Google Pixel XL vs Pixel first impressions and hands-on

Chris Burns - Oct 4, 2016, 2:35 pm CDT
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Google Pixel XL vs Pixel first impressions and hands-on

Today Google has revealed two smartphones, one the Pixel, the other the Pixel XL. These devices are made to be part of Google’s bigger picture – a future in which the company is known for its hardware and software suite, not just a company that makes Android and releases Nexus devices mainly for developers. This larger machine has more pixels than its companion, coming in at 2K (2560 x 1440) at 5.5-inches instead of 1080p and 5-inches, not entirely unlike the Nexus 6P was to the Nexus 5X.

The Google Pixel XL is extremely similar to its smaller associate. Far closer than competitor phones-and-friends are to one-another. The iPhone 7 Plus, for example, has two camera lenses while the iPhone 7 has just one. The Galaxy Note 7 has a stylus built into its body while the Galaxy S7 does not. Google’s opted to make the display the only major difference between sizes of smartphone.

sizes

Each of the three first-run colors is available for the smaller and the larger of the two devices – black, white, and a limited-edition blue. Both devices will be made available at Verizon (carrier-exclusive, at least at first), as well as unlocked through the Google Store online.

The specifications for these two devices are nearly identical. So identical are these specifications that Google presented the devices today as a single device, a device that just happened to have a larger edition also available.

Google Pixel
• Display: 5-inch 1080p AMOLED, Gorilla Glass 4
• Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 @2.15GHz
• RAM: 4GB
• Internal Storage: 32GB, 128GB
• Camera: 12MP back-facing camera with 4K video recording, EIS, 1.55um “big pixels” f/2.0, video stabilization
• Front-Camera: 8-megapixel
• Battery: 2770-mAh
• Connectivity: USB-C, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, 3G, nanoSIM, NFC
• Additional: Fingerprint Scanner, IP53 water/dust resistance

sideside

Google Pixel XL
• Display: 5.5-inch 2K (2560 x 1440) AMOLED, Gorilla Glass 4
• Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 @2.15GHz
• RAM: 4GB
• Internal Storage: 32GB, 128GB
• Camera: 12MP back-facing camera with 4K video recording, EIS, 1.55um “big pixels” f/2.0, video stabilization
• Front-Camera: 8-megapixel
• Battery: 3450-mAh
• Connectivity: USB-C, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, 3G, nanoSIM, NFC
• Additional: Fingerprint Scanner, IP53 water/dust resistance

Both devices are made of the same materials. The larger devices feels extremely similar to the smaller device because they are made of the same materials. Their sizes are slightly different, obviously, but they’re using the same hardware inside – same fingerprint scanner, same camera array, and Google is making Live Cases for both devices, too.

It’ll be interesting to see whether or not these devices behave the same – especially given their same processor being paired with two different displays. We’ll be testing the cameras between these devices as well to see if they do, indeed, perform the same.

The Pixel phone starts at $649 in its 32GB internal storage size model. Add $120 USD to make it a Pixel XL. Add $100 to make it a 128GB internal storage size model. All models come in “Very Silver”, “Quite Black”, and “Ltd Edition: Really Blue.” At the moment it would appear that the Really Blue is out of stock, but it could just be that Google hasn’t yet made it available for sale at all.


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