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! 🙂

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 – main screen
Pixel – widget screen

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.

Google Pixel smartphone and Pixel C tablet

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. 😀

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. 😀

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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