This is how our Google Pixels are holding up [Roundtable]
A six-month check-in to see how well the Pixel has fared from people who use it every day.
Most of your Android Central staff uses a Google Pixel or Pixel XL on a daily basis. We need to be able to see what Google has going on with Android so it’s something we use for our jobs, and we all agree it’s a great phone in either size. In either case, it’s a phone we carry around and do all the things you can do with an Android phone and we’ve been doing it for six months.
We already know Russell Holly’s Pixel XL is trashed on the outside but still going strong despite the scratches and scars. How it got there is something that Google needs to think about: we want our phones to work well and not look like they just came back from a war zone. Or maybe Russell just needs to try something different.
Anyhoo, since we wanted to know how your Pixel was faring, we need to tell you how ours are doing. Let’s go around the table and see!
This is why we can’t have nice things.
My Pixel XL has aged about as badly as any smartphone I’ve ever wielded. Granted, it’s seen a fair amount of use in the four months that it was my daily driver. (I got it in mid-October, and switched to an LG G6 in mid-February.)
It’s worn poorly.
But still, it seems like this phone has picked up an unusual amount of wear and tear compared to other Samsung, LG and even other HTC-built phones I’ve used in years past. The oleophobic coating on the screen is just about gone. The back glass is scratched to hell. Even the display glass has managed to pick up a few gnarly scratches. And the anodized paint job seems to attract scuffs more than most competitors. That’s not usual for me after just four months.
Maybe it’s just unlucky, but I’ve spoken to many other journalists who’ve used Pixels since the beginning — sometimes in a case with minimal use — and theirs have worn equally poorly.
It went right into a case.
My Pixel XL is still in pretty decent shape after months of use. It’s got a few small scratches, but they’re mostly near the fingerprint scanner, and the camera. Even those are small and not really visible unless I’m looking for them.
This is probably because as soon as I got it, I threw on a sturdy Incipio case to keep it safe. Especially because I have a tendency to kill phones by dropping them. The scratches that are on the back of the phone all tend to be where the case cut-out is, and I’m comfortable with trading a bulkier case for as few scratches as possible.
I have both a white Pixel review unit and personal Pixel XL unit and both look immaculate. I was worried, after reading about my coworkers’ brushes with scratches and coatings, that the same would befall my XL, but so far, so good.
What can I say? It’s a well-made phone, Brent.
It has a few scuffs.
I’ve been using the Pixel as my daily driver since day one, and I still regret not slapping a case on it right out of the box. I’m a huge klutz when it comes to phones, so my phone has a few scuffs around the corners from accidentally falling off a table or out of my pocket
I’ve been rolled with a slim clear case on my Pixel ever since, which lets me show off the unique look of the phone while drawing attention away from the scuffed corners. This phone has held up wonderfully to the daily wear and tear I can put phones through — including the glass panel on the back which appears to have only picked up a few microabrasions in the top-right corner.
Looks good to these eyes.
My Pixel and Pixel XL both look pretty good. I’m not saying there are zero scratches on the glass but there aren’t any to be seen at a glance and even holding them at funky angles under the light doesn’t show anything. Maybe it’s my eyes.
I think I know why. I always have my phone in my pocket by itself or on the desk/table face down. Being in a pocket without keys or garden tools or anything else that goes in pockets keeps it from getting scratched. My reasoning for always putting it face down when it’s not in my pocket? You can still use a screen with a few scratches, but if you gouge that camera lens you’re going to have a bad time.
These are all the cases I own for the Pixel XL.
I swap them out depending on how I’m feeling at the beginning of each day. And if I’m traveling with the Pixel XL, I wrap it up in an Otterbox Defender case. This is to ensure the device stays pristine and still retains some resale value. You never know when you’re going to need to offload a smartphone.
So cases, being careful and lucky magic keeps our Pixel’s mostly in good shape. Take a minute and use the comments to tell us about yours, and anything special you might do to keep your Pixel looking good!
Google Pixel + Pixel XL
- Google Pixel and Pixel XL review
- Google Pixel XL review: A U.S. perspective
- Google Pixel FAQ: Should you upgrade?
- Pixel + Pixel XL specs
- Understanding Android 7.1 Nougat
- Join the discussion in the forums!