Verdict and Price in India
Google has certainly delivered with its first inhouse smartphone – the Pixel XL. To give a football analogy, just like Atletico Madrid broke the duopoly of clubs like Real Madrid and FC Barcelona in the Spanish La Liga, Google has a product which goes head to head with the Apple iPhone 7 Plus as well as Samsung Galaxy S7 edge – thereby breaking the duopoly in the smartphone industry. And it offers a polished product, both on the hardware and software front, to be spoken of in the same breath as Apple and Samsung. If Google continues delivering this grade of smartphones in coming generations, then Samsung and Apple have reasons to be bothered. But in the future, not just yet.
So is the Google Pixel XL (32GB) worth the investment of Rs 67,000?
In a word, No. Allow me to explain.
Barring the fact that it comes with stock Android 7.1 Nougat OS which is expected to get timely Android updates before anyone else, there is really no reason that makes the Pixel XL stand apart, to justify that price tag. Assistant may be baked into the Pixel XL, but is still available on other Android phones inside the Allo app. Daydream VR platform is yet to go live, and moreover with time and with more devices getting VR ready, that USP is also gone. And honestly speaking, Daydream VR experience is not really top priority for a lot of consumers.
In the Android ecosystem, the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge priced at Rs 51,000 still offers a lot more value proposition. Plus you get the option to expand storage. Pixel XL’s unlimited storage for photos and videos is great, but that storage facility is not applicable for documents. If you are a photography enthusiast, yes the Pixel XL offers a great camera. But so does the S7 edge.
On the Apple side of things, the iPhone 7 Plus 32GB is priced at Rs 72,000. The price is Rs 5,000 more, but keep in mind that Apple has a robust after sales service ecosystem in India. Google Pixel XL is offering support from within the device, and its offline services are handled by HTC. A quick search on their respective after sales service pages, you will notice that Apple offers far more centres than HTC. When you are spending around Rs 70,000 on a phone, you want to make sure that an after sales centre is easily accessible. It is a well known fact that Apple iPhones have a much higher resale value than any Android device priced in the same bracket. Moreover, if you work on macOS and have an iPad, the choice is a no-brainer, and it just makes sense to spend Rs 5,000 higher and go for the iPhone 7 Plus.
Google Pixel XL offers an excellent camera, great raw performance, good battery life. There’s nothing to not like about the device. Only downer is its price point. If you have that kind of money, there is every reason to go for it, IF you are willing to pay the price for pure Android experience and priority updates. There is a market for that kind of audience, but it’s a niche market. For those that don’t have that kind of budget, the S7 edge in the premium segment and OnePlus 3 in the mid-range segment are the Android phones to look out for.
Publish date: November 8, 2016 9:18 am| Modified date: November 9, 2016 9:36 am
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