October is almost gone and the goodies from Google are in our hands at last! I may not have the shiny new Pixelbook Go to play with, but my Pixel 4 showed up on Friday and it's sweeter than a fun-size Hershey bar.
This is the first "proper" Pixel I've had since the OG Pixel — though I was lucky enough to use a Pixel 3a this summer — and I'm very much looking forward to getting intimately familiar with this phone over the next few weeks. I've been getting set up and familiar with it over the last two days, and while I've yet to reach a full-bodied conclusion, I do have some initial thoughts. I'd share them in Disney meme form but I'd need ten hours to get through everything and I'd rather be trying to nail down my Motion Sense gestures.
Motion Sense is firmly in the "trick" side of Pixel trick-or-treating, but when it works, it's really cool. I just need more than 48 hours to get it down. Battery life is also definitely not a treat, but even with a 5W Qi charger like the ESR Lounge Charger can keep the Pixel 4 topped off as I sit at my table and work on articles as I watch videos or listen to music. I have a feeling that my growing collection of USB-C battery packs are going to become my best friends when I head to the parks with the Pixel 4, but at home, it's manageable.
I'm exceedingly happy that I'm not restricted to the Pixel Launcher in order to use the new Assistant and the latest take on the Google gesture system, but I'd be happier if I wasn't accidentally backing out of apps left and right. Motion Sense is gimmicky but it only interferes with a few media apps, calls, and alarms. The gesture system as it stands interferes with most all apps in some shape or form, and the learning curve won't eliminate half that frustration.
Again, it's early days, but there is area of the Pixel 4 to which I can speak far more happily... I got a buncha cool cases to test over the next few weeks, and I gave a preview of them all on Twitter!!
Last case for the moment, the @OtterBox Symmetry in a bold blue that reminds me of the OG Pixel. The port opening at the bottom is extra large, but you'll need a bit more force getting it in and out of the case when you swap cases.— Ara Wagoner📱🏰🎶 (@AraWagco) October 25, 2019
.... What, you don't swap cases every week? pic.twitter.com/8pmRJSTQ4v
If any of these cases tickle your fancy — like that beautiful "Sapphire Secret" Otterbox Symmetry and the amazingly grippy Caseology Solid Flex Crystal — hit me in the comments and I'll try to get those reviews done first.
In other tricks and treats around the Android world this week:
- Carriers have been sabotaging RCS rollout since its inception. I have zero confidence in the Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative announced this week, and neither should any of you. I am, however, happily shocked that the RCS flag for Google Messages was just sitting there waiting to be turned on without root and without much effort.
- NVIDIA has been teasing tomorrow's date for most of the week, although some retailer leaks have already given us a sneak peek at the next generation of NVIDIA Shield TV consoles. They're making my mouth water more than the thought of November 1st's candy sales, and I can't wait to see what new goodies they bring with them, since my 2015 Shield TV has served me faithfully for years.
- The Pixelbook Go is premium and super-nice, but it's not the pink Chromebook I'm excited about this week. That honor goes to the Sand Pink Lenovo C340-11, which finally went on sale almost a month later than expected. Watch Best Chromebooks closely over the next few weeks as things shake up with the recent crop of Chromebook releases.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a Pixel to play with and Christmas music to dig out.
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