I’ve given up on Google Pixel phones and I think you should too.
Before Pixel superfans decide to launch angry hot and bothered Tweets, I think by the time you hear my points you’ll agree with me 100 percent.
My Pixel adventure started with a carrier-purchased Pixel 2 XL with 128MB of storage in 2017. It was near MSRP but my carrier was offering several hundred dollars off with a trade-in of an old junker phone I had, so I made the jump.
The Pixel 2 XL was as impressive as the reviews said, with decent battery life, good performance, and amazing computational photography. Android updates dutifully rolled out before other brands and for almost 2.5 years I had no regrets.
It all went sideways in the fall of 2019 when Google released Android 10 for the Pixel 2 XL. After the update, the cellular service became sporadic and unreliable. Driving the same route I had driven before with no issues, I would see the signal drop to zero. I took it as my imagination initially, but I realized the problem was far more serious when my daughter’s iPhone (on the same network) had no connection issues deep in a supermarket, while my Pixel 2 XL had no service at all.
Factory resets, a phone exchange, and long conversations with my carrier’s tech support never solved it. In one conversation, the tech said in exasperation that Google needed to address it as I wasn’t the only customer having problems with the Pixel 2 XL.
Indeed, I wasn’t the only one. Searching Google’s own forums I found multiple Pixel 2 XL users from different carriers complaining about the same poor reception after the Android 10 update.
Adam Patrick Murray/Foundry
The response from Google was utter silence and the company never even acknowledged there was a problem or, frankly, that its customers even existed.
You can bet that when the next phone came along, it sure as hell wasn’t going to be a Google Pixel phone. If Google can’t support its products, it doesn’t deserve my cash.
By now, you may be thinking I’m the typical overly dramatic consumer who is ready to start a blood feud based on a single experience, and likely an outlier experience at that.
Yup. That’s exactly what every consumer should do. If you dropped hundreds of dollars on an item you legitimately get done dirty by the company on, you should walk too. When I say this, I am not taking a cheap shot at just Google either. I believe this philosophy applies to all consumer products and all brands where you feel you have been reasonably wronged.
In fact, I believe that if you don’t leave that brand while letting everyone you know about your problems, you’re just enabling more abuse. If a company can treat you like dirt knowing that you will come back every single time, it will never change its ways.
So yes, Get burned by the Google Pixel? Switch to a Samsung Galaxy. Your HP laptop left you dry? Buy a Dell next time. That MSI motherboard kicked you in the knee caps? Give Asus a shot. Did your Apple iPhone 7 audio circuit cut out due to a known de-soldering defect with the phone? Switch to a Google Pixel.
Everyone has his or her comfort levels with how much abuse they will suffer at the hands of a company and how much of a hassle it is to leave an ecosystem of course. For example, while my experience with the Pixel was horrible, it wasn’t enough to leave Android—yet. But believe me, I appreciate the option of switching to iOS should the time come, even though doing so would mean a major change and expense in buying applications again. I’ll say the same for Windows, which is where I live and work, but if that line ever got crossed by Microsoft (like ads in the operating system), I will have no problems moving to MacOS or Linux either.
But even though I am absolutely done with Pixel phones for the foreseeable future and have no problems burning the brand to the ground for anyone willing to listen, I also acknowledge that it’s not a blood feud.
I say that because the junker phone I traded in for the Pixel 2 XL was a Samsung Galaxy S5. That was another carrier purchase and the honeymoon on the Galaxy S5 lasted all of 12 months before it became slow, buggy and crashy. A swap for a replacement phone didn’t solve it and I quit the brand for years with nothing but harsh words for the Samsung Galaxy line and brand.
When my Pixel 2 XL became so unusable though, I had decided it was worth letting Samsung out of the penalty box. I’m happily rolling a hand-me-down Galaxy Note 10 with no reception issues, and that has me eyeing the new Galaxy or newer when the time comes.
So yes, you too should quit your Pixel, as well as your iPhone, Galaxy, XPS, MacBook, GeForce, Radeon, Core i7, Ryzen 7 and any other brand that screws you over.