In the past 48 hours we’ve heard about Pixel phones, and we’ve covered a lot of it here. However, there’s a lot more to the Pixel(s) than what lies on the surface. So let’s look at a few notes that you very well may have missed regarding Google’s latest set of devices.
The best gifts for Android users
Yes, the Google Pixel is kinda water resistant
One of the big omissions from Google’s Pixel devices is water resistance. With Samsung’s flagships packing the feature, and now Apple’s latest crop of devices, it seemed like a pretty odd thing to skip. However, Google didn’t skip it entirely — it’s just not advertising the feature. Why? Well, that’s the bad news: the Pixel devices only have an IP53 rating.
To put that in perspective, the iPhone 7 offers IP67 protection and the Galaxy Note 7 offers IP68. What does IP53 offer? Essentially it’s splash resistant. Spilling your drink or using the device in light rain shouldn’t be an issue, but you 100% should not use this phone in water. The phone can sustain “water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical [with] no harmful effect.”
A quick switch adapter is in every box
As seen in an early unboxing, every Pixel smartphone comes with a small USB-C to USB-A adapter. The purpose of that is to utilize Google’s new “quick switch” import option. This allows users coming from other smartphones — Android or iOS — to quickly transfer all of their photos, contacts, and even text messages without relying on third-party options. Google will include one adapter with each device.
WiFi calling is supported on both Verizon and T-Mobile
One big thing to note is that Google has confirmed that WiFi calling will be supported on the Pixel on both Verizon and T-Mobile. This functionality will be available at launch for both carriers.
Starting with these two, of course, makes sense. Nexus devices have supported WiFi calling on T-Mobile in most releases, and Verizon is Google’s only carrier partner for these devices. Google also mentioned to Android Police that other carriers may also support this feature in the future, but we’ll just have to wait and see on that one (don’t hold your breath).
Sigh… of course Verizon locked the bootloader
We still don’t know why, but Google decided to partner exclusively with Verizon in the United States to offer the Pixel and Pixel XL in stores. While other carriers seem ready to offer the phones, users of other carriers will have to stick to buying unlocked to get these phones.
To make matters worse, Verizon’s model also ships with a locked bootloader and includes a few Verizon apps out of the gate according to CNET. That includes the My Verizon app, Go90, and Verizon Messaging. In other words, one app that might be useful, one that is entirely pointless, and yet another messaging app. Hang on, maybe that’s why Google partnered with Verizon!