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Google Pixel Phone : First looks

After around 30 minutes fiddling with the Google Pixel I have a few thoughts I should put down before I forget.

This will be limited to the offline experience as I am under strict instructions to keep this offline until midnight.

Form:

imag0250OK. Ignoring the fact that the first thing you should do is put your precious phone into a case pronto, this phone has all the hallmarks you would expect from a smartphone. It feels fine in the hand. The chamfered edge around the face feels different to other smooth curves on other phones. The glass surfaces feel grippy which is comforting compared to the slippery brushed aluminium surface on the lower third of the back of the phone. It has a smooth profile all around except for the fingerprint sensor on the back, power button and volume rocker. There are speaker ports at the bottom edge along with a USB3 charging port and on top a 3.5mm audio socket.
Getting past the hype, this looks like any other high end smartphone on the market and has a similar feel in the hand. No big departures or surprises here.

Camera:

Man, this camera is fast. With some clever design, Google has dramatically shortened the time to whipping the phone out of your pocket and firing off a few shots so true to promises you can capture stills amazingly quickly. The contrast is nice and sharp and the colours pop with HDR. Forget filters, this camera makes everything look pretty nice.
There are a few fun tricks like lens focus allowing you to play with depth of field.
The video captures get up to 4K at frame rates get up to 240fps giving some pretty stunning slow motion to the point where you can see the flicker of lights on normal play back. Getting a cinematic slowmo feel should be no problem. Of course you also get the usual panorama and photosphere modes.

Screen:

Yep. Clear and bright. Big tick here. No complaints and as far as pixel counts go, we have got to the point where the human eye is going to have a hard time telling pixel densities apart. It delivers where it counts. Easy to read, sharp images and overall very nice to look at.

Extra bits:

The use of gestures include swiping down on the fingerprint reader to get to notifications, switching between front and back of the camera with a flick of the wrist or double-tapping to jump to the camera (even when powered off). More cleverness.

I look forward to getting this phone connected to take Google Assistant for a spin, see how good those images and videos look on a big screen and find out how the audio stacks up.

I have got to grab a SIM card to get this thing fired up then we will take the battery for a spin to see how it holds up under obsessive use.

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Podcast : Tech Tonight 19/9/2016

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