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Google Pixel Phone – Only £819 for 128gb and no OIS – My Thoughts (I’ll try and be polite)


Google announced the Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphone.


There is no micro SD Card support so the 32gb version is not a storage size I would recommend. 128gb is the other option. In the larger XL phone, this costs a whopping £819. If this price seems familiar it is the same price as the new iPhone 7 Plus 128gb.

So let’s be very clear here. This is no iPhone. It is the run of the mill top end hardware specifications that are seen in many android phones, some of which cost around £400. What you are paying for is a pure Google experience. Well, you can achieve this without buying the Pixel phone.

My recommendation is not to buy this phone. Instead if you want to spend iPhone money, buy an iPhone. If you want an android phone then buy a Honor 8, Samsung Note 7, Samsung Galaxy S7 or a HTC 10. All of these phones will offer more interesting software and hardware experiences.

Apparently the Google Pixel phone obtained the highest mark for its camera sensor by DxOMark of 89. Whilst the sensor might be excellent, the camera software and processing are just as important. Looking at the rear camera in more depth, it only has a f stop of f/2.0. It also lacks optical image stabilisation. This concerns me that whilst the pixels are large it is not really any further advanced in the camera department over last years Google Nexus 6P.

There are no standout hardware features on the Pixel Phone either. If you buy a Honor 8 you have dual rear 12mp cameras and an infra red blaster. Plus the Honor 8 is gorgeous to look at. If you spend a bit more you get the HTC 10. Great hardware and software plus a monster headphone amp. Plus its camera does have OIS. The Samsung Galaxy S7 is a similar price to the HTC 10 but has more features than your kitchen sink. The Note 7 and iPhone 7 and packed to the rim with hardware and software innovation. The Google Pixel phone is bland in comparison and so bloody expensive.

Maybe you’re shouting at me as they come with free video and photo backups at full resolution. It’s not free really as the cost clearly has been built into the price of the phone!

In fact, I am so unimpressed by this phone from Google, words fail me!

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 – Initial Views


The Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 is a ZTE manufactured phone for Vodafone based on the ZTE Blade S6 Plus.

The specifications are –

– Dimensions (mm) 154 x 77 x 8.35
– Weight (g) 159
– Operating system Android 5.0.2 (Lollipop)
– Screen 5.5 inch 1080p, 441 ppi, Touchscreen, IPS Quantum, 70.3% screen to body ratio,
– Camera 13 megapixels, 4x digital zoom, LED flash, 5mp front
– 2G standby time (hours) 240
– 3G talk time (hours) 15
– Processor – Snapdragon 615, 64 bit,Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53,quad-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53,Adreno 405
– SIM type NanoSIM
– Internal memory 16GB, 2gb ram
– Memory card type MicroSD
– Connectivity
– Network region LTE FDD 2600/1800/900/800 Mhz,
UMTS 2100/900 Mhz,
GSM 900/1800/1900 Mhz
– Bluetooth v4.0, A2DP
– FM Radio included
– Wi-Fi, Wireless tethering
– Battery 3,000mAh
– Micro USB 2

Photo from the rear camera below taken yesterday.


As you can read, you seem to get a decent level of specifications for your money, £125 on pay as you go, with Vodafone. It is locked to Vodafone, but if you search on ebay it costs around £3 to unlock.

The phone runs near stock android except for a few Vodafone apps, most of which can be uninstalled, or frozen, or hidden in a folder if necessary. The build is cheap plastic and I do worry how long the buttons will last over time. I have the anthracite colour. It is also available in white/silver.

After installing all the app updates and a 40mb software OTA update, the phone had 9.46gb free. This included space for my default Google apps and the respective data for each app.

Compared to my LG G4, the Smart Ultra 6 is the same width but slightly taller. Speed – jumping between screens and apps seems fairly fluid. The camera so far is ok. More testing needs to be done on everything, so these are just my initial thoughts. The 5.5 inch 1080p screen looks good with reasonable viewing angles. Brightness seems around 500 nits. AnTuTu scored 26,199 which is lower than the Nexus 5, LG G3 and Samsung Galaxy S5 which are around 38,000+.

However, so far so good. More soon.