The Google Pixel XL keeps getting better and better.
And that’s saying a lot, considering I like my iPhone 7 Plus, as I wrote last week. Here is an update after doing some more back and forth with the two phones over the last week.
Camera kills it: After leaning toward the iPhone 7 Plus’ camera last week, I think it’s more of a toss-up now, i.e., sometimes the Pixel XL snaps better photos, sometimes the 7 Plus does. That’s my take after comparing lots more photos with both cameras and consulting with a long-time amateur photographer who has a better eye than me for detail, color gradation, and accurate color reproduction. (See following page for samples.)
The bottom line is that the Pixel XL has a remarkable camera that can hold its own against, or beat, the best smartphone cameras out there. I’m truly impressed, considering this is Google’s first branded phone (though Google has a lot of experience via Nexus and the early Moto X phones).
Design Kills it too: I’ve always liked the iPhone, even my current iPhone 7 Plus, despite its doppelganger-ish physical likeness to the iPhone 6 Plus and 6s Plus. But the Pixel XL’s slightly smaller chassis (compared to the 7 Plus) and the feel-in-the-hand thing is slightly better than the iPhone. Of course, critics will say that the Pixel mimics the iPhone’ s physical design.
Pixel powerhouse: Running Android apps on the Pixel XL is just as satisfying as iOS apps on the 7 Plus. But that certainly wasn’t the case when I was using the Moto X (gen 2) regularly. Needless to say, I have all the apps I use on the iPhone
sans Apple Music. (I stand corrected — Apple Music is available on Android.) The bigger point is that Android is buttery smooth just like iOS on the iPhone. It’s hard to tell which phone I’m using sometimes because the app experience is so similar.
And the XL is extremely fast. Proving that you don’t need to make your own processors (like Apple) to meld a great OS experience with fast silicon (the Pixel XL uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chip).
Note: The fingerprint scanner (a minor minor inconvenience being on the back of the phone) works more consistently for me than Apple’s new solid state home button (which doesn’t always read my fingerprint and drives me crazy on some days).