CNET First Look
Google Pixel knocks it out of the parkWith a stellar camera, premium hardware and Google Assistant, the Google Pixel -- and the Pixel XL -- are excellent Android phones.
Okay Google. [MUSIC] After six years of partnering up with phone makers to make its Nexus phone, Google is taking the reign. [MUSIC] The company released its first pair of Pixel phones and while HTC may have put it together Google engineered it, designed it, and branded it. So what are they like? Well there are two of them: the Pixel and the Pixel XL. They are nearly identical except the XL has a bigger, sharper display and a larger battery. Both are beautifully made. They do look a little like the iPhone but they have angled edges Flash cameras and this funky two tone coloring. And yeah, that glossy shade does look weird at first but it kinda grew on me. The pixels are also deeply integrated with Google search services and are the first phones to come with Google assistance which you activate by either pressing the home button or saying, okay Google. What is at the Young Museum? Here's some information about the Young. Assistant is basically an AI bot that uses Google's vast search database to answer all kinds of questions. When does it close today? But it's conversational and you can speak to it in a natural, back and forth way. The Young Museum is open right now and closes at 5:15 PM. Often with most voice assistance you forget that it's there, but when you do remember Google assistant can be useful and works relatively fast. But, of course, there are some things it just doesn't know. Okay Google Why am I so lonely? [BLANK_AUDIO] There might be some info on the web. Another cool software feature is launcher shortcuts, which is Google's take on Apple's 3D touch. Just long press on some of the apps, and additional options will pop up right away. You'll also get a gif integrated keyboard, a night light mode that tints the display, and a fingerprint reader on the back That you can use to pull down your notifications. All right, so how's the hardware? The Snapdragon 821 processor is fast and smooth, and the battery lasted a solid work day with medium to heavy usage. During In our lab tests, both phones clocked in over 13 hours of continuous video playback on airplane mode. And don't worry. You still get a headphone jack. Google made a big deal about the Pixel's camera and suffice it to say, it's excellent. By default the phone shoots in HD auto mode and a flick of the wrist switches between shooters The camera's lens flare feature could use work but overall images look clear, sharp, and vivid. Photos taken in low light understandably weren't as sharp but the pixel did manage to take in a lot of light, brighten up scenes, and capture relatively clear shots. The camera also uses a combination of the gyroscope and software to steady your videos. This is useful when you're moving while recording but it does give your videos a sort of surreal, almost drone like quality. The phone has a few drawbacks though. It's not completely water resistant which would have been fine a few years ago but not that many others like Sony, Samsung, and Apple have phones that are water resistant, having the Pixel rated below IP67 seems like an oversight. The screen is also pretty dim in direct sunlight and it's most noticeable when you're out shooting photos. In general though, the pixels are superb devices and you don't have to be some sort of Android enthusiast to appreciate them. They look great and work fast. Plus with Google Assistant, it's kind of like having a helpful friend bot who talks a little stilted but notes everything in your pocket ready to go. [MUSIC]