Julie’s gadget diary – Yes, I ordered a Pixel XL, are you surprised?



As details about Google’s new Pixel flagship phones trickled out over the past few days and weeks, I’ve been consistently saying to friends that I would not (probably) be buying one. I’d already gone through the whole spontaneous purchase experience with the iPhone 7 only to return it a week later due to not loving iOS. I tried to love it, I really did, but I’ve discovered that at least for now, I’m way more Android than iPhone.

My resolve not to buy the Pixel, crumbled within minutes of listening to Rick Osterloh introduce the Pixel and Pixel XL. What can I say, I’m weak when it comes to new gadgets. But what prompted me to buy one when there’s nothing wrong with my current phone, the Nexus 6P?

First of all, can I say that Google REALLY needs to work on their presentation skills. Their keynotes are ultra boring when you compare them to Apple keynotes. Some of the little jokes that Rick made were kind of painful. However, I guess the presentation worked because I ended up ordering a Pixel XL.

Why did I order a Pixel XL?

Back to why I ordered one… It’s pretty simple really. I ordered a Pixel XL because I want to have the latest Android flagship phone from Google. It’s as easy as that. Having their latest phone means I should theoretically also have the latest version of Android OS all the other phones on the market. I know that didn’t quite work out for me with the Nexus 6P, but my phone finally did get updated and there were issues that cause the delay.

Another reason why I ordered the Pixel XL is because of the camera and that images and videos will be backed up to Google Photos at full resolution for free. Since my phone is my main camera for everything but product review shots, this is a huge deal for me. I just wish all my older images could be re-uploaded at full resolution.

The style and look of the phone isn’t impressing me yet. Hopefully, I’ll like it once I get one in my hand. The weird glass panel around the fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone looks weird. I do like the location of the fingerprints scanner though. I’m already used to that location with the Nexus 6P and I think it’s more convenient to access than on the bottom front edge like the iPhone 7, Moto Z and Samsung Galaxy Note 7.

Which color and capacity did I order?

As soon as the keynote ended, I headed over to the Google Play store to see if I could order one and was surprised that they were already listed. I was worried that Google would pull an Apple and make me get up at 3am to order one.

I thought about getting the Limited Edition Really Blue because blue is one of my favorite colors and it’s different. But they were already sold out within a few minutes so I opted for a 128GB Very Silver with the $99/2yr protection plan. When everything was totaled up, the price with taxes was a whopping $1035.76 which is just plain insane, but I guess it wasn’t insane enough for me to have pressed cancel on the Proceed with order button. It’s pretty disappointing that Google taking a page from the Apple playbook and charging crazy prices for their phones <sigh>. Β The Pixel XL is actually more expensive than the 128GB iPhone 7 Plus that Dave Rees just ordered and he even got a case with his! Β Oh well, as I’m alway telling Dave, you can’t take it with you so you might as well enjoy some of it while you can.

I won’t have the phone until the end of the month, so there is a bit of a waiting game ahead of me, but I’m looking forward to getting the phone and putting it through its paces.

How many of you ordered a Pixel today and what size and color did you go with?

Posted in: Android, Articles
{ 37 comments… add one }
  • Andy Chen October 4, 2016, 7:20 pm

    Came here to see if Julie ordered one. I’m not disappointed.

  • William Nicholls October 4, 2016, 8:41 pm

    Sounds like a nice phone, and the unadulterated Android experience is the best thing about it.

  • Bill Henderson October 4, 2016, 11:39 pm

    Just don’t get it wet. From what I read, there is no protection from accidental dunking.

    • Julie Strietelmeier October 5, 2016, 6:26 am

      Yes, that is a bummer. I’d like a water resistant/proof phone. Not because I’m afraid of dunking it, but because I’d like to dunk it on purpose by taking the phone into the shower with me so I can listen to podcasts or books in the morning while I’m getting ready for work.

      • Bill Henderson October 5, 2016, 8:11 am

        My wife uses a waterproof Bluetooth speaker in the shower and leaves her iPhone 6S in the bedroom. Even though my iPhone 7 Plus is practically waterproof, I still won’t take it in the shower.

        • Julie Strietelmeier October 5, 2016, 8:28 am

          Yeah I know I can get a speaker, but that’s just one more thing I’d need to keep charged. But it’s probably what I’ll end up doing. πŸ™‚

  • Margaret October 5, 2016, 12:24 am

    Ha! Not surprised in the least.

    I ordered a Google Home. I want to compare it with my beloved Amazon Echo (and the new Echo Dot that will arrive later this month). In the stories I’ve read today about Google Home, they all mention that it’s cheaper than the Echo, which is true. But it’s not nearly as cheap as the Echo Dot. That’s the device Google should be worried about.

  • Steve Pilgrim October 5, 2016, 8:49 am

    Hi, Julie…love your site

  • Steve Pilgrim October 5, 2016, 9:36 am

    Hmmm, earlier comment got truncated. Was asking about 128GB phone vs. 32GB given Google’s cloud storage of photos, music, email, etc. I ordered the 32GB.

    • Julie Strietelmeier October 5, 2016, 9:44 am

      I just decided to go big or go home and opted for the 128GB version. If there had been a 64GB version, I would have picked that one. Honestly, the 32GB would have been fine. That’s how much my current 6P has. But I decided to splurge (BIG).

  • Ray Raddatz October 5, 2016, 11:03 am

    It looks like I’m going to be holding onto my Nexus 6 a while longer. Losing a half an inch of screen, front facing stereo speakers, waterproofing, and Qi charging makes the Pixel XL feel like a downgrade and a pretty serious one at that.

  • Erwin October 5, 2016, 12:33 pm

    I must have arrived late to the party (at 2pm EST). Delivery is slated for November 23 (!!!!!). Ordered Pixel 32GB Quite Black for my wife and the Pixel XL 128GB Quite Black for me. Not sure what happened but judging by @Ray Raddatz’s comment of there not being any NFC charging – I didn’t realize that – I think that’s a real loss.

    • Julie Strietelmeier October 5, 2016, 12:36 pm

      You mean Qi charging right? The previous Google phone (Nexus 6P) does not have wireless charging either. I was very sad to lose Qi charging when I moved from the LG G3 to the Nexus 6P. But I’ve gotten used to not having it since the phone charges so quickly. And now the Pixel is supposed to charge up even faster. According to Google, it will charge up to 7 hours in 15 minutes.

      • Erwin October 5, 2016, 1:07 pm

        Yes to Qi charging. Fingers crossed!

  • Lynn Lopez October 5, 2016, 1:44 pm

    Well great minds think alike! I also ordered the silver 128gb. I decided to live on the edge and skip the $99 accident coverage. I debated the 32gb also. I currently have a Note 5 with 64gb that has 44gb free so I probably would have been just fine with the 32gb, but I figured what is another 100 bucks! It is disappointing that it is almost exactly the same size as my note but has a smaller screen. The bezel is rather huge for today’s phones. I am hoping the battery lasts longer than my Note 5. What is cool is that it looks like we will get a free daydream VR with our preorder plus 3 free months of Google music.

    • Julie Strietelmeier October 5, 2016, 1:46 pm

      Congrats on your order! Do you get yours 10/26-27? I didn’t catch the free daydream VR info… Where did you see that?

    • Erwin October 5, 2016, 4:06 pm

      Yes, I saw we were supposed to get promo codes after ordering a Pixel (or in my case two!!!) but never got it. If I get my code I’m ordering…

  • Lynn Lopez October 5, 2016, 5:03 pm

    The daydream vr promo code mention is on the main pixel phone page under the first big picture. They are supposed to send it in 2-4 weeks after we place the order. So it could be a while.

    • Julie Strietelmeier October 5, 2016, 5:05 pm

      I didn’t type in a promo code when I ordered my Pixel πŸ™

      • Lynn Lopez October 5, 2016, 5:06 pm

        You misunderstand me. They will send you a promo code within 4 weeks of shipping the device. You then have till December to redeem it for a Daydream VR. Its all good!

      • Julie Strietelmeier October 5, 2016, 5:06 pm

        Nevermind, I guess they will send the code at a later date. Yay, free stuff!

        • Julie Strietelmeier October 7, 2016, 6:30 am

          I got an email this morning about the Daydream πŸ™‚

          • Lynn Lopez October 7, 2016, 9:26 am

            Yup, I got one about 9pm yesterday saying the same thing. Kind of a bummer we will have to wait up to 4 weeks after the phone ships to get the code. I figure it will be December when it finally hits my door step.

            I think I am going to wuss out and call Google support to add the $99 accident protection. It beats any other protection out there for price and deductible. Plus I figure if I get it, I won’t break it. Now I have to figure out what case I am going to use. I like something simple and light. I worry about scuffs and scrapes mostly.

          • Julie Strietelmeier October 7, 2016, 9:29 am

            I’m still thinking on the case situation… There are already quite a few options on Amazon.

  • Marko Koskenoja October 5, 2016, 6:44 pm

    Good for you Julie! I look forward to your review.

    I am quite happy with my Google Nexus 6 even though Google hasn’t pushed Android 7.0 to it as of yet. My Google Nexus 9 has Android 7 and I love it.

  • Lex October 5, 2016, 8:47 pm

    You are, in fact, The Gadgeteer.

  • Lee October 5, 2016, 10:14 pm

    Verizon contract ending next month. considering jump to google Fi with two new Pixel phones.

  • Alan Claver October 6, 2016, 11:14 am

    ZZZ… Not even the best Android phone out there. Even an iPhone 5SE beats the performance. Oh and nice of Google to created a special version of Android just for their phone. Guess it’s time to investigate Google for something….

  • Fred October 6, 2016, 11:16 am

    I though you would wait for the Note 7 reboot. I am disappointed by the Pixel design mimicking Iphone’s including its low screen-to-body ratio.

    • Julie Strietelmeier October 6, 2016, 11:18 am

      I’m not sure what it is about the Note 7 that makes me not want one… And no, it’s not the fear of it burning down my house even after Samsung says it’s fine… I think it comes down to just wanting a Google device so I can get the updates faster than everyone else.

      • Marko Koskenoja October 7, 2016, 9:12 am

        Me too. I had a Note 3 – I hated the Samsung bloatware and I never used the stylus.

  • Mark Ryan October 8, 2016, 3:25 am

    I have to say that both Apple and Google are really lost when it comes to mobile phone innovation. Pixel is not water resistant and no image stabilization. 8 core CPU is slower than the iPhone 7 which is having all kinds of issues. Neither company is leading the industry with innovation. Ditching all the Nexus users is a way to lose the small following Nexus enjoyed. The other Google announcements were also devoid of any innovation. Looks like Google is becoming more Motorola and less incubator. Too bad.

    • Julie Strietelmeier October 8, 2016, 8:26 am

      I completely agree with you that Google and Apple have been resting on their laurels for awhile now. What I’d love to see from both of them is the way Sony used to be back in the old days of PDAs. Sony came out with some really interesting devices. It was like they were throwing all their ideas at the wall to see what stuck. That was a fun time for handheld devices and I miss it.

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