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Today I'm going to be doing something I've never done before - a smartphone review! More specifically, I'm going to focus on the Google Pixel. This is my honest opinion and I'm only going to mention smartphones that I have personally tried or have owned.
Many of you might be looking into colleges or making plans for summer getaways. No matter - you're going to want a great phone whether its main purpose will be to make phone calls, take pictures, or send emails. My first ever smartphone was a Samsung Galaxy S4 mini. It was good for what I needed at the time. It worked just fine and had many useful apps running on the Android OS. However, the camera had much to desire and the phone would frequently overheat. But it did last me a good 2 years before completely going haywire. I looked into iPhones, but I find Apple products to be overcrowded and a bit stuffy - I like Android OS since to me, in my personal opinion, it has a cleaner, crisper look and feel. So, I stuck with good old Android OS and got a replacement phone - a Samsung Galaxy J3.
Bad choice. Bad phone. I always keep my devices as long as I possibly can saving me a ton of money (you know those type of people who buy the latest gadgets just to say they have them... I'm not that). Needless to say, I only owned this for a year (which in my opinion was way too long for this phone). I'm usually pretty satisfied with Samsung technology, but this just totally changed my opinion. Granted, it was one of their lower-end phones, but since I had a decent Samsung device before this, I think I expected a little more from them. I was constantly having calls dropped, the apps took really long to open and even once they did, they ran really slowly and most of the times ended up crashing. And the camera - never again! It was absolutely terrible. The resolution was awful. When I wanted to edit it on my computer, it was so pixelated it wasn't even worth trying to make it look any better. And, it took so long to actually snap the photo that no one was still in the "smile!" position. And less than a year later, it was a goner.
So, I went into smartphone research knowing exactly what I wanted in a phone. And the Google Pixel comes into my life :) I have the original Pixel (not the Pixel 2) but I didn't want to review it until I was 100% comfortable giving it the review it deserves. I'll start with the basics:
Apps - open quickly and for the most part work flawlessly (sometimes you'll download an app and there's a problem with the app but not with the phone itself).
Google also has their own apps in the Google Play app store which are definitely worth a mention here - such as Snapseed which is a phenomenal photo editing app I use all the time!
Camera - Awesome resolution at 12.3 MP front-facing camera and 8 MP rear-facing. The phone's camera has great options as well such as slow motion, panorama, photo sphere, and lens blur. You can even add AR stickers! For those of you who don't know, AR stickers are augmented reality stickers. You can place these "live stickers" into your screen view and take video or still images with those stickers appearing in your photos (they'll move and make sounds in your videos :) ).
Google Assistant - Just say "Hey, Google" and Google Assistant is activated. Ask it questions, have it tell you jokes, or even send messages!
Drive - Yup! All your docs and photos are saved in your drive and Google Photos :) You even have your music with you wherever you go!
Ports - The Pixel has a USB-C phone jack as well as a headphone jack. Note the Pixel 2 does not have a headphone jack - sorry for those of you who would've wanted one.
Design - Beautiful, sleek design with an aluminum finish and a glass panel at the top of the device. It's super thin! There is also a round sensor on the back which you can use as a fingerprint sensor to unlock your device as well as to use it as a scroller to scroll up and down through all your open apps and to show your settings which rolls down from the top of the screen. (Just another awesome feature ;) )
The Pixel phone does come with options such as the regular size vs. a larger size called Pixel XL. I have the regular model as I like keeping things small (it kind of matches my signature tiny handwriting ;) ) You can also choose how many gigs you want. I have the 128 GB since I use my phone a ton and store a lot of data - I practically use it as another laptop! There are color options as well: blue, black and white.
The only thing I'm a bit unsure about is Adobe Illustrator Draw and Adobe Photoshop Sketch. These are meant to use as art platforms, but with either size phone and lack of pen, drawing and painting just doesn't seem feasible. While these apps may be awesome on the Pixelbook (which I hope to get one day soon), I'm just not sure the Pixel phones are the right devices for these specific apps - at least, not without a pen like Samsung Galaxy Notes and the like.
I'll include the full specs for the Google Pixel below, but Google updates certain specs such as the Android OS (which I believe the Pixel now runs Android Oreo although I'm not sure what the Pixel 2 runs). The Pixel 2 has differences in its specs such as front-facing camera resolution at 12.2 MP instead of 12.3 MP and the storage options are 64 GB or 128 GB.
- LTE Advanced
With 50% faster peak speeds in more than 450 cities from coast to coast.
- World Device
Works in over 200 countries depending on your plan.
- Standby Time - Up to:
- Usage Time - Up to:
- Front Camera
5.0’’ FHD 441ppi AMOLED, 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4 >75% Active Area
- Operating System
Android Nougat 7.1
RAM: 4GB LPDDR4, Flash 32GB or 128GB (Actual formatted capacity is less)
Quite Black, Very Silver, or Really Blue (Subject to availability)
Head: 0.92 W/Kg@1g, Body: 0.58 W/Kg@1g
- Hearing Aid Compatibility
3x Carrier aggregation; CAT 9 (450 Mbps DL/50 Mpbs); CDMA: BC0/BC1; LTE: B13, B4, B2, B5;
- Global Network
LTE (Global) B3, B7, B20, B28; GSM Quad B5, B8, B3, B2 (850/900/1800/1900Mhz) UMTS Quad B5, B8, B2, B1 (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz);
Snapdragon 821; MSM8996 pro AB Quad Core 2+2 Kryo 2.15GHz / 1.6GHz
- HD Voice
Experience HD Voice, Video Calling and Simultaneous Voice & Data. Enable Wi-Fi Calling and make calls anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection.
Over all, I'm super impressed with this phone and I was never happier :) I use it all the time and have never run into any problems thus far. I highly recommend it! (Oh, and one little thing I forgot to mention - the cases available are pretty neat too, although since having the washi tape design, I decided to make my own case using a plain, clear case fit for the Pixel and pouring glitter on it!).
Let me know in the comments what you thought of my first product review. Also, please feel free to ask any questions :)