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The ultimate Android beast is here

By Gaurab Dasgupta
October 24, 2016 12:58 IST
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The Pixel may be one of the best Android phones yet.

Ever since their launch, the Pixel XL and Pixel, the most anticipated launches in the smartphone industry by Google, have taken the world by storm. Google has tied up with HTC to produce impressive devices that not only look premium but also have the technology arsenal to back the looks.

The phones enter a heavily-contested market dominated by the likes of Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. However, what the Pixel XL brings onto the table is something consumers are eagerly waiting for.

When I first unboxed the handset, the looks didn’t leave me spellbound. I was expecting a little more, like any other user does. Google has gone with a simple design with not too much cluttering on the hardware aspect. The phone has two speakers on the bottom separated by an USB-Type C charging socket in the middle. The sim slot is placed on the left, whereas the volume and power button are placed on the right.

Unlike the older iPhone models, the Pixel XL does not have a homescreen button. The back panel consists of the camera on the left top corner and a fingerprint sensor in the middle. 

What the device offers in terms of software is extremely fresh and enticing for any user. It keeps you hooked on for quite some time. Here are a few things to look forward to in the Pixel XL.

Android Nougat

Pixel XL runs on an original version of Android 7.1 Nougat. The phone is the first to have Google’s messaging service “Allo” and the video calling app “Duo” in-built. Competing with Apple’s 3D Touch, the phone has launcher shortcuts that enable a user to long-press on applications for menu options.

Fingerprint sensor

A fingerprint sensor is somewhat common now, with a host of Chinese smartphones having them. However, Pixel XL has the fastest sensor in my opinion. To top this, it also allows you to slide down notifications on the screen. 


Google has delivered impeccably when it comes to the camera. The 12.3 megapixel camera packs a punch. Ranging from landscape shots to close-up angles, from low light photos to selfies, the camera doesn’t disappoint you. The pictures have very few or no instance of pixelation, the clarity is immense and the depth is far superior to its compatriots.

Google Assistance

Apple has Siri, Amazon has Alexa and Microsoft brings in Cortana. So how is Google’s Assistance different? Unlike the rest, the Assistance, an artificial intelligence bot, helps you have a conversation with the phone. So if you want to find out the nearest Sushi eating joint, just ask Assistance and it’ll let you know from its vast database. And after every interaction, it suggests follow-up queries you can tap on to take the conversation forward.

User Interface

Google has played it simple. Unlike major android devices, the Pixel XL has a bottom-up menu with a search bar. The Google icon has been placed on the top left corner, which is different from the static Google search bar in all android devices.


Backed with a 3,450 mAh Li-ion battery, the phone runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor. It has a 5.5-inch AMOLED display. The phone does not have an external memory card slot, but the 4GB RAM and 32/128GB internal storage compensates for it.


The 128 GB model is available for Rs 76,000, while the 32GB model is for Rs 57,000 — prices as shown on e-commerce websites.

Hands down, it is the best android phone ever in my opinion. Try your hand at it to believe it for yourself.

Image: Sabrina Ellis, Director of Product Management at Google, speaks about the new Pixel phone during the presentation of new Google hardware in San Francisco, California, US, on October 4, 2016. Photograph: Beck Diefenbach/Reuters.

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