Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones are no longer a rumor as the search engine giant finally took off the wraps its new handsets at an event this Tuesday.
Just like the rumor mills have been putting it, the Google Pixel and Pixel XL came out featuring the same design, hardware specs as well as features, with the tech giant putting emphasis on the likes of cameras and Google Assistant as the main selling points of the handsets. However, these could actually be outshone by the fact that the two phones will for the first time in years come with a carrier-branded version from Verizon Wireless.
One problem, though, is that only Verizon Wireless has been confirmed as an official partner as far as the Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones are concerned. As for the likes of T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint and even U.S. Cellular, no word has come out yet, but don’t be surprised if neither jumps on the already up and rolling bandwagon. Still, having the 2016 Google phones on one carrier is a step up from what happened with last year’s Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P.
However, be warned that simply because Verizon Wireless is selling the Google Pixel and Pixel XL, it doesn’t mean you should get one from the giant carrier. One major reasoning behind this move is the usual software that carriers add to stock OS. With a Verizon-powered Pixel or Pixel XL, expect such tweaks to come along, which only but adds bloatware to the otherwise sleek device.
Apparently, Verizon is aware of this customer concern and it will only be installing three apps namely Verizon Messages, go90 and My Verizon. To make it even more attractive, the company claims that these apps could be removed from the phones by the user, if s/he feels like.
This promises to leave the phone as clean as possible, but still, this doesn’t promise timely software updates that include the vital monthly Android Security Patch from Google. In any case, those using the Google Store variants, which will also be compatible with all four U.S. carriers, including Verizon, will be ahead of the game with respect to the timeliness of software updates.
For the geeky users, Verizon versions of the Google Pixel and Pixel XL will come with non-unlockable bootloaders, which essentially eliminates the idea of rooting and custom software installation. This rooting should still be possible with the unlocked Pixel models, which is usually the case for such models.