Google Pixel review
Google's flagship smartphone
This Google Pixel review takes a look at Google’s new Android smartphone. As far as mobile phone reviews go, this is one of the most important of the year, as the Google Pixel is the first phone to have the Google Assistant built in.
Having said this, it is the Pixel camera, which is the highest rated smartphone camera*, that will make you want to buy this phone.
Design - Flagship quality
The Google Pixel has a design that looks similar to many other flagship smartphones, although Google has enhanced the appeal by offering three strong colour choices; Really Blue, Very Black and Quite Silver.
The phone isn’t overly slim with an 8.5mm unibody, giving the owner a plentiful and easy-to-grip surface, made from glass and aluminium. The 5” FHD AMOLED display reproduces true blacks and the fine definition equates to 441 pixels per inch.
The front face of the Pixel is made from 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 4 and there is a 75% active area. Inside, a fast Snapdragon 821 2.15Ghz quad-core processor powers the experience, along with a very impressive 4GB of RAM.
Phone Set Up
Getting started - Security
Security is key and the Pixel tackles this with a back-mounted fingerprint sensor. The Pixel Imprint feature unlocks the phone quickly and with a swipe downwards, across the sensor, it gives quick access to notifications.
Getting started - Transferring content
Transferring content can be a pain but Google unleashes another new trick, to make set up easier than on any other phone. In the box, there is a Quick Switch Adapter for creating a cabled link between an Android device or iPhone.
The Pixel owner will need to sign into their Google Account, or create a new one, and the Pixel phone will then automatically transfer over contacts, calendar events, videos, photos, music, iMessages and text messages.
Two memory options exist, with a 32GB internal memory to satisfy most, while a 128GB internal memory is available to satisfy extreme users.
AI - Google Assistant
The Google Pixel is the first smartphone to have the Google Assistant pre-loaded. This artificial intelligence helps the Pixel owner to get answers, such as when local places close and when its going to rain.
The Google Assistant can also set reminders, make dinner reservations and text your friends the details, play music, play videos, check when artists are on tour, search your photos, check flight times and find the addresses of hotels.
|Android Nougat review|
Google’s latest operating system, Android Nougat v7.1, is on board and this comes with a series of Google apps, with more available to download from the Play Store.
Entertainment - Virtual Reality
The Google Pixel is compatible with the Daydream View VR Headset and controller (offered free with pre-orders while stocks last). This VR headset can be used to enjoy VR cinema and games, with sound produced from a bottom-firing speaker.
Camera & Video
Photography - Best ever camera*
The 12.3MP camera with its f/2.0 aperture and large 1.55μm pixels has achieved the best score ever (89) with DxOMark Mobile*. The Pixel’s camera has an enhanced version of Google’s HDR+. The Pixel HDR+ version can combine several RAW images together to make one enhanced JPEG and best of all, this is the default shooting mode.
The Pixel’s camera stands out under review for the high levels of detail it can capture with low noise, under every lighting condition. In particular, the camera captures brilliant photos in low light and indoors, even at 10 Lux and below.
|Samsung Galaxy S7 review|
Phase detect auto focus and laser detect auto focus are the tech at work here and also aid the camera’s other features, such as Pixel Lens Blur, Pixel Panorama in Fisheye Mode, Pixel Photosphere and Pixel Smartburst.
For selfies and Google Duo video calling, there is a secondary 8MP camera with a f/2.4 aperture. Google also offers unlimited cloud storage of photos and videos.
Video - 4K video recording
The Google Pixel can record 4K video at 30 frames per second or it can record action videos at a quality of 1080p at 120fps. DxOMark Mobile gives an overall video score that equals the two best video recording smartphones on the market, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Sony Xperia X.
Battery - Fast charging
The 2,770mAh battery is of a good capacity but it is the fast charging feature that stands out more. With the USB Type-C charger, in just 15 minutes a Pixel owner will be able to gain enough charge for another 7 hours use.
Fast charging aside, the Google Pixel offers up to 19 days of standby or up to 26 hours talk time, 13 hours internet browsing or video playback, or up to 110 hours of music playback.
Next review: Apple iPhone 7 Plus review
Written by: Michael Brown