I decided to post this new review of the Pixel XL 128GB Graphite that I purchased from the Google Store with their warranty. If you have been at my blog in the past you know I posted about the Pixel / Pixel XL when it first came out.
In that previous post, I thought the Pixel design was horrible with the half glass/half metal construction. I thought it was stupid they didn’t have wireless charging or waterproofing and I thought it was overpriced with few features. I talk more about why I felt that way in that blog but in this one I’m going to tell you how my opinion has changed since then.
Look & Feel
This phone feels amazing in the hand with and without a case. I don’t feel like I’m going to break it by any means. I am worried about the back glass based on the videos I’ve seen online and reviews I’ve seen online but I don’t have any issues with it thus far. I’m not crazy with my phones. Worst that happens is that I toss it on the couch, it bounces, hits the coffee table, then the carpeted floor. I’ve never even had a scratch with any other phone when this happens… even my S8+ which has a curved screen and is basically all glass. So, I’m not too worried.
I’m using a Zagg Glass Invisible Shield Glass+ on my phone because I hate the tiny scratches on my screen. The Zagg glass barely covers the whole screen because of the chamfered edges. That is particularly annoying but I’m not going to take the screen protector off (at least not yet) because of it.
Out of the box, the Pixel Launcher is incredibly snappy. It was awesome. I have since rooted it and installed the Pure Nexus ROM and ElementalX Kernal with Magisk. So, I don’t have the Google Launcher anymore but I have better battery life.
The top and bottom bezels don’t bother me. I asked on Reddit about the bezels and came to the conclusion that it wouldn’t matter and I completely agree with everyone there. It is nice having the ability to hold onto the bezel without worrying about touching the screen and messing up what I am doing. I did that a few (not many) times on my S8+ come to think of it and it was annoying.
The software running on the phone is awesome! I love the fact that I can root and install apps from anywhere and install Kernels and ROMs. Stock software is good, too but I like the features that I get while rooting even if I don’t install a custom ROM. I don’t have any kind of lens flare on my pictures and the camera is great.
Coming from an S8+ but previously using a 6P & OnePlus 3T, I noticed the lag on my S8+ and it was bad. People who haven’t used one of the aforementioned phones and only used Samsungs, LGs, HTCs, or iPhones probably wouldn’t notice it… but once you go over to a snappy as hell phone, there is no looking back. Getting any other phone and trying to use it just makes it seem slow. Which is why I had my S8+ for barely 2 months and sold it. More about the S8+ in my review.
I haven’t started using Greenify or Naptime yet and there are frequently days where I forget to or am too lazy to plug my phone in at night. That means my phone is off the charger for over 24 hours. I haven’t looked at my SoT yet but I know that doesn’t really say much. Right now I’ve had my phone off of the charger for 19 hours. I’m at 49% and I have 2 hrs and 20 min of screen on time. This puts me at about 4 hours of SoT for this charge. That is with minimal things running. YouTube is the biggest app on the list and that was only for 26 minutes.
If I were to start using Greenify and Naptime, I could extend my battery and get close to 6 or 7 hours of SoT with the same usage… hopefully. That is my goal anyway.
This is fantastic battery life. I never worry about my battery mainly because of where I work but it is nice to know that even if I worked somewhere I didn’t have access to chargers all day I would be able to get through the day just fine.
Overview – Final Thoughts
Overall, I believe that the design is meh. Glass on the back doesn’t bother me… Actually, it looks interesting in person. The wireless charging & waterproofing would have been nice but not a big thing I need. I still believe the price is too high though I purchased it anyway.
Even though I purchased $1200 and used the Google Financing, I still think it was worth it. I love the phone and all of its features. I don’t miss the extra screen real estate nor do I miss the extra bump in resolution.