Google Pixel XL In-Depth Review

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Google Pixel XL Front View
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Pixel XL Front Side View
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Google Pixel XL Front View
Author Ishan Bathla

Reviewed by Ishan Bathla

October 27, 2016

**This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

What We Love About Google Pixel XL

  • Android 7.1 Nougat.
  • 4GB RAM.
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 4.
  • Incredible Internal Storage Capacity.
  • Fantastic cameras.
  • USB Type-C.
  • Fingerprint Sensor.
  • A powerful quad-core processor.
  • Google Assistant is great.

Google Pixel XL Overview

The Google Pixel XL smartphone is amongst the best smartphones on the market featuring top-end specifications. It was launched as a way of introducing the latest Android Version 7.1 Nougat into the world. The Google Pixel XL was launched together with Google Pixel, which is a smaller variant of the phone – i.e., the Google Pixel XL features a 5.5-inch screen while the Google Pixel features a 5.0-inch screen, all other specifications and features remain the same. Both phones are available on the Verizon Wireless website. In this review, we will look at the Google Pixel XL in detail.

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Google Pixel XL Unboxing

The Google Pixel XL is available to order from the Verizon Wireless website. The packaging includes the Google Pixel XL, OTG dongle, USB-C adapter, USB-C to USB-C cable, USB-C to USB-A cable, safety and warranty information, service guide and quick start guide.

Google Pixel XL Related Videos

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Google Pixel XL Design

This is a top end smartphone with an exceptional exterior design. The slightly rounded corners make the device feel very premium in hand. This smartphone has a metal frame, and the back panel is half-metal, half-glass. Google says that the half-glass back cover helps improve signal transmission. This means better phone receptions, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals. The back is also where the fingerprint sensor, camera, and the LED flash live. There’s no camera bump on the back cover which is a very nice thing.

The front panel is a 5.5-inch AMOLED display. The bottom and upper bezels are thicker, even though the phone doesn’t have physical navigation keys. The bezels on the sides are thin, leaving you with a wide view to enjoy more content. The phone features the navigation keys of Android 7.1 Nougat which show up nicely on the lower part of the display. The strengthened Gorilla Glass 4 makes the front display durable and resistant to tampering.

The power/unlock key together with the volume rockers are on the right edge. The headphone jack is on the top edge, while the bottom edge has the Type-C USB port and a speaker grill.

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Google Pixel XL Display

Google Pixel XL features a 5.5-inch WQHD AMOLED display with a pixel density of 534ppi. The screen offers a cinematic widescreen experience with an aspect ratio of 16:9. The AMOLED technology gives deep blacks and a vibrant color spectrum that shows everything brightly. The Ambient light sensor in the upper bezel of the display adjusts the screen’s brightness ensuring that you see items on the screen clearly whatever the lighting conditions in your surrounding. The display also boasts Corning Gorilla Glass 4 enhancement for durability.

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Google Pixel XL Camera

The cameras on the Google Pixel XL include a 12.3MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera. The phone undoubtedly features an outstanding primary camera. The rear camera captures more natural tones with a sharp brightness in the photos.

The front facing camera is also a great contender. I shot some of the best-looking selfies with the 8MP camera. Interestingly enough, the phone includes HDR+ on the front lens which is really nice. Since the phone ships with stock Android, the camera app includes only the necessary features to get you started. Other camera apps are also available on the Google Play Store that you can download freely to enjoy features like filters and more.

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Google Pixel XL Battery

The Google Pixel XL falls in the class of big screen durable phones I have used in terms of battery life. The phone features a 3450mAh battery with a talk time of up to 32 hours and up to 23 days of standby time.

With average usage, the battery lasted about a day and a half. I was able to use the phone continuously for close to 7 hours while streaming videos online and playing games. Thus, the screen-on time is about 7 hours, which is a typical full work day. The phone supports fast charging: with just 15 minutes of charging, you get up to 7 hours of use.

If you are into music and videos, you will love the phone because it gives about 130 hours of audio playback and up to 14 hours of video playback. Verizon Wireless offers fast internet connectivity when within your data plan, which means on LTE, you get up to 14 hours of internet browsing.

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Google Pixel XL Storage

Google offers two variants of the Pixel XL. One with 32GB internal storage and another with 128GB internal storage. The 128GB option is $100 higher on the price tag when compared to the 32GB variant. The phone doesn’t feature an external microSD card slot, so you have to do with the 32GB or the 128GB internal storage.

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Google Pixel XL Performance

Google Pixel XL is among the best performing phones I have used. This phone features top-end specifications. It was launched in 2016, to usher in the latest version of Android.

The phone is powered by the recently released Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset running at 2.1 GHz and paired with 4GB of RAM. With such onboard power, the phone excelled at anything I threw at it. It has the best multitasking experience I have seen in a phone. It doesn’t feature an app drawer button, however, when you slide your finger on the screen from the bottom up, it launches a list of your installed apps.

For the gaming department, the Google Pixel XL features Adreno 530 GPU. This advanced GPU ensures rich graphics with the best frame rate I had ever experienced. The ample 4GB runtime memory can handle any Android game available on Google Play store with no freezing or lag whatsoever.

Google Pixel XL has the Google Assistant incorporated in every aspect of its operating system. Google Assistant can hold two-way conversations, act on voice commands, understand and interpret context, and much more. This is one of the most amazing and enjoyable features on this smartphone.

Google promises unlimited cloud storage for your photos and videos. This is an easy backup solution for all your media directly implemented in the Google Photos app. This being a wholly Google phone, it’s the first smartphone to get updates when a new Android version is released. Overall, the Google Pixel XL has everything to make you fell in love.

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Google Pixel XL Specifications

  • 4G LTE/Wi-Fi/CDMA.
  • Display: 5.5” WQHD 534ppi AMOLED, 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4.
  • Android 7.1 Nougat.
  • Internal Storage (32GB or 128GB).
  • RAM: 4GB.
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 421, Quad-core 2.1GHz.
  • Camera: 12.3MP back. 8MP front.
  • Battery: 3450mAh. Non-removable.
  • GPS capable.
  • USB Type-C.
  • Sensors: fingerprint scanner, gyro, accelerometer, proximity, compass, barometer.
  • Hearing Aid Compatible.

Frequently Asked Questions About Google Pixel XL

The Google Pixel XL was released on October 20, 2016.

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