I admit it. I am a Google fanboy. It’s not that I love Google at the exclusion of any other company. I appreciate the merits of Apple’s business model as well as the thoughtful design of Microsoft's Surface devices. However, there’s something about that #4885ed Google Blue that spices up my life more so than #3b5998 Facebook Blue could ever do. Is it bias? Considering I am legally color blind, the answer is an affirmative yes. However, this bias has not blinded me to the fundamental difference between a company like Google and one like Apple. At Apple, the customer - the revenue generator - is you and me, the consumer. Read More
One of the few differences between the Pixel Launcher and the Google Now Launcher is how you search. The GNL has a search bar spanning the full width of the first home screen, while the Pixel Launcher has a simple Google button that starts a search. Now that appears to be changing, at least for some users. Read More
Google's Pixel and Pixel XL phones are sold in three colors - Very Silver, Quite Black, and Really Blue. While the last color is certainly the most eye-catching, it's only been available in the United States. Google originally stated that the model would only be a temporary US exclusive, and now we are seeing it arrive in other countries - first in Canada with Rogers, and now the UK with EE. Read More
I'm coming up on month three of near-uninterrupted use of the Pixel (specifically the Pixel XL), and as I've spent more and more time with Google's chosen phone, I think I've got a solid list of areas where I think Google could improve the device when a successor is released. While I still think the Pixel is quite easily the best Android phone currently on sale, it's not without compromises, some of which were not readily apparent to me until well after I started using it. Here are five areas I think are ripe for improvement on the Pixel, and that I hope are addressed when we see a new Pixel (again, hopefully) later this year. Read More
If you're in New York City in the next week and own a Google Pixel (or plan on ordering one), you should stop by the Made By Google pop-up location on Mercer Street at Spring in SoHo. Unless you don't want an adorable ugly sweater for your phone, you monster. Google is using a 3D printer knitting machine and yarn to make the little phone garments, and Read More
if you're among the first 150 to get one today you could also get a full-sized human ugly sweater like the one in the hero image above.
Hello! If you've arrived at this post, it may be because you're considering buying a Google Pixel and are wondering if it works on your wireless carrier. This is a fair question, as many smartphones only work on certain carriers here in the US. You may also be wondering what the deal is with the Verizon version of the Google Pixel, versus one you buy from the Google Store, Project Fi, or Best Buy. The good news is that there actually isn't much to know: every version of the Google Pixel sold in the United States is SIM unlocked and works on every major carrier, including Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T. Read More
In an internal poll of the Android Police staff, the Google Pixel has won overwhelmingly as our choice for smartphone of the year.
As I pick up my Google Pixel XL, nestled in its artwork Live Case (which, annoyingly, is cracking), I don't find myself missing much. I don't miss the almost artful curves and subtle refinement of the Galaxy Note7, the vast display canvas of LG's V20, or the Moto Z's... whatever. The Pixel XL just seems right, and if you were to ask me to give it up for any other smartphone today, I'd politely decline: this, for now, is as good as it gets. Read More
The end of the year has arrived, and it's time to make our picks for the phones that represented the best of what the [Android] smartphone industry had to offer in 2016. Without further ado, here are the recipients of the Android Police Most-Wanted award in 2016 for "Top Smartphone," in no particular order. Read More
In what appears to be an accidental rollout of a preview build, according to 9to5Google, Google is updating Pixel and Pixel XL devices in Canada to a new version of Android 7.1, build number NPF26J. Read More
The "P" after the N generally would denote a preview, as Google uses the second letter in its build system to indicate the branch the update is sourced from (e.g., "R" for "release"). (Update: Upon further investigation, it's unclear if this is true, or if it's merely a coincidence. The build may be an official rollout, though it would be odd considering Google hasn't updated its factory image or OTA file pages yet.)
The Pixel phones have been out for several weeks now, and a lot has been said about the camera. I will try to comment on some of the things that I’ve felt have been a bit overlooked, in a deeper dive into the Google Camera 4.2 on the Pixel XL. Most of the issues, if not all, should also apply to the smaller Pixel phone.
A note on pixel size, sensor size, and aperture
Starting with last year’s Nexus phones, Google has been advertising “bigger pixels” in their camera sensors, frequently pointing out their 1.55µm size in marketing materials. Relatively speaking, they’re larger than the ones on most other phones and should lead to lower noise, at least according to common belief. Read More