The new Google Pixel and Pixel XL have great specs. They are powerful, come with good screens, great camera performance and some interesting new software features such as the Google Assistant and live support integration. They are also priced as flagship phones though, so could and should they have been better still?
For a start, water resistance has become common in most flagship phones and should have been a feature of the Pixel. Whether you’re out in the rain or manage to drop the phone at home, it would be good to know it’s not likely to be easily damaged. Water resistance wasn’t mentioned in the demonstrations and isn’t listed in the specs for the phones. In addition, while Google demonstrated the video image stabilization capability of the Pixel(s), it seems that the stabilization is carried out purely in software (electronic) rather than in the camera hardware (optical). It is usually the case that Optical Image Stabilization is superior, although Google might be about to prove otherwise.
Moving on and the inclusion (or omission) of a headphone jack will continue to be controversial and one of the promotional videos for the Pixel highlights the connector in a clear reference to its omission from the iPhone. Google should be aiming to lead the way though. Motorola and Apple have already dropped the connector and other manufacturers will inevitably follow. So maybe Google should have made the change as well? While we don’t yet know the quality of the speaker in the Pixel, we do know that it’s a single unit at the base of the phone. Previous phones such as the Nexus 6P have included good quality stereo speakers so it would have been good to see that trend continued.
Then there is the battery. While the battery size isn’t particularly a problem and Google have been continuing to enhance the Android software to improve battery life, the battery life won’t exactly be a standout feature of the Pixel either... and it could have been, even if the phones had to be slightly thicker to accommodate a greater capacity battery. Of course, aesthetics are partly down to personal taste but they are reasonably good looking phones. For the screen sizes though, the bezels above and below the screen do seem unnecessarily large and especially considering there are no front-facing speakers in play here. Which means these could have certainly been improved on.