Posted on Tue 29 October 2019

new phone, who dis

The Google Nexus 6P was an excellent phone, until it developed severe battery issues when it was about a year old. Google did me the courtesy of replacing it with the Pixel XL, which was a reasonably good phone until two years in, when it developed moderate battery issues which were worsening rapidly.

The Google Pixel 4 XL was unveiled last week and... it did not impress me. For about the same amount of money, I acquired a OnePlus 7Pro -- and a spare charger, and a protective case, and a 24 month nearly-no-questions-asked warranty. I've had it for a few hours now: this is the first impressions review.

  1. Phones are now too big. I am 6'5" tall and have big hands. This phone is excessively large.
  2. There is effectively no speed difference between state-of-the-art from 3 or 4 years ago and the current champions.
  3. The curved edges are a gimmick, reducing usability slightly. I would trade them in an instant for a pair of notification LEDs, one on the upper left corner and one on the lower right corner.
  4. Charging times, however, have improved. Though some of that is likely subjective and due to the deteriorating battery of the Pixel.
  5. If you ship a phone made of glass, it is unconscionable not to put a protective case in the box. OnePlus supplies such a thing.
  6. The glory of a headphone jack is that you can unplug your music device and plug in your phone so you can have a private conversation in a noisy environment. Whoops, no more headphone jacks. Jerks.
  7. I wish Google had imposed a requirement for specific button positioning on phones. But only a little; I'm sure I will eventually get used to it.
  8. The automatic transfer between Android phones of package information is pretty good, but not perfect.

My general advice: don't buy a flagship unless somebody else is paying for it -- and is also paying for insurance.

Not a bad phone. Very pretty.


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