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Friday, October 21, 2016

[Review] 48 Hours with the Pixel XL

So, as mentioned, we have a Pixel XL (in Very Silver) and are taking it for a test drive.  We'll have a full review up in the next few days, but for those of you who are interested in both the XL and its smaller Pixel sibling, we wanted to give a few thoughts after using it for the first 2 days.  So, read on for my impression of the Pixel XL after 48 hours...


  • The Pixel XL feels nice in the hand.  The glass window on the back does take a little bit of getting used to though.
  • The size of the phone does not seem to match the size of the display (at 5.5") - it just feels smaller than it should be.
  • It noticeably smaller than phones with a similar display size (namely the iPhone 7+)
  • While its solidly built, it feels very light in the hand - but no bending, creaking, or flexing on the XL - its well made and it shows.


  • Smooth, smooth, smooth.  The newest version of Android is so polished, it almost feels slow, if you get what I mean.  Commonly referred to as the "iPhone effect."
  • Depending on where you are, you might get a faster version of LTE (only available in some markets) - unclear if Southern California is one of these, but I've seen noticeably faster download times for installing new apps.  Installation is fast as well.
  • The fingerprint scanner (Pixel Imprint) is fast, and sets up quickly - the ability to swipe up and down on it to effect the notification shade is a nice touch as well.
  • Swiping on the display is a pleasure.  The glass is responsive, and light and smooth to the touch.  Input is registered quickly and accurately as well.
  • Early battery results are encouraging.  Using the stock charge of 75% I've taken it down to 20% on LTE mostly, with about 2.5 hours of screen on time.  And over 30 hours since the initial boot and stock charge were fired up.  I'd say that falls in the "very good" category.

  • Shooter loads quickly, and is ready to go insanely fast.  Almost before you are ready to take the picture - both launching from the app shortcut and from a double press of the power button.
  • Focus was good, and the detail in the pictures after taking them is fantastic (good lighting)
  • The few low light pics I've taken so far (both with and without flash) were good but more testing to come in the next few days.
So far, so good for the Pixel XL.  I've got a few sample photos up already on our Instagram and Twitter - we are @silicontheory for both of those - go check them out, and will be posting more in the days to come.  Stay tuned for our full review soon!

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