When approached to review this Google Pixel 4G Lte 32 Gb smartphone on Verizon's network, I did not hesitate. This is Google's first attempt to build both it's own hardware to run it's latest software, Android 7.1 Nougat.
I want to start this review with my history using smartphones, If you just want to read my viewpoint of the Pixel only, skip the next paragraph.
I have always been a budget purchaser when it comes to cell phones. Though I always had my eye on the latest greatest, they were always from afar and kind of in my dreams. Before I purchased I would usually do my research online on phones that were roughly around a year old, thus not taking the initial hit of the latest model's price tag. This would include spending some time at Verizon, where I could physically touch, and test certain features of the phone. I have always had an interest in camera capabilities of each phone, as I often blog with them. My first smartphone was an LG Spectrum 2, which I loved every part of, minus the horrible battery life. My second and most recent smart phone was the LG G3. Knowing I am going to have to set it aside for the Pixel, is making me a little sad. I really do enjoy that phone, which has had three different operating systems on it. It started with 4.4 KitKat, then had two different builds of Lollipop 5.0 and 5.1 and is now running 6.0 or Marshmallow, which by far is the best so far. I'm not sure why I see so many people complain about Verizon's update schedule, I just heard a rumor that the LG G3 may get upgraded to 7.1 Nougat.
Google really released their first attempt at hardware with all cylinders firing. It is so beautiful, with
it's polished aluminum, it's round edges, it's transition from screen to bevel, and the edges that are easy to hold onto. It's too bad mine will be masked in a protective shield of OtterBox, the Defender series and won't shine in all it's technological sleekness.
The display is stunning, and I'm coming from a QHD screen. It's 1080p display has vibrant Colors, sharpness that separates itself from others, without the battery drain of a 4K screen, and it's touch capabilities are exceptional. The Corning Gorilla Glass 4 looks no different that it's later versions, but as you guessed it is more durable and scratch resistance which makes sense.
Even though Google's designers opted to move forward lacking front facing, stereo speakers, the mono bottom firing driver delivers clean and rich sound, that is loud while, not distorting at all.
This is actually my first USB type C device mobile device. I understand it's purpose, it's just a pain when we are in transition fo standards. I have so many Micro Usb cables, and no Type C, I know not to bargain shop for these type of cables, because of some articles I have read. It will be easier as the standard is adopted across the board. I do appreciate that Google sent two cables and an adapter making the transition to new cables a little easier. I will use the one with the type A to Type C connector to charge my phone overnight with a less powerful charge, in hopes that the less I quick charge the battery, the longer it will last. I will have the charger block and Type C to Type C with me in those situations where I might need to top off the battery while I am out and about.
This is also my first smartphone with a finger print scanner. I really love this feature, it makes unlocking the phone a breeze, where usually I would get tired of punching in my code and disable the security all together. This feature keeps the phone locked, but doesn't hinder the use of it. I love that the software is written to use the finger print sensor as additional input gestures. Once you have unlocked the phone, if you swipe down on the finger print sensor your notification shade opens down, if you swipe again, it will show more detail from you notification shade with some setting options, that you can customize to have options you want handy. When your done, swipe up, and the notification shade goes away. Thank you Google for not removing the head phone jack.
The camera hardware is by far the fastest camera I have ever experienced with a smartphone. It's low light capabilities are very strong as well. I have never owned an iPhone, but My daughter swears by their ability to capture images in low light. I am hearing a lot of chatter, saying this camera beats the
iPhone...I will see as I continue to use it. This phone definitely captures better front facing images with it's 8 megapixel camera.
I am head over heals for Android's 7.1 Nougat. It is so snappy with this hardware. I have had some issues with Google Assistant, but hope Google will be fine tuning or tweaking some of it's features. One in particular, I have a old Motorola Droid sitting in the kitchen, as I need to add something to my grocery list, I do it using Google Now, "Okay Google, add mushrooms to my Aldi list." It adds mushrooms to my Aldi list that is sitting in my Google Keep account. With Google Assistant, it only allows you to add items to your shopping list, which works well, but If you shop at different stores, why wouldn't be able to access or add to any list that is residing in my Google Keep??? I am hopeful that Google will fix this small detail.
One of the biggest thing I miss from my old phone, is the knock on/off feature. I just was so use to using it, that I still find myself tapping my screen of the pixel, and waiting for it to wake up.I actually read a few articles reflecting that this feature may be introduced via some updates. But then you still would need to unlock the phone if you have it secure. Another thing that I notice and I'm not sure if it's a hardware issue or a software issue???
With my old phone, I could turn off my data, and I would still receive group messages. With this Pixel, I found that I got notified about the message, but to download it, the Cellular Data switch had to be on. I have only done a little research, because I seldom get group messages. Maybe in the next few days I will test out this 24/7 support, If I do I will update this post, to let you know how it went.
I give Google an A+ for this wonderfully designed smartphone. I know that this Google Pixel 4G Lte 32Gb Smart Phone (in Slate) on Verizon's network is a little bit of shock at $699.99, being all of Google's other handsets(Nexus) were about half that cost. But if you are the type of person that likes the latest and greatest, there are several pricing/financing options when you go to purchase one. I would recommend this product to a friend. In doing some research on this new phone, it is being called the iPhone killer by some, I guess time will tell.
Thanks for taking some time to read my review on this device and have a blessed day!!
** I have a material connection regarding this piece of equipment or its manufacturer. **