improve over time. The pictures look more natural with Pixel. It is initially available for Verizon Wireless. The starting price is $650 and it comes in two sizes: 5 inch and 5.5 inch. Google provided 5.5 inch XL model for testing.
After testing the phone, I found most of the device features are not at par with the best, but it’s a good smartphone. It is running on the purest form of Android not tainted by third party apps.
Google Assistant is still annoying, but it is ahead of Apple’s and Microsoft. The situation has not changed after 9 months. They have not become smarter. Even Google Assistant has not improved at all. Google claims that Google Assistant is capable of doing two way communications, you can ask a follow up question.
The Assistant may understand the context. Google explains this: You can ask, “Where is the Taj Mahal?” and then ask, “How old is it?” But when I tested, it failed to answer many straight questions. I asked what is the time now in India? It answered correctly. After that, it hit foul balls. But it can easily engage in a conversation about weather. When I asked the probability of rain in San Francisco, “ Rain is not expected”.
In short, Google Assistant has some stumbling block like other similar features of Apple and Microsoft, but it definitely answers simple questions. You will certainly like many of its answers and may even get frustrated often. So you will have a frequent love-hate type relation with your assistant. Though you can’t trust it 100%. Despite that, this is the best voice assistant as not as great as being advertised.
Google claims that its camera is the best in the market, this is simply wrong. The rear 12.3 mega pixel sensor is equal to iPhone’s. On taking photos with iPhone, Galaxy S7 and Pixel came at the third. Photos taken by iPhone 7 were more lively and vivid. I conducted a blind test and asked 30 people which of the photos were better and 60 percent people told iPhone and only 8 voted for Pixel. People seemed to gravitate toward the warmer color profiles produced by the iPhone.
Google Pixel is compatible with Project Fi which is the Google experimental wire service. You will have to pay $30 per month for unlimited messages and minutes and 1 gigabyte of cellular data. For every extra gigs byte, you will have to pay $10 extra. In United States, Project Fi relies on the network of Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular.
The biggest USP of Google Pixel phones is that it has the best of the best Android OS, Google Naugat. Pixel addresses almost most of the irritating features of Android. The Pixel’s app icons are uniform and most of them have a perfectly round shape which seems unobtrusive. Google Now has replaced the big sized Google Search bar.
This is one such phone that has attracted divergent views from experts of well-known media outlets. Let’s see what they say about the phone:
BuzzFeed’s Nicole Nguyenpraises the phone for its software, but she is not at all happy with the appearance of the phone. She calls it uninspiring. There is nothing great about the hardware except that it is trying to prove a point to big phone makers like Samsung and Apple that it can take on them.
Gizmodo’s Michael Nunezterms this “too dumb and ugly”. Google has certainly come up with a new idea with its phone, but it can’t be iPhone killer. He even calls Google Assistant ‘too stupid’ and mediocre in comparison to Siri.
Engadget’s Chris Velazcohas also been critical of the phone for some its features. The phone is expensive without having a good design. Not being water-resistant is another big con.
ZDNet’s Jason Cipriani says it’s certainly not the best ever as claimed by Google. It does of zero shutter lag, but the pictures are not the best.
Despite its some mediocre features, Internet has fallen in love with it. The phone looks very much like iPhone and this is certainly perfect. The aluminum body is sharper and harder than iPhone. It gives a nice feeling in holding. It’s large, round, rear fingerprint reader makes it easy to phone turn on.
However, it’s not waterproof and it’s not good to have just one speaker. But none of this matter for people who love it. The phone is being loved mostly, but it’s not as great at iPhone. But, this does not mean that price tag is not justified. It’s the first daydream ready phone that handles Google VR platform.