Goodbye Pixel


Categories: GeekStuff

About two years ago, I got a Google Pixel. It finally died, and I’m so much happier already.

On paper, the Pixel looked great. In reality, it was not. It just plain sucked at being a phone. Let’s start with the basic feature: receiving calls. It did this most of the time. Most. Every so often, it would go for days without noticing a call. I could travel through multiple airports, then send a text, and suddenly get two days’ worth of notifications dumped on me all at once. Same for texts.

So then it was time to call voice mail. Most phones have an app for this, which shows numbers on screen. On the Pixel, that’s only for Google Voice. You get to dial in and listen to a recorded voice. A slow recorded voice.

Battery life was awful. If you asked it to save power, it got even worse at being a phone. One day, the battery swelled up and it died, and I was happy.

I got a Moto X4. It’s working so far.

EDIT (2019-09-03): I was reminded of another example. The Pixel’s text message app has a feature to allow reporting spam. Great idea! Here’s how it works. You get a spam. You click report spam. The message is blocked and you can no longer see it. Now you get a text from a mobile operator asking you to text them the number the spam came from. The key cleverness here is, you no longer have access to that number. Also, they didn’t include it in the initial report even though they obviously had access to it. So now you have to go mess around with settings in order to see blocked numbers, write the number down on some external device, then go back and type the number in manually. Great work.

And ironically, T-Mobile, who do GSM service for Ting, just broke the native visual voicemail on a lot of phones, including the X4, but that’s expected to get cleared up when the correct SIM shows up.