Google’s First Ever Phone, Is It Worth It? (Pixel XL Video Review)


The camera on the other hand, is a breakthrough feature. The camera on here is fantastic. This is made more apparent by the fact that Nexus cameras haven’t always been very good and when compared to an iPhone of the same time, just falls behind. This camera on the other hand has no problem keeping up with the latest iPhone.

All the above photos are on auto-settings and are unedited from the Pixel XL.

In daylight photos especially one could argue that the Pixel camera is actually better at reproducing colors that are a bit more true to life. Nighttime or low-light is still pretty good, but I’d say the iPhone 7 Plus might eke it out in that department.

All of the photos above on the left are from the iPhone 7 Plus and photos above on the right are from the Pixel XL.

As for the video camera, the Pixel definitely gets points for it’s blazing fast auto-focus which is thanks to its phase and laser autofocus sensors on the back of the phone.

Now, it doesn’t have a optical stabilization in which the actual lens is suspended by electromagnets and adjusted based on the device’s gyroscope etc. but instead has an electronic stabilization where the software just tries to keep the image stable. This actually works fine for a lot of scenarios, but the minute things get a bit rougher it tends to freak out.

Comparing this to the optical stabilization of the iPhone 7 Plus for example, you can see the differences. Now, I don’t know about you but I’m not chasing much while trying to film things and would even use a gimbal or some other type of mount if I was, so not sure it’s a huge deal.

Portrait Mode vs Blur Mode

So one of the things I love about the iPhone 7 Plus is it’s ability to use the two cameras it has to create a pretty convincing bokeh effect (more so than other phones that have done this, the end result is usually pretty incredible). The Pixel can do this, too, sort of. In fact any Android phone with the Google Camera app can, Google just has you take the photo then raise the phone slightly for it to figure out the depth behind the object. The end result, however, can’t quite compete with the iPhone 7 Plus.

Pixel XL Blur Camera on the left, iPhone 7 Plus Portrait Camera on the right.

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12 thoughts on “Google’s First Ever Phone, Is It Worth It? (Pixel XL Video Review)”

  1. It’s an iPhone ripoff. If I wanted an iPhone I would invest nearly a thousand dollars on an iphone. The things that make Android phones better, like expandable storage, or simply getting a solid device that does everything an iPhone does at half the price, are missing with this Pixel line. Its not the phone for me, with so many options out there that can perform as well or better than Pixel phones at far less cost. Sheesh the last Nexus phones are almost as good, for half the price.

    1. Yeah, I agree the price is a bit steep. I mean, finally a good camera on a “Nexus” device which I’m super excited about. Great processor, etc. but I have a feeling they made the price what it was just so they could be “on par” with iPhones –so they aren’t viewed as less than. We’ll see how it sells, I suppose.

  2. Simply too expensive. And double standards in reviewing phones are irritating. Htc 10 was crucified for not being watterprof and not having so called WOW factor. Pixels are glorified inspite offering the same or even less than 10. Simply disgusting. Htc 10 for 550 is much better buy.

    1. Did you watch my review? And my review of the HTC 10? Don’t compare my review to someone else’s and call it a double standard. Two different perspectives –and I try and keep mine consistent 😉

      I actually liked the way the HTC 10 looked and waterproofing wasn’t becoming a common feature back then so who cares (even now it’ll take a while for it to become a standard feature).

      1. I didn’t see you’re review of htc 10 before, and today I looked for review on this site, it doesn’t exist. Only few for rooting and one before you even had it, pre review kind. But anyway, double standards are present on most reviews of pixels I’ve seen. Reviewers just seem to be scared to criticize pixels. Their abnormal price, non existent htc audio quality, DAC, amp and htc enchantments (was google cutting edges and expenses with not requiring htc to build in their audio? Is 3.5 on them pure marketing and antiapple commercial?) Why 64gb model is missing? Did Google copied only apple iPhone look or google is copiing apple strategy completly? Is move to put glass on part of the phone that ppl will touch the most, wise? Practical? Is really fingerprint on their back better and more natural then in the front? Are pixels smoothest and fastest Android phones if op3 opens apps faster and s7 edge smoother and faster in games? Why should one pay 850$ for pixel xl if htc 10 is 550? Are fast updates, beta google assistant and few tweaks worth 300?

    1. Nexus devices were guidelines given by Google to a manufacturer and then that manufacturer designed the phone around that. The Pixel, on the other hand, was a phone the Google actually designed, then handed the specs to HTC and said build it. Does that make sense?

      1. How about the T-Mobile G1 aka (HTC Dream) ? Last I checked Google designed it, then handed it over to HTC and said build it! Pixel maybe a remake but not the first.

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