Finally, here's a look at how the Pixel XL performs in the benchmarks, versus its premium Android competition. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, a slightly clock speed-goosed version of the Snapdraon 820, the phone chalks up impressive results.
Both in general purpose applications like web browsing, as well as with heavier graphics and gaming workloads, the Pixel XL competes well versus other high end flagships on the market. It's generally faster than the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge in sterile benchmark testing, but really where I personally saw it shine was again, in day-to-day real world usage. The Google
Pixel XL always feels snappy and responsive, which, over time is not something I can't say was always the case for the Galaxy S7 Edge. Again, this could change with Samsung's rollout of Android Nougat with hopefully better memory management as well, but for now, in terms of performance, the Pixel XL scores the win.
Bringing this throwdown to a close, I’d offer that the Google Pixel XL, for me, exemplifies what currently is the best experience in Android
handsets you can find on the market. Its mechanical design and display may not quite match the likes of Samsung’s premium Galaxy S7 line. However, Google’s Pixel XL delivers a more responsive, efficient smartphone experience with better overall usability and performance. It just feels like it takes less effort to get things done on the Pixel XL, versus virtually any other Android smartphone I’ve tested to date. Further, Google's latest version of the Android 7 Nougat operating system has been refined to the point that an OEM skin simply feels needless. Though manufacturers will continue to have the need for basic customization for unique functionality - as is required with the Moto Z family with Moto Mods
, for example - Google's Android Nougat really has everything most smartphone power users need these days.
And at $749 unlocked for the 128GB variant and $649 for the 32GB model, it better be a top shelf device. Google's Pixel XL is no price leader. However, if you’re looking for the best Android has to offer, with the least amount of bloat and a super clean intuitive UI, the Pixel XL takes home the honors. Pick up a Daydream View headset if you do make the investment though. For a $50 kicker
, you'll be impressed with what a smartphone can do in VR.
Google Pixel XL Android Smartphone
- Great performance
- Great camera performance
- Premium design
- Nice OLED display
- Daydream View rocks
- Good battery life
- No wireless charging
- Side button placement not ideal