1. zmancb7's Avatar
    I thought I would wait longer to post this and I'm going to try to be as objective as possible but wanted to share my thoughts since getting and using Android for the first time ever.

    Background: WP user since 2013, 4 windows phones (HTC Surround, Nokia 720, Nokia 1520, HP Elite x3)

    Bought x3 November 2016 as part of the bundle to replace my aging but functional 1520.

    X3 is an awesome, awesome phone. Did everything I needed and the lapdock was really special. To this day I have not used the desk dock since I don't have the setup for it but the lapdock has been in use and 80% functional since day 1 and through all the updates.

    My first month with the x3 was a struggle. Freezing issues galore, widely documented. This subsided after a replacement phone with only minor issues occurring after that. However, this past month, my x3 was freezing more frequently during simple phone functions. After hanging up after a call, while sending a text… Simple, simple things that are super frustrating.

    I went home for my bday and dad offered me a Google Pixel XL since he upgraded to an S8+ and planned on using the pixel as a "backup" to play with Android and get some cool travel apps I desperately needed but ended up getting so frustrated with the x3 freezing, I popped my SIM card in and have been using the Pixel as my daily for about a week now.

    So here are my thoughts:

    Hardware

    Overall build quality: I have to say it's just about even in my mind. While the pixel does feel more fragile, I can't say the x3 feels like a more premium device in terms of build materials.

    Robustness: hands down x3. It's IP67 rating is 'nuff said. I've dropped it a few times on different surfaces, not afraid to get it wet if rainy, very solid phone for me when I'm out and about. Stopped using a case because the silicone was cracking at the corners but never felt scared of dropping it. As I mentioned above, the pixel feels very fragile in comparison. It's lack of any type of proofing makes me overly cautious when holding it and bringing it to job sites.

    Screen: I'm a phablet guy as you could probably tell and the pixel feels quite small: 5.5" compared to the 1520's 6" and x3's 5.96". It's also a smaller form in general, a bit shorter and a bit narrower. Holding the Pixel with both hands to text is borderline uncomfortable for me and I don't have big hands. Swiping to text alleviates this but even as I'm typing this out, having the phone rest on my right pinky isn't as comfortable as it was on a bigger phone for some reason. I think it may have to do with the material.

    The screen itself is better on the Pixel. Brighter may be the wrong word but colors look better and boy are there plenty of colors will all the aps. My wallpapers look better and videos look incredible. It just looks cleaner for lack of better words although the x3's screen does a very, very good job.

    I've noticed the screens on both phones get warm after being on and in use for a while but the Pixel got just a tad warmer under equal or less stress. The x3 backside actually gets warmer though.

    Sound/speakers: have to give it to the x3. I hate the lack of variety in sounds on the Pixel although I'm sure there infinity apps to add more. The speaker itself is not as good and downward facing. To me the overall volume is not as loud which means I've missed some texts/emails when the phone was in my pocket sometimes. I do like how there is an option to turn off notification noises when on a phone call. It really stared to **** me off having my loud *** text sound go through when I was on a call with the x3.

    Battery: x3 no doubt about it although I definitely commend the pixel on its battery usage despite doing more than the x3 ever could. With similar routines, on the x3 I was leaving the house with 85-90% battery, and coming home with maybe 40-50% depending on how many calls I got and if I was out of the office. With the pixel, it's been closer to 20-30% by the time I get home ALTHOUGH the pixel has been doing a lot more in terms of apps and background tasks which I do like. Normal routine is 2 hours of bluetooth streaming audio, texting all day, frequent emails, various phone calls, occasional app browsing during breaks. Some days were busier than others but that was about the average I noticed. I keep my brightness at about a quarter most of the time.

    Worst day with the pixel so far (and still somewhat impressive!): woke up at 6:00 am with 94%. Bluetooth stream audio for 40 minutes to work. Text, phone, browse, YouTube occasionally. Had to drive to a job site so 2.5 hours with bluetooth audio, came back to the office, texting, apps, etc. Commute home for an hour with bluetooth audio. Went to the laundromat and was on the phone, snapchat, onenote (typing most of this out), texting, work emails. I had 35% at 5:30pm and left the laundromat with closer to 20%. This was one of my more taxing days because of the added driving and additional browsing during laundry but the phone lasted me a full day and I was quite impressed since I have much more apps, and therefore more things to do on this phone. The x3 was showing better results, after 10-11 hour days of similar usage, I would regularly come home with closer to 30-40% but the amount I did in terms of browsing apps wasn't nearly as much as it is now. I also think because this is a new-to-me phone, I have been spending a lot of time customizing and playing around with it so I have much more screen time with the Pixel recently. I'm sure once it's become standard to my liking the battery will go farther.

    Oddly enough, the Pixel has a lower idle drain than the x3. I fully charge my phone before bed so I go to sleep at 10-11pm with 100%. With the x3, I was waking up at 6am with about 93% on the high end and sometimes 85% after a normal 8 hours sleep. The pixel has been stellar, I wake up with about 94-96% average over the past week. 96% most mornings! Incredible. My 1520 is currently de-apped, airplane mode all the time, and only lost 1% while idle for 9 hours. The pixel has all these background tasks (probably) and only lost 4% in 7 hours.

    Storage: unfortunately my dad only got the 32GB model but I am not a storage hog. The x3 had 64GB and I didn't even reach 27GB with over 700 songs and my apps/photos. On the Pixel, I cut down the amount of songs to 300, have probably triple the amount of apps I used to, and thanks to Google Photos, I have only used 16.5GB of storage which means I can continue to add more songs as I go I hope to stay within 30GB although that likely seems hard to get to for me. No expandable storage is a major downside and money grab.

    Vibration: my 1520 had a very good, noticeable vibration when on my desk. The x3's was pretty subpar comparatively. The Pixel is about the same or even worse than the x3. Cannot hear it when it's right next to me on my desk and can never feel it if it's in my pocket.

    Camera: this isn't even worth mentioning. We all know which is better.

    Software:

    Bluetooth: better on the Pixel although for some reason, I can't do hands-free texting through voice when driving. Now Cortana didn't exactly work either but she would interrupt music to notify me of a text, and prior to 3 months ago, she would read me the texts and allow me to reply before it stopped working. The Pixel doesn’t interrupt my music for texts or any other notification sounds, it just quiets the music for a second, makes the noise out of the phone, and resumes music. It does work for phone calls though which is most important I think. I miss driving mode where those other notification sounds were muted while driving. The Pixel also does not skip during audio playback and connects to my car and starts playing automatically UNLIKE the x3 which could take up to 5 minutes to start playing music from Groove. I know this isn't my car either because I now have the x3 paired to a speaker and it skips way more than my 1520 did.

    General OS: I had limited experience with Android prior to this. Everyone in my family and most friends have Androids (Samsungs) but I never got to really play with them and use it. I never had an issue navigating around and only asked questions on how to do shortcut things or not directly obvious or intuitive things. Funny how I could use iOS or Android with ease but none of my friends could ever navigate through my WP! :P

    Android (on this phone) is much snappier and way more enjoyable to use. Navigating from screen to screen, app to app, is much easier and much faster than on WM. No "resuming" screens, no delays. Just butter. I don't like the app drawer but won't be using it much. I have one home screen for music widgets, one for all the most used apps, some in groups, and one for my calendar/email widgets which is quite nice. The notification bar/action center is definitely different but something I can certainly get used to. Love that I finally have night light mode for my poor eyes and do not disturb still works as I expected. Taking a screenshot is a bit weird to me but just need to get used to it.

    Fingerprint gestures are a little gimmicky but very cool I think. Able to quickly bring down the action center with one hand instead of reaching my thumb all the way up there is nice.

    Quick side note, I love the fact I have my google voice # connected so I can choose which # I want to dial out from! Makes the division between work life and personal life so much better!

    Keyboard: Pixel all day. This Gboard or whatever is fantastic aside from the weird placement of the emoji button and exclamation mark. Will take a while to get used to but I'm texting faster, more accurately, and swiping is so much better. The auto-predict is much more accurate and I've never typing "aright" instead of "alright" it really is a better keyboard. I wish they had most used emojis instead of recently used but that's a minor gripe. Emoji searching is pretty cool though and auto-suggesting pairs of words really makes typing easier and quicker.

    Customization: I've been reading a lot on here and decided I don't want to emulate WP on my Android through a launcher, I want to experience Android for an extended period of time before committing one way or the other. At this point, I quite like the look and layout of stock Android. I do miss live tiles and resizing but having those little pods of grouped apps and widgets are decent enough, especially for the media player. I am in love with the app textra as I spend most of my time texting anyway and being able to customize my app with my favorite red and black colors is awesome and reminiscent of my WP themes, but also being able to customize my different conversations with different colors and sounds really gives a personal touch. Really do love that app. I do miss the dark theme but I like having my wallpapers/homescreen rotate and the app icons look nicer. Setting up my important widgets is cool too. Now I liked pinning tiles on WP much more than I like pinning icons/widgets but it's not as cumbersome as I thought.

    Cortana vs. OK google: have yet to really dive into this. Plenty of videos comparing all the AI's. I rarely use them so not of much importance to me. Maybe once I get and use a google home it will make more sense.

    Apps, apps, apps: I know we all love to hate this topic but my eyes were opened wide after going through the play store and searching on forums. I no longer need mobile sites to do very basic things. I liked Edge but never use it on my laptops whereas I have 3 gmail accounts for 3 different chrome browsers. One is for play (reddit, Youtube, social media), one is for personal (banks, eLearnings, information), and one is for work with all my work websites bookmarked. I am accustomed to chrome and use it every day and have been since it first came out. I know edge is great but it never replaced chrome for me so having to not rely on mobile web browsers for apps/banks is amazing. Even the simplest apps for travel like airlines/trains makes a difference in terms of productivity. I was never a fan of snapchat but gf downloaded it for me and now seeing her face more frequently and having fun is a nice change of pace. Facebook and instagram, reddit, youtube, netflix, it all just works better and flawlessly so far. Much more responsive even for stock apps. I'm sure there are tons out there that do a better job but I'm content now. I especially like how Messenger is so much faster and has little bubbles when someone chats you so you can respond without leaving your current app. Haven't found a replacement for Readit/Reddplanet but using Boost right now and it does the job.

    Banks and Android Pay is huge. It will probably take a while for me to remember to use Android pay instead of reaching for my card but it's quite nice to be able to join in with others. I love how the bank apps support the fingerprint sensor so great way to have dual-authentication. Pinning mobile sites was clumsy and some never remembered my password.

    I won't dive into the app gap but it is astounding to realize what WP has been missing. I am not even a huge app/game person but having actual, practical apps that work flawlessly and fluidly is incredible.

    When I posted on r/googlepixel I was looked at like some sort of Neanderthal with what I was asking.

    I also finally have access to some apps I use for work, manufacturer apps that allow me to demo for customers and some company apps I had to use edge for before.

    I mentioned it earlier but Textra is really amazing. Aside from the color combinations and custom notifications, I have it pinned to my slide down action center so I can send a text to anyone from any app on any screen.

    Things I'll miss:

    Seamless contact integration with work and personal accounts including mail and calendar. It was just better on Windows. My personal Microsoft and work Microsoft accounts together in harmony with separate gmails coming through outlook. Having Outlook be the end all be all of mail and calendar instead of doubling up on Google calendar for all 3 of my gmails, Yahoo, and work email addresses was really nice too. I'm sure I'm just a noob with Android but I like Windows Phone better with this. No iris scanner unfortunately but I never used it on the x3 since it was slower and buggier than the fingerprint sensor. Fingerprint sensor is much quicker on the Pixel BTW, the few milliseconds are really noticeable.

    Notification bar actions while phone remained locked. This just doesn't work on Android I guess. Again, I haven't tried that hard to find a way to make it work and there's probably an app for it but responding to texts and GroupMe or deleting emails right away from the action center was easy and seamless without unlocking the phone.

    That's all I got for now. The x3 has been demoted to strictly media device for now. It's very strange but it honestly has not frozen or given me any problems since taking out my SIM card. I think there was a serious design flaw with the SIM tray causing many people a lot of grief. I hope that is fixed in the next iteration but I can't keep waiting forever. Only ongoing issues have been some Bluetooth connectivity with my speaker.

    I have always used my smartphone as a PHONE first. And when I can't do simple phone functions, it no longer becomes a smart device. I will still most likely travel with the x3 and use the lapdock when needed but as for being my daily, $800 wasted for a desk dock I don't use, and a phone that never quite "phoned" correctly or reliably. Lapdock was the best part of the bundle no doubt despite the hate it received. I love the thing. Small issues with Continuum here and there but battery life and productivity was amazing.

    Now I'm on the Pixel subreddit and there are plenty of reported issues, it is far from a "perfect" phone but when directly compared to the x3 in terms of smoothness and speed of navigating around, Google had the money and experience to make a really good phone whereas HP's first attempt was certainly a good one, coupled with Microsoft's declining interest in their mobile platform ultimately led to me not wanting to use it anymore.

    I will still keep my eyes on Microsoft in the future but glad to be literate in both ecosystems now.
    08-18-2017 10:06 AM
  2. camaroz1985's Avatar
    Interesting comparison. I have used the Pixel before (smaller version) and I had a lot of the same thoughts. I still like the W10M experience better even with the lack of apps, and the glitches sometimes, and that is why I went back to my Lumia 950 after the Pixel. I have since switched, yet again to an iPhone, and have been happy with boring old iOS for now. It just works, and that is what I want now, not something that I need to mess with to work just right or to be able to do things that other people can with this app or that app. I think Android was better than W10M at that, but still not quite as good at just working as iOS (or maybe it is that you don't have as many options with iOS so you just have to use it the way it is and can't be constantly tinkering to try to make it "just right").

    I will be interested to see how your experience with Android shakes out. I will stick with iOS until Microsoft either gets it together or gives up for good, but I may try another Android at some point. It seems more and more manufacturers are going with the "Pure Android" experience and not having their own launchers or customizations, and I think that is a good thing. For now though, the only Android phones I would try are the Pixels.
    zmancb7 and libra89 like this.
    08-18-2017 12:32 PM
  3. zmancb7's Avatar
    After a week, I'm finding myself really comfortable with Android's features and the OS as a whole. What I like about it compared to iOS which a lot of my friends have, is that it's customizable. Now, whether there is "more" customization compared to Windows can be opinionated but I love making my phone my own. Same goes for my car, my laptops, it's just human nature to personalize all our stuff!

    That's why I loved WP so much. Used to switch up my home screen every once in a while, perfecting it until I was content. Then downloading a new app messed it up and back to customizing again!

    Love that with Android as well.

    I agree that Android is best on a pure platform. I think Samsungs are great, everyone I know has a Galaxy. I actually only know 1 person who has something other than the Galaxy. But every phone, every platform will have its downfalls, bugs, issues. Just comes with technology.

    I wanted the Essential phone but since it's on Sprint, it'll never be mine. I will most likely wait until the next generation Essential (if it's open carrier) or Pixel 2 but I won't switch for another year or so.
    08-21-2017 01:45 PM
  4. PuckCowboy's Avatar
    After a week, I'm finding myself really comfortable with Android's features and the OS as a whole. What I like about it compared to iOS which a lot of my friends have, is that it's customizable. Now, whether there is "more" customization compared to Windows can be opinionated but I love making my phone my own. Same goes for my car, my laptops, it's just human nature to personalize all our stuff!

    That's why I loved WP so much. Used to switch up my home screen every once in a while, perfecting it until I was content. Then downloading a new app messed it up and back to customizing again!

    Love that with Android as well.

    I agree that Android is best on a pure platform. I think Samsungs are great, everyone I know has a Galaxy. I actually only know 1 person who has something other than the Galaxy. But every phone, every platform will have its downfalls, bugs, issues. Just comes with technology.

    I wanted the Essential phone but since it's on Sprint, it'll never be mine. I will most likely wait until the next generation Essential (if it's open carrier) or Pixel 2 but I won't switch for another year or so.
    The Essential will be able to be used on any carrier. Sprint is just the only retailer selling it where you can lease it and get a discount for using it on their network.

    I feel quite the opposite about Android the more I use it, the more I hate it. It's actually missing some baked in features WM10 has (like auto text-to-speech interrupt over bluetooth in the car) and it takes 3 extra steps to get to the same place in settings, etc. I'm not an app person, so I dont feel Im missing much in the productivity dept. (For my use anyway.) Outlook and contacts integrate better with WM10 as well.

    Android is still a steaming pile of mess compared to the ease and functionality of WM10 (IMHO).
    Timbre70 and zmancb7 like this.
    08-21-2017 07:07 PM
  5. etphoto's Avatar
    Thanks for the review. I doubt it will cause me to switch but if I do have too in the future it will be Android over IOS.

    Twitter: @PhotographyET
    zmancb7 likes this.
    08-21-2017 07:36 PM
  6. zmancb7's Avatar
    The Essential will be able to be used on any carrier. Sprint is just the only retailer selling it where you can lease it and get a discount for using it on their network.

    I feel quite the opposite about Android the more I use it, the more I hate it. It's actually missing some baked in features WM10 has (like auto text-to-speech interrupt over bluetooth in the car) and it takes 3 extra steps to get to the same place in settings, etc. I'm not an app person, so I dont feel Im missing much in the productivity dept. (For my use anyway.) Outlook and contacts integrate better with WM10 as well.

    Android is still a steaming pile of mess compared to the ease and functionality of WM10 (IMHO).
    Awesome! Good to know, will have to check it out in it's second iteration after it gets some testing time, I am not going to be a guinea pig anymore.

    I agree with Android lacking those baked in features, honestly for me, dark theme is a must. And so easy to implement. But it's just not there.

    As I mentioned, I was just tired of frequent freezing, and a platform that is not showing any promise in terms of support. This phone is just buttery smooth and no stuttering between switching applications, delays when texting, or random "quirks"
    08-22-2017 01:30 PM

Similar Threads

  1. Possible to Keep X3 screen on while in dock?
    By mapenn in forum HP Elite x3
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-20-2017, 03:02 AM
  2. Xbox One Alpha preview dashboard is getting a much-requested increase in pins
    By WindowsCentral.com in forum Windows Central News Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-18-2017, 10:00 AM
  3. Chime in: What's the best way to fix a cracked Windows phone screen?
    By WindowsCentral.com in forum Windows Central News Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-18-2017, 09:40 AM
  4. Chime in: Does Xbox One still hold up as a video and music machine?
    By WindowsCentral.com in forum Windows Central News Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-17-2017, 02:20 PM
  5. Ring Video Doorbell Pro review: a smart doorbell for Windows 10
    By WindowsCentral.com in forum Windows Central News Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-17-2017, 12:10 PM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD