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First Impressions of Google’s Pixel Smartphone – Upgrading From Nexus 6P

Even a year later, the Nexus 6P is still a superb smartphone. It was the first Nexus device¬†with a camera worthy of competing with other flagship devices. It implemented the USB type C interface. Oh, and its front-facing speakers are awesome! ūüôā

I’ve been playing with my new Google Pixel smartphone for the last two weeks, and it’s definitely the first device¬†I’ve owned where the¬†experience is the selling point. Sure it has some fantastic specs, but there’s no water-proofing… or SD card… or wireless charging capability… or even front-facing speakers. These features are almost¬†expected with yearly flagships.

What makes this phone so great is the unification between hardware and software. Google is taking a page out of Apple’s book, in this regard. By designing the hardware¬†and the software, both portions of the mobile computing experience are seamlessly brought together in a hard-to-describe¬†unity with Google Assistant at the forefront.

Pixel family!

I also used this opportunity to downsize to a smaller form factor. Coming from the Nexus 6P (and the Nexus 6 before that), I grew accustomed to larger phones. Having this smaller handset has taken some adjustment, but for me, I wanted the additional portability over a larger battery or more screen real estate.

The Pixel is otherwise what one expects from a flagship device – buttery smooth interface, great design, fantastic camera, and a few surprises.¬†Being able to pull down the notification screen with a simple gesture across the fingerprint scanner has become incredibly routine. Furthermore, the “really blue” limited edition color profile has drawn some attention from my colleagues. ūüėÄ

I got this phone at subsidized Black Friday pricing, but any ordinary consumer¬†with a Nexus 6P should not¬†shell out the money to purchase a Pixel at full value. The small improvements simply don’t justify it.¬†Unfortunately, for an Android nerd like me that lives on the cutting edge, it was an inevitable (yearly) purchase. ūüėÄ

With Google phasing out its old Nexus era, I’m now rocking a Pixel C tablet and Pixel smartphone. I look forward to seeing how Google¬†uses its command over both software and hardware to improve harmony in the mobile experience.


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