Skip to main content

How is your Google Pixel holding up?

I don't like using a case with my phone, and more often than not this decision means I pay a fairly hefty price in the look and feel of my phone over time. Most of that is because I'm also pretty clumsy, and generally speaking that's a bad combination. But this also gives me a decent look at how my personal phone holds up daily abuse over extended periods of time, and for the last six months that phone has been Google's Pixel XL in Quite Black.

Here's what I've found when I take a closer look at this phone.

Read more: Our favorite cases for the Google Pixel

Scratches and paint chips

Google Pixel Scratches

Lets start with the most obvious damage, the stuff that would be there on every phone no matter what. This phone is covered in scratches, with little flecks of paint missing all over the edges. My phone has shared a pocket with keys, taken more than a couple tumbles off of my dresser and night stand, and has met the pavement at least twice while out and about. Scratches are expected at this point, and while you have to really look to notice any serious damage on the front glass, the back of this phone looks like it survived a warzone.

It couldn't be more obvious that the front and back glass on this phone are not made of the same stuff. This rear glass, which only exists as a way to ensure NFC and wireless radios work without issue, doesn't offer much in the way of visual aesthetic to begin with. The front, on the other hand, has some slight rubbing marks on the bottom corners, but only in the bezel area far from the actual display. The one scratch that is clearly visible on the display is only noticeable in direct sunlight, and it's off to the far right edge of the screen so it doesn't impact the ability to use the phone at all.

Light scratches started showing up on the back of this phone within the first week of use, so this is about what I expected after the six month mark. My biggest concern here is a scratch coming across the camera lens, which so far hasn't happened. The camera is under the same glass as the rest of the phone, so it seems like one of those things that will eventually happen to this phone if the phone falls in the wrong way. That fall would almost have to be directly on the lens for that to happen, so it's probably not a real concern.

As for the paint chips, the good news is most of them are entirely cosmetic. Despite all of the drops this phone has seen, there are no noticeable dents and only two scrapes I can actually feel with my finger as I run it across the phone. The rest of the visual damage isn't deep enough to indicate any damage to the inside of the phone, which is awesome. It speaks to the superior build quality here, and is a solid indicator that Google went with the right company to do its manufacturing.

Pardon my splotch

Google Pixel Oleophobic coating

This is by far the weirdest "damage" I've ever had on a phone, and I'm not the only one to notice this particular issue. For whatever reason, the oleophobic layer in the top right corner of this phone has worn away in this odd stain pattern. It's almost like I dropped some kind of acidic jelly on this corner of the phone, and it sat there just long enough to eat away at the microscopic layer on this glass that pushes away oils from your skin.

Whatever causes this particular issue, it's unique to the Pixel.

That didn't actually happen, of course, but the stain is there all the same. It's only visible when I've run my finger across it and deposited oil on the glass. When I wipe away smudges with a microfiber cloth, that stain goes away entirely until I touch that area again. That corner typically requires a little more polish than the rest of the front of the phone, but after it looks fine. I've taken dozens of photos of the front of this phone where that splotch is completely gone, but every couple of days it returns.

The most bizarre part of this stain existing is not being able to explain how it got there. I don't pick the phone up from that corner, there's nothing about my day to day activities that causes me to interact with that corner, and I haven't spilled anything on the phone or used any cleaners I wasn't supposed to use. Most of it isn't even on the display, but up in the bezel.

I'm not the only one with this particular splotch on my Pixel, but I am the only one I've spoken to with this splotch located where it is. Most others have variants of this issue on the bottom corners of the phone, but it's never the exact same pattern and not usually in the exact same place. Whatever causes this particular issue, it's unique to the Pixel and once you notice it you tend to never leave your house without a microfiber cloth.

What about your Pixel?

Google Pixel

Despite the many cosmetic issues my Pixel has, it's still holding up incredibly well and that's what is important. This is a solid phone that may or may not have a weird oleophobic problem, which is great news for anyone looking at what might come with the Pixel 2 later this year.

Before you drop into the comments to scold me for not using a case or skin, which isn't going to accomplish anything because I know what I'm doing isn't great for the phone and I'm not going to stop, I invite you to take a real close look at your Pixel and tell me what you see. Look at the places around the edges of your case, especially that back glass, and share what if any damage you see.

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

  • All of my phones are always pristine right up until I sell them because I treat them reverently.
  • +1 for phones that I buy new.
  • mine too; and they remain pristine despite my never using a case. it's not hard: you wouldn't drop a baby or a laptop, so don't drop your phone ;)
    (that's the generic anyone 'you' right there)
  • I drop babies all the time. They make baby cases just like phones.
  • Otterbox makes a excellent Defender series Baby case. While it's a tad expensive, the baby is protected. 'nuff said.
  • It's critical if you want to your sell your baby for the highest value. I won't even look at baby on Swappa unless it is mint condition.
  • I dropped a baby in the toilet the other day. Now I'm never going to be able to sell the damn thing.
  • i carry those other things with two hands.
  • I bought an extended warranty for all my babies. After what happened to that first one, it seemed worth the investment.
  • Same here. And I don't use cases, either.
  • All of these people claiming their phones are always pristine because of their superior coordination and infallible vigilance are bizarre. I don't know anyone who hasn't dropped a phone, had it knocked out of a hand or off a nightstand.
  • Or dropped in the bathtub...... :)
  • I rarely ever drop my phone but I do a lot to protect it. However I do use screen protectors and cases together as a combo.
  • Same here😊
  • Not having children helps, at least in my case.
  • Not handing your phone to children helps too. I cringe every single time I see an adult hand their high end phone to a kid in a stroller to keep them quiet.
  • I *sometimes* hand my phone to my kid if he wants to play a game. That said, I always use a rugged case along with a TGSP that offers full coverage. I am almost completely certain my 4-year-old kid won't hurt my phone as long as there is no liquid nearby. I still keep an eye out though.
  • I'm the clumsiest person you'll ever meet. I have spare cases and spare screen protectors (I have to change the screen protector every three weeks I'd say even though I get good brands) but when I do take all the protection off my phone still looks new. Luckily I KNOW I'm clumsy so I prepare x
  • I can't imagine being that careful, I don't drop my phone a lot and I try not to put it in my pocket with keys on the same side. But it sounds like they're only thinking about their phone and never doing anything else as they walk around. Never drop a phone while carrying something and one handing your phone, hands wet, etc. At the same time I can't imagine people like russel who use their phone naked and let it get this mucked up.
    I use a case and screen protector always and my phone always looks pristine underneath , while living a normal life.
  • Hi John. I'm Anthony and it is a pleasure to meet you. Now you can say that you have met someone that has never dropped their phone or had it fall off of a dresser or nightstand. Seriously, I really haven't. I commented about this on another site awhile back and I thought I may have jinxed myself for mentioning it but no drop record is still going strong. It is not like I am babying the phone either. The only thing special I do for my phone is it has it's own reserved pants pocket. My right front pants pocket is for my phone only! No key's, change or anything but my phone goes into that pocket.
  • I second that dedicated pants pocket decision. Been that way since my first cell phone (over 8 years ago), my only other item might be a lint free cloth for smudges. Although while I'm typing this, I still use a thin case and I've got a skinomi techskin applied to my GS7E.
  • Night stand, that's where I knock it off, usually trying to silence the alarm.
  • Agreed, that's just odd. I go through phones like mad (well, hopefully, "used to" as I just went back to big red from a game carrier so now my selection is limited) and when i sell them, 9-10 each year, at least 3-4 of them will have a nick/scratch/blemish or 2 on them. I generally use cases for resale too, but, back on big red, going to try to use my two (to swap when bored and / or tires of skinned or stock Android; G6 and Z Play Droid) and only those and no cases as I hate cases...So far, only a few weeks in, both have a drop scuff on them.
  • Same here, my note 5 looks like new after a good wipe down.
    I'm guessing people that treat their phones poorly are the same type that always have trash strewn all over in their cars.
  • LMAO, great connection, you're probably right! One time, I was at a drive-up window in my truck and, as she was handing me my food, the girl said she loved that new car smell and asked how long is had it. She was amazed when I told her two years. And, yes, I did _use_ it as a truck, I'm not some soccer mom with a Hummer-sized SUV just for status, but I know how not to abuse nice things, too.
  • Same here. When pay $700 for something, I take care of it AND PUT A CASE ON IT! I don't have the luxury of buying 10 different phones at a time just so I can write an article about them.
  • They get them all for free so of course they don't care. They will send them back in a few months and get something else. 
  • I could care less about treating my phone well, it's a tool. Once I've extracted the useful life out of it I run it over with the truck and move on.
  • So,e of us don't have $800 to drop on a new phone all of the time like you do.
  • If I worked at a job where I got a new phone every few months I wouldn't use a case either.
  • This isn't a behavior that started with my employment in this industry, and I don't get a new phone every few months from my job.
  • My bad :)
  • While Mobile Nations doesn't buy your phones, for you, getting new stuff is part of your job (an investment in your career) so you can write them off as business expenses.
    Most of your readers can't. 😢
    I like Tech21 cases for my phone's. They don't add much bulk, but they protect really well! Also, I use a screen protector always.
    I have Butterfingers sometimes.
    I wish I could mentally be at a place to say, "it will be fine..."
  • Well, to be fair there are rules to follow in which to write off business/work expenses 1. Part of the phone use is personal, part is professional.
    2. Even if it was 100% work related (which I doubt), you can only deduct non-reimbursed expenses that exceed a certain percantage of your AGI. Even if you have enough expenses, you only get to take the deduction when.if you itemize vs. the standard deduction.
    To claim most work-related expenses, you must itemize deductions. You can deduct only the portion of your work-related expenses that exceeds the IRS floor: 2 percent of adjusted gross income. If your 1040 says you must pay the alternative minimum tax (AMT), you cannot take work-related deductions.
  • yeah, i refuse to use a case too. and guess what: my phones never get damaged even after years of use. not sure how others manage to damage phones so frequently and so carelessly, but it's not that hard to refrain from dropping, scratching, etc - seriously, just treat it like it is the valuable device it actually is and you won't need a case on it.
  • Mine has been in a case and had a glass screen protector on it since new. Even with that I too have some paint chips on a couple of corners from drops. That splotch is very very strange though... Never seen that ever.
  • Best phone I ever owned. Still as fast as day 1. Rocking tech 21 case no scratches works like a charm.
  • I also go caseless but i don't treat my several hundred dollar device like it is disposable. I got mine at launch and I only have a few light scratches on the rear glass. Keeping your phone in the same pocket with keys is a horrible idea.
  • It's not something I do regularly, but it happens every once in a while.
  • As long as I've had a smartphone, going back to the HTC Apache in 2006, my smartphones have gone in my left pocket and keys in my right. The only other things allowed in my left pocket are made of softer material than glass, so usually just paper items. My phone still manages to pick up scuffs and scratches, but nothing like your Pixel. That said, I don't think your Pixel is as bad as it looks when you're taking macro shots and really trying to focus on the scratches.
  • Same here, phone in the left pocket, keys in the right!
  • i do the opposite - phone in right pocket, keys and moneyclip in left pocket...cuz the way i see it, i'm realistically taking my phone out of my pocket many more times a day than my keys or money (i'm right-handed). i switched my pockets around like this years ago, and it seems so much more efficient now, for me.
  • I started putting my phone in my left pocket ever since the EVO and quickly grew used to using it left handed 90% of the time, even tho I'm totally right handed. It works out pretty well when I'm eating etc. Battery pack, pen, and/or keys on right pocket. The slim phone sized packs work great for this.
  • I also keep my phone in my left pocket, and nothing else goes into a pocket with my phone in.
  • Yup. NOTHING goes in the phone pocket but phone.
  • it only takes once for a few seconds to "share a pocket with keys" to lose coating. not a coincidence that others had similar damage also at an end of the device (less likely in the middle of the display as keys sit at the bottom of the pocket). I try to avoid anything riding with the phone, but things happen. this is why there's a thin screen protector and thin case on my 6P. Like to keep it in sellable condition.
  • Yes sir. You pay $600-$1000 bucks for something then act accordingly. Take care of it like it's worth. Also included in that is the amount of time I use it every hour of every day.
  • Pristine, Dbrand skin and a screen protector.
  • How was it applying the dbrand. I'm thinking of doing the same, but I heard it was a pain
  • Got rid of mine but it still looked new....
  • Best phone I've owned besides my 6P hands down.
  • Holding up well. I do use a thin case and after about a month (got it at launch) I put a glass screen protector on. I had started to notice some fine scratches, and I just don't like seeing that.
  • I suggest that fellow phone-nudists look up Fitbag on Amazon. It's a sleeve that ships from Germany and cost around $18, but they are hand crafted to fit a particular phone. I had one for my Pixel and my iPhone 6 and it is a snug fit. I've dropped my phone once or twice while in the Fitbag and suffered no ill-effects. The inside material is microfiber, so it also cleans the finger gunk off your screen every time you take it in and out of the sleeve. Physically my Pixel was pristine - but software wise it became a mess. Bluetooth issues, a weird screen thing where I had to press slightly below the top row of icons on the homescreen in order to open an app, and volume issues when playing music / calls over bluetooth. I've since switched back to iPhone.
  • A few chips but otherwise running like a champ
  • Ok the screen popped up out of the shell but I popped it back in
  • Whoa, you get any photos of that? I bet it looked crazy.
  • Not a scratch. You sir, are unique indeed and probably should be banned from using any mobile devices!
  • Probably true!
  • 6 months later. Still like new
  • In all fairness I believe the majority of folks use cases on their phones. So your experience may not be typical. Love my XL. Great phone with no major issues. Still in great shape too
  • I'm going out on a limb and saying my phone is in perfect condition and was shipped to me on launch day. I've used a case plus Liquid Armor.... There's Not a single spider web on any of my glass surfaces or any paint chips.
  • You should ask about the Nexus 6p
  • I just got mine at the end of February. It's been almost exclusively in a case - I just do not feel confident enough holding it without one out in the "wild", and the surest way to drop a phone is to worry about not dropping it. As a result my phone is pristine. I'm careful with it though. I had a Nexus 5 for three years and the glass only has two light scratches. I use a clear Spigen Hybrid case, it's a good compromise.
  • I lost mine and I think it got run over by a car because the display was busted. I recovered it (with find my device/smart watch/Bluetooth earphones) and replaced the screen myself and apart from some abrasions on one side (slim case), it's run fine since then - quite an adventure for a 4 month old phone - but it's in a better case now...
  • Mine has abstractly picked up a couple micro/hairline screen scratches already (bought in Nov), my Nexus 5 had a couple as well but they showed up after a few years, dunno how the Pixel picked them up this quick... Not terribly concerned, only visible with the screen off and overhead lighting.
  • Not even sure what I meant instead of abstractly there but it's an auto correct error....
  • So you really don't make it an issue to care for your phones, to each his own.
  • Seriously, I cringed when I read "My phone has shared a pocket with keys..."
  • I keep mine in an Armorbox case by i-Blason and I'm glad I do... Had a few drops and the phone is as pristine as the day I received it... I would rather deal with the minimally added bulk to the phone than have damage to a phone I'm paying off for the next two years
  • 6 months later, a couple of minor scratches from the month that I was waiting for my designer (yeah so what?) phone case to come off back order. Phone still works top notch and is nearly pristine condition. I am not prone to dropping my phone though that is how my previous Moto X reached end of life.
  • I sincerely wish I could stand to go naked with this phone but I find it far to difficult to hold onto without some kind of case. That being said, mine has held up pretty dang well. Haven't had any major drops so the front still looks good, have had some kind of case on it since I got it save for a day or two here and there so the back still looks good. I actually really like the design of this phone and going caseless would be my ideal situation, can't do it though.
  • Well, I'm on my 4th one, so it looks pretty good. The GPS stopped working on the first one. The second one (first RMA) had horribly uneven screen tones like some of the early Nexus 6P devices. The third one (second RMA) lasted almost three whole months before its GPS went out also. Now I have a refurbished one from Google. I wholeheartedly regret preordering the Pixel and wouldn't have done so knowing that it would be an $823.70 price for a big hassle and a refurbished (used) phone. Unfortunately, it's the best Android experience out there. I really do enjoy using it. I just hope it continues to work. I baby my devices yet somehow this still happened. I've talked about the GPS issues on Reddit and I'm not the only one to have these problems. I'm looking forward to Pixel 2!
  • "Basically everything has gone horribly wrong. I can't wait to sign up for it all over again in the fall!"
  • Yikes that sucks, hadn't heard of GPS issues, reminds me of the first gen Galaxy... Mine has seemingly avoided all issues, no problems with BT, mic, or anything; I'd be pissed if I ended up with a refurb in < 6 months.
  • Wow bro..I couldn't imagine having any phone have so much go wrong and still be loyal to that brand with cheap build quality type **** happening like that. People always talk about how great these HTC built pixels are\were..when they barely sell a million phones a year combined and with such a small pool of buyers to draw from the fail rate must be really high. I feel for this guy he's under some sort of spell, android has plenty fast more affordable phones with great features and awesome build huawei,axon 7,even op3, if you gonna drop 800 on an Android it should be Samsung all day.
  • I'm not going to contribute to the "if you used a case it wouldn't look like that posts", However, in the current state of glass backed slippery fish phones, I don't like holding onto them because they feel like they are sliding out of my hands, and the edges bother me too. Regardless of the obvious risk of damaging it, its just slippery and uncomfortable to hold when I'm using it. A simple thin TPU case adds a nice layer of protection, grip and in my experience most follow the lines and design of the phone so you don't loose the shape of the design and you get all kinds of grip, drop and scratch protection. I just don't understand why someone wouldn't want to use one but to each their own.
  • Many a times I feel writers at AC or WC or crackberry are advocates of phone companies n not of phone users... Why? I couldn't find single article on techniques or products for scratch removal or smudge removal... For example, my gear S2 black metal bazel developed some scratches or smugdes ... N rubber strap of my Microsoft band 2 started looking old by some white shades.... They didn't encountered single fall... N I feel there must be products to rejuvenate outer sheen of wearables n phones... But any article on it? No......
  • Probably because those products don't exist or don't work like the sellers would want you to believe​. Yeah you can have your shoe shined but it's not going to fix the wear and tear on it.
  • They don't work, that's why we don't talk about them.
  • Plus, wouldn't that exacerbate the screen stain issue? Scratch removers are abrasive after all. Damp cloth is all I use.
  • It's not even about respecting the phone, mine always stay pristine because I respect myslef and my hard work for the money I spend on it.
  • Similar, but less noble-sounding: I just want to be able to sell it for as much as possible when I move on to my next phone.
  • I don't understand why people toss their phones around and are not careful with them. They are expensive items. It is not hard to handle phones carefully and not scratch/smash the hell out of them. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The front glass of mine was scratched by a RJ-45 connector I had in my pocket with the phone. A piece of plastic scratched Gorilla Glass. I went out and bought a screen protector after that otherwise mine looks good as new.
  • Sharpened plastic tho, those connectors have some fine edges... Sand and small particulate tend to be the most abrasive and scratch prone tho.
  • Mine still looks like I just pulled it out of the box.
  • Mine is looking great, but I have an OtterBox Commuter case and a tempered​glass protector on it. Lots of hard surfaces and splashing going on where I work, so...
  • "For whatever reason, the oleophobic layer in the top right corner of this phone has worn away in this odd stain pattern." Do you hold the pixel to your ear at that place when you make calls?
  • I hate using cases; however, since I'm clumsy, I tend to break my phones if I don't use one. I'm using one of Google's thin cases that leaves the bottom of the phone mostly exposed. Anyway, the phone is still great! Not a scratch on it so far, which is a record for me! The last Google side update fixed the tiny Bluetooth issue. It never bothered me but it's gone now. It still hums along nicely. My only tiny gripe is since the 7.1.2 update it does seem to use a little bit more juice than before. I just ordered one of the Peel cases. It hasn't arrived yet. I got the "really blue" version of the XL and I hate covering such a gorgeous phone with a case. The peel case is supposed to be the same color and really show it off. Here's hoping.
  • I just got my peel case for my really blue and it's kinda disappointing. I knew it was going to be very slim minimal protection but a corner has already cracked and I'm not sure how. I've only had this case about 5 days.
  • I can't tell you how many times I've bought a phone on Swappa or wherever and they described it as being in mint condition but upon closer inspection, there were at least a couple of small scratches. So no offense, but my personal experience suggests that people who don't use cases or screen protectors but claim their phones are in pristine condition may not be looking closely enough.
  • They aren't.
    They just love the power trip of being condescending and "perfect" phone owner.
    A great accomplishment I guess...
  • Meh. Even if you keep it in a case, there is a chance some sort of particle sneaks in, causing very light scratches. If you want a pristine phone, buy a new one. If you buy something used, unless it was never actually used, it might have some sort of blemish upon close inspection. I mean, how can you expect someone to use a device everyday and not have something slight happen? I could sell mine right now and claim its mint but I am also not going over it with a magnifying glass.
  • My Pixel XL looks like new. I use the official hard Google case that covers the sides and the back and no screen protector. Phone looks great. I don't abuse it but I don't baby it either. These are well-made phones.
  • I have the really blue xl version and it has some paint missing despite always being in a case. Other than that it still looks great and has never slowed down or disappointed me.
  • Been using case combine with glass screen protector can't go wrong it looks perfect black 128 gig
  • Because I read things on this site, I knew that back glass was going to be delicate. I haven't put a single finger on it and before I got my XL I bought a case and screen protector. I still take it out of the case now and then for cleaning, but this thing looks pristine.
  • Given the cost, yea, it's always in a case, except when I clean it or when I use VR.
  • I always use a case and Screen Protector. Started off​ with the Spigen NeoHybrid but have now gone to a slimmer Lenuo case. Screen protector is still holding up well. No visible scratches on the glass back, no dents or scratches on the metal.
  • Since the 7.1.1 update mine crashed about every 3 days.. now since the 7.1.2 update it locks up at least once a day, normally more often, even if I'm not doing anything on the phone. Physically, I have a case, so it still looks great.
  • Weird, mine pretty much never locks up, it's worked even better than the old Nexus 5 in that regard. Literally the only times I've restarted it over the last 3 months has been for updates. 565:50:00 uptime right now, so yeah, about when I bothered to install the last update.
  • I have an eight dollar case that's clear and super thin and a mint condition purchased on day one phone. Just use a case man. Geez. I hate bulk too but I don't feel the difference and it's worth the investment to preserve this seven hundred dollar bff I carry why me 24/7.
  • Splotch = atomic ear wax?
  • Mouth to ear meat grease / drool.
  • I hate screen protectors but I've alternated between a Spigen ultra hybrid and Rugged armour since I got it, and mine is mint.
  • My Pixel works great and looks like it's brand new since it's been in a case from the day I got it. I just regret getting 32GB instead of 128.
  • I made the same mistake - getting the 32gb Pixel XL -but fortunately was allowed to return it. I got mine through EE and they have a 14 day returns policy. After 3 weeks, I contacted them to tell them that I wanted to change it for the 128gb XL. I was lucky to speak to someone who perhaps knew where I was coming from, or who liked that I wasn't ranting and raving down the phone. I returned my 32 and picked up my 128 from the EE store. I'm so glad that I did. If they hadn't exchanged it though, I would have probably ebayed my 32 and bought a 128.
  • I've been going for the largest available capacity ever since the Nexus 5, specially on phones sans mSD... Though I still think they could've charged only $50 for 128GB, maybe $75? A whole Benji left a sour taste in my mouth, more so than the phoneis base price actually. No regret going for 128GB regardless.
  • I don't know. I was smart enough to sell that ripoff device 3 weeks after I bought it. What a farce.
  • I'd file a warranty claim for that display issue. A $700 phone shouldn't be doing that in its first year. I got rid of my Pixel soon after I bought it. It is not a well built phone. My OnePlus 3T has been perfect and was almost half the price.
  • Yeah the OP3T is a much better phone.
  • The Pixel XL is big enough... No need to add bulk with a case in my opinion. With the price we pay for these premium devices they should be built to maintain their beauty and functionality over time without having to put a condom on it (so to speak). With all that said I am going on 6 months with this phone (Silver model) and other than light scuffs on the corner it still looks phenomenal.
  • Never had a phone look this bad. Sounds like a personal problem
  • So far mine is holding up well. Been in a live case since I got it. OS wise, starting to get app force closes even with the Google app. Battery life has been an issue, but I chalk that up to Fi, might be time to switch back to ATT.
  • I'm sorry y'all! I need cases on my devices.. These things are too damn expensive not to protect them and I am not one to finance technology over a period of time.. I purchase them out right then keep them until they break! So, my pixel is in perfect condition with it's Incipio Carnaby Olive case and PureGear Glass screen protector..
  • I've had mine for four months, naked the whole time. Each of the four corners has some little color blemish: three of them are like scuffs along the edge and are not visible when holding the phone, the last in the upper left corner is right by the screen. It's tiny, though, like a minuscule nick. There's one last little speck along the left edge bezel. Otherwise, it's pristine. No scratches on the back or the front, and no weird blemishes on the screen. I think you're just rough with phones, Russell. Stop putting them in the same pocket as your keys. ;)
  • I just use a bumper case for my Pixel XL. I also make sure that my keys are in a different pocket to my phone. Without a screen protector, my screen is still fine - no scrapes or scratches. I only ever used a screen protector once with my hTc One M8 but i couldn't get them to seal at all four corners - the was always one corner (not always the same one) that wouldn't stay down so I've never bothered with them since. My biggest problem is pocket lint!
  • This may have been covered already, but does the white version perhaps hold up a bit better than the 'quite black' model shown here? I've got a white pixel and it's looking much better then my phones usually do. Granted it's in a case, but it's a minimal one (no screen protector or cover) and it looks brand spanking new.
  • Sadly, mine is starting to show some disturbing issues. Hardware wise it's survived a couple of drops but did eventually get a large crack in the back glass which I haven't yet spent the money to fix; such a stupid design. More troubling though is that I'm starting to have regular freezing where the only way to resolve is a hard reboot. Additionally the phone seems to be running hot at times that don't correspond to an app which I can see being cpu or GPU intensive. This kind of crap reminds me of my Droid MAXX...My Nexus 6P held up better to be honest
  • I guess one nice thing about that first scratch on a new device is you stop obsessing over every square inch for imperfections... I can relate to Pixel owners not wanting a case that's uglifies a pretty, slim phone, though. I've felt the same with my Nextbit Robin. Such a pretty phone and it feels dumb to have it in a case (yet I do for now). If I had the blue Pixel, I probably wouldn't own a case. :p I'm surprised somebody hasn't come up with a screen protector for the back glass, though?? Maybe I didn't Google hard enough...
  • Not protecting your phone is a ego thing. I don't live my life on "it'll never happen to me" philosophy.
  • Sold it and bought a 3t. Much better IMO.
  • Great! Except NO GPS! And that REALLY sucks. Really.
  • Every phone I have kept without case or screen protector and I've never had more than a few tiny hairline scratches on any of my phones. I work at an AT&T store and honestly can't imagine how some of my customers can spend upwards of $800 on a phone and treat it the way they do. It's not just my phone either, my $1000 MacBook is still in pristine condition, and my car is in great condition too with no trash in it
    I guess it just depends on the person, but if I'm going to buy something I'm going to take care of it while still using it for its intended purposes. Just put it somewhere safe if you're doing a physical activity that could damage the phone. You can miss a text or two while you play basketball or do some physical work. I personally don't think it's hard to keep a phone in great condition, and it's just second nature for me I don't have to think extra hard about it or anything. I realize I'm kinda a rare breed among phone users lol
  • Spoken like someone who lives alone and uses his phone for 10% of what it's good for. Me, I get a $5 gel case and a $7 screen protector, and don't worry about the occasional nightstand fumble, cat trick, baby grabbing my phone, or dog jumping on me while holding the phone. All that doesn't make this a good phone though. My Bluetooth has had issues for months now, with just shrugs from tech support (after they had me wipe it). At least LG fixed my GPS issue on my G5, which was a much cheaper phone, and substantively pretty similar.
  • G5 is awesome.
  • Damn Russell .... Put a damn case on your phone! You will have no excuses if you spent the $15 for a decent case. I got the Caseology Parallax case on my Pixel from Day One (or Two) and it is in perfect condition.
  • I've got that one too, and love it. It's nice to look at and does the job well! Dropped mine from a taxi the other day on to concrete in the parallax case - and the phone was fine.
  • I wish they had made something besides black on black and X on gold... The burgundy or navy with a silver trim would've looked a lot better on the Pixel. Ended up using the Diztronic Pixlee myself... Can't fault anyone that wants to go case-less tho, it feels very different, I use one more for impact protection than keeping the phone mint.
  • Same. The Black on black is sleek but it would have been nice to have another option. I agree about the other colors you mentioned too. Ideally, I wanted to pull the trigger on those two but I just can't with the gold considering that the Pixel has NO gold at all on it. Not even anything in that range.
  • Good God, Russell. Your phone looks like hot garbage, you savage!
  • Lol
  • That splotch issue is bizarre, thanks for highlighting it Russell... I had a similar issue on my Nexus 5 but it was obviously from wear (happened right where I swipe most and only after years), haven't seen it yet on my Pixel but I've babied the thing. It's gonna drive me crazy when/if it happens... You definitely put your phones thru the ringer! I'd actually like to go naked, so to speak, not afraid of some battle scars... But I invariably end up using a case for whatever small measure of impact protection they provide, specially with the Pixel. I'm pretty paranoid about that back glass cracking and spoiling the camera. The two things I've most noticed as far as wear are: 1) it seems to pick up pocket lint/dust a lot more, specially right after I've wiped it down... Dunno if the coating is more clingy or what. I've also picked up a few micro/hairline scratches (the kind you only see under direct/intense overhead lighting) on the display way sooner than I did with my Nexus 5. They aren't bad enough to even make me consider a screen protector, but it's still a little puzzling. The only thing my display ever comes in contact with is me and my clothing. HTC has solid build quality... QC might be another story (tho I haven't had any BT/mic issues, or anything really), and supply has most definitely been an issue, but I dunno if it's fair to blame them for that. It could easily be a component shortage issue, and it seems Google would be in charge of negotiating that.
  • The outside of my phone looks great (I have a case), but my Bluetooth is a hot mess and Google support is all "shrug".
  • When I read, "Jacked," in the title, I asked myself, "How can a phone lift weights?" Then I realized that it was a pixel and I knew right away that it must be roids because the phone can't even do simple things without a lil help.
  • Case and screen protector​ keep my pixel looking brand new. I never want to take risks with something this expensive.
  • Mint condition. I take care of EVERYTHING I own.
  • We all know people who have pristine phones and others who walk around with cracked screens until the next upgrade. I decided early you can be a person who drops their phone or one who doesn't. Choose one and stick with it!
  • Preordered a Pixel on day 1. Put am ArmourSuit screen protector on it day 1 but no case. The back glass has scratches around the edges but no other blemishes. Ill be removing the ArmourSuit soon to test a tempered glass protector instead and see if I like it.
  • Not one scratch, mark, dent, smear at all thanks to my Spigen armoured case, you know ! a case I'm not supposed to mention as being so protective, it's protected my phone entirely...... and I hate cases too...
  • I can't stand putting a case on my pixel. I ordered a clear skin from slickwraps.
  • Mine is still holding up really well. I don't like cases, but seeing how much I had to pay for this phone, I decided to add one of the clear snug-fitting ones sold by Google. And until this article, I hadn't realized just how much protection it has offered. The back area is totally scratched up where the glass and finger print scanner is located. If not for the case having absorbed these scratches, my phone might be in some not-so-good shape. On a slightly different note, still loving my Pixel. Neither speed nor battery life has changed since I got the phone.
  • Had my XL since day one, thin case, no scratches. But the last 3 days I've had to restart my phone daily. Texts an calls don't go through (in or out). It's really odd. I'm on WiFi most all day at work or home and only have apps from the Play Store. Anyone else have this issue?
  • I'm conflicted because I have several cases but I like the look of my pixel with no case. I'm also scared of having an accident and dropping it so I go back and forth. Some days I go commando and other days I rock a case .
  • Pixel XL - screen protector and case since new hence its immaculate. I remove the case daily to make sure nothing gets inbetween the phone and the case to damage it. Maybe I'm too careful!
  • The 8.0 update will fix the scratches.
  • That phone looks horrible jezzus! I'd be pissed
  • Zero drops and therefore no dents or scratches for my pixel. I remember dropping a Blackberry Z30 literally 5 minutes after buying it - got in my car, left the door open as I unboxed the phone and ta dah, dropped it on the concrete - I felt sick to my stomach but managed to hold back their tears lol. At home, my pixel has no case but as soon as I leave, case on and away I go. I encounter people who have dropped their phones (coincidence, but they mostly seem to me iPhone users) and they are truly gutted and dreading the cost of repair (cracked screens) - I always ask, did it have a case on it? The reply is normally no and thats where my sympathy ends.
  • "Let's start with the most obvious damage, the stuff that would be there on every phone no matter what." Perhaps the most impressive thing about my S6 is its build quality. No case, no screen protector. It's been dropped a ridiculous amount of times, plus it's always sliding off surfaces because of the camera bump, and it goes in my jeans' pocket most of the time with my keys and change. The thing is still perfect. Mind you, if you offered me a Pixel I'd bite your hand off for it.
  • Man you're lucky... First time I dropped my S6, the glass exploded and the screen got completely destroyed. Fixed it only to drop it a couple months later which killed the phone internally (glass didn't crack or anything it just died)
  • For those that say the Pixel hasn't slowed down for them, that's good. Neither has my S7E especially after the Nougat update.
  • I just pre-ordered the Galaxy S8 Plus a few days ago.. and while I am usually one of the types that does not typically use a phone case, something compelled me to buy a case for the S8 Plus. I'm sure after I have the phone for a good bit of time, the case will come off. Gotta be able to show the phone off though.. And most phone cases don't allow that too happen, unless you get one of those clear cases. But even then, clear cases still hide the curves that we all like to look at and admire (still talking about the phone here, guys). I'm not one of those guys that drops my phone a lot. But we all know it happens. And most of the time when you do drop your phone, you are being careful. Gotta love it!
  • Thanks for asking, Russell. I don't like using a case either - why would I want to cover this beautiful phone? Unfortunately, I had to get one because this form factor is more slippery than any phone I have ever had and I worked in marketing and sales at VZW for 17 years. I had a new phone about every 8 months and never dropped one hard enough to crack the glass like this one. So I got a clear case because I love the phone's style. Yeah, now the case is yellow. The pixel is just too damn delicate for me. I hope some updates have been made to durability in the next gen. I have the 6P. The phone's performance has been stellar, the form factor does not work for me. Who wants a nice looking phone that you have to cover with so much protection? It's simply maddening.
  • Mine is holding up in mint condition under my glass screen protector and speck case. I resell my phones and like to maintain the value. Plus, scratches, crack, etc. drive me nuts.
  • Acid from our perspiration will eventually eat through the oleophobic coating. I believe this same issue has been encountered by Sun Glass lens companies. I doubt there is much you could do, except to try and scrub the rest of the coating off, including the blurred area. I'm not sure which product I would try.
  • Everyone except Russell wants a stylish, good looking phone that they can cover up with a case, and boast about how "pristine" it might be under the cover.
  • Up until my current device, I didn't use cases or screen protectors (still no screen protector) but due to some nerve issues in my hands, I have started to simply just drop things. It's like my grip just goes away and whatever is in my hand will fall to the ground. So now I will use a decent sturdy case just because of that. Every once in a while though, when I am on my couch in my carpeted living room I'll live dangerously.
  • My pixel is looking gorgeous with only a case.
  • Now I don't feel so bad for buying a case for my new Moto G5 Plus. Just banged up a G4 and had to replace it, for which I got the G5. It's probably the nicest looking phone I've ever had and not something I'm looking to ding or bang up... A nice device is a point of pride with some folks...
  • I don't understand how anyone could spend over $800 for a device and treat it with a cavalier attitude. Of course your phone is scratched and scuffed up all to hell. You put it in your pockets with keys and you don't use a case. Who does that?
  • I do, and my S7 Edge still looks like new.
  • Your phone is looking pretty "jacked"? Don't you mean jacked XXX? HAhahahahahaha!!!!!
  • Now that's a battered phone! Had my Mate 9 pro for a while now, and not the slightest scratch, as it spends most of its time inside a pouch or one of the original cases. When out of the pouch I enjoy the elegant material and design. Don't like the cases that much, but they are more practical for everyday professional use.
    Considering the price of these things, I think it's worth keeping them protected.
  • "rubbing marks on the bottom corners, but only in the bezel area far from the actual display" Still everyone hates bezels forgetting it had a functional purpose too!
  • That premium price you pay for the pixel, you think it would hold up better (mainly the coating, but that back piece looks awful too) which is to be expected. 
  • Most phones people don't want to use cases for and are bumped around a lot look pretty jacked so.....
  • I do have Nexus 6p and i don't have any Scratches at all like the ones you should us here :) i don't know if you are using your phone in Army base or office :)
  • Um...yea...if you own a big phone with a glass back and are admittedly pretty clumsy, and doen't put a case on it, it's going to get banged up. I don't like cases either, but I got an official Photos Live case for my Pixel XL because it looks great while simultaneously offering a level of protection. I'm not clusy at all, and actually am pretty good with my phones, so my Pixel XL still looks fantastic. I'd never use a phone that has a glass back without a case.
  • It doesn't snap in half like the Nexus 6P. So that's a plus.
  • My non-Pixel phone is holding up nicely after 3 years of hard use :)
  • My note 3 still looks brand new. 3 yrs of hard use here too. My battery still hold full charges, too.
  • As someone that absolutely loathes cases, (Why cover up something that's supposed to be used as designed?) I'm honestly surprised at how terrible the back of your phone is. Light scratches sure, but dude, no need to expose your phone to coins or keys in your pocket.
  • If someone wants to give me a pixel I'll gladly write a review after 6 months. Mainstream doesn't have the coin to buy it, or in debt with it and the other toys they think they gotta have for happiness. No thanks:)
  • dbrand skin + Spigen thin case has been on mine since day one so it's in pristine condition. I've never been one to use a case or skins and actually liked Samsung's use of plastic on their Galaxy phones because plastic is just far more functional than glass and aluminium. They still felt like premium devices to me so I'm not sure why people got swept up in marketing hype that only glass and metal can be premium. In any case the Pixel XL is the first really delicate phone I've ever owned and I had to buy it outright so putting these protections on it just made sense given my use I know it would look like it came out of the war trenches after a couple weeks,
  • Aluminum and glass dent and break. Well made plastic can stand up to a drop. My EVO and Note 3 still look new. I've dropped them several times without a case.
  • "For whatever reason, the oleophobic layer in the top right corner of this phone has worn away in this odd stain pattern." My guess is you have nails. That odd stain pattern is probably from your nails brushing against/scratching at the screen when you reach up to pull down the notification drawer.
  • More likely something else, like keys or change that tends to accumulate there when he puts his phone head down into his pocket. You could be right though. Looks strange. I replaced the screen on my Nexus 6, the replacement had no coating from what I could tell, basically because it became a fingerprint magnet and I'm always wiping away at it, but I never noticed the dullness visible in the phone of this Pixel where the coating is worn away. Looks pretty bad and that would probably drive me nuts.
  • Do folks actually prefer to "go naked" with their phones because they think the phones are "too pretty to cover up!". Seriously, do these same folks think people around them are saying "Ohhhh wow! Look at that pretty phone he's using honey!" Really, are people THAT shallow?
  • Better than people that buy an S8 and put a cover over it. If you're so functional get a phone with bezels.
  • I prefer to go naked because it makes my phones feel better than putting a piece of rubber or plastic on it. I take enough care of my phone to not drop, and understand the risks if I do.
  • You just jinx'd yourself...
  • My pixel looks almost new... I was smart enough to get a $7 case to insure my $700 phone