Google Pixel First Impressions Roundup: Refined, Impressive, Full of Promise

BY Evan Selleck

Published 4 Oct 2016


Now that the Pixel and Pixel XL from Google are officially official, the folks at the event were able to get some brief hands-on time with the handsets.

The hands-on event is a quick way for journalists and developers that made it to the event to try out Google’s new devices in a semi-controlled instance, surrounded by flashing lights and people. It’s not a review by any means, but simply a quick look at how the devices feel in the hand, how they look, and some brief looks at how the software feels right off the bat.

So, here’s a rundown of the hands-on reports that have been published so far:

The Verge


    “Back to the software: this is Google’s “opinionated” take on Android. While the Nexus was thought of as “Pure Android,” this is very much Google’s take on it. That means that it has a custom launcher with a button for Google searches up top, next to the weather and time. You can long-press on the newly circular icons to get quick shortcut items, which themselves can be turned into discrete items directly available on your home screen. You slide up to get to the application drawer and slide down to get to the notification drawer. And now you can also slide down on the fingerprint sensor on the back to get to notifications quickly, too.”



    “Man, that blue color is gorgeous, and the aluminum design definitely screams “premium.” You’ll note the 12.2MP camera on the back flanked by a flash, a rear-facing fingerprint reader and the new “G” logo at the bottom of the phone. You’ll find a speaker on the bottom next to the USB-C port that’s capable of fast charging the device with up to 7 hours of life in just 15 minutes, too.”



    “This morning Google’s big Pixel event has revealed two devices, the smaller of the two being the Pixel phone. This device looks quite sleek, reminiscent of previous Google Nexus phones but making a visual name for itself with its metal edge and glass up front and behind. The top third of the backside of the Pixel is glass, while the rest is aluminum. Colors on the front match the back, and the back also has a fingerprint scanner, not unlike the Nexus 6P.

    Both the Pixel and the Pixel XL will be delivered with Google Allo for SMS and web-based chatting with the masses as well as Duo for video chat. Google will be attaching unlimited original-size photo uploads with Google Photos (though we’re not yet sure of any sort of expiration date), as well as Google Assistant.”



    “The design is premium, if not slightly odd. There’s a metal body, but Google (and manufacturer HTC) has added a block of glass around the fingerprint scanner and camera on the rear. While it gives the Pixel a different look – the glass finish did look and feel a little like plastic.

    That detracts from the overall appeal of the phonne slightly, although the bottom portion of the handset is cool metal – and that’s the bit which will be in contact with your palm most of the time.”

What do you think of Google’s new Pixel and Pixel XL? Do you plan on picking one up? Did you already pre-order?