Slowdowns in generational improvements and what seemed like a lack of innovation on other phones pushed me to spend a pretty penny on the Galaxy Z Flip 4. While picking it up on launch day almost six months ago, I wanted to love the Flip 4. But having used the Flip full-time has only made me realize how much I liked and eagerly wanted to go back to the Pixel as my primary phone.

The Google Pixel does not have the best camera performance, battery life, or performance. But in my opinion, it is just a smarter “smart” phone. Unlike its counterparts in the US, the Google Pixels in India do not have the famous call screening or hold for me. But the features it does offer make it a solid package.

Starting with the lock screen, the oh-so-simple-to-access At-a-glance widget shows the weather, boarding gate, carousel numbers, tracking updates, recognized songs, and even security footage when a smart doorbell detects motion. Sure, these are not Pixel-exclusive features, and there are ways to perform all of these actions on other phones.

Google Pixel 7 Lemongrass colour against indoor plant.
Pixel 7 in the lemongrass colourway

But it’s about not having to check the weather early in the morning, worry about missing the baggage carousel announcement on the flight, or wonder what the song playing in the shopping mall was.

Talking of the Pixel-exclusive features, the much-neglected and barely changed Recent apps screen allows one to copy text or share images without having to save them. The call and the alarm screen let one shout the words “answer”, “decline,” “silence,” and “snooze” to perform those individual actions. The phone even offers text translations within any app - irrespective of if the developers support it. On newer Pixels, you can erase photobombers like they never existed or ensure the sharpest face shots despite movement — all thanks to Google’s custom Tensor chips.

Selecting images or text via the recent apps screen 

These minor conveniences and the user experience optimizations that Google adds to the Pixel experience make the Google Pixel the smartest “smart” phone, in my opinion, and might be the reason why flagship phones from other companies like Samsung or Apple have not stayed in my pocket for as long as the Pixel does.

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