Google Pixel 2 XL First Impressions

Posted on November 7, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Hardware, Mobile with 59 Comments

Well, it’s finally arrived. And while I’m going into my Pixel 2 XL experiences open-eyed, I will say this right up-front: I don’t (yet?) understand what all the complaining was about.

Obviously, I’ll be on the lookout for any display wonkiness. But to fairly and more thoroughly evaluate the Pixel 2 XL, not just for my own personal needs, but in general, I’ll be looking at two broad areas.

First, it needs to meet or exceeds the things I care about so much with the original Pixel XL, key among them its clean Android image, its incredible camera, and Project Fi compatibility. In other words, it needs to be a great upgrade to its predecessor.

Second, the Pixel 2 XL has to at least be in the running compared to comparable flagships with modern designs, like the Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ and Note8. It can’t just be great for Paul; it needs to be great across the board.

On that note, I will be able to make both comparisons pretty ably. I’ve owned the original Pixel XL for a year and have used it extensively. And while I did briefly own a Galaxy S8+, my wife owns one now, so I can put it head-to-head with the Pixel 2 XL too.

Lots of stuff in the box

We’ll get to that. For now, I’ll offer what the article title implies: Some first impressions. And to prepare myself for this day, I went back and looked at what I had written on day one, respectively, about the original Pixel XL and the Galaxy S8+.

For the Pixel XL, I noted that Google’s handset was too derivative of the original iPhone from a design perspective.

The Pixel 2 XL takes a step away from that complaint, though one might argue that it does so by copying the Galaxy S8/S8+ design a bit. Like those Samsung handsets, it offers a taller display than the original Pixel XL, though the body itself isn’t much taller. I like the look, but the display doesn’t curve into the edges, as do the Samsung displays. So it seems like a half-step toward those designs.

The 2016 Pixel XL on the left and the Pixel 2 XL on the right

The exception to that copying was the weird design Google used on the back: The top third of the original Pixel XL’s rear is covered in glass “for some unfathomable reason,” presenting an unnecessarily smudgy area that looks and feels different than the rest of the device. Since then, I’ve come to understand that the glass area is for antenna reception. And while I’ve been covering it with a case of some kind the whole time, I’ve also gotten used to the design. Which is convenient, since Google has turned it into the Pixel’s signature look.

For the Pixel 2 XL, the signature glass panel remains, but it takes up a lot less space, and the fingerprint reader is no longer in that area. Again, I’ll be covering it with a case anyway. But I may actually be starting to like the look.

I didn’t write this in my first impressions article, but the next day, I noted another interesting, well, impression that has persisted to this day: Despite having a 5.5-inch display like the iPhone 7 Plus I was also using, that display just seemed smaller. I couldn’t explain it then, and I can’t explain it now. But I still feel that this thing is smaller, somehow, than its listed display size. It’s weird.

This definitely isn’t the case with the Pixel 2 XL. Thanks to its taller aspect ratio and physical size, the screen seems bigger because it is bigger. It seems just right to me, and there is about 3/4 of an inch more of useable on-screen real estate than when compared to its predecessor.

It wasn’t just the looks, but the original Pixel XL never really wowed me beyond its incredible camera. Of course, that was never an issue with the Samsung Galaxy S8+, which I immediately and accurately described as “stunning.”

Its innovative design, built around a curved-edge display with a tall aspect ratio, would make all previous smartphone designs—most of which still feature fairly prominent “forehead” and “chin” bezels at the top and bottom—seem instantly obsolete and old-fashioned. And it has. As I noted just last week in Your Next Smartphone (Premium), this is where smartphones are heading. Virtually all of them.

With the Pixel 2 XL, Google has jumped right on this modern design train. But, as noted, it doesn’t feature a curved display at all. Which is fine, I guess. But there is also a weird channel—I’m not sure what else to call it—on the left and right display edges. You can run your finger down it and feel a very sharp edge between the curve of the front glass and the sides. I’m not sure how I feel about that one yet.

I also want to address the display issues others have reported. As I noted at the start of this, my initial display-on impressions were not negative. The very first time I turned it on, there was a set of white Google Setup screens that seemed to have a blue—or at least cold—tinge to them. But in running the device since, you get used to that.

But it is … different … than the original Pixel XL. The two handsets display colors differently, for sure. Looking at the Google Play Store app, for example, the green accent color is a kind of matte kelly green color, whereas on the old phone, the green is brighter, like green plastic. The whites on the Pixel 2 XL are bluer/colder than those on the original Pixel XL, where they just seem white and warmer.

So, is it worse? Is the new display duller or less vivid than the original Pixel XL? Well, yes. But I see what Google means when they described this new display as being more accurate. Because it is. Looking at the same photos side-by-side on the Pixel 2 XL and the original Pixel XL, I can see that the vegetables from the local farmer’s market “pop” more, color-wise, on the old device. But … they look more realistic on the new one.

I do actually kind of prefer the HDR-like quality of the old display. But Google just this week “fixed” the issues that many had with the Pixel 2 XL display by including a new Settings interface in this month’s monthly software update. (Pixel devices get Android software updates every month, folks. I know this is confusing to some, for some reason.) I will look at this when I can and experiment with the available display modes, one of which is supposed to mimic the original Pixel XL.

Finally, I’d like to briefly address the price. As I’ve complained in the past, the Pixel 2 XL is indeed too expensive: This 128 GB model set me back over $1000 with taxes figured in. And this fact contributes to my impressions of the device for sure.

Of course, the Pixel 2 XL isn’t alone in this regard. The Note8 and Apple’s iPhone X both play in this pricing territory, and while one could argue that Google has no business doing so, as I have, well, here we are.

I can’t really afford $1000 for a phone. But thanks to a $400 trade-in on my original Pixel XL and some book-related money in my PayPal account, I’ll just be able to swing the cost. But I put it on Google Financing for now, since it’s interest-free if you pay it off in the first year, and I want to make sure I’m going to keep it before I pay it off (and send in my old phone).

So that’s what I’ll do. I’ll get this thing fully configured tonight, load it up with my apps and content, and report back again soon.


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Comments (59)

59 responses to “Google Pixel 2 XL First Impressions”

  1. echopapa

    Got my Pixel 2 XL two weeks ago. Love the phone except for the quality of the screen. Scratches really easily - light use (no drops). Already pinged Google, but they said this is normal. I've had the 5X and Pixel 1 XL - used it longer and rougher, but never had scratches likes this Pixel 2 XL. Really disappointed with Google about this.

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to echopapa:

      Interesting, thanks. I don't usually use a screen protector, but maybe I will this time.

      • Dave Lane

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        On my first Pixel XL, the oleophobic coating wore off within just a few weeks - I called Google up and they sent me a replacement right away. That replacement lasted right up until now. I have a Note 8, but I'm returning it for a Pixel 2 XL - I just can't stand the Samsung 'tweaks' vs. having had pristine Android for a year. The Note 8 screen is pretty amazing, but I'm hoping that the 2 XL issues get worked out over time - hopefully they are good about replacements and improve the devices over time - I can foresee getting a couple replaced under warranty, but in the end I'll deal with it because of the software.

    • Nicholas Kathrein

      In reply to echopapa:

      Your scratching on the screen isn't Google's fault. Gorilla glass 5 the newest version scratches easier but is stronger from cracking.

  2. Jeff Zaremba

    I received my Pixel 2 XL a little over a week ago and haven't experienced any of the screen, sound or other issues that have been reported. Threw an Otterbox Symmetry cover on it and done. Bought the unit specifically to be part of the Android Developer Preview program and immediately updated to Oreo 8.1. Versus my Galaxy S7 - I didn't need to load MS launcher or several other MS apps since I could use Google apps instead. The one app I will miss is Samsung Pay due to to due MST capability of the S7

    I bought the 64GB version since everything I store everything in the cloud anyway and got a good trade value for the S7 - so not quite as painful. So far an excellent device, fast as hell, camera is excellent, easy to hold, You get over the lack of 3.5mm jack pretty quick.

  3. jth1969

    Paul - If not done already apply the November 2017 patches it adds the feature for the "vibrant color" issue also to protect against the burn in. I've had the Pixel 2 XL for over a week and I think it is a great phone. My daily driver though is the Samsung Galaxy S8+.

  4. RobertJasiek

    A 16:9 ratio for smartphones has never excited me but the current 2:1 fashion I do not understand at all. I have no use whatsoever for 2:1 (and do not need two square apps in landscape orientation). Like for tablets, I very much prefer 4:3 and would rather buy a 4:3 tablet with phone functionality than a 16:9 smartphone. 16:9 is already bad for reading and browsing but 2:1 is simply unusable for these purposes. Bent edges on some smartphones makes the effective ratio even taller. They can offer €50 or €2000 smartphones with 2:1 ratio - I do not buy them. It would just be wasted money for a product without use. Why is there the 2:1 hype? 2:1 is the wrong solution to a problem (top / bottom bezels) that hardly was one.

  5. Angusmatheson

    I’m so excited that Paul will be writing about the Pixel 2 XL. I have heard so much about it: blue screen, burn it, shipping without Android. But I am really rooting for LG. Now the HTC has been sold to google. We are getting fewer and fewer great phone makers. And the new ones Robin, essential - seem to be struggling. (The one great exception is the One Plus which seems to be making great phones and doing great). So I am so excited that that Paul can weigh in on the most interesting phone of the year. Is it a disaster? A good phone? Is there hope for LG? Can Google reliably make phones? It it worth $1000?

    • Tony Barrett

      In reply to Angusmatheson:

      Your sarcasm knows no bounds. As has been said, the colour reproduction on the XL2 is more natural and accurate, which some don't like because they're used to the retina searing over saturation other manufacturers set theirs too. As for the burn-in - it's OLED! Samsung's will suffer from this, and Apple have even jumped the gun before the complaints come in and admitted their wonderful, new ever-so-fragile, crazy expensive iPhone X has the 'problem' too. Self-emmisive displays will suffer from this to varying degrees. Can HTC make Google a $1000 phone? Yes they can. Can Google address issues quickly without fuss and ignoring 'issues'. Yes they can. Would I spend $1000 on *any* phone. No I wouldn't.

  6. Stokkolm

    I've been thinking the same thing about all the display hoopla, I don't get it. With the November update, I really don't get it. I have experimented with the three settings now and I have definitely settled on "Boosted" as my preferred setting. Vibrant, to me, makes everything look too orange and natural does seem just a bit too muted. Boosted so far has been just right for me.

    I moved from an iPhone 6S+, so I'm really enjoying the extra screen real estate at the top and bottom of the device, I'm loving the swipe to text feature (my most missed feature from Windows Phone, can't stand third party keyboards on iOS), and I'm even beginning to come around a bit to some Google services that I was previously pretty cold on.

  7. Delmont

    Everything about this phone is a complete rip off of the iPhone. Does Google have any creativity at all? They are very good at copying everyone else.

    • Winner

      In reply to Delmont:

      You mean like the better camera?

      The always-on listening for music identification?

      The Google Assitant, activated by squeezing?

      Google Lens?

      Sure, it's an iPhone copy.

      • Delmont

        In reply to Winner:

        At least Microsoft had the balls to create something different. Yes, Android is a total rip off of iOS and the look of the phones are a rip off of the iPhone.

        Again, at least Microsoft had the balls to actually create and not just copy.

        By the way, you're not a winner.

        • Scott O'Connor

          Some detail would be nice on how you think Android is a rip off of iOS. As someone who stayed with an iPhone far too long because they had superior hardware but left because iOS was bland.

          First, notifications on Android are completely different and took me far too long to get used too. Also, you can customize Android, which you can't on iOS. Apple' s hardware has been in the dark ages for several years. If anything, apple is starting to copy Android in the hardware department now. In reply to Delmont:

  8. bluesurf

    I had to return two Pixel 2 XL's after 3 days. Google did their best in trying to help me. I has the same issue on both. Even in safe mode I could not hear the callers unless I used speakerphone 100% of the time. If I put no apps on the phones it was fine for a day then no ear piece sound. Something is very wrong. I went back to my 1st. gen Pixel XL and I will wait for the 3rd generation XL in the Fall of 2018. It was a very discouraging and frustrating experience. I wonder if the HTC built U11 would have made a better Pixel XL?

  9. Craig Luecke

    Absolutely love this phone as a productivity device. Pixel buds were shipped yesterday which will be interesting to say the least.

    That said, I just received my OTA November update last night providing me the so-called 'fixes' to everyone'w whining. This new saturated 'Samsung' look setting is very bright and colorful ... however, after having used the Pixel 2 XL for the last 3 weeks I have to admit I prefer the toned down natural look. When I take a photo and do a few edits at least I will know what it will look like on any other device. Saturated on my media production device (this the Pixel 2 XL) does not mean the output on another device will be the same experience. Those of us who create content would (or should) have a reference display just like I would when I edit podcasts or voice overs. IMO having a natural realistic display makes more sense.

    Bottom line - having had the update for 12 hours now enjoying the candy-like Samsung look and I have now switched back to the toned down display.

    I don't need acceptance of others from them seeing my phone. My mother hugged me growing up.

  10. news to facts

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  11. John Noonan

    The displays always seem smaller when the controls are always taking up the bottom quarter of an inch of the screen. The fact that the OS navigation buttons are persistently there (except during video playback) actually means that the display IS smaller. My old Nexus 6P with the 5.7 inch display actually has less usable screen space than my 5.5 inch iPhone 7 Plus due to the persistent on-screen navigation buttons.

  12. eddiecolin

    That one is amazing and i think best user experience . this phone features amazing and i want to here your review about  Google Pixel XL ...

  13. canewiliamsan

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  14. nbates66

    As far as the display goes, If there is actually a serious burn in problem with these LG OLED units then no amount of software patching can really do anything about it, keep an eye out for it, Shouldn't manage to get it to occur in two weeks as some have claimed...

    • wright_is

      In reply to nbates66:

      I had an old LG LCD display (20.5") and that suffered from persistence problems. Play a game for a couple of hours and go back to the desktop and the "skin" around the game (status panels, inventory slots etc.) were visible for a couple of hours afterwards.

      The same for my old iMac, the menu bar and dock would "shadow" in when watching films. Again after several hours of not showing the desktop, the problem would go away.

      I think just about every screen technology suffers from this, to a greater or lesser degree.

      • Polycrastinator

        In reply to wright_is:

        I saw CNET did testing on this, and they left their Pixel 2 XLs off overnight before checking for burn-in, and it was still there. Interestingly, they had 5 (!) units, and only 2 of the 5 displayed burn in problems though. That's 2 too many, but it does suggest that at least some units are fine and better QC now they're aware of the problem will hopefully catch those before they go out the door.

        • Patrick3D

          In reply to Polycrastinator:

          If it is anything akin to Plasma display burn-in then turning the device off is the wrong way to clear burn-in, the display needs to have the pixels "massaged" with a moving white bar or be color cycled. Even my 2010 Panasonic Plasma has a built-in mode for clearing burn-in that draws a white bar across the display and moves it up and down.

          • Polycrastinator

            In reply to Patrick3D:

            Oh, for sure, if it's burn in. The point there was to prove whether it was ghosting, which would clear with an overnight power off, or burn in which would not.

            • nbates66

              In reply to Polycrastinator:

              if it's the usual type of OLED "burn in" then the burnt in images are infact pixels (specifically each RGB pixel since they are self lit in OLED mobile displays) that are now dimmer than the surrounds due to more time lit at a higher intensity, the only real way to clear this type of burn in is to wear out the surrounding pixels to match.

              I'm curious as to if Paul encountered burn in on any of his Lumia devices in the past, the Lumia 900 and 930 used Samsung AMOLED panels.

              best bet is to rotate the device and look for an outline of either the top status bar or web browser address bar when the phone is displaying either pure white or blue, I found quite an imprint of an address bar on my fairly heavily used old Lumia 930 (probably had at least 4-7 hours a day of screen on time over 2 years).

      • nbates66

        In reply to wright_is:

        On OLED displays this is slightly different and tends to be permanent, you can see it's effect on any older Samsung Galaxy phone (Samsung have used their OLED (branded SAMOLED) displays in their phones since the first Galaxy S). generally a decent OLED shouldn't develop serious problems with it within the first 2 weeks however, as some were claiming to be the case with the Pixel 2 xl.

  15. Jaxidian

    Hey Paul, I've had my P2XL for a couple weeks now. Here are a few tips to consider (you probably know most but they might also be useful for your readers):

    1. For some stupid reason, Google disables the notification light by default. You can turn it on under Settings -> Apps & Notifications -> Notifications -> Blink Light
    2. The always-on Ambient Display is very power efficient and not a problem. However, if you find that you don't really care for the feature, then turn it off and save a bit more battery. Lift to check phone and Double-tap can still be used for quick & easy activation of the screen. While I experimented with turning it off, I ended up going with it on as this phone still gets great battery life!
    3. Certain black-based wallpapers will trigger a dark theme in parts of the phone. It's kinda neat.
    4. I find that the adaptive brightness is a bit too aggressive. I prefer to disable it and keep the brightness way down. I find 25% is uncompromisably good when I'm not in direct sunlight. However, you do take a battery hit when you disable adaptive brightness. But still, this phone has great battery life!
    5. I'm not sure if I'm just discovering it and it's been there for a long time, or if it's new, but the emergency contact info is kinda neat.
    6. So far, my two favorite cases are the Ringke Bevel for a slim TPU case and the Speck Presidio Grip for a heavy duty case. I'm not sure what kind of cases you like but those are the two best I've found so far. I hear great things about the cloth one from Google but I'm not dropping $40 on it. The Specks run pretty expensively but I found them at $10 on Ebay. The Ringke cases are dirt cheap.

    Have fun with the camera! It's *definitely* an improvement over the OG Pixels in almost all ways except low-light pics, where it's on par with the OG Pixels.

  16. jbuccola

    Great write up; why not think of cost as being up front minus residual? Looks like the original Pixel depreciated more severely than an iPhone 7+. I suspect the same will be true with the iPhone X vs. the Pixel XL2.

  17. Waethorn

    A Pixel 2 (not XL) 64GB model can be had from Freedom Mobile in Canada for $600(CAD - approximately $469USD) if you get it on a $25/mth subsidy with $0 down for 24 months (a "tab", not a service contract) with a $50mth or higher phone plan. It's a nice phone. I don't think I'd replace my LG V20 yet - maybe next year when something new is out - but it's a pretty good deal IMO, considering the regular price is $899CAD.

    Freedom Mobile has no overage fees either.

    • cerfcanuck

      In reply to Waethorn:

      Completely off-topic, but are you using LTE on Freedom's network? If so, are you finding it reliable?

      My wife's currently using a non-LTE phone on Freedom and often runs into dead spots in the streets of Ottawa or within buildings. The basic pricing and the fact that there are no overage fees (although data rates can be reduced to a crawl) make Freedom attractive, but I'm concerned about reliability, even with LTE.

      I'm wondering if it will still be possible to get a cheap Pixel 2 through Freedom after December 1, when the CRTC requires all cellphones to be sold carrier-unlocked (and existing phones to be unlocked free of charge).

  18. jjaegers

    I cancelled my Pixel 2XL panda pre-order and bought an Essential PH1 for $449 from best buy... Had to load the hacked Google Camera app to fix the camera problems but otherwise this is a FANTASTIC phone... build quality is exceptional and it is pretty much stock android just like the pixel. Sooo glad I cancelled the Pixel order... I was having a hard time justifying spending $900 on a phone...

    • Waethorn

      In reply to jjaegers:

      I don't think it's in the Android One program though, which means there are no guaranteed monthly software security updates for it. If I was getting another "clean" Android phone nowadays, I'd make sure it was designated with Android One....or a Google Pixel.

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to jjaegers:

      I am super interested in Essential still. A bit worried about camera quality. But the device itself looks amazing.

      • jjaegers

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        I've been using it for a week and a half and it is by far the best Android phone I have used (had a 6P, Galaxy S7, Honor 8 previously). The price is just fantastic... getting a SD835, 128GB storage, dual cameras, stock android, rock solid build quality, unique materials (ceramic back), and almost bezel less design for $449 is just crazy... Wife had gotten a Pixel2 and returned it 2 days after I got my PH1 and got one for herself... for $300 less. Little disappointed at the selection of cases for it but I hope that will get better. As long as they release Android Oreo for it (which they said they are in a few months) I will be satisfied... even if that is the last update it gets.

  19. Jim Lewis

    One part of the equation that Paul will perhaps be missing in his ongoing analysis of how the Pixel XL works as a smartphone is how the device plays with a smartwatch. I got a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 in part because I can use it with a Galaxy Gear S3 Frontier smartwatch. Got the Gear S3 instead of the new Gear Sport because I particularly wanted the ability to pay via MST, having had credit card information stolen several times in the last few years and hoping to avoid physically handing my credit card over to anyone as much as possible. So I am very pleased with my Galaxy Note 8 phone in part because of how well it works with the watch. I considered what reviewers said of the Tizen OS for the watch and Galaxy app availability vs. the relative sluggishness and battery chewing tendencies of Android Wear. Having a smartwatch now that works much better and is supported much better than the MS Band (and promises to be much more durable, with replaceable strap, stupendous scratch resistance, etc.), my future phone choices will largely be guided by what kind of smartwatch I can get to go with phones on into the future. To be able to deal with so much stuff from your watch without having to pull out your phone is great. I think going with a pure Google phone, there is a little elephant in the room called Android Wear that most reviewers tend to diss compared to the latest Apple Watch and Galaxy Gear software that augments competing phones. If Paul really wants to advise users in general on how the Pixel 2 XL stands up as a general phone, not just a phone for his own particular needs, he needs to take smartwatch interplay, compared to the competition, into account.

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to Jim_Lewis:

      I've tried more smart watches, and more Android Wear and Samsung wearables, than I can count. I have found them to be quite lacking, to a one. That said, things move quickly, of course, and I won't give up on that.

      But looked at from another direction, this is similar to complaining that someone who doesn't use a smart pen isn't get the full Windows 10/Surface experience. Maybe. But a tiny, one-digit percentage of people use that kind of peripheral, and the same is true of smart watches in the Android space. So my experience, such as it is, is probably more relevant to most people already.

      That doesn't mean I shouldn't or won't keep an eye on this. I will. And if some Android ecosystem wearable actually looks like it might make any sense at all, I'll jump at it. I've not seen such a device, however. And in my experience, a Fitbit does what most people want, cheaply and efficiently. As such, I'd argue that a Fitbit is "better." Generally speaking.

      • Jim Lewis

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        I think one other factor influencing the role wearables play in everyday lives is that folks can barely afford the premium phones that work best with the leading smartwatches, let alone the additional $300 or more for the watch itself.

        But I can definitely see a big future there, both from my own WOW! factor in using the Gear S3 Frontier and the typical response of clerks when I pay at a standard credit card terminals via MST: "That is SO COOL!" So (based on relatively scant evidence), the coolness factor is there, which typically is needed to propel things in this world to great heights, regardless of other merits. If both the expense of such watches and the required size for MST-capable payment could be brought down a lot, I think wearables would be a lot more popular. It's so easy to pay securely without having to pull a phone or credit card out of your pocket or purse.

        For the same reason of accessibility, a wearable beats a phone hands down as an on-the-go ambient AI assistant. It's relatively easy to bring a watch close to ear for talking or listening to it vs. the fishing your phone device out never-ending deal. So I think wearables are just a ship that hasn't come in yet for reasons of expense, not-yet available processing power, and battery crunch issues. In expectation that The Day of the Wearable will finally arrive, I pay a lot of attention to, which does excellent, very-in-depth reviews of wearable devices.

        BTW, according to Consumer Reports, a Fitbit is just a fitness tracker. It doesn't bestow smartwatch cred on such devices. In its smartwatch ratings, Apple and Samsung are at the top of the heap and LG is the only Android Wear device that's welcomed to the club along with the Garmin fenix 5 (down closer to the bottom) of decent smartwatch devices. So you may have to look quite a bunch still to find Android Wear devices that measure up, according to Consumer Reports standards.

  20. obarthelemy

    Why don't you ever try cheap phones ? A Before choosing which luxury phone one prefers, the more basic question is whether luxury phones are justified at all.

    • Mcgillivray

      In reply to obarthelemy:

      But - some people feel the need for a Porsche, BMW, Lexus etc to go buy their groceries... Are luxury anything justified?

    • Dan

      In reply to obarthelemy:

      Why doesn’t everyone buy cheap cars? Surely BMW and Mercedes have no place in society today when a cheap Nissan, Toyota, Hundai, Ford, or GM vehicle would do.

      Paul can afford a luxury device and so can a lot of people as they have features and build quality that cheaper phones do not.

      • Paul Thurrott

        In reply to Dan:

        I'm not sure I can afford a luxury device, to be honest. But I do know that camera quality really matters to me and that getting a phone with a great camera is a priority.

        • obarthelemy

          In reply to paul-thurrott:

          It's not a matter of what's best for you, it's also a matter of the Rest of the World. Tech journalists have money and interests that draw them to high-end gizmos, so the inexpensive stuff rarely gets a fair shake.

          We get it: flagships take better pics, and to some that's worth the $800 premium over a $200 midranger - never mind that that $800 would get you a much better and longer-lasting dedicated camera). To most users though, a $1000, $800, $600, even $400 smartphone isn't worth it (or possible).

          It took me 4 years and 3 gradually lower-end phones to realize that a $100 Xiaomi Redmi 4X is a perfect phone for 80% of users (the non-picture-crazy ones). I'm on a $200 Mi Max myself (its 6.4" sibling). I wish more press/blogs didn't just review toys for their privileged employees, but also for the rest of us.

  21. Stooks

    "incredible camera"

    I have yet to use a Smartphone camera that can't be crushed by a dedicated camera that is $400 or more and I have the iPhone X. The slightest zoom on any smartphone camera I have used will result in artifacts if you look closely, even on my new X.

    I get using a smartphone camera for quick pics, I do it almost every day, but 98% of those pictures I do not really care about. Anytime I know I want to take a good picture my real camera goes with me.

  22. fraXis

    Paul: Have you ever encountered any problems when going from iMessage on an iPhone back to Android as your primary messaging device? Problems such as not getting certan texts anymore, etc. I want to switch to Android so bad from my iPhone but I am afraid about all the iMessage horror stories when doing so.

  23. canewiliamsan

    I'm getting excited about this kind of beneficial information of your stuff in the future Law Project Help Service

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