Google Pixel? Not so great. In fact, there are plenty of better business phones

The best Android smartphone you can buy? Not when you have options like the Moto Z Force Droid, Galaxy S7, LG V20, and Huawei Mate 9. Matthew Miller reviews the Pixel's pros and cons.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

After nearly two months with the Google Pixel XL, mine's going back up on Swappa tonight.

The Google Pixel has an excellent camera, the battery gets you through a day, and it gets the latest Android updates quickly.

It's also priced the same as the most expensive smartphones available (the Apple iPhone 7), has no water resistance, has no optical image stabilization, has limited storage (32GB model), has a fragile glass back, offers a stock Android experience with no software enhancements, and it has very limited availability even after three months on the market.

CNET review: Just like the Pixel, only bigger

Why is the Pixel not the best for business?

If you want the smaller Google Pixel, then you may be able to find one on the Google Store or in Best Buy and Verizon retail locations. The Google Pixel XL is nearly impossible to find in stock, and the 128GB model has been out of stock at Google's online store since Nov. 30, 2016.

I purchased a 32GB Pixel XL from Swappa and have ran out of storage twice since I bought it. I don't even have many games or sizable applications installed, but I did load up some music and a lot of documents. Also, with the 32GB model, you only get about 23GB for your usage. Even with the ability to offload photos to Google Photos, the 32GB model is inadequate for the high price of the device.

Water resistance was a rare feature on smartphones a couple of years ago -- with Sony and Moto being two of those offering such capability. Today, we find Apple, Samsung, Sony, Lenovo, and others offering it as a standard feature. When you work and communicate outside, then it is important to have some peace of mind that the elements or accidents won't kill your expensive device.

Work phones often get beat up, and if handling is planned to be a bit rough, then cases are often used. There doesn't seem to be any justifiable reason to have the glass upper portion of the back on the Pixel, and even with extreme care, it scratches more easily than any other glass material I have used. Thankfully, it's only a cosmetic issue, but at the high price of the phone, it's not acceptable to have such a flawed design.

Android enthusiasts love stock Android and prefer a Nexus or Pixel that gets the Android updates first. However, a stock Android experience does not offer enhanced experiences and advanced customization in settings that many have come to appreciate.

Why are other Android phones good for business?

I previously listed seven reasons the Galaxy Note 7 beats the Google Pixel for the enterprise, and while the Note 7 is no longer with us, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge offer most of those same functions. Using the Galaxy S7 again over the past week is what convinced me to give up on the Google Pixel XL.

In addition to the reasons previously listed, the Galaxy S7 offers the best T-Mobile Digits experience, provides the best platform to serve as a companion to the Gear S3 Frontier, connects to my bike speed and cadence sensors to serve as a bike computer, conveniently charges via wireless, and more.

Verizon is heavily advertising the Google Pixel, but the better option for the enterprise is the Moto Z Force Droid Edition. This Android smartphone offers Android 7.0 Nougat and Daydream VR support, along with a shatterproof display, massive battery, compelling modular design, storage expansion, water resistance, and Moto enhancements. It is also priced less than the comparable Google Pixel XL.

The LG V20 offers a replaceable battery, expandable storage, the best video capture experience, and a useful secondary display. It is also priced less than a comparable Google Pixel XL and includes Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.

The Huawei Mate 9 is priced a couple hundred less than a comparable Google Pixel XL and offers a larger display with smaller bezels, expandable storage, dual rear cameras with OIS and advanced camera software, and machine-learning technology.

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