The Google Pixel is an awesome smartphone

When MyBroadband’s technology editor Jan Vermeulen visited the US recently, it was the perfect opportunity for me to replace my Nexus 5 with the Google Pixel.

I have been using the Google Pixel for several weeks, and it is as brilliant as all the reviews said it was. Putting in the purchase request with Jan was a great decision.

The build quality is excellent, the screen quality is top-notch, the battery life is better than expected, and the camera is exceptional.

The Pixel is not cheap, and because the phone is not officially available in South Africa, there are some cost considerations.

I paid R10,271 for the phone and with import taxes/VAT, it is on par with devices like the iPhone 7 or Samsung Galaxy S7.

Additionally, if you do not have a friend who is willing to order the device in the US and return safely with it, you need to factor in shipping costs.

The high price tag, however, is worth it.

Setting up the Pixel

Setting up the phone with an existing Google account is a breeze, and the device just works.

The 5-inch Full HD screen looks great and the phone’s size is perfect. I feel a bigger phone would not have been as comfortable to use.

I am using the fingerprint reader to unlock the phone, and the positioning (on the back of the device) and accuracy of the sensor is impressive.

The phone’s software must rank as one of its top features – it is fast, and the Google Assistant accurate and helpful.

The Google Pixel sports a 12.3MP rear camera and the photo quality is exceptional. It may well be the best camera on any smartphone, including the iPhone 7.

I am not much of a selfie man, which means I did not test the front camera at all. However, international reviews suggest it is great.

The Google Pixel has a 2,770mAh battery, which can easily go for two days on a single charge. I am not a heavy smartphone user, which may account for the long battery life.

The USB Type-C charging is a slight issue, as I have not stocked up on cables yet. This means I usually only charge the phone at home.

In summary, the Google Pixel is an awesome smartphone. Google has produced a device which can take on any smartphone in the market.

Pros: Build quality, camera, performance, fingerprint reader, screen, Google Assistant, nice form factor for one-hand use.

Cons: Relatively expensive, not officially available in South Africa.

Google Pixel

Specifications Google Pixel Google Pixel XL
Dimensions 143.8 x 69.5 x 7.3~8.5 mm 154.7 x 75.7 x 7.3~8.5 mm
Operating system Android 7.1 Nougat Android 7.1 Nougat
Display 5″ 1080p (1,080 x 1,920) 5.5″ QHD (1,440 x 2,560)
Rear camera 12.3MP 12.3MP
Front camera 8MP 8MP
Storage, internal 32GB/128GB 32GB/128GB
Processor Snapdragon 821 (quad-core: 2.15GHz/1.6GHz) Snapdragon 821 (quad-core: 2.15GHz/1.6GHz)
Battery 2,770mAh 3,450mAh
Cellular data LTE-A 3CA (Cat9/Cat11) LTE-A 3CA (Cat9/Cat11)
SIM type Nano SIM Nano SIM

Pixel Front

Pixel Back

Now read: Google’s new Pixel smartphone not coming to South Africa – Here’s why

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The Google Pixel is an awesome smartphone