We’ve already compared the Pixel XL to one of the best phones of 2017, the Galaxy Note 8, and visited some of the reasons why it’s still one of the best Android phones on the market. Nothing is perfect, though, and to close off Pixel Week, we wanted to look at some of the ways the Pixel and Pixel XL fall short and where the Pixel 2 might be able to pick up the slack.
Maybe this complaint is a bit long in the tooth by now, but the design of the Pixel was already a bit plain when the phone launched last year — by today’s standards, it looks ancient. Though I’m personally still a fan of 16:9 displays, the 2:1 aspect ratio on many of today’s flagships offers more screen real estate proportionate to the phone’s body, and the large bezels above and below the Pixel’s display serve little to no purpose.
During its year on the market, many Pixel owners have reported various problems with Bluetooth, ranging from the phone turning off Bluetooth overnight to random connection drops when streaming to speakers or headphones. Throughout the year, Google has pushed a number of software updates to fix many of the issues, but a number of users are still running into some trouble, so better quality control on the next Pixel would be great to see.
More recently, the Pixel has had a frustrating problem with random crashes and reboots on Android Oreo. While it’s not uncommon for early adopters to run into issues when using new software, it’s a little frustrating to see the Pixel crashing when my Xperia XZ1 (also running Oreo) is working perfectly fine.
The Pixel’s speaker on the bottom of the frame is tinny and unimpressive, which is especially disappointing since it’s manufactured by HTC, who built a reputation for great audio on smartphones thanks to its front-facing BoomSound speakers. The Pixel also lacks water resistance of any kind (although at least HTC’s flagships of the time didn’t have it, either).
I know what you’re thinking; this list is overly nitpicky, and you’re right! The Pixel is such a solid phone that it really doesn’t leave much else to be desired. Of course, we’re still hoping the Pixel 2 will be even better, and we’ll finally get to see it in person on Wednesday. Thanks for tuning in to Pixel Week, and check back soon for hands-on coverage from Google’s launch event!