Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Two Days To Pixel (and I can't wait)

On Thursday I should be getting my Google Pixel XL (silver, 128GB).  I pre-ordered it from Verizon last week, and today I got the shipping notification.  Today (Tuesday, 10/18) Google lifted the embargo on reviews and all the major tech sites have pretty much published.  The synopsis?  Here's the breakdown:
  • Looks - most point out it looks like an iPhone.  Some folks like that, most think it would be nice if Google had innovated in some way.  Multiple sites griped about the glass on the top third of the back (around the fingerprint sensor).  I am thinking I'll have a case on mine as soon as possible so I will not know or care what the back looks like. 
  • Camera - most sites are genuinely impressed with the camera and from what I have seen, I will be too.  I am VERY excited about this part.
  • Assistant - Google Assistant is Google's "AI" similar to Siri on iPhone.  I have played a bit with the implementation in Google Allo, and for me, it's a mixed bag.  Sometimes it does something neat, sometimes not.  It seems that maybe the reviewers are experiencing the same thing - some reviews were really impressed with it and some not.
And those are the main areas the reviews have touched on.  Here is some information that puts the purchase in perspective for me.  I am currently using a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 that I bought nearly 3 years ago.  3 years isn't an eternity of course; and the phone DOES still work, and pretty well.  But for a piece of tech, and especially for an IT person, it's a bit dated.  I've waited quite a while because it's hard to justify spending the money on something like this TOO often, but I decided it was time when Google announced they were doing their first "all Google" phone.

Size-wise, it will be about the same as what I have (0.2 inches smaller diagonally on the screen but a LOT higher resolution, and probably a bit thinner and lighter).  The camera should be a lot better and more important to me, much faster - the camera on the Note 3 is a DOG to open and use.  One review says cell reception is a lot better and I'm hoping for that - I live right at the edge of Verizon's 4G LTE range and am hoping for more than a half a bar which is what I usually get now.  

One thing no one has really reviewed yet is the VR capabilities, and this is NOT something I bought the phone for - but since Google is giving away the DreamVR headset and remote, I am looking forward to trying it out.

I'll post back here soon!