Google introduced a simple fingerprint scanner gesture on the Pixel and Pixel XL that allows you to "swipe" the scanner to access the notification shade. This was not brought to the Nexus 5X and 6P, though, despite being an Android 7.1 feature, and the devices use the same fingerprint scanner hardware as the new Pixels. After some confusion, technical reasons were offered up for the lack of support for the feature - namely: the firmware version of the scanner on the old phones wasn't capable of implementing it, but that a firmware update was seemingly possible - it seemed that Google could potentially add the feature to the 5X and 6P, but for one reason or another chose not to. Read More
The Google Pixel phones' development has had a big week; just a few days ago, the Verizon and EE variants had their bootloaders unlocked. Now, Chainfire, the famed developer of SuperSU and FlashFire, has debuted a systemless root method for the Pixels.
Due to the Pixels' odd partition structure (two system, two boot, two vendor, zero recovery, and zero cache partitions), Chainfire's root method required a bit of re-engineering. It's pretty impressive how quickly he was able to do this, but we'd expect no less from him. Read More
For years, Google's Nexus line could be counted on for one thing, an unlockable bootloader. While carriers have occasionally had limited freedom to defile customize certain models sold through their service, owners were at least free to either modify the stock software or completely replace it with custom builds.
It goes without saying people were more than a little disheartened to learn Google's second attempt to team up with US carrier Verizon lead to yet another disappointing result: the Google Pixels sold through VZW have non-unlockable bootloaders. In fact, there are at least two carriers selling non-unlockable Pixels. The other is EE Limited (formerly Everything Everywhere) in the UK. Read More
Here's a blast from the past: Google's new phone is having trouble pairing or staying connected to Bluetooth in many cars. In 2015 we went through this with the Nexus phones on Marshmallow, and this year it's the Pixel with 7.1. Google is aware of the issue, and is actively investigating. Read More
Verizon exclusive? Ha! After CEO John Legere teased some sort of Pixel offer yesterday, T-Mobile has taken the wraps off an offer for the new Google Pixel; if you bring a Pixel to T-Mo, you can get $325 in bill credits back. If you've been on the fence about either T-Mobile or the Pixel, this may sway your decision. Read More
If you didn't order a Pixel on launch day, you'll probably be waiting a while. Several versions of the phone are sold out, and those that aren't gone are showing shipping estimates of 3-4 weeks. Google has issued a short statement on the delays, and it blames you, the consumer. See, people are just buying so damn many Pixels, Google can't keep up. Read More
Android 7.1 is upon us – at least it is if you count the oddball mix-and-match of having an "official" version of 7.1 on Pixel phones and a "developer preview" for a few other Nexus devices. Now that the Pixels are out, source code has also been released for Android 7.1.0 on AOSP. It comes as little surprise that we don't have an official release of the 7.1.1 source code that went out to Nexus devices since they are still considered developer previews, but they're probably not terribly different. So now it's time to dig through for some interesting and unusual hints about what unusual changes have been made in this version that we didn't already know about. Read More
The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are great phones (here are some great things about them). But there are things about it that are... not as great. Let's run through our top (bottom?) five.
#1 They're really expensive
$650 - that's the starting price of the Google Pixel. It is also, you'll note, the starting price of the iPhone 7. In fact, every model of the Pixel and Pixel XL matches exactly the MSRP of its Apple competitor.
- Pixel 32GB, iPhone 7 32GB: $649
- Pixel 128GB, iPhone 7 128GB: $749
- Pixel XL 32GB, iPhone 7 Plus 32GB: $769
- Pixel XL 128GB, iPhone 7 Plus 128GB: $869
The only difference is that Google doesn't offer a 256GB SKU. Read More
On the outside, Google's Pixel phones look an awful lot like Apple's flagship. But what about on the inside? iFixit has a hallowed tradition of taking apart every new major smartphone (and other tech products), and determining how repairable it is. iFixit has posted their teardown of the Google Pixel XL, and there are some small surprises.
In their attempt to free the display from the phone's assembly, the OLED panel separated from the glass "a little too easily for our liking." This resulted in a broken OLED panel, and no doubt is a sign the Pixel is a bit hard to dig into. Read More