Pixel Phone Reviews: A 'Truly Great Camera' and a 'Home Run' for Google

The first round of reviews of Google's new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones appeared online this morning. Most sites have come away with largely positive impressions of the devices, hailing in particular the Pixel's camera performance compared to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

The Verge called the Pixel a "home run" for Google, noting that while it looks like an iPhone from afar, "there are a lot of differences" in design details, such as the glass shade on the upper third of the back of the phone where the fingerprint ID sits, the "subtle wedge shape" of the handset, and the lack of a camera bump.


Camera performance was a standout feature, said The Verge, which claimed it "bested the iPhone in picking up detail". In terms of speed, both Pixels were rated as "fast – noticeably faster than Samsung's Galaxy S7. On performance alone, these are easily the best Android phones you can buy". Google's failure to make the Pixel range waterproof though was considered "dumb and annoying".

This is Google's first phone, and for a first effort it is remarkably good. By almost every metric I can think of — speed, power, camera, smart assistant, you name it — it matches or exceeds the best phones available on the market today.

TechCrunch said Google had delivered a "terrific photo and video experience" on the Pixel, noting that its video stabilization works "astonishingly well". Testing the Pixel camera side-by-side with the iPhone 7 Plus, the latter was considered to deliver more accurate colors outdoors, but overall picture quality was said to be "so close that it's impossible to call, except by personal preference".

Wired said the Pixel's built-in AI was "the best voice assistant yet", while overall the device "has a look and competence of an iPhone, with a truly great camera and loads of innovative software and services".

The immediate joke everyone, including me, made on Twitter after the Pixel launch was that Google made an iPhone. Well, that's true. As it turns out, an iPhone running Android is exactly what I've been waiting for.

CNET performed a direct comparison of the iPhone 7 and Pixel's camera capabilities, and came away with the impression that the Pixel achieved brighter colors, sharper detail in backgrounds of photos and on-par low-light photography.

In contrast to the general consensus, The New York Times was less flattering in its overall estimation of Google's phone, calling the Pixel "mediocre". Photos shot with the camera "don't look as good as the iPhone's", while Google's built-in AI personal assistant was said to be "fairly dumb".

For those interested, Pixel is available in 32GB and 128GB options as a Verizon exclusive in the United States, but is also available unlocked for $649 on the Google Store. Each phone comes in "Very Silver," "Quite Black," and "Really Blue" colorways.

Top Rated Comments

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Avatar
49 months ago
"I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this,"

Steve Jobs.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago
I buy an iPhone because of iOS and due of it's attitude towards privacy.

I don't like to be downgraded into a Google or Microsoft extension by using an interactive commercial paper smartphone, where both companies scanning your e-mails, your behaviour online, you're interest with almost every mouse-click.

It's rather ironic that in that regard you pay hundreds of dollars (or in my case Euro's) so you can hand over your personal profile to a tech-company. These tech companies earn lot's of money by selling these personal profiles to business, so you pay them next to working for them as well....
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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49 months ago
If you're properly into google services I bet its a great phone.

Like the iPhone if you're embedded with Apple Services.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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49 months ago
Seems to be a very good product. This is great news for both Android and iOS customers, as competition will increase future innovation.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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49 months ago
This is good. Competition is healthy and spurs companies onto greater things.

Apple and Samsung are being put on notice by Google and Huawei.

Us consumers will benefit.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago

attitude ... yeah, hardly reality though ... they're data mining just like everyone else.

You couldn't be more wrong.

Moves like the FBI asking for phone data with a court order, and Apple not complying proves to me how much Apple does NOT want to look at people's data.

Data mining is something completely different. If it's done without personal data to verify the users tied to it, like Apple does, it's not an invasion of privacy.

Apple is the best company with regards to privacy. They try the hardest. They aren't perfect, but they sure try to be. If you want to dispute this, show examples of other companies and why they are better. Or, put a tinfoil hat on and think that all companies are the same.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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