Google Pixel XL Overview Updated September 20, 2021

Google Pixel XL

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103 'Google Pixel XL' stories

September 2016 - September 2021


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Google Pixel Specification
Android version Android 8.0 Oreo
Screen size 5.5-inch FHD AMOLED
Resolution 2560×1440 pixels
PPI 534ppi
Primary camera
12.3MP, 1.55μm pixels, phase detection autofocus + laser detection autofocus, f/2.0 Aperture
 

Front camera
8MP, 1.4µm pixels, f/2.4 Aperture, fixed focus

Processor
Qualcomm® Snapdragon 821 ,2.15Ghz + 1.6Ghz, 64Bit Quad-Core

Storage 32GB or 128GB
Expandable storage up to N/A
RAM 4GB LPDDR4
Battery 3,450mAh (nonremovable)
Ports USB Type-C, headphone jack
Weight 168 g
Dimensions 154.7 x 75.7 x 7.3 ~ 8.5 mm
Other features Rear-facing fingerprint sensor
Color options Very Silver, Quite Black, Really Blue
Carrier availability Unlocked (all carriers), Project Fi, Verizon
Base price off-contract ~$770
In-box accessories USB Type-C™ 18W adaptor with USB-PD, A-C cable (USB 3.1 Gen 2), C-C cable (USB 2.0), SIM tool, Quick Switch Adapter

Google Pixel XL Stories September 20

Last week and ahead of the Pixel 6 series set to come (hopefully) very soon, we asked you just what you think the “best” Google Pixel device has been so far. Well, the results were not too unsurprising overall but interesting nonetheless.

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Google Pixel XL Stories September 16

The Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro could very well be the best Pixel devices to date, but we’re still waiting to see them unveiled — and then get our greasy mitts on the duo when they launch (hopefully) soon.

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Google Pixel XL Stories February 5

Back in 2016, Google embarked on a more prominent and marketable smartphone line in the form of the Pixel series. The direct successor to the Nexus series came with its own unique build of Android Nougat, something we have come to know as the “Pixel Experience” — not to be confused with the third-party ROM.

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Google Pixel XL Stories August 6, 2020

[Update: ROG Phone 2] LineageOS 17.1 adds support for the original Google Pixel, Pixel XL, and Nexus 6

After recently seeing LineageOS 17.1 officially get announced, those with the original Google Pixel or the Nexus 6 can now get their fix of the third-party ROM based upon Android 10.

Google Pixel XL Stories December 5, 2019

It’s only been three years since Google decided to go on its own and start building its own flagship Android smartphones. In that three years, we’ve gotten a handful of Pixel phones all with their own strengths and weaknesses, but now that the original Google Pixel (2016) is being laid to rest, we thought it’s about time to look back at the phone that started it all and see how things have progressed.

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Google Pixel XL Stories November 22, 2019

The cameras on Google’s Pixel phones are great mainly thanks to their software and now, thanks to some developers, a new mode is available. With a Google Camera mod, all Pixel phones are getting a “Light Painting” mode.

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Google Pixel XL Stories August 12, 2019

The original Google Pixel is a phone many still look back at with fond memories. However, the device was the subject of a couple big flaws, the biggest of which was the microphone. A lawsuit was started over the faulty Pixel microphones, and now Google has agreed to pay some buyers up to $500 in a settlement.

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Google Pixel XL Stories July 22, 2019

A trend has developed in the past couple of years for “see-through” wallpapers on certain phone models to get a peek at the hardware that powers your device. Now, the folks over at iFixit are giving Google’s original Pixel XL, as well as the Pixel 3a and 3a XL, the see-through wallpaper treatment.

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Google Pixel XL Stories March 26, 2019

Google’s original Pixel gets a speed test to show how four Android versions affect performance

It came as a surprise earlier this month when Google revealed that it would be providing an official update to Android Q for the original Pixel phones. Now, a speed test has hit YouTube to show how all of these updates affect the aging device.

Google Pixel XL Stories March 13, 2019

Among the many surprises of today’s Android Q announcements, such as releasing later in the day than expected and skipping from Developer Preview right to Beta, came another welcome surprise for owners of the original Google Pixel and Pixel XL.

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Google Pixel XL Stories March 11, 2019

Google Pixel and Pixel XL now part of LineageOS 16 nightlies program

LineageOS is the offshoot of the original and immensely popular CyanogenMod ROM that was likely one of the, if not the most popular ROM on smartphone across the globe.

Google Pixel XL Stories November 13, 2018

November security patch in ‘final testing’ for 2016 Google Pixel devices halfway through the month

One of the biggest reasons to buy a Google Pixel device of any generation is for software updates. Oddly, though, the original Pixel and Pixel XL are a bit behind in that department as the Pixel November update and its associated security enhancements have yet to arrive. According to Google, though, they’re on the way.

Google Pixel XL Stories October 10, 2018

Despite a misleading quote, Google hasn’t dropped unlimited Google Photos backup for life on original Pixels

With yesterday’s Pixel 3 reveal, Google confirmed that, once again, it would be offering unlimited backups on Google Photos for the device. However, it also seemingly backtracked on how long it would last for the original Google Pixel devices. Thankfully, that’s not the case.

Google Pixel XL Stories August 13, 2018

Google’s Pixel devices have all supported fast charging over USB-C PD, and that has managed to cause some headaches over the past couple of years. With the Android Pie update, though, it seems something snapped and the functionality isn’t working for many users.

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Google Pixel XL Stories April 10, 2018

The Pixel in 2016 kicked off Google’s latest and most committed push into entering hardware. When the second-generation Made by Google phones launched last October, the original device was kept around with a $100 price cut. Today, those first phones are no longer in stock on the Google Store or Project Fi.

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Google Pixel XL Stories March 19, 2018

While Google’s Pixel 2 family currently has the spotlight, last year’s original Pixel devices aren’t out for the count just yet. Both devices have held up very well over time, but a new bug threatens some users…

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Google Pixel XL Stories March 7, 2018

How to manually install Android P Developer Preview 1 on Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL

Google just took the wraps off of the first Developer Preview build of Android P. This early build introduces a redesigned notification shade and much more. Here’s how to manually install Android P DP1…

Google Pixel XL Stories February 8, 2018

Google’s collection of Pixel smartphones have proven to be fantastic overall, but it’s clear in more ways than one that Google is still getting the hang of this whole hardware thing. Display issues plague the Pixel 2 XL, but another issue affected original Pixel devices and now, Google is being sued over that…

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Google Pixel XL Stories February 2, 2018

Android One Moto X4 drops to $249, Pixel XL to $549 w/ limited time Project Fi promo

Project Fi kicked off the year with what is effectively an $80 unlimited plan. Heading into February, the Google MVNO is now offering a promotion that drops the Moto X4 to $249 and 2016’s Pixel XL to $549.

Google Pixel XL Stories December 31, 2017

One of the most essential features for most smartphone owners is the camera. Because of this, Google focused on image quality when it launched the Pixel 2 and introduced new features such as portrait mode. But while the search giant’s latest and greatest got new features, the original Pixel and the last Nexus devices were left in the dust.

Thanks to the developer behind Camera NX, PixelPixel XLNexus 6P, and Nexus 5X owners can now enjoy taking portrait mode photos by merely sideloading an APK…

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Google Pixel XL Stories September 29, 2017

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.

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Google Pixel XL Stories September 28, 2017

We’re just six days away from Google announcing the second-generation Pixel lineup (along with some other expected products, including some new Google Home devices), and in the meantime we wanted to revisit the original Pixel and Pixel XL. Too often, tech sites including ourselves get caught up in the craze of new devices and neglect to look at how well (and sometimes, how poorly) the older devices have held up.

The Pixel and Pixel XL were some of our favorite phones when they launched last year, and though we’ve since seen dozens of great new devices, we’re still terribly fond of Google’s in-house projects, which have aged better than just about any other Android phones we’ve seen.

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Google Pixel XL Stories September 26, 2017

We’re excited to see Google unveil the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 next Wednesday, but the original Pixels are still some of the best smartphones on the market. With so many new trends like dual cameras and edge-to-edge displays popping up in 2017, we wanted to see how well the Pixel XL holds up against some of today’s modern flagships, in what we’re calling Pixel Week.

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Google Pixel XL Stories September 15, 2017

When it comes to smartphone software, I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that stock Android, or at least as close OEMs can get to it as possible, is ideal. Unfortunately, there just aren’t many phones packing stock Android. However, Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone is making waves by offering just that, and software isn’t the only thing it has going for it.

As we’ve seen before, the Essential Phone seems to be ruffling some feathers at Google, so ahead of Google’s second-generation Pixel debut, it only feels fitting to see how the first device from Rubin compares to Google’s first flagship…

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Google Pixel XL Stories August 29, 2017

Just about a week ago, Google released the official factory images for Android 8.0 Oreo following the unveiling of its dessert name and statue. Eight days after that announcement, Verizon is already starting to push the 8.0 update to Pixel and Pixel XL handsets on its network.

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Google Pixel XL Stories July 11, 2017

This morning images leaked that showed what were supposedly cases for the upcoming Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2. While it is possible that they are real, there were more than a few aspects that made it seem otherwise. Then, several hours later, a render of the Pixel XL 2 leaked, and with it, the confirmation of some the smartphone’s rumored details.

Now that we have seen the cases and the leaked render, what feature of the Pixel XL 2 are you most excited for?

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As we get closer to the release of the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2, we’re unavoidably going to start hearing more rumors. While we’ve already heard some tidbits about each of the devices, we haven’t yet seen what they might look like. We’re now possibly one step closer to that, however, as a pair of purported cases for both the Pixel 2 and XL 2 have now leaked.

But as for the legitimacy of these cases, unfortunately, we’re leaning towards dubious at best.

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Google Pixel XL Stories July 10, 2017

When Google unveiled the Pixel and Pixel XL late last year, the company announced that the phone would, of course, be available in the typical black and silver colors. What surprised people was a bright blue variant that Google deemed “Really Blue.”

With the next generation of Pixel smartphones supposed to be announced in the coming months, what color do you really hope Google decides to ship the handsets in?

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Google Pixel XL Stories June 24, 2017

In recent weeks, rumors of Google’s next generation ‘Pixel 2’ devices have increased in frequency. We reported earlier this month that LG would be manufacturing the likely Pixel XL successor, while back in March we got a look at Google documentation that suggested no headphone jack.

New rumors today corroborate both details and provide the first solid — thought expected — insight into what specs will power these upcoming devices, as well as other design changes in store.

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Google Pixel XL Stories June 8, 2017

Every smartphone and tablet has an end-of-life date when the manufacturer will stop spending the money and effort to keep it updated. Although some companies don’t actually tell customers when their devices will no longer receive updates, Google guarantees that its Pixel and Nexus devices will get feature updates for at least two years and security updates for three.

Now, Google has updated its Android updates page to clarify how long they will cover both Nexus and Pixel devices with telephone and online support…

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Google Pixel XL Stories June 2, 2017

Despite being a rather popular Android smartphone, there aren’t as many great cases available for the Google Pixel as there are for the Galaxy S8 or LG G6. Although late to the game, Mophie has finally released a version of its Juice Pack battery cases for the Pixel XL. The Juice Pack does add a bit of thickness to the handset but it also almost doubles its battery life and adds wireless charging.

But is it worth the $99 pricetag?

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Google Pixel XL Stories May 22, 2017

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are arguably two of the best Android smartphones on the market, but unlike other major handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6, there aren’t that many cases out there for it. Today, there’s another option on the market as mophie, a well-known battery accessory company, has announced the availability of a battery case for the Pixel XL…

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Google Pixel XL Stories April 27, 2017

Every phone eventually dies, even if the hardware is still holding up. The main reason for that is software, because, at a certain point, it’s no longer worth it for a manufacturer to spend the cash needed to develop and push software updates. It happens to every phone, and it’s going to happen to the Google Pixel. Today, Google has revealed when exactly that will happen

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Google Pixel XL Stories March 23, 2017

For the past month, some Pixel and Pixel XL owners have reported that Bluetooth on their device randomly shuts down. The issue seemingly began in February after that month’s security patch and has persisted through this month’s update. However, according to Google, the issue has now been remedied server-side.

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Google Pixel XL Stories March 20, 2017

As of today, it’s been exactly 5 months since I started using the Pixel XL as my daily driver. In the time since, I’ve used several devices, including the LG V20 and Huawei Mate 9 among others, but Google’s first flagship has always held a spot in my pocket.

So, after 5 months of constant usage, how has it held up?

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Google Pixel XL Stories March 9, 2017

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL easily became our picks for the best smartphones of 2016, but they’ve not been without faults ─ and a lot of them. Since release, Google has been dealing with issues such as battery hiccups, speaker popping, camera bugs, and much more. Now, some Pixel owners are reporting a new issue with their microphones.

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Google Pixel XL Stories February 27, 2017

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Google’s Pixel XL is a wonderful phone, and it’s been my daily driver for the past few months. The hardware on this phone is excellent, but whether it’s for added protection or a better look, most of us will add a case to the phone. There is an alternative, however, a skin.

There are several fantastic skin makers on the market today, but which makes the best skin for the Pixel XL? Over the past few weeks, that’s what I’ve been aiming to figure out. I’ve recently tested four different skins from dBrand, Colorware, Toast, and SlickWraps, all for the Pixel XL. Each skin was tested for a minimum of one week. So, let’s take a look.

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Google Pixel XL Stories February 21, 2017

dbrand_pixelxl_9

Stock for the Google Pixel, which launched almost 5 months ago, is still hit or miss. As of the time of this writing, the 5-inch Pixel is completely out of stock on the Google Store and the 5.5-inch Pixel XL is almost completely out of stock as well. There was one random day this month that stock suddenly reappeared in full, but the story since October has been mostly just that: random.

While any company as big and with as many resources as Google should definitely have been able to figure out stock for the phone by this point — 4 and a half months after launch — I think the complaints of many would be somewhat mitigated if the Google would just let customers backorder the phone and quote some future shipping date…

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Google Pixel XL Stories February 16, 2017

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Following a piece published about the design of the Pixel and Pixel XL yesterday, Google is now directly soliciting feedback about the phone’s look. In a post on the Pixel User Community, Product Lead Krishna Kumar asks what Google got right, wrong, and how it could improve future devices…

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Google Pixel XL Stories February 10, 2017

google_pixel_xl_1

Since its launch, it’s been pretty hit or miss to pick up either of Google’s new Pixel smartphones because for the majority of the time, many variants of the Pixel have been completely out of stock. The Pixel XL has been the main culprit here, with some models being out of stock for months at this point. Today, though, nearly every Pixel model is back in stock.

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Google Pixel XL Stories February 9, 2017

pixelxl_toast_9

I love changing up the way my smartphones look, and the Pixel is a prime candidate since its design is, well, less than beautiful. Lately, I’ve been trying out a handful of skins for the Pixel XL, including some from dbrand and Colorware. Recently, though, I’ve been trying a real-wood cover from Toast, and it’s a pretty interesting departure from your average vinyl skin.

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Google Pixel XL Stories February 7, 2017

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One of the more prevalent issues affecting the Google Pixel and Pixel XL has been audio distortion at higher volumes. After some back and forth on whether this was a hardware or software defect, yesterday’s February security patch includes a fix for the issue. Meanwhile, last week’s 7.1.2 Developer Preview is still affected…

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Google Pixel XL Stories February 3, 2017

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Following its launch, Google’s Pixel smartphones have proved pretty popular. Due to that, Google has had a lot of trouble keeping up with demand for the phone, with many customers complaining about that issue. Now, some are alarmingly reporting that Google has ceased production of the phone. Unsurprisingly, Google has confirmed that those rumors are false.

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Google Pixel XL Stories January 30, 2017

How to enroll in the Android 7.1.2 Beta Program

Google has announced that the next version of Nougat will be Android 7.1.2. While it doesn’t introduce anything major, it features performance optimizations and bugfixes. While a stable version of 7.1.2 won’t be available for a couple of months, Google is allowing customers with a Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 5x, and Nexus Player to join the Android Beta Program to test it out early…

colorware_pixelxl_1

Google’s Pixel is one of the best devices available today, but it doesn’t offer all that much on the hardware front, rather focusing on the software. It lacks a certain flair that many other devices offer, but you can easily make up for that with a skin. Many have gravitated to dBrand for skins, but there’s another option now available, skins from Colorware, and lately, I’ve been testing one out.

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Google Pixel XL Stories January 27, 2017

pixel-lifeproof-12

When it comes to protecting your smartphone fully, LifeProof has long been one of your best options. By simply installing this case, you’re not only adding drop and screen protection, but also waterproofing it for up to two meters of water. At $90, this is definitely one of the most expensive, but maybe one of the best, premium cases you can get for complete Pixel protection…

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mate9_pixelxl_2

I love the Google Pixel. Since the day I bought it I’ve been a fan of almost everything about it and even recommended it to some close friends. Despite how good the Pixel is, though, it’s important to remember that it’s not the only great Android smartphone on the market.

There are several others that are fantastic, and I’m lucky enough to have gotten my hands on most of them. After spending time with almost every major flagship smartphone released in the past several months, I can easily say that my favorite option that’s not the Pixel, is the Huawei Mate 9

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Google Pixel XL Stories January 13, 2017

orzly_pixel_8

The Google Pixel has been plagued with issues ranging from early battery shutdowns, freezing issues, manufacturing defects, and much more. Lately, users have also been reporting an issue when transferring files from their Apple MacBooks using the stock Google Pixel USB-C to USB-A cable.

After looking into the issue extensively, it would appear that it likely stems from Google’s Android File Transfer program which hasn’t been updated since 2012…

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