Although I love my Pixel XL, it doesn’t stop me from looking at other phones. As we all know, the first generation Pixel phones aren’t the prettiest devices out there. They have top and bottom bezels that made them appear dated even when they were released, and even more so now. What sold the Pixel XL were the specs, the camera (which is still the top of its class), and the monthly updates. And on top of that, Pixel phones are the first to get all the Android goodies as they come out. Choosing a phone for me is always substance over aesthetics.
Despite all of that, I still look at other phones and drool. More than once a phone has made me question my choice, especially when I look at the price tags. I’ve drooled over phones like the upcoming Xiaomi Mi 7, the LG V30, and the Essential phone, all of them contenders for my attention that fall short when I think about monthly updates and security.
After a year into owning the Pixel XL, I have no regrets. It’s responsive, has a great camera, and is always up to date. I even like the Pixel Launcher and have gotten use to the large bezels, despite my husband goofing on them occasionally. And although he likes to remind me of how much he still loves his old LG G5, I can’t get past the fact that it still runs on Android Nougat. Keep in mind that both the Pixel XL and the G5 were released in 2016, but only the Pixel XL runs the latest version of Oreo. Nobody seems to know if the G5 will get the Oreo update that would make me look at it differently. This is disappointing, especially since I’ve always admired LG phones.
The truth is that the majority of phone makers out there are pretty lousy with maintaining updates for their devices. Most of them want the latest and greatest and don’t seem to care about security updates, and some of them don’t even care about yearly updates for their less expensive models. It’s always a guessing game as to when non-Google phones will get updates, which I simply do not want to deal with.
Google branded phones have an update schedule when you buy them. The first generation Pixel phones came out in 2016 and will get OS updates up to October 2018 and monthly security updates until October 2019. So you can safely keep your Google branded phone for three years (two years if you care about having the latest OS). This is good to know when you dole out your cash for a new device. And for me, it makes all the difference.
Go on, tempt me with your narrow bezels and low price tags, I have no problem looking and drooling over them. My Pixel XL has a good specs, a great camera and romance that will last longer than a year.