1st Week Impressions: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Trees

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Sep 20, 2012
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Since “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” is one of my all-time favorites and was on one of the cable channels last night, thought I’d pay homage to the film and frame my 1st week’s impressions in that light.

The Good
Excellent camera. Haven’t had much chance yet for low light/night shots so far, but the daylight ones have been fine. Just point and shoot.

Relatively great signal strength. At my workplace, there are probably 2,000 people in a square mile all competing for signal, and I’m somewhat “deep” into a large concrete and steel building. Similar with stores that are encased in steel/rebar. With my Note 5, those locations were a bigger battery drain.

Fast with no perceptible lag. Not a gamer, so can’t lend thoughts there, but for common apps like Chrome, Gmail, ESPN, etc. can’t see any hesitation. Google Maps are also instantaneous.

Form factor. See below.

Lock screen notifications. See below.

Tap to wake. See below.

3.5 mm jack. Have not invested in Bluetooth headphones for various reasons. Love that I can plug one in and Rocket Player automatically starts playing from the playlist. Rocket Player’s lock screen controls work great as well.

Phone dailer and interface work well, from the Phone app and lock screen.

The Nexus Pixel experience. Never had a Nexus, and have always been curious. From what I understand, Pixel is the next closest thing.

Fingerprint scanner. Liking the rear placement and the Moves options.

The Bad
Form factor. I ended up compromising and finally got the Pixel as a late Christmas present for myself. I’ve been somewhat depressed that I was not able to get the XL given the seemingly never-ending backlog for Verizon. I’ve rethought my initial requirements, and am starting to like the pocket-ability, and easier “one handedness” compared to Notes or iPhone 6+ form factors.

Notification light. Visually it’s a bit weak compared to the Note 5. I have not experimented with Lightflow or similar, but understand that could help solve. I’m starting to worry less about the notification light as the primary cue for a text, and use the tap to wake or lock screen notifications.

Messenger unread notification count. I updated to the latest version which indicates that unread counts will now show up on the icon, but have yet to see that work. Maybe I’m missing a setting?

Screen brightness in sunlight. Not as bright as I’d hoped. Readable, though. Am using default auto brightness setting for now.

The Ugly
Large chin/lower bezel. I’ve yet to “get” this. I’m not opposed to it, nor did it stop me from purchasing. Maybe I’m not there as I don’t game or use VR.

The onscreen buttons + lower bezel. They appear to take up real-estate that could be given back to the display.
 
Last edited:

walterwood44

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Apr 26, 2010
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My wife and I had Galaxy S-5s and liked them but after almost 3 years they had gotten to the point that even with a new battery we had to charge mid-day. We were also constantly running out of space when updates arrived. We opted to get the Pixel XL with 128 GB memory and so far are relatively happy, especially with the Black Friday price we got from Verizon. The phone finally arrived exactly a week ago (Jan. 24).

Speed: We love the speed of the phone and how fast it responds and scrolls. The super fast fingerprint scanner with swipe features works well (while we had given up on the fingerprint scanner in the Galaxies).

Storage: I have installed every app I had ever run and still I have a ton of memory. I have also copied in some MP3 files that I listen to on a regular basis.

Notifications: In the S-5 I found it easy to set some apps to be silent, vibrate or provide a sound of my choice. This is not the case with the Pixel. Even though Outlook is set to give a sound and vibration notification, it does not. (Before you suggest that i use a different email program, I am already using three (Gmail, Outlook and Nine) because I monitor 5 different addresses.) Several other apps also provide inconsistent settings for notifications. There does not appear to be a way to use visual only, vibrate only or sound only. I am also noticing that the notification light works inconsistently.

Badges for Icons: On the S-5 I loved the fact that I could at a glance see how many Facebook or emails I had without having to look at the notification area or open the app. This is not possible without using a different launcher with the Pixel.

Home Screen: I am still not sure if I like five columns of icons or not. This make the display very busy. My wife set her default font larger so she only see four columns (like the Galaxy had). I suspect I will get used to this once I figure out how to arrange everything. I do not like the fixed Google icon and weather apps at the top of the Home screen. Again, a custom launcher might change this.

Messaging: I didn't care for the default messaging program and went back to Verizon Message +. I have Ford Sync in my Lincoln and with the Galaxy it would read text message to me but this no longer works. I will go back to the default messaging program to see if this make a difference.

Battery and Charging: Under my normal use, I am seeing 25 to 50% battery at the end of day but I am not a heavy user. I charge each night so I can't comment on fast charging. However, I am a little concerned about having to use a special charging cable but since the Pixel comes with two cables that is not an immediate issue.

Camera: I have not used the camera at all so do not have a comment on that at this time.

We have had no problems with with battery, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

Again, we do miss some features from the Galaxies. Maybe we are just not used to it yet and only time will tell on that.

Overall, we are very happy with our new phone and would recommend them to anyone, especially if you get a good deal on the price like we did.
 

drufranco

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Mar 30, 2016
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Even though Outlook is set to give a sound and vibration notification, it does not
There are separate settings within the Outlook app that also have to be configured for notifications.

Messenger unread notification count. I updated to the latest version which indicates that unread counts will now show up on the icon, but have yet to see that work. Maybe I’m missing a setting?
As mentioned above you would have to try another launcher to achieve this for now.
 

Diehlirious

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Apr 20, 2016
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Since “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” is one of my all-time favorites and was on one of the cable channels last night, thought I’d pay homage to the film and frame my 1st week’s impressions in that light.

The Good
Excellent camera. Haven’t had much chance yet for low light/night shots so far, but the daylight ones have been fine. Just point and shoot.

Relatively great signal strength. At my workplace, there are probably 2,000 people in a square mile all competing for signal, and I’m somewhat “deep” into a large concrete and steel building. Similar with stores that are encased in steel/rebar. With my Note 5, those locations were a bigger battery drain.

Fast with no perceptible lag. Not a gamer, so can’t lend thoughts there, but for common apps like Chrome, Gmail, ESPN, etc. can’t see any hesitation. Google Maps are also instantaneous.

Form factor. See below.

Lock screen notifications. See below.

Tap to wake. See below.

3.5 mm jack. Have not invested in Bluetooth headphones for various reasons. Love that I can plug one in and Rocket Player automatically starts playing from the playlist. Rocket Player’s lock screen controls work great as well.

Phone dailer and interface work well, from the Phone app and lock screen.

The Nexus Pixel experience. Never had a Nexus, and have always been curious. From what I understand, Pixel is the next closest thing.

Fingerprint scanner. Liking the rear placement and the Moves options.

The Bad
Form factor. I ended up compromising and finally got the Pixel as a late Christmas present for myself. I’ve been somewhat depressed that I was not able to get the XL given the seemingly never-ending backlog for Verizon. I’ve rethought my initial requirements, and am starting to like the pocket-ability, and easier “one handedness” compared to Notes or iPhone 6+ form factors.

Notification light. Visually it’s a bit weak compared to the Note 5. I have not experimented with Lightflow or similar, but understand that could help solve. I’m starting to worry less about the notification light as the primary cue for a text, and use the tap to wake or lock screen notifications.

Messenger unread notification count. I updated to the latest version which indicates that unread counts will now show up on the icon, but have yet to see that work. Maybe I’m missing a setting?

Screen brightness in sunlight. Not as bright as I’d hoped. Readable, though. Am using default auto brightness setting for now.

The Ugly
Large chin/lower bezel. I’ve yet to “get” this. I’m not opposed to it, nor did it stop me from purchasing. Maybe I’m not there as I don’t game or use VR.

The onscreen buttons + lower bezel. They appear to take up real-estate that could be given back to the display.

The Pixel is great but I say take it back if you can & snag the Huawei P10. Horrible time to buy an Android w/ MWC starting at the end of this month.
 

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