So, Google recently released their newest innovation – the Pixel. The Pixel is the first smartphone designed by Google in-house, unlike the Nexus range which has more designing companies than I have had smartphones in my lifetime.
I will freely admit that I was uncertain whether or not I wanted to buy the Pixel when it came around to getting a new phone. Having always been an Apple user, you could say that the idea of having to use an Android phone wasn’t particularly enticing. However, I’d gathered the money and the iPhone 7’s lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack gave me more than enough reason to make the big switch.
I decided to go for the most basic model of the Pixel. I chose the standard 5″ size with 32GB storage in ‘Quite Black’.
I was so apprehensive for its arrival. As soon as I got it I was ripping off the delivery packaging to reveal the nice Google-y box underneath.
The phone came with some documents, one of those things you use to open the SIM tray, 2 charging cables (USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB) and a charger head. The phone itself is very nice to look at and feels great in your hand. It’s so lightweight and the beautiful blend of aluminium and glass on the back gives it a fine finish. The fingerprint sensor is also on the back and is made of a tough rubber and is slightly indented into the phone so you can find it easily.
One design feature that made this phone really stand out from the iPhone 7 is the lack of a camera hump. The camera (which we will get onto later) sits flush with the back of the phone.
Going round to the side of the phone you notice that the power button and the volume up/down buttons are both on the right-hand side, unlike the latest Apple and Samsung phones. However, this does not pose a problem because the power button is textured and easily distinguishable from the volume button even when you’re not looking. The SIM tray is on the opposite side and the 3.5mm headphone jack sits on the top of the phone. The bottom of the phone holds the super-fast charging port (USB-C) and the speakers and microphone.
Moving to the front of the phone you will notice that there are no physical buttons. This is due to the back, home and multitask buttons being part of Android 7 Nougat and are on-screen. Whilst some people might find this annoying, it helps make the phone more water resistant. What you will see on the front, however, is the front facing camera, the speaker and what I can only assume to be the light sensor. The front of the phone hides a little secret – there’s a notification light in the speaker that will blink different colours when you get a notification. This is not enabled by default so you’ll have to turn it on by going to Settings>Notifications and clicking the gear icon in the top right corner. Then turn ‘Pulse notification light’ on and be on your merry way.
Enough talking about what the phone looks like, let’s get into how it operates. When turned on for the first time you’ll be asked to sign in to your Google account and connect to wifi. All pretty normal stuff. One thing that sets this apart from other phones is the ability to port all your data over, not just from an old Android phone, but an iPhone too. If you’re porting from iPhone just make sure that your last PC backup was not encrypted, or some things like contacts won’t be imported (you can move your contacts manually later). To do this you’ll have to use the Quick Switch adapter that you’ll get in the box, but there are plenty of videos online about how to do it.
Once your phone is set up you’ll notice a couple of things. The first is the colour vibrancy. The Pixel has an Organic LED screen (OLED) which produces some fantastic colour. You’ll also notice that there’s a little Google tab in the top left corner. You can remove this but I find it quite useful.
The phone runs really well for games, YouTube and anything you’d really want. The 5″ screen is a massive improvement from my old iPhone 5S and I now find it far easier to get things done on the go.
The last thing I want to say about the phone is its camera quality. The Pixel’s camera achieved a score of 89 from the experts at DxOMark Mobile – that’s the highest of any mobile phone they’ve ever tested! This is higher than both the iPhone 7 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, which scores 86 and 88 respectively. I love its camera and some of the pictures it takes are amazing! It has this really cool lens blur feature that allows for really nice close-up shots of objects. It also has a Photo Sphere option as well as the standard slow motion video and panoramic shots. The camera is great in low-light situations too.
Protecting your Pixel
I really like my new Pixel and I want to preserve it for as long as possible. I wanted to buy a case that would protect my phone, but would still let me appreciate it’s beauty. I decided to go for the Spigen Ultra-Thin Liquid Crystal case. It’s really nice and keeps the great look and feel of the phone, whilst being very protective. It’s made from a non-Newtonian fluid which means it can be really thin and transparent without losing any protectiveness.
To go with my new case I also bought the Celicious Anti-shock Screen Protector. It’s very clear and protects the screen from shocks and bumps very well.
Overall, the Pixel is undeniably a great phone. If you’re looking to get a new phone I’d definitely recommend it for everyone, regardless of whether you’re an Apple fan or a part of the Samsung ‘master race’. I’ve left an Amazon link below to the Pixel and all the accessories I’ve mentioned today so you don’t have to go trawling through the internet to find them.
Good luck and happy shopping!
Google Pixel Case, Spigen® [Liquid Crystal] Ultra-Thin [Crystal Clear] Premium Semi-transparent / Exact Fit / NO Bulkiness Soft Case for Google Pixel (2016) Google Pixel Cover, Google Pixel Phone Case, Nexus Sailfish Case – (F14CS20890)
Celicious Impact Google Pixel Anti-Shock Screen Protector
Isaac founded Bluefire Media in 2017, wrote a few reviews and then decided to expand the website.
His love of gadgets stems from the many, many hours wasted playing Club Penguin as a child and his articles on Bluefire mostly revolve around gadgets and fun things, but he’s also an avid gamer and can tell you more about Minecraft than 90% of the population.