I’ve been using Apple products for as long as I can remember, except from a brief affair with a Nokia Lumia running the Windows Phone OS when it was relatively new. But now, I’ve taken the decision to leave the world of Apple to go Android with the help of a Google Pixel 3XL.
If you’re thinking about leaving Apple, I recommend the Google Pixel range of phones as a decent first phone for your forrary into Android life.
There are some features I fell in love with almost instantly with the Google Pixel 3XL. The first, being the ‘Always On’ display (AOD). It’s handy so you can simply glance at the time or view what apps have notifications waiting for you to review.
People say the AOD potentially eats up into your battery life and this is something I would expect, but having looked at my Battery Usage timeline over the last few days, it would appear the AOD only uses around 3% of the battery each day, so this doesn’t concern me much.
Whilst we’re on the subject of battery another nifty tool which I believe is only on the Google Pixel range of phones, is the ability to see the battery longevity in % PLUS the estimated time the phone thinks it’ll need a charge, based on your activity. Right now, it’s 21:05, my phone is on 24% battery and says it’ll last until approximately 00:45 based on my current usage. It’s a nice feature to have.
To put the 24% into context, I took the phone off it’s wireless charger at 6:15am this morning and haven’t needed to charge it all day. I’ve taken a couple of photos, listened to a few podcasts, countless music tracks, answered emails and done a few bits on Social Media, so I’m thrilled it still has a long way to go. This of course, depends on a user by user basis, but for me, I’m happy. In fact, my phone after a full charge lasts around 17hrs, 15 mins.
As you’d expect from a Google Pixel, the synchronicity between Google’s own apps (Drive, Photos, Docs, Sheets etc) work seamlessly across mobile and desktop devices. In fact, I started writing this post on my Pixel before transferring to the desktop version of Docs.
Apps tend to work the same across iOS and Android devices, the only real difference I’ve seen is on Twitter, where you occasionally have to pull down to refresh the news feed which does not appear to refresh automatically like on iOS. Another bug bare on the app front is my banking app.
It turns out that, whilst I can add my contactless cards to the phone to make in-app purchases and Play Store purchases, I can’t actually use my phone to pay contactless for things in shops. This is actually more than annoying with my bank providing no help on the matter, they simply won’t support Google Pay, yet always refer to their own app, which also can’t give me that particular function as yet. But that’s hardly Google’s fault, I guess.
The phone appears to be more intuitive in parts to that of it’s iPhone rival. You can summon the Google Assistant faster than Siri; find out what song is playing in the background just by looking at your home screen and receive tailored news and features via the feed, which runs a lot smoother than Apple’s News and News+ offerings.
One of the biggest features of the phone is it’s much hyped camera – and it deserves all the hype it gets. Portrait mode is awesome and as it renders the photos in real time, you’ll get an opportunity to see what the portrait mode photo looks like alongside one not taken on this mode, whilst the Night Sight feature gives Apple’s equivalent a run for its money. Even the front facing camera is worthy of a mention, one of the best front-facing cameras I’ve used in a long time.
Take a look at a couple of examples below, of Night Sight, portrait and standard mode.
I’m five days into my new Android and Google Pixel phone experience and I have to say, it’s refreshingly enjoyable. Whilst the UI is a lot different to that of iOS and takes some getting used too, I genuinely feel this was the right time for me to jump ship and try something new.
Will I say that a month, two months or a year down the line? Will I still have a Google Pixel in a couple of years, or will I have another Android device?
Who knows. But for now, I’m all about #teampixel.