Google’s first generation Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones were generally well received by the media and the enthusiast community. Powered by the best hardware available at its launch in Fall 2016, the Pixel smartphones offered excellent screens, good performance, great build quality and a clean Android 7.0 Nougat experience.
But no smartphone is perfect, and Google clearly understands this. So, Krishna Kumar, Product Lead for the Pixel family, took to the Pixel User Community to get some feedback on the current lineup of devices and what it could do to improve upon them in the future.
“Developing a design is an exhilarating and at the same time a terrifying (Oh God, did we make the right choice???) exercise,” remarked Kumar. “I would like to hear your thoughts. What do you like about the design? What do you hate about it? What did we get right? What would you like to see us improve?”
Of course, asking such a question in a forum dedicated to the Pixel was sure to garner a flurry of responses, and users didn’t disappoint. Many took issue with the large bezels on the phone and the lack of waterproofing. That last point was a major sticking point given that many of today’s flagship devices (even Apple, which is often slow to adopt features from the Android camp) have varying levels of water resistance. There were also complaints about the lack of image stabilization for the rear camera.
One user, Rajpotula23, called out the design of the Pixel and Pixel XL, specifically citing the rear of the devices, writing, “The back of the phone is.... Ugh. I am sorry, but when I buy a phone, I look at the features and also the design has to appeal to me. Nexus 6p is the king, it's something different and feels so premium! The front also feels plastic, something like Samsung.”
Numerous users blasted the downward firing speaker, complaining that holding the phone naturally in your hand blocks audio. Users suggest adding dual front-facing speakers to remedy this problem.
Needless to say, we don’t know if this input comes soon enough to change the direction of this year’s Pixel refresh, but it’s nice to hear that Google is listening to its customers.