After 2 passed Nexus phones, I'm skipping a Google Pixel

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Sarah Tew/CNET

It’s not me, Google. It’s you.

We had some good times together. Starting with a Galaxy Nexus all a proceed by a final Nexus phone, a 6P, we have owned 3 of Google’s flagship phones. Unlike phones from scarcely all other Android vendors, Google’s Nexus phones came with an unskinned, crapware-free chronicle of a handling complement and they were a initial Android inclination to get software updates.

Google followed a Nexus line with a Pixel phones final October. The new Pixel and Pixel XL come with an unskinned chronicle of Android and continue a trend of timely program updates. They are also a initial phones with a new Google Assistant, a company’s answer to Siri and Alexa, aka a next-gen step-up “OK, Google.” (That underline is now in a routine of rolling out to all other Android models with a latest Nougat handling system.)

I unequivocally wanted a Pixel, though we couldn’t in good demur clear it. My Nexus 6P was still a some-more than means device. But when my 6P unexpected died, we began to doubt possibly we should squeeze a Google phone during all.

Fool me once, contrition on you

Let’s behind adult a bit to a Nexus 5. we purchased one a few months after a recover in late 2013. Things were good, initially. The phone was quick and had good software, and we desired a feel of it. we finished adult regulating it for a small over a year with no problems, though afterwards one day it incidentally rebooted and refused to entirely energy on. we was stranded in what is called a bootloop, when a phone will foot adult to a association logo, restart and afterwards repeat.


Sarah Tew/CNET

There were dual expected causes for this: inadequate program and inadequate hardware. we was never given a true answer as to since this had happened. we contacted Google patron use (as a customer, not a deputy of CNET) and worked with them to try to correct a problem, to no avail. When we asked about a deputy we was told my guaranty had lapsed a few days earlier. we didn’t hit LG (the association that made a phone) given we had purchased it around a Google Play Store.

Feeling indignant and helpless, we searched a Web anticipating a correct would cocktail adult somewhere. It turns out we wasn’t alone. Users on multiple online forums had similar problems, many of that were caused by possibly a inadequate energy symbol or inadequate program update. For me, we trust it was an refurbish to Android 5.0.1 that caused a problem. The phone was still in nearby ideal condition and a energy symbol worked glorious and could still be used to tighten a phone down.

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I called Google again and explained how we believed a program refurbish a association had released might have caused a problem. we was told a same thing as before — my guaranty was lapsed and there was zero they could do.

Fool me twice, contrition on me

I wasn’t happy, though what could we do? we changed on with my life.

I motionless to skip Google’s subsequent phone, a Nexus 6, though that was due to a large distance of a device rather than my unsatisfactory knowledge with a Nexus 5. When a some-more pretty sized Nexus 6P was announced in late 2015, knew we had to have it.

In hindsight, it’s frightening how identical my 6P knowledge finished adult being. The Nexus 6P was all we could have wanted in a smartphone. It was fast, it had a good arrangement and a good camera and it felt good in my hands. It will go down as one of my all-time favorites, even with a cut I’m about to discuss.

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Josh Miller/CNET

After a small some-more than a year, a Nexus 6P incidentally rebooted and remained in a bootloop. As was a box with a Nexus 5, a phone was in good condition with no modifications. It was using pristine Android true from Google.

This time we was certain it was a software. A few days progressing a presentation on my phone had stirred me to refurbish it to Android 7.1.1. we contacted Google patron use (once again, as a patron and not a deputy for CNET) and was given a same spiel as final time: They weren’t means to correct a problem.

When reached for criticism by CNET, a Google orator pronounced a association was “not wakeful of a bootloop emanate for a Nexus 6P” and remarkable that “if a Nexus 6P was purchased from a Google Store, we will reinstate a device regardless of guaranty status.” we purchased cave from Best Buy, an certified third-party retailer, and was told to hit Huawei, a phone’s manufacturer.

It took usually a notation for a Huawei patron use deputy to brand a problem. The male told me, “This is a famous issue,” adding that “the emanate totally bricks a phone and it would need a totally new motherboard.” we was repelled that a program update, one that was certified and sent directly from Google, could do this to my device. The repute sensitive me that “the Android refurbish 7.1.1 caused a lot of issues on all devices.”

I was told that since a device was out of guaranty (by usually dual weeks), Huawei wouldn’t reinstate it. The patron use deputy suggested we check out a internal correct shop. we reached out to uBreakiFix, a correct emporium endorsed by Google, and was told a emporium “doesn’t perform motherboard replacements since it comes out to be too tighten to shopping a used device of that same model.”

It seemed no one wanted to take shortcoming for my damaged phone. Unfortunately, I’m not a usually chairman who gifted problems with a Nexus 6P. Despite Google’s claims that it wasn’t wakeful of any bootloop issue, users across mixed online forums complained of similar problems.

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Josh Miller/CNET

I’m not prepared to trust Google’s patron use again

Part of a reason those dual patron use tales were so involved was since of a uncanny standing of Google’s Nexus hardware. Google radically worked with manufacturers such as Samsung, LG and Huawei to make customized versions of their phones, that Google afterwards sole as “hero” Android devices. But that left a product with dual corporate relatives — Google and a manufacturer — and a treacherous patron use path.

But with 2016′s Pixel, Google took a opposite hardware approach. While a phone was still made by a third celebration — in this case, HTC — it was designed by Google from a belligerent up. While a Nexus phones were radically “Google Nexus 5 by LG,” a Pixel phone is a “Google Pixel,” full stop. The sire stops with them: Google controls things front to back, including all patron use obligations.

That’s all glorious and good, though it eventually feels like a eminence though a difference. From my vantage point, Google’s program updates bricked dual phones in a quarrel — models that a association effectively put onward as a best Android knowledge during a time.

As mentioned above, a Google deputy told CNET that a issues with a Nexus 6P with a bootloop emanate would be transposed “regardless of guaranty status” — though usually if it was purchased by a Google Store. That seems crazy to me. If Apple, Microsoft and Samsung products have opposite guaranty terms when we squeeze them by their particular stores, that’s news to me.

Does a same thing request to Pixel phones? Who knows. And as Google offers some-more and some-more of a possess branded hardware over a Pixel — Google Home, Chromecast streamers, Wi-Fi routers and maybe even some-more Chromebooks — a doubt becomes ever some-more pertinent. (Some glitches have already been reported on Pixel phones and Google Home speakers, though they’re both good within their one-year warranty.)

Ultimately, so prolonged as you’re purchasing a product by an certified tradesman — new and hermetic from, say, Best Buy — Google should behind a hardware with a same guarantees that it’s charity to Google Store customers. Simply put, when a program refurbish from Google breaks a device, Google should feel thankful to correct it, regardless of where it was purchased.

Until then, we won’t be shopping a Pixel phone.

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