Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 29th Nov 2018 01:49 UTC
Android

Google’s Pixel phones are far from perfect, but they are getting better year by year. Despite various flaws, they remain some of our favorite phones on the market. However, with the Pixel 3, Google has made it abundantly clear that almost no one should ever buy one of its phones at launch.

Coincidentally, I just bought a new phone to replace my iPhone X, and while the Pixel devices are not available in The Netherlands (they are only available in like 4 countries), as a thought exercise, I did include the Pixel in my deliberations as to what phone to buy. And you know what? Aside from its exceptional camera, the Pixel phones don't really seem to offer any benefits over other Android phones, while still being quite expensive.

The only redeeming quality is updates, but since OnePlus has been excellent with Android updates, I opted to buy the OnePlus 6T, which also happens to be considerably cheaper, despite having pretty much the same specifications. Virtually every single review also noted that the 6T had superior performance to the Pixel 3, which seems to have considerable performance issues.

With devices like the 6T on the market, is there really any reason to buy a Pixel at all?

Order by: Score:
I was burnt by this
by jonsmirl on Thu 29th Nov 2018 02:43 UTC
jonsmirl
Member since:
2005-07-06

I bought the original Pixel with a pre-order. Three months later Verizon put it on sale for 50% off. I was pissed and Verizon refused to do anything for me. I am still pissed. I agree never buy at launch, this is three times in a row there have been large discounts shortly after launch.

Reply Score: 2

Sales
by jemmyw on Thu 29th Nov 2018 02:56 UTC
jemmyw
Member since:
2009-02-06

Things go on sale and get cheaper over time. When you buy something at a price it seems a bit off to get upset when that thing is available at a lower price at another time. You agreed to the price. It's not like you didn't know sales happen.

"Sales" are so pervasive anyway, the price at launch and the price at end of life, and all times inbetween, are accounted for before a product is put out (unless it tanks or becomes supremely popular). You're never getting one over a business in a sale, as more people have bought at sale time; you're just contributing to the pricing getting shifted around in time.

In any case, when you buy something never go looking for prices 3 months later. Why pain yourself?

Reply Score: 2

Warranty
by jemmyw on Thu 29th Nov 2018 03:01 UTC
jemmyw
Member since:
2009-02-06

The new pixel isn't available in the country I live either. I've heard of a couple of people I know importing them. But I wouldn't take that risk myself... enough of my tech equipment has gone wrong over the years that being covered by local consumer laws and warranty is very important. Given the feature set of any given phone is so similar to another, I'd argue it's never reasonable to put a phone with no warranty coverage onto the consider list.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by cpcf
by cpcf on Thu 29th Nov 2018 05:01 UTC
cpcf
Member since:
2016-09-09

Buying cellphone hardware and other mobile services should be ubiquitous, isn't that the point of mobile? Guess what, do not do it before you travel.

You would think that high technology communications companies that employ globally mobile yet transient workforces would understand that the modern hardware equivalent of DVD region coding was pointless.

Yet I don't know how many times over the last decade I've had arguments with phone suppliers or services like Amazon because they arbitrarily decide to block my hardware location 1 month into a 3 month stay in London.

As a result I often resort to old reliable but frequently redundant or obsolete hardware during my travels.

Edited 2018-11-29 05:02 UTC

Reply Score: 1

CaptainN-
Member since:
2005-07-07

My biggest problem with Android phones is that there is nothing reasonably sized. I got a Nexus 6P a few years back, because it was the last great Nexus device, and it was insanely inexpensive at the time (I think like $300). It broke recently, or I'd still be using it (front screen smashed, and some sensors destroyed).

One thing I almost instantly regretted about the Nexus 6P is the giant size. I couldn't leave it in my pocket or else I risked getting stabbed in the hip every time I sat down. I ended up mostly keeping it in my back pocket, and taking it out every time I sat down, which is really really annoying.

The odd thing is, there are only like 2 reasonably sized flagship phones on the market in the US. There is the smaller Pixel, and the Sony Xperia ZX2 Compact, which wasn't even refreshed this year like it's larger sibling the Xperia XZ2. (Apple's smaller sized phones are almost as small, and I like their privacy positions, but I didn't want to switch back to Apple, mostly due to inflated costs - they forgot what value means.) There may be others, but I couldn't find any in stores to get my hands on, this was really it (I did almost go for a Razer Phone, if it wasn't so darned big).

Anyway, it's a great device, a bit thicker than most current phones, and it has a nice curved back. It actually makes it easier to handle oddly (and honestly - did anyone ever pick up their iPhone 3GS and say, I really wish this was thinner, and harder to hold!? No.) and it has a plastic back! Wow, a plastic back, in 2018 - one that is far less likely to break than glass. It feels fine to hold - and it doesn't matter anyway, because I, like everyone else, immediately put a protective case on the thing. And while it wasn't the cheapest thing, I did get a deal on it because it's a year old - and it's still crazy fast.

Edited 2018-11-29 05:55 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

My biggest problem with Android phones is that there is nothing reasonably sized. One thing I almost instantly regretted about the Nexus 6P is the giant size. I couldn't leave it in my pocket or else I risked getting stabbed in the hip every time I sat down. I ended up mostly keeping it in my back pocket, and taking it out every time I sat down, which is really really annoying.

Agreed. Really weird that normal sized phones have disappeared. Everything is a phablet now. When people saw the 5.3 inch note for the first time they asked: where do you put it? And that is still the question. I see women with tight pants and their phone is sticking 60% out of their back pocket.
Could Oneplus please make the T version of their phones the 'tiny' version? One phablet per year and one phone per year.

Reply Score: 2

avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Really weird that normal sized phones have disappeared.

That isn't weird at all. We are using phones more and more and having a bigger screen to read content, play games and watch movies/pictures is a huge benefit. Manufacturers are also doing everything they can to put big screens in small bodies*

Everything is a phablet now. When people saw the 5.3 inch note for the first time they asked: where do you put it? And that is still the question.

No, that has been properly answered. You put it in a purse/man-bag, backpack, your coat-pocket or simply in your pants where it actually does fit**. And at work/home you put it on a desk/table where you can actually use it.

My first smartphone was a 4.7" Nokia 1020 that I received from work. Everyone called it huge because they were comparing it to 3.5" iPhones and there were advertisements how that was "optimal" because you could reach everywhere with your thumb. I just laughed and bought my wife, mother and eventually myself a 6.0" Nokia 1520.
I really wouldn't mind carrying a 7" or even 8" phone with me and obviously Apple has "reconsidered" their "3.5 inch is optimal". Their major sales-boost came when they finally started to make bigger phones and now their smallest phone is what their biggest phone used to be last year and their biggest phone is bigger than almost any Android phone.
TLDR? The market has spoken and the masses want phablets.
Of course choice is good and I hear people asking for smaller phones sometimes, but then they buy a bigger phone and are happy anyway

* Removing bezels, removing physical navigation buttons, makeing the phones 18:9 instead of 16:9 (longer and narrower)

** Unless they are women pants with basically fake pockets that wouldn't even fit a 3.5" phone according to your own statement that a phablet sticks out 60%

Reply Score: 4

CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

Most satisfaction surveys still show the smallets iPhone (SE size) has the highest satisfaction rating after purchase, and the largest phones the least satisfaction, so your personal opinions expressed here as fact, don't hold up against the available data. People prefer smaller phones, but buy big phones. This is a sales floor problem more than anything else IMO, but that's another story.

I do agree that it can make sense to carry a large phablet if you carry a purse. The first time I saw a woman pull one of those out of her purse, it finally made sense. I prefer to leave my phone in my pocket when I'm sitting and talking to people, so for me a smaller phone makes a bazillion times more sense.

Edited 2018-11-29 20:43 UTC

Reply Score: 0

stormcrow Member since:
2015-03-10

I'd guess it largely depends on what people are willing to put up with in the name of convenience.

I don't find big phones convenient or desirable, but I'm apparently a minority. My old LG G4 is the largest phone I would want at 3 in wide, but I find the iPhone 5s hand-me-down I currently use the best dimensions for my relatively small hands at 2.3 in wide (and still getting updates!). Most new phones reaching the market are too wide for comfortable holding including the newest iPhones.

Another thing that phone MFGs seem to be doing is that there's a limit to the thinness a handheld device can achieve and still be comfortable to hold. If you get too thin, aside from physical strength suffering, the device feels like it's cutting into your fingers and palm. My G4 was on the verge of that with it's sloped back and very thin sides. I'd classify the 5s with its dimensions and solid metal feel as "just right".

Reply Score: 1

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Hm, and I don't like metal, feels unpleasantly cold to the touch when picked up. ;)

Reply Score: 2

0brad0 Member since:
2007-05-05

Most satisfaction surveys still show the smallets iPhone (SE size) has the highest satisfaction rating after purchase, and the largest phones the least satisfaction, so your personal opinions expressed here as fact, don't hold up against the available data. People prefer smaller phones, but buy big phones. This is a sales floor problem more than anything else IMO, but that's another story.

I do agree that it can make sense to carry a large phablet if you carry a purse. The first time I saw a woman pull one of those out of her purse, it finally made sense. I prefer to leave my phone in my pocket when I'm sitting and talking to people, so for me a smaller phone makes a bazillion times more sense.


That's great. I couldn't care less about satisfaction surveys.

Having a phone with a screen size so small it makes the phone useless is well.. useless. I would treat the phone like a non-smartphone. I'm not spending all that money on such a useless smartphone non-smartphone.

Yes I understand the screen size issues and yes sometimes it does cause problems for me but the other direction is 10x worse.

Reply Score: 5

avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Most satisfaction surveys still show the smallets iPhone (SE size) has the highest satisfaction rating after purchase, and the largest phones the least satisfaction

Citation needed, because every single customer satisfaction survey that I looked up (about 10) had phablets on top and when there are 2 versions available (like 8, 8+) the larger version scores slightly higher
https://www.theacsi.org/acsi-benchmarks/benchmarks-by-brand/benchmar...

The only satisfaction survey that I found that showed something supporting your claim was the previous year of that same survey: https://appleinsider.com/articles/17/05/23/apples-iphone-se-iphone-7...
The iPhone SE dropped from 87 to 80 in a year while the 7plus dropped from 86 to 85. Even the conclusions from these two surveys mention size as 1 factor but a lower price as another factor. My conclusion based on the drop in satisfaction is that people buying the SE thought they were getting a good deal but no longer think so.

So it is your personal opinion that doesn't hold up against the available data. People buy big phones because they are satisfying devices and not just "portable TV's used for watching p*rn on the toilet"

(strangely enough I cannot find the post that mentioned that anymore. Apparently posts that mention certain words just disappear without any mention of it anywhere which is strange because my reply also seems removed though it was perfectly useful)

6" phablets actually do fit in pants pockets, but maybe a Sharp Aquos R2 compact would suit you better?
https://mobiledevicesize.com/compare/#968,1137;1

Reply Score: 4

hackus Member since:
2006-06-28

The chipsets require the battery area in the handset.

Also all of those new Android API's are power hungry.

So if you did make a normal sized phone, the battery life would suck, it would have heating issues more than likely.

So to compromise they would have to turn certain parts of the Android eco system off or disable it on the normal sized handset.

Google Maps would go in to the Wayback machine to 2014 on such a phone.

Maybe when they start making 5nm masks common in chip fabrication. But that is almost a decade away.

Reply Score: 3

Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Still using my HTC Evo3D, my LG G3 is too "big" to carry around safely : https://mobiledevicesize.com/compare/#203,434;1

Reply Score: 1

avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Great comparison site! But for the last 5 years my family has carried around a N1520, N7plus and OP5T safely. I have no idea why your G3, that is 1 cm wider and 2 cm taller than your Evo3D is in so much danger. Is that really worth looking at a screen that has 7 times fewer pixels?

I took your comparison, added my devices and a few newer ones and you can clearly see how much more screen you can get in a phone that is 7.5 by 15.5 cm
https://mobiledevicesize.com/compare/#203,434,381,962,926,1126,1077;...

Reply Score: 5

Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Pixels are ok, screen is perfectly readable even with fine lettered text. I came from N95 (240x320) so, well...

The Evo 3D is inside a Otterbox Defender ( https://www.mobilefun.co.uk/otterbox-for-htc-evo-3d-defender-series-... ) but there is no "rugged" case for the G3. I "feel" it can break anytime and it would be a shame to spoil such a nice phone (that I primarily use in VR because almost none to no screen door effect, thanks to its 2K display.

Reply Score: 1

avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Seems like we had a similar history. I came from an N97 ;)

I still don't know why you think that G3 would break or why you care about size when you put a giant box around your phone but it would seem that Otterbox also has a Defender for your G3: https://www.amazon.com/Otterbox-Defender-Case-Belt-Holster/dp/B00KOI...

Reply Score: 4

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Hm, then why did you write nearby that "My first smartphone was a 4.7" Nokia 1020 that I received from work."? N97 is a Symbian-based smartphone... ;)

Reply Score: 3

avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

You already included the smiley, but I never considered the N97 a smartphone. I used it as a phone, for SMS, for the camera, for music and for a notetaking app but I never* used it for email/internet and I never installed any app on it.
I bought that phone mostly because of the crazy amount of storage it had (32 GB) and because of the cool keyboard

*Except to test if it worked

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Well my father (and plenty of other people, I think) has an Android smartphone which is used even less than you used your N97 ...does that suddenly make it non-smartphone?
(I also had a Symbian smartphone, and really used as such, E50)

Reply Score: 2

stormcrow Member since:
2015-03-10

Maybe it doesn't safely fit in the person's pockets? (Just guessing)

Reply Score: 1

Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Yeah, mostly that, unless you wear baggies. Because jeans' pockets tend to be just decoration now, even holding keys is a miracle, and seeking them with two fingers almost shop them off from the hand.

Even tough jackets have internal pockets, those also tend to be quite narrow and not deep enough. Sure a larger screen is more satisfying, but loosing "carry-ability" is one main issue to me, which render them less versatile.

Reply Score: 2

avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Yeah, mostly that, unless you wear baggies. Because jeans' pockets tend to be just decoration now, even holding keys is a miracle, and seeking them with two fingers almost shop them off from the hand.

Even tough jackets have internal pockets, those also tend to be quite narrow and not deep enough. Sure a larger screen is more satisfying, but loosing "carry-ability" is one main issue to me, which render them less versatile.

I keep repeating this, but my 6" phone fits in al my pants and coat pockets. I don't follow fashion but I don't avoid it either and I haven't noticed any "smaller pockets only for keys"-trend.
This argument also doesn't make much sense. If the pocket can barely fit a key, it wouldn't fit a phablet, but it also wouldn't fit a "smallet". I posted a similar argument about a phablet that stuck out 60% from a womans pocket...surely a smallet wouldn't have fit either.
In conclusion: Phablets do fit in pants and coats unless you have pockets that wouldn't fit a smallet either

Reply Score: 2

Comment by mieses
by mieses on Thu 29th Nov 2018 06:36 UTC
mieses
Member since:
2006-02-07

To get all the Project Fi features. (Now Google Fi). The camera on the Pixel 2 was supposedly good. The physical design is relatively simple and elegant.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by mieses
by ahferroin7 on Thu 29th Nov 2018 13:13 UTC in reply to "Comment by mieses"
ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

To get all the Project Fi features. (Now Google Fi).

This is personally the only reason I bought a Pixel 2 over something else when I last got a new phone. If they had full support for the newer OnePlus models, I'd get one of those to replace my Pixel 2 without question.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by mieses
by pooo on Fri 30th Nov 2018 03:02 UTC in reply to "Comment by mieses"
pooo Member since:
2006-04-22

Same reason I bought the Pixel 2 but it was announced yesterday I believe that Fi will be supporting iPhone, OnePlus, and Samsung imminently. So I think I'm going with OnePlus for my next phone.

https://www.androidpolice.com/2018/11/28/project-fi-is-now-google-fi...

Reply Score: 3

Asked and answered
by avgalen on Thu 29th Nov 2018 09:21 UTC
avgalen
Member since:
2010-09-23

You pose a question:

With devices like the 6T on the market, is there really any reason to buy a Pixel at all?

After already answering it in the sentences before:
Aside from its exceptional camera

The only redeeming quality is updates


Flagships often only offer a "small improvement for a large price-increase" and in many cases they excel in a few areas but lack in other areas. There really isn't 1 flagship that is the best at everything. And a few months later they are often surpassed even on their most special feature.
The fact that you are thinking about replacing an iPhoneX already seems ridiculous to me*
If you are looking for the best value for money the OP6T is high on the list, I often hear "PocoPhone", but I would personally look at midrange phones (300 Euro range) with Android One

*unless it is broken/stolen or you need to switch from iOS to Android

Reply Score: 4

Replace iPhone X ?
by Lennie on Thu 29th Nov 2018 12:09 UTC
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

Wow, you really burn through devices fast.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Replace iPhone X ?
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 29th Nov 2018 14:33 UTC in reply to "Replace iPhone X ?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Wow, you really burn through devices fast.


I like to try and keep up to date on the latest versions of operating systems (for obvious reasons), so I tend to buy a new phone once a year. Luckily my income allows me to do so.

I give my old phones away to family and friends if they need one.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Replace iPhone X ?
by Lennie on Thu 29th Nov 2018 14:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Replace iPhone X ?"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

OK, I guess that kind of makes sense.

Well if you don't have people to give your old stuff to and you are thinking of getting rid of it, I know in the Netherlands there are organizations that want to have them for recycling parts. Here is one:

https://www.diergaardeblijdorp.nl/natuurbehoud/mobieltjes-recyclen/

That are probably others as well, but I haven't seen them yet.

Edited 2018-11-29 14:39 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Replace iPhone X ?
by Vistaus on Thu 29th Nov 2018 15:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Replace iPhone X ?"
Vistaus Member since:
2018-03-21

That sure is nice, but you have to actually deposit your old phone at Diergaarde Blijdorp. So if you don't live in Rotterdam, you're going to have to travel, which is something most people won't do. But I like the idea a lot :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Replace iPhone X ?
by Lennie on Thu 29th Nov 2018 15:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Replace iPhone X ?"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I was trying to say: if that one at Diergaarde exists, I assume there are others, but no idea who.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Replace iPhone X ?
by avgalen on Fri 30th Nov 2018 10:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Replace iPhone X ?"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

I like to try and keep up to date on the latest versions of operating systems (for obvious reasons), so I tend to buy a new phone once a year.

Good for you that you got a new phone, but this doesn't really make sense to me. The iPhoneX will continue to run the latest version of iOS for many more years so it would make a lot more sense to add an extra (cheap) Android One device to run Android 9. That way you would have both a recent Android and iOS version available always.

I believe you also own an iPad Pro, so that covers your iOS-latest version craving as well, but then it makes no sense that you had an iPhoneX before...so I am still confused about your purchasing logic and a bit jealous of your device collection ;) . Any (recent) ChromeBook in there?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Replace iPhone X ?
by zima on Fri 30th Nov 2018 22:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Replace iPhone X ?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I give my old phones away to family and friends if they need one.

Aren't we all friends here? ;)

(but seriously, I'm kinda the opposite - I use phones until they work; so nobody wants my old ones ;) ...but I don't throw them away, which sometimes works out good: I'm using now a phone that automagically repaired itself while not used ;) )

Reply Score: 2

Happy with Pixel 2
by vocivus on Thu 29th Nov 2018 15:01 UTC
vocivus
Member since:
2010-03-13

I have a Pixel 2, about a year old. I've been very happy with it. I have the non-XL version because I'm tired of struggling with a large phone (iPhone 6Plus was my previous phone). As others have mentioned, the camera remains an outstanding differentiator.

Google's support has been very good. I broke my original Pixel 2, and the replacement was sent out immediately. Not much hassle at all.

I've only had one other non-Google Android device, and that was a long time ago (HTC Tmo G2) so I can't really compare with modern alternatives. I can say that android updates on Pixel have been regular and so far, have steadily improved just about everything the phone does. In comparison with Apple updates, which have always degraded user experience on phones as they age, Android updates have been a breath of fresh air.

Having said all that, one likes what one likes. I've found a happy phone experience, and I'll probably go google next time around until they piss me off (as Apple did). And then I'll choose something else. I would wish no less on anyone who was happy with the device they like.

Reply Score: 3

Not available in the Netherlands???
by Vistaus on Thu 29th Nov 2018 15:05 UTC
Vistaus
Member since:
2018-03-21

What do you mean "not available in the Netherlands"? Belsimpel sells them: https://www.belsimpel.nl/zoeken?s=google+pixel

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

What do you mean "not available in the Netherlands"? Belsimpel sells them: https://www.belsimpel.nl/zoeken?s=google+pixel


Those are imports, not official sales.

Reply Score: 2

Vistaus Member since:
2018-03-21

In that case you should change your original wording to "not officially available".

Reply Score: 2

count me in
by Ikshaar on Thu 29th Nov 2018 18:21 UTC
Ikshaar
Member since:
2005-07-14

Bought the new pixel and switched to Fi... just over a month ago. Talk about getting screwed. $400-$1000 discount missed.

Reply Score: 2

Well, you answered your own question
by Moochman on Thu 29th Nov 2018 23:56 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

The camera is pretty much THE reason to buy a Pixel 3 IMHO.

Also, for Android developers, it makes sense to have a phone on hand that can always run the latest and greatest OS from Google the day it comes out.

Edited 2018-11-29 23:57 UTC

Reply Score: 3

I quit Google phones last year
by cmost on Fri 30th Nov 2018 00:00 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

I was a long-time Google phone buyer having owned the Nexus One, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 5 and finally the Nexus 6P. I stopped buying them because my 6P was buggy from day one and seemed to get buggier and buggier with each update. Bluetooth wouldn't work in my car, the earpiece would sporadically go on the blink forcing me to switch to speaker phone, the battery life was horrible.. the list goes on and on. If Google wants to get serious about unifying Android and promoting solid hardware it needs to change its license so that OEMs must run stock Android and supply any enhancements through apps instead of hard-coding them in.

Reply Score: 3

Both are not satisfactory
by emphyrio on Fri 30th Nov 2018 03:29 UTC
emphyrio
Member since:
2007-09-11

Given the way my phone's battery deteriorated in just two years, my next phone will have an easily replaceable battery. While I'm at it, it'll also have a much better score than 5 (preferably above 8) for repairability at the ifixit tear down.

Edited 2018-11-30 03:30 UTC

Reply Score: 4