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Why Many People Despise Google Pixel

Things improved with the Pixel 7

by George Mensah
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Google releases a new Pixel smartphone every year, and the Pixel lineup consistently receives positive reviews from tech reviewers around the world. It’s easy to see why: the Pixel lineup is more than capable, with dependable performance, excellent software features, and impressive camera capabilities. While previous generations of Google Pixel phones — the Pixel 5 and earlier — were aimed squarely at the upper-mid-range market, with the release of the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, Google shifted its strategy to target high-end audiences instead.

It released the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro in October 2022, with Google’s second-generation Tensor system-on-chip powering some truly impressive A.I. smarts. However, in typical Google fashion, the SoC performance lags behind the flagship competition, but the tech behemoth compensates for a hardware shortfall with impressive software and optimization. We can say the same for camera performance — despite not having the best hardware, Google’s Pixel 7 and 7 Pro smartphones produce some of the best images available. However, the new Pixel receives as many complaints as it praises each year, especially as time passes.

While Google I have always known Pixel phones for their excellent software experience — good software optimization, low bloatware, and timely software updates — things haven’t always been so rosy in terms of stability. Google Pixel phones have always had a bad reputation for bugs, and things got even worse with the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro.

The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro had a few bugs at launch, mostly because of UI glitches, a slow and unreliable fingerprint scanner, and screen brightness and refresh rate issues. While software improves as bugs are reported and they release updates, things didn’t appear to be improving for the Pixel 6, with MKBHD reporting that despite genuinely enjoying the phone, he was disappointed.

The Pixel 6 series’ Android 13 update didn’t seem to help much, with users on Reddit expressing extreme frustration with software glitches ranging from the keyboard not appearing when it should, the fingerprint scanner simply not working, and the user interface simply not responding to inputs.

Users of the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro appear to have had a better experience — perhaps because Google has more experience optimizing for the Tensor SoC, or simply because the company has learned from its mistakes with previous Pixel phones — but there are still bugs in the software. Some Reddit users are reporting buggy or sticky scrolling on their Pixel 7 Pros, while others are reporting broken gesture navigation and other issues.

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Overall, the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro appear to have fewer issues than the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, with the Pixel 6a appearing to be the most stable of the recent Pixel releases, with very few bug reports in online forums. According to PiunikaWeb’s bug tracker, the Pixel 6a has far fewer bugs than the Pixel 6 or 7 devices. While bugs and software issues will always exist in technology, companies like Samsung and Apple appear to do a far better job of squishing critical bugs in user interfaces before launch. Hopefully, Google’s quality control will continue to improve, allowing the de-facto Android experience to become the dependable platform they intended it to be.

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