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Should Lawyers Try Google's Pixel Phone?

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By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on October 31, 2016 3:57 PM

Google, not content with controlling most of the world's search, email, and web browsing, released its own "iPhone killer" this month, the Google Pixel. Now, Google technically already controls the mobile phone market as well. Its Android operating software is used on almost 90 percent of all smartphones worldwide. But Pixel is Google's latest, most aggressive shot at conquering phones themselves, coming on the heels of its Nexus phones. And it has pretty great reviews so far.

Should lawyers give it a try?

The Good: Speed, Space, Project Fi

If you're familiar with Android devices, the Pixel will be a comforting experience. It's the same Android OS, without the risk of explosion that some other Android phones carry. But Pixel seems to do Android better than most other Android phones. Performance is consistent, quick, and stable, according to reviews, avoiding some of the lag and crashes that older Android phones often experienced.

The fast OS is good, but the fast charging is even better. If you're one of those people who starts feeling nervous when your battery dips below 20 percent, you won't have to worry with a Pixel. The phone can be charged with up to seven hours of battery life in just 15 minutes, according to Google.

The phone comes with 32 or 128 gigabytes of storage, the latter of which is a lot of storage. But if you're worried about running out of space one your phone, the Pixel lets you to automatically sync videos and pictures with your Google Photos account --unlimited cloud storage at full resolution, which will allow you to free up a significant amount of space on your phone.

(The phone is earning rave reviews for its camera, too, but let's pretend you're interested in more than just great selfies.)

Finally, there's Project Fi, Google's own wireless service. Project Fi starts at just $20 a month, with users paying an extra $10 for every gigabyte of data. If you're a light data user or spend most of your time connected to wireless, that can mean significant savings -- enough savings to help you offset the Pixel's $649 plus price tag pretty quickly. And Pixel is one of just three phones that can work with Project Fi.

The Bad: Some Privacy Concerns, Limited Carriers, Delays

One of the main drawbacks about the Pixel is that it is, again, a Google product. With Google already dominating so many markets, from search to email, to browsers, to phone operating systems, consumers might want to think twice inviting such a behemoth into another aspect of their life -- and providing Google another avenue through which to collect their data.

Another drawback is the limited carriers available for the Pixel. Aside from Project Fi, the only other carrier for the Pixel is Verizon. If you have another carrier that you like, you'll have to say goodbye and switch over to Verizon or Fi if you want to take advantage of the Pixel.

But even if you're ready to throw your current smartphone in the eWaste bin, you might have to wait awhile before you can get your hands on a Pixel. Demand has outpaced supply and Google is currently experiencing significant shipping delays when fulfilling existing orders and the phone is currently listed as out of stock in the Google Store for three out of the four possible configurations.

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