Google Pixel XL Review
The original Google Pixel and Pixel XL have now gone end of life, presumable due to a new Pixel device coming out soon. That means there should be some good deals to be had for Googles original Pixel flagship phone.
Out of the box it was running an older version of Android, however after the initial setup it upgraded itself to Android 8.1.
It’s charged via a USB C connector and it also has a headphone socket, so no need to use an adapter plug.
Around the back is a fingerprint scanner which is very quick to respond, or you can use the traditional PIN/pattern unlocking if you’d prefer.
Considering it’s a couple of years old now the camera still holds its own, it’s quick to respond and has some really cool features, like being able to build a VR photo of your surroundings (see the review video for an example).
The Pixel XL packs a 12.3 MP rear facing camera and an 8 MP front facing camera. As you can see from the example photos the colours and detail look really good. It does a reasonable job in low light, although when looked at on a monitor (rather than a mobile screen) you can clearly see a lot more noise in low light photos.
There isn’t a portrait mode available, like on the OnePlus 5, instead you have lens blue which asks you to take a photo and then move the mobile so it can work out which object should be in focus. It’s not as quick as the OnePlus 5 mode, but it does a good job. There is also some video stabilization available and providing you don’t move the phone around too quickly this does a good job, move the Pixel XL around too fast and the footage jumps from one position to the next.
The 5.5″ screen is nice and punchy, games look great on it and run run really well, although because the speaker is at the bottom it can be easily covered by your hand if playing a games in landscape mode.
The original Pixel XL is still a good looking mobile, however being a couple of years old it lacks the edge to edge design that’s been sweeping the mobile industry recently. It also lacks another feature that most top end mobiles have these days: dirt/dust/water protection. Most 2018 top end mobiles (and a lot of mid range mobiles) now have IP ratings, the Pixel XL doesn’t.
It might be a couple of years old but the Pixel XL can still hold it’s own, 2018 mid range mobiles still aren’t as good as this, and so this is definitely worth considering, especially if you can get it at a knocked down price.
It’s available to buy from: