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Thread: What to Expect from the Pixel and Pixel XL

  1. #1
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    Post What to Expect from the Pixel and Pixel XL

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    Here's yet another render of the Google Pixel, found by Evan Blass and posted to VentureBeat yesterday. With exactly one week to go before its official unveiling I thought it might be instructive to compare what we know about it (and the larger Pixel XL) against a list of traits one would expect in a Nexus phone of days gone by.

    Note that I won't have definitive answers for everything you'll read in this post; chalk that up to rumours I've heard on podcasts and my unfamiliarity with Verizon.

    1. Carrier Unlocked

    Traditionally—at least here in Canada—Nexus phones, even when purchased from carriers, have been sold SIM-unlocked. According to VentureBeat, the Pixel phones will be available "on Verizon and unlocked from Google". I'm not 100% clear on what that means.

    2. Direct Updates

    Software updates to Nexus phones have always come straight from Google. I've heard nothing suggesting otherwise for Pixel phones, so the short answer here is most likely yes.

    3. "Reference" Hardware Design

    Yes. Nexus phones usually launched with the latest Qualcomm processor and the Pixel phones will be no different; each will have the Snapdragon 821 under the hood.

    4. "Pure" Android

    No. But "stock" Android ceased to be a thing when the Google Now Launcher came to Android in 2014. The Pixel phones will likewise feature the exclusive Pixel Launcher.

    If by "pure" Android you mean a ROM free of any carrier bloat, that's likely to continue with Pixel. Except maybe Verizon?

    5. Developer (Modder) Friendly

    Signs point to no. You can read this XDA post for the technical details, and also this rebuttal from Android Central if you like. I also recall hearing someone on either the Android Police or XDA Podcast mentioning a rumour that the Pixel phones sold through carriers will have locked bootloaders.

    6. Competitive Price

    Nope. The smaller Pixel phone will reportedly sell for $649 USD, albeit with available financing. That's the exact same price as a 32 GB iPhone 7, for a white-label phone made by HTC. Hmm...
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    I'll agree with many points, but #2, #3, and #4 are still wrong.

    2 - Direct updates I guess. I have a Nexus 6 and here we are beyond a month of 7.0 being released. Nothing for my phone. All I've read since yesterday was "in the coming weeks". This is why I'm purchasing the new iPhone. Waiting months for updates that not only bring new features, but more importantly security, is sad and disappointing. Google isn't a start up anymore, they have the resources to ensure on launch day, all hardware gets updated so security is as top notch as possible. With the major fixes to how stagefright can be combated now with 7.0, it is important. I'm sorry Google, but when you barely give 2 years of support yourself for a phone, and you are months late with updates, that's a good % of the life cycle of the phone.

    #3 - Sure the CPU is good, but Google isn't make reference designs much anymore. It's a good point to start from, but this isn't the Nexus One which truly was ahead or on par with any phone at the time. After its release, we saw vastly improved Android phones from the makers.

    #4 I guess, but Google makes it tedious to disable all of their proprietary applications. Why not just include stock android, the Play store as a default application, and let me go download the rest of what I want. Heck, even include a big package of apps Google thinks are great for me.

    I won't say #6 is wrong, but Google going with this expensive trend on their Nexus phones is silly. The 4 and 5 were the pinnacle I say of the Nexus development. Oh well, off to check on the shipping status for my Iphone 7 Plus.

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    Two things:
    1. Those are pretty much the same rumors I've read on a few different sites including Android Police and I have to say they're a little disappointing. I really don't care about the Nexus name and if Pixel is better for Google, than so be it. However 2 phones similar in size and price to the Samsung S7 and S7 Edge (minus the edge feature of course) and the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is in my opinion is a mistake. Those prices are terrible. Google needs to price them under $500USD if they want to sell these phones. Otherwise I don't see the average consumer buying a Google Pixel over an S7 or iPhone.

    2. I own the Motorola Nexus 6, the last smartphone Google tried this $650USD price with (which I bought for $250 Dec 2015 on Amazon) and that phone didn't sell to well. A side note, still waiting for Android 7.0, however I tried the beta and the battery life was horrible. So I wonder if Google is trying to fix that before they release official ota? Or I keep hearing Android 7.1, hopefully Google releases 7.1 official on the Nexus 6 on Oct 4th, next Tuesday. Don't worry though, I'm not changing to an iPhone over it, iPhones are good for some, but not for me. They lack in a daily driver and cost way too much. I like to customize my homescreen and devices experience. I like the app drawer and being able to use an OTG microSD to read and write too.

    Next Tuesday will be interesting.

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    That's somewhat my point on the pricing though - Google and Samsung sticking to this route - high priced only options, I saw no reason to go with it anymore. The Google flagship phones of a year or two ago aren't being updated in any timely fashion. Google at best covers a phone's upgrade for 2 years and if they wait 2-3 months to even get it out, as I said, a decent % of the time you keep the phone.

    With the iPhone 7 having insane deals offered at the carriers (I get the caveats with it and am fine), I didn't see a reason to stick with Android anymore. I get many like to change up the home screen. All I found my home screens had were the few icons I used the most and I'd open the app drawer for lesser used ones when I needed. Even to this day, widgets either are half baked or require way more CPU/Data/Etc than they should.

    I'm just changing it up. I'll still keep my Nexus 6 as I doubt I can get more than $100 on craigslist (and the headache isn't worth it). It's a great back up phone and I'll most likely switch my ringplus account over to it once I've settled in. Plus I have my whatever it was called, Superbook? That's coming soon and free data from a free plan and only on Android - sounds like I'll have my set up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morphling27 View Post
    That's somewhat my point on the pricing though - Google and Samsung sticking to this route - high priced only options, I saw no reason to go with it anymore. The Google flagship phones of a year or two ago aren't being updated in any timely fashion. Google at best covers a phone's upgrade for 2 years and if they wait 2-3 months to even get it out, as I said, a decent % of the time you keep the phone.

    With the iPhone 7 having insane deals offered at the carriers (I get the caveats with it and am fine), I didn't see a reason to stick with Android anymore. I get many like to change up the home screen. All I found my home screens had were the few icons I used the most and I'd open the app drawer for lesser used ones when I needed. Even to this day, widgets either are half baked or require way more CPU/Data/Etc than they should.

    I'm just changing it up. I'll still keep my Nexus 6 as I doubt I can get more than $100 on craigslist (and the headache isn't worth it). It's a great back up phone and I'll most likely switch my ringplus account over to it once I've settled in. Plus I have my whatever it was called, Superbook? That's coming soon and free data from a free plan and only on Android - sounds like I'll have my set up.
    I can understand your frustration and maybe iOS with the new iPhone is the better smartphone experience for you. I have recommended iOS to a few people and my sister and my mother each have one and if you can afford it, go for it. The key is, Apple comes with a premium, and my mother is learning that right now as she buys a new iPhone.

    As for Android, most smartphones are updated between 1 year and 2 years or one updated version or two versions. The Nexus or soon to be Pixel is updated to the next version of Android for 2 years and security updates for 3 years. Fragmentation by the far is the most the frustrating part about Android, but I still like it. If my Nexus 6 goes from Android 5.0 to Android 7.0 with security updates for another year after that, I'm happy. Well worth it. Besides I also use a iPad Mini 2 when I'm at home. Also Huawei is the worst for updating, Samsung is slow and these Nexus are the fastest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by graveboss View Post
    I can understand your frustration and maybe iOS with the new iPhone is the better smartphone experience for you. I have recommended iOS to a few people and my sister and my mother each have one and if you can afford it, go for it. The key is, Apple comes with a premium, and my mother is learning that right now as she buys a new iPhone.

    As for Android, most smartphones are updated between 1 year and 2 years or one updated version or two versions. The Nexus or soon to be Pixel is updated to the next version of Android for 2 years and security updates for 3 years. Fragmentation by the far is the most the frustrating part about Android, but I still like it. If my Nexus 6 goes from Android 5.0 to Android 7.0 with security updates for another year after that, I'm happy. Well worth it. Besides I also use a iPad Mini 2 when I'm at home. Also Huawei is the worst for updating, Samsung is slow and these Nexus are the fastest.
    Yes, it is a premium - but I'm ok with that. I use my phone a lot (most people do) and at this point, I'm fine spending the money. I've advocated for cheaper/mid-tier phones for a long time. That has been realized with the great addition of the Moto line of phones, at times the Nexus/Pixel line, and others (LG makes some good ones, etc.). I've used many of them and premium phones.

    Plus, the new iPhone finally has things I wanted too from a hardware point. Never got why it didn't have dual speakers until now (especially with phantom speaker grills on the iPhone for a while). Now that's here. The waterproof is nice, especially since the phone has always been super sealed up. Samsung and Moto have at least made their phones this way at times. I hope it becomes much more the norm - we needn't have the bulk of the Samsung Rugby line to have a little peace of mind. If you truly need a phone you can kick into a canyon, they'll be one made.

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