Ever since it was launched, the Google Pixel has encountered its share of criticism – ranging from the lens flare issue to its iPhone-inspired design and of course, its price (yes, that!). However, that does not lessen its importance as Android’s native flag bearer. Sure, there was the Nexus series but Google always had complicated relationships with its manufacturers which led to some problems. Samsung’s Galaxy S7 is quite impeccable, but then its software is not its most notable trait. The smartphone industry was lacking a device which showcased the best of Android, and that’s exactly what the Google Pixel did.
A couple of weeks ago, I bought the Pixel and despite the minor flaws, I have never regretted my decision. The software being the centerpiece here, is everything you would expect from a phone made by Google and represents Android in a way no other manufacturer has been able to. Even the camera, which was not the biggest strength of Google’s smartphones, is now one of the best and sits comfortably alongside the Galaxies and iPhones of the world. While most critics and audiences have found the design to be uninspiring, hey, there’s a headphone jack and no camera bump!
The bottom line is: I didn’t regret my investment as the Pixel has managed to constantly impress me, whether it’s software or hardware. But there’s a new phone in town which has made me sit up and take notice. It too has all the right ingredients as well as a (slightly) cheaper price tag than the Google Pixel. It’s the LG V20.
So, yesterday, LG launched its latest flagship, the V20 in India at a price tag of Rs 54,999 bundled with a range of complimentary offers and high-end earphones. However, the highlight here remains what it features on the hardware side. The V20 comes with a secondary display for exhibiting notifications and shortcuts. There’s a dual-camera setup on the back for capturing those wide landscapes, 32-bit hi-fi quad DAC that provides a premium listening experience, removable (yes, removable!) 3200mAh battery, Qualcomm Steady Record 2.0, Android Nougat (it got Nougat even before the Pixel did!), a quad HD display up front, an infrared sensor and a whole lot more. The Google Pixel has none of these.
I confess: I am tempted to switch.
Yes, the LG V20 has momentarily overshadowed my love for the Google Pixel primarily because the latter was already lacking a bunch of hardware features. The biggest reason why customers are not particularly interested in the Pixel is due to the scarcity of unique features which everyone expects now from flagship phones (software isn’t one of them, at least for the majority). The V20 comes out as a winner as it is (slightly) cheaper and more capable than the Pixel. The secondary display, removable battery, powerful multimedia capabilities, are just some of the features that have tilted my mind away from the Pixel.
But here’s the thing about buying products, hardware and software for which are controlled by a single company. Even after the initial euphoria and hype, they retain their quality and are the top priority for any new software updates (at least two years in the Pixel’s case). Most Android flagships are unable to keep up the fast-paced industry and usually don’t fare well in longer runs. Hence, I won’t be selling my Pixel and jumping on to the V20 bandwagon.
I am, though, still captivated by what the V20 has to offer and will be waiting for the review my colleague will be posting in the coming weeks. Until then, I’ll continue to cherish the Google Pixel.
After that? Ah, who knows, who knows.