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Google Pixel And Pixel XL: Top 5 Drawbacks That May Be Deal Breakers For Some

25 October 2016, 8:12 am EDT By Alexandra Burlacu Tech Times
The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are among the hottest smartphones currently on the market, but they're not perfect. Here are the top five drawbacks that may weigh down on your pros and cons list.  ( Spencer Platt | Getty Images )

The new Google Pixel and Pixel XL are all the rave right now. They're great smartphones, but they also have some drawbacks that may be deal breakers.

We've compiled a list of the top 5 worst things about the Google Pixel and Pixel XL so you can make an informed decision, so here goes:

1. Google Pixel Price

Google's latest smartphones are impressive and high-end, but they don't come cheap. The smaller Google Pixel starts out at $650 for the 32 GB model and goes up to $749 for the 128 GB version. The larger Pixel XL starts at $769 for the 32 GB variant and tops out at $869 for the 128 GB model.

It's worthy of note here that the Google Pixels perfectly match the MSRP of the equivalent iPhone 7 variants. At the same time, it also means that the new Pixels may be out of the price range for many prospective customers, especially since Android smartphones from Google used to be more affordable under the Nexus line.

2. No Wireless Charging

While the new Google Pixel and Pixel XL support fast charging, they don't support any kind of wireless charging. Having to do without this feature may be acceptable for a cheap midranger, but paying top dollar and not having wireless charging may be a deal-breaker for some prospective customers.

3. No Waterproofing / Water Resistance

The latest Pixel and Pixel XL sport meager IP53 ratings, which means they can withstand contact with some solids but they'd best avoid any liquids. An IP53 certification is not really meant to handle water and while a small splash might be okay, there's no guarantee the handset will survive a heavy rain or a more consistent bath. At a time when flagship smartphones come with hefty dust and water resistance features, Google's oversight in this area doesn't bode well with the Pixels' high prices.

On the other hand, although Google doesn't really make any waterproofing claims for the Pixel phones, recent videos from users who tested the Pixels' waterproofing seem to suggest a good resistance - the Google Pixel even survived one hour completely submerged underwater, suffering damage only to its speaker.

4. Only One Speaker

Speaking of speaker, why do the Google Pixel and Pixel XL only have one, and why is it not better located? After the cool front speakers on the Nexus 6 from 2014 and Nexus 6P from 2015, having just one speaker on the latest Pixels seems like an injustice and its location below the display means you may often muffle it as you hold your smartphone one-handedly.

5. No Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL have electronic image stabilization (EIS), not OIS. That doesn't in any way mean that they can't capture quality shots - it just means that for those fixated on OIS, it may be good to know that it's not on the table.

When it comes to the algorithmic video stabilization, meanwhile, it's quite impressive but it may also yield unstable results at times. Some videos, for instance, may feature increased digital noise and some issues with slow panning.

Nevertheless, Google says that its Pixel smartphone snaps the best photos ever taken with a mobile device. Truth be told, photo samples do look pretty great.

Other potential drawbacks of the Google Pixel and Pixel XL include no expandable storage, non-removable battery, semi-glass back, design that some find too iPhone-like, and the rebranding that tried to remove virtually any trace of HTC to leave only Google.

On closer inspection, however, the pros may outweigh the cons and some may even find the new Google Pixels among the best smartphones to date.

Are any of these drawbacks a deal-breaker for you? Do you have other Pixel disappointments we've not included here? Let us know in the comment section below.

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