The date is October 6th, 2022. Google is currently going through their keynote presentation for their new Pixel lineup and I notice that the Google Store is already updated with their new devices able to purchase. A couple of minutes later before the Pixel 7 Pro is even fully announced, I now have a receipt from the Google Store for a Pixel 7 Pro. Yes, I did purchase the device before they finished announcing exactly what it was. At the end of the day, I knew I was going to check it out because I have an addiction to tech so it almost didn't matter what they said up there and unless Google did something wildly unsettling, the Pixel is my Android device of choice for that stock Google experience.
So if you have been following my journey, using Android in a non-MDM or enterprise setting has been new to me. Just last year, I purchased my first Android device, the Pixel 6 Pro, and started using it as a secondary daily driver (I carry both an iPhone and an Android device everywhere daily. I also wear two watches, but we will save that for another day). This was a very exciting time upgrading to a new Android device because I was curious how the upgrade will feel compared to the Apple experience and let me tell you, I was not disappointed.
First Experiences & Upgrades
If you are coming from a previous Pixel, you will not be disappointed. This year's device feels like a better and more refined version of the previous generations. A lot of the problems that I was facing with the previous device seem to have been refined and taken care of from the previous year. Things like the device getting hot or lagging seem to have all but disappeared. One of my biggest complaints of last year was that I have been in tons of scenarios where my Pixel will not be able to get service at all, but my iPhone will. Both of them are using the same Verizon service as a carrier as well so that was always alarming to me. This year, for the most part, the service on my device has been spectacular. There has still been an instance here and there where it seems to not be able to go out to the internet but the device is a lot more reliable on that front.
The build quality of the device is superb. I got the new Obsidian color and it just looks remarkable. I love the color black and prefer the darker tone on this year's device than last year's. The one thing that I will say that I did not like is the new camera bump. Now, I know this is subjective, but I will admit that I did prefer the previous year's camera bump over this year's. But either way, I still find this device to look amazing.
Because I should mention it the camera is phenomenal. I'm a huge fan of the camera and the improvements that it had. I'm just getting into photography honestly so I don't have much to say, but for an everyday person. I will be starting to post more pictures from my devices so follow me on Instagram if you are interested in that journey. - instagram.com/seanmilfort
Now, I was absolutely curious how the Pixel will handle moving from device to device compared to Apple's. Every year, what I normally do for my iPhone is plug in my iPhone to my MacBook, run a backup, and then restore from that backup on the new device. That just seems to me to be the quickest way instead of waiting for iCloud to download the backup and apply it. Since iCloud and/or iTunes are not available on Android as an option, I was curious if Google's option would handle this scenario and it did not disappoint.
Google prompted me to take a USB-C to USB-C cable and connect the two devices and viola, it started the transfer over. It was pretty much seamless, had to sign in to a couple of my third-party applications and then I didn't have any issues after that. This is an important feature to me because I'm someone who doesn't like to start fresh at all. I know I should after a couple of years, but I haven't and honestly, do regular consumers do that often? One of the things that iPhone users say (myself included) is that the part that Apple does well is making the experience super simple for non-technological folks so Android must get these things right if they want to start eating in that market. I believe that they nailed it.
Alright, since I keep talking about all the good things about it, I should talk about the things that I don't like about the device right? Honestly, my biggest problem with the device isn't with anything specific to the Pixel device itself. It is with the Android software. It is very tailored to a Google Account in a lot of ways like Apple is tailored to an iCloud account which is fine, I have found ways around some of the things. Honestly, the biggest drawback that I haven't found a way around is the At A Glance calendar feature. I use iCloud Calendar with my family and for most of my stuff because we have for years and it just works with everyone. For you to utilize the At A Glance calendar feature, you have to use Google Calendar so that is a bummer in my head. I do just end up using the Outlook mail client which allows me to add a widget for the calendar, on my screen, but still!
The other thing that I do not like is the updated experience. I do not like the way it rolls out updates and it is a slow trickle. I prefer to get my updates immediately when they are released. I'm the person who installs the update the second I see that it is released on Twitter. The fact that it is trickling out slowly does bother me. I do not experience this on an iOS device and I wish that experience was the same. Now, I know these are personal gripes, but they are gripes nonetheless.
Now, this device does get me excited for future devices. At least from the Pixel 6 Pro to the 7 Pro, it seems like Google is refining its experience for the end user. They are also adding more to the ecosystem with the Pixel Watch and Pixel Tablet and an ecosystem is a big thing for me. An ecosystem is what I loved the most about Apple's devices. I have added the Pixel Watch to my collection and will be adding the Pixel Buds Pro to it as well (stay tuned for those reviews).
We have just earlier this week started to get leaks about the Pixel Fold (I'll link the video below) and THAT has made me super excited for the Pixel future. I have been hoping for a Pixel Fold as a tech fan for years and as an owner, since I purchased the Pixel 6 Pro. The leaks look amazing and I will be purchasing this device when it comes out.
So in conclusion, this device is a great step for the Pixel lineup. I can recommend this device to the everyday person. The phone has been working well and will be a great addition to my daily driver devices. It has great quality and can handle everything that I throw at it!