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Google Pixel XL 4K Smartphone Review

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Jan 14, 2022• Proven solutions

The Google pixel XL is a brand-new smartphone that is being developed as a larger and more powerful version of the existing Google Pixel. The newest version of the pixel comes with a brand-new camera, an improved forte display as well as the addition of Google Assistant. All of these differences with the pixel XL definitely lead to a higher price tag however.

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The XL will represent one of the most expensive Google phones on the market to date but it's also one of the best high and in supersized phones on the market to date as well. Alongside the premium price, Google work to improve the ergonomics as well as the overall performance of this phone. It comes running the standard Android Nougat 7.1 and even includes natural support for the Daydream view VR. These are just a few of the initial features that really make an impact with this XL version of the pixel.

Google Pixel XL Pros and Cons:


  • The phone is instantly upgraded with a much better display.
  • Improved processing power means that even VR apps can run flawlessly on this device.
  • Google Assistant helps with regular life tasks.
  • Ergonomic improvements also make this phone easier to use and better for holding.


  • Expensive.
  • It's not quite as water resistant as some of the other rivals in the market.
  • The lens blur feature doesn't produce the best quality photographs especially in 4k.
  • Can be quite a large phone for those that are used to the standard size pixel.

Google Pixel XL Design:

The overall design of this device is quite strong featuring a premium glass and metal construction. For the most part the XL design is categorized as being fairly bold and with fairly substantial materials. As the phone is made out of a glass and metal construction it has an extensive amount of personality and character and this is evident as soon as you pick it up. Using both materials instead of plastic helps to increase the weight of the phone as well as give the xl a feel like a top of the line phone finally.

The thick bezel along the top and the bottom as well as the lack of physical home button gives it a different look than the Samsung Galaxy S8 and other flagship phones. It's estimated that there will be a curved screen coming for the Google Pixel 2 however.

The Gorilla Glass 4 that makes up the main glass in this device is made to be extremely solid. The improvements also come with a rear fingerprint sensor as well as a camera. The overall body is produced using an anodized aluminum that is polished and made to be quite resilient.

The phone is fairly large to hold in your hand and it can be a bit of a stretch if you aren't used to using phablets. The only other fun that's currently a little bit taller than it is the nexus 6P. The dimensions set at around 153 mm x 76 mm. The design is generally much thicker than some other smart phones and this is because Google is fitting a number of new components into this powerful phone. It's thicker than the iPhone 7+ but it doesn’t have the same sized screen so weight is cut by a little.

The interesting feature with the camera is that there is absolutely zero camera bump. The camera is integrated into a glass plate on the back giving the design a completely flush look for the smart phone.

The only drawback to the design of this device is that it doesn't currently meet the IP53 rating for waterproofing which means that you should never consider getting the Google pixel XL anywhere close to water.

Google Pixel XL Display:

This phone comes with an absolutely astounding AMOLED. It's an extremely vibrant and very bright screen that completely outclasses any other LCD panel phone. The bevel is quite thick on this phone but it does feature a 5.5-inch screen done in AMOLED. The display offers a no rise to wake or a screen that's always on and it delivers a huge upgrade even when compared to the 1080 P pixel.

If you are looking for a great this way for VR, this is a device that could be for you as it has a great battery life as well as a beautiful display that goes up to 4K resolution. Sinking money into mobile VR definitely requires this phone as it has one of the most beautiful displays on the market for just that.

Many reviewers would suggest that the phone looks better comparatively to the iPhone 7+ and even competes quite well with the latest LG and Samsung devices. Ambient displays ensure that the screen can light up in a black and white color palette when the notifications come in to save in on battery. Google also includes the nightlight mode that matches to the adjustable light levels in the room with orange to blue levels changing at sunset and during lighting conditions throughout the day to make the display more readable in a variety of lighting conditions. These types of improvements really show just how intuitive the Google Pixel xl is.

Google Pixel XL Hardware:

The latest version of this device contains the Snapdragon 821 processor which has roughly the same specs as the 5 inch Google pixel. Only a few small changes have been made in the pixel XL and the devices running on chipset that's over six months old meaning that it doesn't quite compare to some of the funds being developed by Samsung overseas right now.

The Snapdragon processor is just ahead of the Samsung Galaxy S7 as well as the LG G5. The onboard processor runs at 2.15 GHz with onboard 4 GB of RAM and the adrenal 530 GPU. With an average CPU benchmarking of 4077 this is a phone that certainly deserves some respect.

The battery on this phone is delivered through a 3450 mAh battery which has been operated through the pixel. One of the reasons why this upgrade needed to happen is the phone at its maximum resolution can drain down the battery quite quickly. Whether you're going to be playing games in line or checking on your phone regularly it doesn't take long for your device to start losing its battery. With light use the pixel XL can last for just over a day and it's charged with the USB c adaptor.

The battery life on this device is technically worse than any phone that came out in the year 2016 but it also has an extensive amount of power as well as one of the best displays. Google will have to develop something severely different for the Pixel 2 to improve battery life.

Google Pixel XL Resistance:

The aluminum case can be dented quite easily but the Google XL comes upgraded with a gorilla glass 4 front face. This is one of the strongest forms of gorilla glass created to date and it's one of the most resilient aspects of the phone.

The device is not particularly great with water unlike some of its competition so it's very important that you keep the Google Pixel XL away from rain and poolside experiences.

Google Pixel XL Features and Performance:

The camera performance comes boosted from a 12.3 megapixel camera in the back. With some configuring it's possible to get some beautiful and color accurate photos on the phone. It may not be able to compete with the Galaxy S8 edge camera but the overall colors and the device is particularly good at capturing natural tones like the grass and the sky. If you're going to be taking photos outside its top to find a cell phone camera other than that Pixel XL that can deliver more vivid colors.

The XL camera also comes with an excellent performance in low light. Google tends to stay more consistent in a variety of different scenarios whereas Samsung is more likely to add in more contrast and brightness to really distort the look of a photo. If you are looking for a natural image capture solution, this phone does particularly well performance wise. 

The front-facing camera on this device is an eight megapixel camera. It includes HDR+ in the front and this means that you can produce some of the best selfies that you have ever captured. This far less distortion from this front facing camera than on some competitors devices and the pictures look great even if they are captured at a particularly wide angle.

The sound on this device and overall audio experience comes from just one speaker on board. In most cases you're going to want to include your but as you are using this device. Google didn't go to the idea of removing the headphone jack so any standard earbuds will work quite well with this device.

Unfortunately, the Google XL did not opt for a dual speaker system and this seems like a step into the past rather than a step into the future. The speaker is relatively powerful but it doesn't offer the greatest in sound quality for users.

You're going to want to keep a charger handy when using this device especially if you plan on using it fairly regularly for gaming, taking photos or even taking videos. The device is fairly strong with standby features to conserve battery the only problem is that the screen zaps battery quite quickly.

Google Pixel XL OS and UI:

The device comes with Android nougat built right in and the nice part about all of the Google Pixel products is that they will get access to the earliest form of Android as soon as it's available. Google has always been great at pushing the latest Android patches directly to Google devices first and this offers a huge advantage to many Android users especially during times with security vulnerabilities.

The UI design hasn't changed considerably from the Google pixel of old. The only real difference is that the screen has been upgraded considerably to improve resolution which gives you access to seeing AAndroidin its most beautiful form. The VR support for the screen also delivers some big improvements too.

The big news here is the inclusion of Google Assistant. This aspect of the device is one of the best current AI systems running on any mobile device. It's heavily rated as being one of the smartest and most intuitive assistants. It's rated considerably higher than Google now, court, as well as Siri and it easily understands words like it, here and more. Google voice commands are handled quite well on this device and it will only continue to learn and be patched improving its function further.

Google Assistant can provide you with all of the same features that you might get from Google Home. This means that you can eventually integrate the system to control some of your home appliances, pay for items online and more.


The target audience for this device are big fans of Google devices and individuals who are interested in getting one of the fastest flagship smart phones available currently. It also offers great support for mobile photographers as well as individuals who are looking for a great phone to use with VR. Although this device is expensive it's currently the best that Google has to offer in a mobile phone.

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Max Wales
Max Wales is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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