The Pixel phone/Pixel XL thread

Discussion in 'Smartphones and Tablets' started by Mitlov, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

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    [​IMG]

    So...who's excited? Who is disappointed? Who is just plain baffled?

    Nexus branding is now officially dead. This Google-designed, HTC-manufactured device is priced like an Apple/Samsung flagship ($649 for the 5" model with 32gb onboard storage up to $869 for the 5.5" model with 128gb onboard storage) and has what can only be characterized as a severely derivative design (flat-backed aluminum unibody with rounded edges, massive top and bottom bezels on the front, a corner-mounted camera, and a circular design element just above the centerpoint of the back...y'all know what I'm talking about). On the other hand, by all accounts, screen quality, camera quality, and build quality are all top-notch.

    In the US, it's available on Verizon or unlocked. No other carriers will be selling it through their retail stores.

    On the software side, not only is it debuting Android 7.1, but it features Google's new voice assistant, a new launcher that features an all-circular icon pack, and a tab for quick access to voice or video tech support direct from Google (I think Amazon did this a while back with their Fire devices and it was actually a really good response to "Apple genius bars" in my opinion).

    Personally, I think it would be a great device when viewed in isolation, but it's not going to sell well against the very-well-established iPhone and Galaxy S lines, particularly when it's priced directly against them.
     
  2. Phoenix

    Phoenix Super Tweaker

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    I was excited then when I saw the specs, all of that died. Mediocre camera, same CPU as phones from last 6 months like the Galaxy S7 line, average battery size in relation to the size of the phone.

    Next please.
     
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  3. Krowe

    Krowe Notebook Evangelist

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    I think you're missing the point of a Google device. Nexus and Pixels are meant as a platform for cutting edge software, with actual updates and all. Unlike Samsung, who have gone out of their way to limit software upgradability (with that annoying yellow triangle and flash counter etc.). Also, more recently, their phones have been more explosive ordinances than actual smartphones.
     
  4. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

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    ...and Google has undermined their credibility on that point by saying that many of the software features on the Pixel Phone will be timed exclusives for that phone instead of rolling out to other Nexus devices. My Nexus 9 won't be getting Google Assistant for an unstated amount of time; same with the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, etc.

    Edit: according to this, Google Assistant will NEVER come to Nexus devices, only Pixel devices: https://www.engadget.com/2016/10/07/the-pixels-release-doesn-t-mean-your-nexus-is-completely-toast/

    When the number one selling point of the Pixel phone is "immediate updates from Google," but Google is now not living up to that promise for the Nexus phones that people bought in 2015 and 2016, who would want to pay $800 for a phone based primarily on that promise?

    Oh come on, that's one model and not a brand-wide issue, and it was on a relatively niche product (their Note line) not their main flagship (the Galaxy S line). That's like not buying a Ford Taurus because one particular model of Ford Explorer had roll-over issues.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
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  5. Krowe

    Krowe Notebook Evangelist

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    But its a nexus, with an unlocked boot loader, the only limitation to software is your reluctance to use custom ROMs. No other device has comparable developer support or access to such a wide range of ROMs.

    As for exploding batteries, if the replacements are also catching on fire, then its obviously not an one off issue and indicate a serious supply chain problem and safety issue. If Ford had a commonly used part that exploded, like oh say the fuel tank, and fuel tanks of similiar design or manufacturing origin was used in other models, you bet im not buying a Ford when other options exist.
     
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  6. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

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    The S7 and S7 Edge have been on the market for more than half a year. If they had similar battery problems to the Note line, we would have seen hundreds or thousands of fires by now. Instead, I know of exactly one S7 Edge fire, entirely in line with the fire rates for other phones, such as iPhones (one or two stories each year, likely either unique manufacturing defects or post-sale damage to the battery).

    The issue of unlocked bootloaders and flashing ROMs is different than software updates from the OEM. Nexus/Pixel is still the way to go for custom ROMs, true (but beware that the Verizon Pixel will have a locked bootloader), but Google's announcement that even the newest Nexii won't get Google Assistant makes Google significantly worse than Apple when it comes to OEM software support.

    I buy Samsung because I like the hardware and software experience at the time of sale, and I'm okay with the concept that the UI will remain relatively the same during the course of ownership, instead of being updated with new features each year. If you want all the new software features that a company develops each year, really the best way to go is Apple, not Nexus/Pixel, as the no-Google-Assistant-on-Nexus fiasco shows.
     
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  7. Krowe

    Krowe Notebook Evangelist

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    But android is open source, the whole point of having open source is so that development is not limited to software companies. I have an old Galaxy Nexus, last official update was 4.3, yet Im running 6.0.1 with no issues whatsoever.
     
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  8. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

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    That's "the whole point" for you and for a small subset of people, but not for the vast majority of Android users.

    This is a sensible device for people who put an unlocked bootloader and open-source community support as a priority AND want $700-$900 "premium" hardware. But how much overlap is there in that Venn diagram, and is it a significant portion of Android users overall?
     
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  9. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Yup, this is exactly why early Android vendors were skitish about supporting Android, that some day Google would want a piece of the hardware pie and tie the hands of the other vendors to get a timing advantage for features.

    Google said they wouldn't ever do this.

    And, now they have.

    Selling a crappy phone (same as current tech) on the merits of their exclusive Android features that others can't offer.

    Nexus rode the fence on this subject, keeping the hardware makers involved in the production.

    Now Pixel takes away the hardware from those vendors and Google takes the whole pie.

    Where are those Linux smartphones?, we need some new competition to take Google down a few notches.

    It's not like Google needs the revenue, what in the world are they thinking shutting out their partners this way??
     
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  10. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

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    Yeah, tying the software feature (Google Assistant) to Google hardware makes this very distinct from the Microsoft Surface. Microsoft doesn't include unique Windows software features on the Surface that other PC OEMs don't have access too.

    Whether or not GOogle Assistant turns out to be a really killer feature remains to be seen--I personally don't care about it--but the very principle that it's a software feature that Google is making available on Google hardware but not OEM Android hardware really bothers me.
     
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