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Review: Google Pixel hobbled by Android 7.1

Galen Gruman | Nov. 3, 2016
The Pixel is a major step up for Google's Android hardware, but Android 7.1's networking woes overly complicate corporate usage

The Pixel smartphones are marketed as initially available only for the Verizon network. As I was reminded on a recent trip to Los Angeles, Verizon's network is poor in many regions of the country, especially (in my experience) the South and Midwest. (AT&T is poor in other areas, like Northern California and New York.) Single-carrier smartphones are a bad idea for enterprises, which typically have multiple office locations and traveling employees. Luckily, the Pixel is unlocked, even the ones sold by Verizon itself, so you can use it on other networks, including AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

The new Android 7.1 Nougat introduces a couple of UI changes that may throw users at first, such as the slide-up app window. But most of the changes (there aren't many) are slight improvements, such as the quick-access slider in Settings.

The Pixels are nice smartphones, comparable to other Android flagships. But the Pixels suffer from Android 7.1's naïvetė about the corporate world, even more so than previous Android versions. An iPhone is the best corporate phone, both for iOS's maturity around enterprise needs and the strong app portfolio that comes with it. A pre-7.1 Android smartphone is your next best bet, especially the stylish, highly secure Galaxy S7. Android 7.1 needs to be fixed before the Pixel should be on your supported-device list.


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