Google's Pixel and Pixel XL are great smartphones - there's no doubt. But what makes them so great, exactly? Well, here are five things that I think help make that case with conviction.
#1: The camera
This is my favorite smartphone camera, full stop. No other smartphone camera captures images as quickly and reliably as this one - because the Pixel's camera starts capturing images the moment you launch it, and continuously does so in order to all but eliminate any shutter lag. It really does make the camera's shutter button feel completely instant, no matter the light level or if the phone's been sitting idle in your pocket for an hour. Read More
It's a big day for Nougat-powered Android on Verizon. Starting today, you can mosey into your local Verizon store and buy a Pixel or a V20. The V20 is available through a few channels, but this is the only place you can go in the real world to get a Pixel. Read More
Updates are still a huge pain point for many Android OEMs, but Google's usually been okay with them. Historically, devices with the Nexus nameplate have received around two years' worth of updates; for instance, the LG-made Nexus 5, which was released in late 2013, is stuck (officially) on Marshmallow, which was released in late 2015. That trend seems to be continuing with the Pixel phones. Read More
Google's Pixel smartphones have just begun shipping in most countries (some lucky Aussies got them last week), but Verizon, a carrier notorious for slow updates, will be pushing an update with build number NDE63P out to their Pixels tomorrow. Impressive.
The update is so small that the changelogs for both the Pixel and Pixel XL only have five words: "This update improves Wi-Fi connectivity." It's almost definitely just a fix for a small bug that Google caught before the public release of the phones. It's likely that phones from the Google Store will also receive this update, if they don't ship with it already. Read More
If you ordered one of the new Pixel phones, you may want to start checking your order status. Pre-orders have finally begun to ship, as some of the AP staff can confirm. Google did give us a timeframe similar to this at the announcement event, so no one should be surprised. Read More
Google now has two launcher apps in the Play Store, but you probably can't install the new one. The Pixel Launcher is one of the selling points of the Pixel phones, and remains technically exclusive to them. But of course, we have the APK available for download. Read More
Google started offering live cases back in the Nexus 6 era, but the product was more fleshed out earlier this year with support for the Nexus 6, 5X, and 6P. Now, you can order Live Cases for the Pixel in addition to the last-gen Nexus phones, including the stunning Artwork Live Cases. Read More
The Pixel's review embargo just lifted earlier today, and reviewers have been very impressed with both the speed of the phone's 12.3MP shooter and the quality that its images capture. In his review of the Pixel, David said it has "the best smartphone camera on the market." Marc Levoy, the lead of a computational photography team at Google Research, discussed with The Verge just how much the software assists in making the Pixel's camera so damn good. Read More
Living in Australia seems rough. Not only does every animal on the continent want to kill you, but you usually have to wait longer to get your hands on new electronics gadgets than folks in other regions. Google's Pixel launch is an exception, though. Pre-orders are live via the Google Store and on carrier Telstra, and the carrier managed to screw that up in the best way possible by sending out pre-orders a week early. Read More
Google really, really wants you to pre-order a pixel, or at least to be aware that it exists. If you head to the Google homepage, you very well may see a popup encouraging you to pre-order the Pixel. Forget for a minute that most variants of the Pixel are sold out—Google is getting as much attention as possible for this phone. Read More