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Google Pixel Review Roundup: The Best Android Phone Of 2016 Is Here


Google announced its next-gen Pixel and Pixel XL last month, but the phones are yet to be made widely available. However, major news outlets already received their advance units and are in the process of publishing their reviews of the phones.

The Pixel and Pixel XL’s official release date is set for October 20. That’s just a few days away, but if you haven’t decided yet whether you should jump onboard with Google’s latest handsets or not, take a minute to check out these reviews. They will help you decide whether the Pixel or Pixel XL is worth your money.

The Verge (Score 9/10)

This is Google’s first phone, and for a first effort it is remarkably good. By almost every metric I can think of — speed, power, camera, smart assistant, you name it — it matches or exceeds the best phones available on the market today. And though the design is far from groundbreaking, it’s certainly approachable. The whole package is pretty incredible, and if you’re not put off by the premium price, you’ll be very happy with this premium phone. I prefer the XL, which isn’t huge and seems to get notably better battery life.

CNET (score 4.5 from 5)

The Pixel and Pixel XL are nearly identical, but the latter has a bigger, sharper display and a bumped up battery. Other than that, they’re the same. Both are polished and well crafted, and their sleek, one-piece aluminum design make them more elegant than previous Nexus devices.


The company’s latest phones take a step beyond it long-standing and well-loved Nexus line to demonstrate the true power of Android. Because if you want something done right, you’d better do it yourself. And if Apple has taught the company anything (besides the benefits of a well-appointed pair of blue jeans), it’s that nothing beats the harmony of an end-to-end hardware and software solution.


Engadget (Score 86/100)

After years of experimenting with Nexus devices, Google finally decided it wanted to make a phone of its own. HTC might be assembling the phones, but Google designed and developed the Pixel from end-to-end. In doing so, it crafted a truly great smartphone that sadly looks a little dull. Still, the inclusion of a speedy new Snapdragon 821 chipset and a fantastic camera make the smaller Pixel a device to be reckoned with. Now, if only it were a little cheaper.

Ars Technica

As for Pixel phones, they look… like any other HTC phone (most notably the HTC One A9 and the Desire 10). HTC’s recent lineup has been criticized for looking too much like the iPhone; the Pixel phones look like iPhones, too.

When you look at their feature list, you can’t shake the feeling that Pixel phones were cobbled together from an HTC parts bin. For instance, is there a design reason that the $500 Huawei Nexus 6P had stereo speakers and the $750 Pixel XL does not?


The Pixel continues the tradition, established by Google’s discontinued Nexus line, of being the only way to enjoy the best of Android. (In fact, its even more extreme than that: Assistant is exclusive to the Pixel feature for the foreseeable future.) It’s a shame, because the Pixel addresses almost all of the annoying little things about Android.


It’s special because Google really has made an effort at building a good top-to-bottom user experience. It’s special because Google has made some clear — in some cases major — improvements to its software and how it works with the hardware. It’s special because it has a great camera. It’s special because it’s the first Android phone to ship with the Google Assistant. It’s special because it’s the first Daydream-ready smartphone. It’s special because it’s the best portal to Google’s services, full stop.”


Both HTC-built Pixel and Pixel XL feel great in the hand. And, like all phones that have smaller and larger counterparts, chances are you’ll prefer one over the other simply based on the size of your hands and how you generally use a smartphone. Jordan prefers the Pixel, and Emil prefers the Pixel XL. The only trade-off between the two is based on size: The screen, dimensions, and battery vary. Everything else is the same, from processor and memory to camera and headphone jack.

As you can see, the general consensus is that Google did a great job with these two smartphones. More picky reviewers such as Ars Technica might flag the Pixel for being bland, but in the end they do recognize the Pixel is the king of the Android world.