Notebookcheck

Google Pixel XL Smartphone Review

Daniel Schmidt (translated by Martina Osztovits), 11/04/2016

Bombastic? High-end specifications, an excellent camera, and a large battery are supposed to justify the steep price of the google smartphone. The Google assistant and vast storage capacity for photos should do just that. But, is this sufficient?

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For the original German review, see here.

Google makes a clear statement with the Pixel and Pixel XL and ultimately leaves the segment of affordable smartphones. The smartphones are available from 759 Euros (~$846) and only differ in display diagonal (5.0 and 5.5 inch) as well as storage capacity (32 or 128 GB). Anyone needing a larger panel will have to spend 899 Euros (~$1002). This variant can cost as much as 1009 Euros (~$1125) with the large storage device. Our test model comes with the smaller storage capacity.

The hardware is high-end. Apart from the brand new Snapdragon 821, there is - suitable for its class - 4 GB of RAM. The camera is supposed to be particularly light-sensitive and produce great recordings. In addition, the Pixel XL features a 3450 mAh battery (Pixel: 2700 mAh).

However, is this sufficient to stand up against powerful and significantly cheaper competitors such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, the Apple iPhone 7 Plus, the Huawei P9 Plus, the HTC 10, the LG G5, the OnePlus 3, or even the Microsoft Lumia 950 XL? We will clarify these in this live review, which we will expand gradually.

Google Pixel XL 2016 (Pixel Series)
Graphics adapter
Qualcomm Adreno 530, Core: 653 MHz
Memory
4096 MB 
, LPDDR4
Display
5.5 inch 16:9, 2560x1440 pixel 534 PPI, capacitive touch vscreen, 10-point multi-touch, AMOLED, 2.5D, Corning Gorilla Glass 4, glossy: yes
Storage
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
, 25.11 GB free
Connections
1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, Audio Connections: 3.5mm, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Proximity / ALS || Accelerometer / Gyrometer || Magnetometer || Pixel Imprint – Back-mounted fingerprint sensor for fast unlocking || Barometer || Hall effect sensor || Android Sensor Hub || Advanced x-axis haptics for sharper / defined response
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2, GSM: Quad-band GSM || UMTS/WCDMA: B 1/2/4/5/8 || CDMA: BC0/BC1/BC10 || FDD LTE: B 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/20/25/26/28/29/30 || TDD LTE: B 41, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.5 x 154.7 x 75.7 ( = 0.33 x 6.09 x 2.98 in)
Battery
3450 mAh Lithium-Ion, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 14 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 32 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 550 h
Operating System
Android 7.1 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 12 MPix (1.55μm pixels, f/2.0 aperture)
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix (1.4µm pixels, f/2.4 aperture)
Additional features
Keyboard: virtual, power-adapter, 2 USB cables, SIM tool, Google Apps, Google Assistant, 24 Months Warranty, Head-SAR: 0.25 W/kg, Body-SAR: 0.44 W/kg, USB Type-C, fanless
Weight
168 g ( = 5.93 oz / 0.37 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
899 Euro

 

The first impression is slightly overwhelming when you hold the Google Pixel XL in your hand. The smartphone appears huge and is only slightly smaller than the iPhone 7 Plus. The design resembles that of the HTC 10. However, the edges are slightly more rounded and not that clear-cut. Both Pixel models are available in silver or anthracite. The display-surface ratio is decent with about 71.2%, but several competitors perform significantly better. For example the Galaxy S7 Edge achieves 76.1%.

The case consists of an aluminum body, which appears to be very high-end and stable. One half of the rear is made of glass. This questionable design is supposed to ensure the best possible antenna reception. On a positive note, the camera is flush with the case.

Gaps are small and even in the Pixel XL and nothing to complain about. In addition, the smartphone is quite unsusceptible to twisting and it is not possible to provoke creaking. Since an AMOLED display is used, it will not show any image distortions.

The battery is fixed and the single slot in the case only takes a nano SIM card. Fortunately, the carriage is made of metal and is quite flush with the case. In addition, thanks to an IP53 certification, the device offers some protection against exposure to moisture and dust. However, you should not expect too much from this: In terms of water resistance, this only means that the Pixel XL will survive rain. Anyone submerging the smartphone in the water will risk destroying it.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

The first thing that is disappointing is that a microSD card slot is missing. Thus, you should consider carefully if the smaller variant's 32 GB flash memory is sufficient for your requirements. However, Google has added a special feature to the Pixel XL in order to make the choice easier for photo and video enthusiasts: Recordings can be automatically saved in Google Drive. This keeps only the current photos on the device and the rest is moved to the Cloud without any capacity limit.

The USB port integrated in the Google Pixel XL has the newer Type-C format and uses the USB 3.1 (Gen. 1) standard. While it lacks a display out functionality, it supports OTG, which allows connecting peripherals and external storage devices to the smartphone. AndroidBeam or Miracast can be used for wireless image transmission.

In addition, a Bluetooth V4.2 module and NFC are on board. But unfortunately, the phone lacks a radio receiver and an IR blaster.

While a notification LED is incorporated, it can only be enabled or disabled and does not allow further configuration.

right edge: power, volume control
right edge: power, volume control
lower edge: speaker, USB, microphone
lower edge: speaker, USB, microphone
upper edge: audio jack
upper edge: audio jack
left edge: nano SIM slot
left edge: nano SIM slot

Software

The Google Pixel XL is the first smartphone with the current Google Android 7.1 Nougat operating system. The manufacturer has already provided a statement regarding updates. The current Pixel devices are supposed to be provided with the latest version for two years and with security updates for yet another year.

In general, Version 7.1 differs from Android 7.0 only in details. The biggest feature of the Pixel XL is the new voice assistant called Google Assistant, which is supposed to be also available in German at launch time, even if it will be slightly scaled-off compared to the English variant. For example, language searches in the own gallery are not yet possible in German and the Daily Briefing function, in which the Assistant informs you about the weather, dates, and messages, is only available in English so far. In addition, the German version often responds to queries by opening the search engine instead of giving a direct response. Simple queries about the distance or duration of a trip are usually answered quickly. In addition, queries about weather and making calls work well in practice. So far, the Google Assistant appears to be an improvement of the already existing voice control and cannot fully keep up with Apple's Siri in everyday life, since so far, it lacks control of smart home products.

Communication and GPS

The Google Pixel XL is well equipped for mobile data connections. Apart from quad band GSM and eleven 3G bands, it supports as many as 21 LTE bands. The manufacturer has not cut down on the maximum possible performance and delivers modern LTE Cat. 11 (max. downstream: 600 MBit/s, max. upstream: 75 MBit/s). Even if such a fast internet is not available in Europe so far, the Pixel XL is future-proof and you do not have to be concerned about whether it is possible to connect to the mobile data network abroad. During our time with the smartphone, it worked flawlessly and used almost always the fast LTE connection. The only feature we would like to see is dual SIM support.

Furthermore, Google has not cut down on WLAN and has equipped the Pixel XL with an up-to-date module, which is capable of the IEEE 802.11 standards a/b/g/n/ac and MIMO technology. The high range and the stability of the Wi-Fi are convincing and the transfer rates when connected to our reference router Linksys EA8500 is better than all Android competitors and are only beaten by the iPhone 7.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple iPhone 7
A10 Fusion GPU, A10 Fusion, 128 GB NVMe (Klaus I211)
532 MBit/s ∼100% +3%
Google Pixel XL 2016
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 32 GB eMMC Flash
515 MBit/s ∼97%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
281 MBit/s ∼53% -45%
LG G5
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
257 MBit/s ∼48% -50%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple iPhone 7
A10 Fusion GPU, A10 Fusion, 128 GB NVMe (Klaus I211)
485 MBit/s ∼100% +11%
Google Pixel XL 2016
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 32 GB eMMC Flash
435 MBit/s ∼90%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
335 MBit/s ∼69% -23%
LG G5
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
256 MBit/s ∼53% -41%
GPS Test: in a building
GPS Test: in a building
GPS Test: outdoor
GPS Test: outdoor

The manufacturer gives little information concerning the satellite networks which can be used from the Google Pixel XL and only mentions the American GPS. However, we could also use the GLONASS network with the App GPS test and the integrated Qualcomm chip is also supposed to be able to use BeiDou and Galileo. Positioning is very fast and accurate both inside buildings and outdoors.

For better evaluation of the positioning we took the Pixel XL with us on a small bike tour. At the beginning of the ride, the smartphone performs even better than the bike computer Garmin Edge 500, but this changes later on. The deviations from the professional navigation device are particularly high around the canal bridge. Overall, the deviations are about 2.3%, which is still a decent result and absolutely sufficient for everyday navigation.

Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Google Pixel XL
Google Pixel XL
Google Pixel XL
Google Pixel XL
Google Pixel XL
Google Pixel XL

Telephone and Call Quality

The voice quality of the Google Pixel XL is very good when it is held directly to the ear. Speech was transmitted clearly and free of any audible interference on both sides. Thanks to three microphones, noise filtering works well.

However, when the speaker is used, the sound is slightly tiny and resonates. Several other devices perform better in this respect. The speaker is useful in quiet environments and also works acceptably when the phone sits on a table. However, noise reduction is not used in this mode.

The phone app is functional and does not differ much from the predecessors.

Cameras

Photo from the front camera
Photo from the front camera

The front camera of the Google Pixel XL features a resolution of up to 8 MP (3264x2448 pixels) and an f/2.4 aperture. The latter sounds as if the camera would not be particularly light sensitive, but a pixel size of 1.4 µm makes up for this. Unfortunately, the camera features only fixed focus. Nevertheless, it shoots relatively good pictures and even indoor shots are not too noisy. Videos can be recorded in Full HD resolution.

The primary camera has a resolution of 12.3 MP and features both laser and phase-detection auto-focus. With a pixel size of 1.55 µm and an f/2.0 aperture, Google directly attacks the currently best smartphone camera from Samsung and the Pixel XL actually comes close to the modules of the S7 series. Daylight shots have a high dynamic range and thanks to a good automatic HDR, the camera even performs excellently when shooting against the light. The color reproduction is quite balanced and images even remain sharp and detail-rich in poor lighting conditions. The Pixel XL reached a better image quality than the Galaxy S7 in scene 1 and 2. However, the advantage is very small and non-existent in low-light shooting. Furthermore, the Galaxy S7 has a faster shutter speed than the Pixel XL especially when taking pictures of moving objects.

The Pixel XL records videos in Ultra HD (3840x2160 pixels, 30 fps). The quality is good. However, fast pans result in image errors, which become apparent at closer inspection. In addition, darker areas tend to show blocking artifacts. Moreover, the image stabilization is less efficient than that of the S7's.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images
The Pixel XL takes good panorama photos.

Accessories and Warranty

The Google Pixel XL includes a modular power adapter rated at up to 18 watts (5 Volt, 3.0 Ampere or 9 Volt, 2.0 Ampere), two USB cables (Type-C to Typ-C and Type-C to Type-A), an OTG adapter, and a small SIM tool. Several optional cases are available for this smartphone.

The manufacturer offers a 24-months warranty for this product.

Input Devices and Handling

The capacitive touchscreen of the Google Pixel XL recognizes up to 10 simultaneous inputs and the surface, which is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4, has very good gliding traits. The touchscreen responds quickly and reliably regardless of where you touch it.

Voice recognition for the Google Assistant also works very well with only few misunderstandings; even at a slightly further distance to the phone.

The physical buttons feature a distinct and precise pressure point, sit firmly in the case and appear to work flawlessly. It is not surprising that Google uses its own keyboard layout. Those who do not like it can download other layouts from the Play Store.

Display

Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid
PWM at maximum brightness
PWM at maximum brightness

The Google Pixel XL uses a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560x1440 pixels for a razor-sharp image. The brightness is decent with an average of 408 cd/m². Even more so as the more real-world scenario with equal distribution of bright and dark image parts (APL50) gives up to 518 cd/m². Unlike the Galaxy S7, the brightness does not improve when the brightness sensor is enabled. Due to the panel technology, the contrast is unbeatable and infinite in theory.

As usual for OLED screens, the Pixel XL also uses PWM for dimming. Although PWM can still be detected at maximum brightness, it is not so severe thanks to a flat gradient (60 Hz). Flickering first becomes visible to sensitive eyes at a brightness level below 23%.

385
cd/m²
403
cd/m²
435
cd/m²
384
cd/m²
402
cd/m²
440
cd/m²
379
cd/m²
399
cd/m²
446
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 446 cd/m² Average: 408.1 cd/m² Minimum: 6.92 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 402 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 3.2 | - Ø
Gamma: 2.19
Google Pixel XL 2016
AMOLED, 2560x1440, 5.5
Google Nexus 6P
AMOLED, 2560x1440, 5.7
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Super AMOLED, 2560x1440, 5.5
Huawei P9 Plus
AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5.5
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
AMOLED, 2560x1440, 5.7
HTC 10
Super LCD 5, 2560x1440, 5.2
Screen
26%
44%
36%
-27%
7%
7%
Brightness
408
365
-11%
553
36%
552
35%
366
-10%
297
-27%
434
6%
Brightness Distribution
85
90
6%
97
14%
96
13%
87
2%
93
9%
93
9%
Black Level *
0.35
0.36
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4
2.34
41%
1.4
65%
1.59
60%
5.1
-28%
2.67
33%
2.8
30%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.2
1.03
68%
1.3
59%
2.01
37%
5.5
-72%
2.81
12%
3.7
-16%
Gamma
2.19 110%
2.23 108%
2.21 109%
2.01 119%
2.24 107%
2.08 115%
2.31 104%
CCT
7037 92%
6429 101%
6667 97%
6321 103%
7388 88%
6379 102%
7164 91%
Contrast
1591
1236
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
63.1
82.12
66.31
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99.83
99.98
99.79

* ... smaller is better

Subjectivity, the color reproduction of the Google Pixel XL appears great with deep contrasts. Nevertheless, we used the CalMAN analysis software and the photospectrometer to check it. While the results are good, other high-end competitors deliver better colors. Only the Huawei P9 Plus performs worse in this respect. The ColorChecker even reveals significant deviations for green and red with dE 8 and dE 10, respectively. However, as expected, the gamut is high.

Unfortunately, the settings of the Pixel do not offer options for adjusting the image quality.

Grayscales (target color space: sRGB)
Grayscales (target color space: sRGB)
Combination colors (target color space: sRGB)
Combination colors (target color space: sRGB)
Combination colors (target color space: Adobe RGB)
Combination colors (target color space: Adobe RGB)
Saturation (target color space: sRGB)
Saturation (target color space: sRGB)
Adobe RGB coverage
Adobe RGB coverage
NTSC color coverage
NTSC color coverage

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 238.1 Hz

The display backlight flickers at 238.1 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) .

The frequency of 238.1 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 58 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 5559 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 2 ms rise
↘ 2 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 1 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (26.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 2 ms rise
↘ 2 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 1 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (43 ms).

The Google Pixel XL performs well in outdoor use due to its high contrast and brightness. The display content remains legible in the autumn sun, even though a shady place is recommended for prolonged reading. Furthermore, reflections can have adverse effects on the legibility.

Pixel XL against the light
Pixel XL against the light
Pixel XL in the light
Pixel XL in the light
Pixel XL in the autumn sun
Pixel XL in the autumn sun

The viewing angles of the Google Pixel XL are very good. In view of the AMOLED technology this was to be expected. Even at very flat angles, there is almost no brightness loss, although you can see a slight glimmer on the panel, which, however, is not disturbing in everyday use.

Viewing angles of the Google Pixel XL
Viewing angles of the Google Pixel XL

Performance

The Google Pixel XL is the first smartphone that uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 Pro. This is a slightly higher clocked variant of the Snapdragon 820. Instead of 2.15 GHz, the cores of the performance cluster can now clock at up to 2.4 GHz. However, the power-saving cluster has remained unchanged with a maximum of 1.6 GHz. The integrated Adreno 530 also clocks higher at up to 653 MHz. However, the Pixel XL test model comes with a CPU which is limited to 2.15 GHz. Hence, the SoC is hardly faster than a conventional Snapdragon 820. This is reflected by the benchmarks.

While the CPU benchmarks are on par with the Snapdragon 820's, the test model performs slightly better in the graphic benchmarks because of its higher GPU clock. The smartphone achieves good results in the system benchmarks, which confirm the subjective experience of a smooth system. The Pixel XL falls only slightly behind the expectations in PCMark for Android and ranks in just before the Galaxy S7.

AnTuTu Benchmark v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
138641 Points ∼61%
HTC 10
131866 Points ∼58% -5%
OnePlus 3
142090 Points ∼62% +2%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
165399 Points ∼73% +19%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
128749 Points ∼56% -7%
Lenovo Moto Z
129197 Points ∼57% -7%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
94122 Points ∼41% -32%
Huawei P9
95743 Points ∼42% -31%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
122513 Points ∼54% -12%
LG G5
124244 Points ∼54% -10%
Geekbench 4.0
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
4167 Points ∼15%
OnePlus 3
4097 Points ∼15% -2%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
5630 Points ∼20% +35%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
5503 Points ∼20% +32%
Lenovo Moto Z
3946 Points ∼14% -5%
Huawei P9
4904 Points ∼18% +18%
LG G5
3833 Points ∼14% -8%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
1513 Points ∼27%
OnePlus 3
1754 Points ∼31% +16%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
3476 Points ∼62% +130%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
1840 Points ∼33% +22%
Lenovo Moto Z
1480 Points ∼26% -2%
Huawei P9
1755 Points ∼31% +16%
LG G5
1674 Points ∼30% +11%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
2044 Points ∼66%
OnePlus 3
1935 Points ∼62% -5%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
1811 Points ∼58% -11%
Lenovo Moto Z
1813 Points ∼58% -11%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
1665 Points ∼54% -19%
LG G5
1819 Points ∼59% -11%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
2863 Points ∼41%
OnePlus 3
3249 Points ∼46% +13%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2394 Points ∼34% -16%
Lenovo Moto Z
2588 Points ∼37% -10%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
3060 Points ∼44% +7%
LG G5
2952 Points ∼42% +3%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
2629 Points ∼52%
OnePlus 3
2823 Points ∼55% +7%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2234 Points ∼44% -15%
Lenovo Moto Z
2363 Points ∼46% -10%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
2580 Points ∼51% -2%
LG G5
2593 Points ∼51% -1%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
2009 Points ∼65%
OnePlus 3
1912 Points ∼62% -5%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
1528 Points ∼49% -24%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
1773 Points ∼57% -12%
Lenovo Moto Z
1860 Points ∼60% -7%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
1695 Points ∼55% -16%
LG G5
1809 Points ∼58% -10%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
4406 Points ∼36%
OnePlus 3
4804 Points ∼39% +9%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
5141 Points ∼42% +17%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
3071 Points ∼25% -30%
Lenovo Moto Z
3930 Points ∼32% -11%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
4688 Points ∼38% +6%
LG G5
4790 Points ∼39% +9%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
3483 Points ∼52%
OnePlus 3
3595 Points ∼54% +3%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
3371 Points ∼51% -3%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2641 Points ∼40% -24%
Lenovo Moto Z
3151 Points ∼47% -10%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
3367 Points ∼50% -3%
LG G5
3506 Points ∼53% +1%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
91 fps ∼7%
HTC 10
73 fps ∼6% -20%
OnePlus 3
89 fps ∼7% -2%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
91.96 fps ∼7% +1%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
81 fps ∼6% -11%
Lenovo Moto Z
77 fps ∼6% -15%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
27.11 fps ∼2% -70%
Huawei P9
40 fps ∼3% -56%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
91 fps ∼7% 0%
LG G5
74 fps ∼6% -19%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
55 fps ∼12%
HTC 10
43 fps ∼9% -22%
OnePlus 3
60 fps ∼13% +9%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
57.71 fps ∼13% +5%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
51 fps ∼11% -7%
Lenovo Moto Z
53 fps ∼12% -4%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
18.75 fps ∼4% -66%
Huawei P9
43 fps ∼9% -22%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
60 fps ∼13% +9%
LG G5
47 fps ∼10% -15%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
48 fps ∼9%
HTC 10
39 fps ∼7% -19%
OnePlus 3
47 fps ∼9% -2%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
58.71 fps ∼11% +22%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
38 fps ∼7% -21%
Lenovo Moto Z
41 fps ∼8% -15%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
17.54 fps ∼3% -63%
Huawei P9
18 fps ∼3% -62%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
44 fps ∼8% -8%
LG G5
42 fps ∼8% -12%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
30 fps ∼8%
HTC 10
24 fps ∼7% -20%
OnePlus 3
46 fps ∼13% +53%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
55.17 fps ∼15% +84%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
27 fps ∼7% -10%
Lenovo Moto Z
26 fps ∼7% -13%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
11.81 fps ∼3% -61%
Huawei P9
19 fps ∼5% -37%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
43 fps ∼12% +43%
LG G5
30 fps ∼8% 0%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
32 fps ∼8%
HTC 10
24 fps ∼6% -25%
OnePlus 3
31 fps ∼7% -3%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
41.3 fps ∼10% +29%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
28 fps ∼7% -12%
Lenovo Moto Z
27 fps ∼6% -16%
Huawei P9
10 fps ∼2% -69%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
30 fps ∼7% -6%
LG G5
31 fps ∼7% -3%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
17 fps ∼10%
HTC 10
14 fps ∼8% -18%
OnePlus 3
30 fps ∼17% +76%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
41.5 fps ∼24% +144%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
15 fps ∼9% -12%
Lenovo Moto Z
15 fps ∼9% -12%
Huawei P9
11 fps ∼6% -35%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
29 fps ∼17% +71%
LG G5
17 fps ∼10% 0%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
4739 Points ∼57%
HTC 10
5809 Points ∼70% +23%
OnePlus 3
7101 Points ∼86% +50%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
4660 Points ∼56% -2%
Lenovo Moto Z
7637 Points ∼92% +61%
Huawei P9
7058 Points ∼85% +49%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
6969 Points ∼84% +47%
LG G5
5581 Points ∼67% +18%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
977 Points ∼63%
HTC 10
928 Points ∼60% -5%
OnePlus 3
1112 Points ∼72% +14%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
1542 Points ∼100% +58%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
994 Points ∼64% +2%
Lenovo Moto Z
959 Points ∼62% -2%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
837 Points ∼54% -14%
Huawei P9
1029 Points ∼67% +5%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
1071 Points ∼69% +10%
LG G5
900 Points ∼58% -8%
Graphics (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
5017 Points ∼58%
HTC 10
5009 Points ∼58% 0%
OnePlus 3
4813 Points ∼56% -4%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
6875 Points ∼80% +37%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2203 Points ∼26% -56%
Lenovo Moto Z
4321 Points ∼50% -14%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
2040 Points ∼24% -59%
Huawei P9
1583 Points ∼18% -68%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
4335 Points ∼50% -14%
LG G5
4807 Points ∼56% -4%
Memory (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
1677 Points ∼38%
HTC 10
1772 Points ∼40% +6%
OnePlus 3
2052 Points ∼46% +22%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
1319 Points ∼30% -21%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2072 Points ∼47% +24%
Lenovo Moto Z
2190 Points ∼50% +31%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
1945 Points ∼44% +16%
Huawei P9
2627 Points ∼59% +57%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
1983 Points ∼45% +18%
LG G5
1478 Points ∼33% -12%
System (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
3889 Points ∼59%
HTC 10
2806 Points ∼43% -28%
OnePlus 3
3537 Points ∼54% -9%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
6582 Points ∼100% +69%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
4080 Points ∼62% +5%
Lenovo Moto Z
3398 Points ∼52% -13%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
1386 Points ∼21% -64%
Huawei P9
3930 Points ∼60% +1%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
2986 Points ∼45% -23%
LG G5
2925 Points ∼44% -25%
Overall (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
2378 Points ∼63%
HTC 10
2193 Points ∼58% -8%
OnePlus 3
2496 Points ∼66% +5%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
3097 Points ∼82% +30%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2074 Points ∼55% -13%
Lenovo Moto Z
2356 Points ∼62% -1%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
1465 Points ∼39% -38%
Huawei P9
2025 Points ∼53% -15%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
2290 Points ∼60% -4%
LG G5
2079 Points ∼55% -13%
Basemark ES 3.1 / Metal - offscreen Overall Score (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
621 Points ∼33%
HTC 10
608 Points ∼32% -2%
OnePlus 3
631 Points ∼34% +2%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
1177 Points ∼63% +90%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
733 Points ∼39% +18%
Lenovo Moto Z
542 Points ∼29% -13%
Huawei P9
328 Points ∼18% -47%
LG G5
543 Points ∼29% -13%
Basemark X 1.1
High Quality (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
30724 Points ∼70%
OnePlus 3
33064 Points ∼75% +8%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
32273 Points ∼73% +5%
Lenovo Moto Z
33028 Points ∼75% +7%
Huawei P9
16610 Points ∼38% -46%
LG G5
25532 Points ∼58% -17%
Medium Quality (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
34695 Points ∼77%
OnePlus 3
Points ∼0% -100%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
41091 Points ∼91% +18%
Lenovo Moto Z
41445 Points ∼92% +19%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
33082 Points ∼74% -5%
Huawei P9
29662 Points ∼66% -15%
LG G5
28538 Points ∼63% -18%
Lightmark - 1920x1080 1080p (sort by value)
OnePlus 3
23.32 fps ∼64%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
13.31 fps ∼36%
Lenovo Moto Z
24.33 fps ∼67%
Huawei P9
7.9 fps ∼22%
LG G5
25.26 fps ∼69%
Epic Citadel - Ultra High Quality (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
56.2 fps ∼93%
OnePlus 3
59.6 fps ∼99% +6%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
60 fps ∼99% +7%
Lenovo Moto Z
59.8 fps ∼99% +6%
Huawei P9
58.6 fps ∼97% +4%
LG G5
55.8 fps ∼92% -1%

Legend

 
Google Pixel XL 2016 Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 Pro, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
HTC 10 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
OnePlus 3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
 
Apple iPhone 7 Plus Apple A10 Fusion, Apple A10 Fusion GPU / PowerVR, 128 GB NVMe
 
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Samsung Exynos 8890 Octa, ARM Mali-T880 MP12, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
 
Lenovo Moto Z Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 MSM8994, Qualcomm Adreno 430, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei P9 HiSilicon Kirin 955, ARM Mali-T880 MP4, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Lenovo ZUK Z2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG G5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 32 GB eMMC Flash

In the browser benchmarks with the Chrome 53, the Google Pixel XL ranks in mid-range among the comparison devices. Subjectively, the smartphone performs very fast in web surfing without any major delays.

Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 32 GB eMMC Flash
8690 Points ∼18%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
8905 Points ∼18% +2%
OnePlus 3
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
9155 Points ∼18% +5%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
A10 Fusion GPU, A10 Fusion, 128 GB NVMe
26053 Points ∼53% +200%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
13191 Points ∼27% +52%
Lenovo Moto Z
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
7771 Points ∼16% -11%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
8059 Points ∼16% -7%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
11783 Points ∼24% +36%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 64 GB eMMC Flash
8436 Points ∼17% -3%
LG G5
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
9731 Points ∼20% +12%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2653.6 ms * ∼4%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
3146.3 ms * ∼5% -19%
OnePlus 3
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
2920.7 ms * ∼5% -10%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
A10 Fusion GPU, A10 Fusion, 128 GB NVMe
1102.7 ms * ∼2% +58%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
2564.1 ms * ∼4% +3%
Lenovo Moto Z
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
3154.7 ms * ∼5% -19%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
5552.9 ms * ∼9% -109%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2922.6 ms * ∼5% -10%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 64 GB eMMC Flash
3290.2 ms * ∼6% -24%
LG G5
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
3461.1 ms * ∼6% -30%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 32 GB eMMC Flash
126 Points ∼17%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
108 Points ∼14% -14%
OnePlus 3
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
122 Points ∼16% -3%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
A10 Fusion GPU, A10 Fusion, 128 GB NVMe
204 Points ∼27% +62%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
163 Points ∼22% +29%
Lenovo Moto Z
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
112 Points ∼15% -11%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
113 Points ∼15% -10%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
128 Points ∼17% +2%
LG G5
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
108 Points ∼14% -14%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score (sort by value)
Google Pixel XL 2016
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 32 GB eMMC Flash
55.4 Points ∼17%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
52.1 Points ∼16% -6%
OnePlus 3
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
54.4 Points ∼16% -2%
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
A10 Fusion GPU, A10 Fusion, 128 GB NVMe
168.08 Points ∼50% +203%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
75.12 Points ∼23% +36%
Lenovo Moto Z
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
47.5 Points ∼14% -14%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
46 Points ∼14% -17%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
68.4 Points ∼20% +23%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 64 GB eMMC Flash
51.655 Points ∼15% -7%
LG G5
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
49.7 Points ∼15% -10%

* ... smaller is better

Our test model features 32 GB internal storage. The manufacturer also offers a 128 GB variant of the Google Pixel XL. Unfortunately, the performance of the storage device is not high-end, but mid-range at best. The Pixel does not stand a chance against devices with fast UFS storage.

Google Pixel XL 2016
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 32 GB eMMC Flash
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
OnePlus 3
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
Lenovo Moto Z
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Lenovo ZUK Z2
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 64 GB eMMC Flash
LG G5
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
AndroBench 3-5
-3%
56%
43%
155%
42%
-47%
37%
Random Write 4KB
14.56
15.89
9%
18.23
25%
15.79
8%
74.93
415%
47.45
226%
5.64
-61%
16.22
11%
Random Read 4KB
87.67
29.92
-66%
137.62
57%
86.71
-1%
117.15
34%
39
-56%
21.27
-76%
89.26
2%
Sequential Write 256KB
83.38
115.56
39%
153.3
84%
145.11
74%
168.32
102%
72.19
-13%
46.52
-44%
141.26
69%
Sequential Read 256KB
258.23
275.09
7%
408.71
58%
487.34
89%
439.66
70%
281.26
9%
239.42
-7%
427.65
66%

Games

Currently, the Adreno 530 in the Google Pixel XL is one of the fastest GPUs that can be incorporated into smartphones and tablets. Despite a high-resolution display, it can run all games from the Play Store without any problems. Sensors and touchscreen also work flawlessly. Hence you can enjoy gaming to the fullest. We would only wish for slightly shorter loading times, which might be longer because of the slower storage device. In addition, it is easy to cover the speakers when using the smartphone in landscape format.

Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8
Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps
 very low30 fps
Dead Trigger 2
 SettingsValue
 high58 fps

Emissions

Temperature

Stress test: OpenGL ES 2.0
Stress test: OpenGL ES 2.0
Stress test: OpenGL ES 3.1
Stress test: OpenGL ES 3.1

While idling, the surface temperatures of the Google Pixel XL are exemplary and only exceed the 30 °C (~86 °F) level in a few spots. Under load, the temperature increases to up to 42.3 °C (~108 °F) on the front side. While this is quite warm, it is not critical at all.

A strong chipset works inside. Hence, it is all the more important to check whether it can constantly deliver its full performance under prolonged load. For this, we run the battery test of the GFXBench, one of the most popular graphic benchmarks, 30 times in a row and record battery state as well as frame rates. In the slightly lighter OpenGL ES 2.0 test (T-Rex), the performance falls noticeably after 10 runs and even falls by up to 14% later on. In the demanding Manhattan test (OpenGL ES 3.1), the performance falls significantly after the first run and finally reaches a minimum of about 85% of the initial performance.

Max. Load
 42.3 °C41.1 °C34.3 °C 
 41.8 °C41.1 °C35.4 °C 
 39.5 °C38.6 °C34.7 °C 
Maximum: 42.3 °C
Average: 38.8 °C
33.6 °C36.3 °C38.5 °C
34 °C34.8 °C37.3 °C
33.8 °C35.6 °C36.9 °C
Maximum: 38.5 °C
Average: 35.6 °C
Power Supply (max.)  33.6 °C | Room Temperature 21.3 °C | Voltcraft IR-260

Speakers

Pink Noise diagram
Pink Noise diagram

The mono speaker on the lower edge of the Google Pixel XL delivers an acceptable sound quality. However, we did not expect sound wonders and the speaker is quite sufficient for occasional playback of music and videos. Furthermore, the volume is relatively high with up to 88.5 dB(A). However, the high tones are audibly distorted at maximum volume.

Since there is an audio jack, you can use all usual headphones without problems if you require a better sound quality. Subjectively, the jack provides a low-noise and accurate sound.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.630.92525.4323125.328.54032.926.75033.6356331.626.68028.4281002733.812520.837.61602245.820021.350.225020.856.931521.262.940019.462.450019.566.363017.768.280017.966.2100017.869.7125017.370.5160017.474.8200016.775.9250017.275.7315018.278.3400017.981.7500017.680630017.776.6800017.877.51000017.974.41250018.163.31600018.248.8SPL3088.5N1.372.6median 17.9Google Pixel XL 2016median 68.2Delta1.310.726.428.426.42826.72825.828.725.829.133.229.126.12626.123.925.523.927.724.727.733.426.933.441.53741.540.320.240.343.720.243.745.521.845.547224752.822.252.860.121.860.166.517.266.569.217.869.271.619.871.669.919.169.96815.46869.515.669.56614.96671.514.771.571.214.271.272.21472.271.213.971.26713.86758.913.958.952.413.952.454.713.754.781.529.581.549.91.349.9median 66Apple iPhone 7 Plusmedian 17.2median 6610.93.810.931.636.225.430.625.328.532.928.133.638.231.633.328.428.4272620.825.82230.921.336.420.844.721.248.919.453.719.56117.763.717.969.817.872.817.37317.472.816.773.317.274.418.27317.973.117.670.817.770.517.870.917.971.918.166.618.261.43083.91.356.8median 17.9Lenovo Moto Zmedian 69.81.312.8hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Google Pixel XL 2016 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (88.5 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 20.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.5% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 9.6% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (4.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (20.8% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 11% of all tested devices in this class were better, 10% similar, 79% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 26%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 45% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 48% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

Apple iPhone 7 Plus audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (81.45 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.7% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.3% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (6.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 12% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 77% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 26%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 46% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 47% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

Lenovo Moto Z audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.9 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 34.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 5.4% lower than median
(+) | mids are linear (6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.3% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (1.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (23.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 30% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 59% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 26%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 58% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 35% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption of the Google Pixel XL is very low. None of the competitors in our comparison group can keep up with our test model, which promises good battery runtimes.

The powerful power adapter supports QuickCharge and fully charges the smartphone within 109 minutes. After 15 minutes, it reaches 24% and after 30 minutes it reaches 50% of the battery capacity. The 80% mark is reached in 65 minutes. Wireless charging is not supported.

Google has supplied its device with a power efficient adapter that according to our measurements does not consume energy by itself.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.02 / 0.12 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.53 / 1.07 / 1.12 Watt
Load midlight 5.53 / 6.26 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Google Pixel XL 2016
3450 mAh
Google Nexus 6P
3450 mAh
HTC 10
3000 mAh
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
2915 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
3600 mAh
Huawei P9 Plus
3400 mAh
OnePlus 3
3000 mAh
Power Consumption
-30%
-45%
-52%
-15%
-13%
-24%
Idle Minimum *
0.53
0.83
-57%
0.68
-28%
0.77
-45%
0.63
-19%
0.87
-64%
0.57
-8%
Idle Average *
1.07
1.09
-2%
1.49
-39%
2.04
-91%
1.1
-3%
1.2
-12%
1.24
-16%
Idle Maximum *
1.12
1.17
-4%
1.91
-71%
2.24
-100%
1.56
-39%
1.27
-13%
1.36
-21%
Load Average *
5.53
7.49
-35%
7.4
-34%
4.69
15%
5.95
-8%
4.69
15%
5.92
-7%
Load Maximum *
6.26
9.51
-52%
9.71
-55%
8.66
-38%
6.7
-7%
5.63
10%
10.53
-68%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

With 3450 mAh, the Google Pixel XL comes with a powerful battery, which should ensure very good battery runtimes. However, some competitors feature batteries with smaller or equal capacity that last significantly longer in our tests.

Tests with an adjusted brightness (150 cd/m²) are most meaningful. During web surfing via WLAN and video playback, the smartphone lasts about 8.5 hours. Only, the HTC 10 and the Nexus 6P last shorter in the Wi-Fi test. In the video test, the Pixel performs even worse in our comparison group.

Nevertheless, the smartphone delivers a very good battery life in everyday use and should last a whole day without problems.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
22h 13min
WiFi Surfing v1.3 (Chrome 53)
8h 25min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
8h 25min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 50min
Google Pixel XL 2016
3450 mAh
Google Nexus 6P
3450 mAh
HTC 10
3000 mAh
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
2915 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
3600 mAh
Huawei P9 Plus
3400 mAh
OnePlus 3
3000 mAh
Battery Runtime
3%
-2%
28%
55%
20%
38%
Reader / Idle
1333
1447
9%
1273
-5%
1835
38%
1663
25%
1446
8%
1338
0%
H.264
505
533
6%
648
28%
813
61%
914
81%
776
54%
847
68%
WiFi v1.3
505
375
-26%
413
-18%
587
16%
732
45%
530
5%
840
66%
Load
230
280
22%
203
-12%
225
-2%
392
70%
263
14%
268
17%

Pros

+ good display
+ high-end build quality
+ LTE Cat. 11
+ fast WiFi
+ excellent voice quality
+ great cameras
+ low SAR values

Cons

- no Dual-SIM
- no microSD support
- PWM
- SoC throttling

Verdict

In review: Google Pixel XL. Test model provided by Google Germany.
In review: Google Pixel XL. Test model provided by Google Germany.

The Google Pixel XL is a very good smartphone. However, its core feature, the Google Assistant, is not a decisive reason to buy it. Above all, it does not justify the price which the manufacturer charges for its product.

However, the Pixel XL brings high-end technology with a powerful processor, a high RAM capacity, a great camera, fast Wi-Fi and LTE Cat. 11 as well as an excellent voice quality.

There will be different opinions about the design. However, it is disappointing that the storage capacity cannot be expanded with a microSD card, since the surcharge for the variant with a larger storage capacity is quite steep. The infinite Cloud storage for photos can make up for this only to a certain extent. In addition, the battery runtimes should be slightly improved, which might be possible with a software update, since the used components would suggest a higher potential.

The Google Pixel XL brings top features. Unfortunately, the price also reaches a new record.

The Google Pixel XL is a smartphone for enthusiasts. Customers will decide whether the concept is successful.

Google Pixel XL 2016 - 11/02/2016 v5.1
Daniel Schmidt

Chassis
80%
Keyboard
70 / 75 → 94%
Pointing Device
96%
Connectivity
49 / 60 → 81%
Weight
91%
Battery
90%
Display
85%
Games Performance
62 / 63 → 98%
Application Performance
57 / 70 → 81%
Temperature
89%
Noise
100%
Audio
71 / 91 → 78%
Camera
86%
Average
79%
88%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Google Pixel XL Smartphone Review
Daniel Schmidt, 2016-11- 4 (Update: 2016-11-15)