The bottom line: Our quick verdict on Google's Pixel and Pixel XL

They're two of the best phones you can buy right now.

Engadget, @engadget
October 31, 2016
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    What happens when Google designs its own phones, as Apple does with the iPhone? You get some of the best handsets money can buy, that's what. The 5-inch Pixel and 5.5-inch Pixel XL are well-built, with fast performance, excellent cameras and great screens (especially on the larger model). No product is perfect, though, and indeed, we've identified a few areas where Google can improve with the inevitable second generation. In particular, we were disappointed to see that these phones are less water resistant (and arguably less stylish) than other handsets you'd find in this price range.

    Speaking of the sort, these things are expensive, with starting prices of $649 and $769, respectively. That's on par with other flagships, but for the money, we don't want to see too many "cons" in those review cards you see below. Thankfully, the pros here vastly outweigh the few shortcomings, and both Pixel phones both earn our strong recommendation.

    Engadget Score
    Poor
    Uninspiring
    Good
    Excellent
    Key

    Pros
    • Excellent build quality
    • Fantastic camera
    • Smooth performance
    • Respectable battery life
    • Beautiful Quad HD screen
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Drab design
    • Less water-resistant than rivals

    Summary

    The 5-inch Pixel is a great phone, and its big brother, the Pixel XL, is ever so slightly better. You'll get the same top-tier performance as on the smaller model, just with a bigger, crisper display and a more capacious battery to sweeten the deal. What's more, it's a little narrower and shorter than the iPhone 7 Plus, so it's a surprisingly easy to hold. It'll cost you, though: The XL starts at $769 for the 32GB model.

    How would you rate the Pixel XL?
    We want to hear what you think. Post a quick review now to join the conversation!
    Write a review

    Engadget Score
    Poor
    Uninspiring
    Good
    Excellent
    Key

    Pros
    • Excellent build quality
    • Fantastic camera
    • Smooth performance
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Yawn-inducing design
    • Less water-resistant than rivals

    Summary

    After years of experimenting with Nexus devices, Google finally decided it wanted to make a phone of its own. HTC might be assembling the phones, but Google designed and developed the Pixel from end to end. In doing so, it crafted a truly great smartphone that, sadly, looks a little dull. Still, the inclusion of a speedy new Snapdragon 821 chipset and a fantastic camera make the smaller Pixel a device to be reckoned with. Now if only it were a little cheaper.

    How would you rate the Pixel?
    We want to hear what you think. Post a quick review now to join the conversation!
    Write a review
    All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
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