The first Pixel phone marks the first and significant milestone in Google’s history when it formally started making its own phones. The OG Pixel, as they are now called, represents the vision of Google’s Android phones and, for a time at least, surprised everyone by grabbing the top spot in phone camera reviews. However, this time marked the end of the Pixel XL and Pixel XL’s long life, upon receiving its last security update, realistically.
The end came nearly last month when it was seen that neither the first Pixel nor the first Pixel XL were included in the list of compatible models for the November security bulletin. However, the news of his demise was clearly premature as Google later promised that in December there would be one last update for the original generation Pixel phones. December has arrived and so is the final iteration for the first Google phone.
The December security bulletins for both Android and Pixel phones are pretty bare, save for some hidden highlights like the Pixel theme and 3rd party launcher gesture navigation. They are, nevertheless, important because they ensure that the phones are at least safe from vulnerabilities that Google knows by November. This means that the OG pixel will be preserved until at least the next major exploit scare. From this day onwards, the owners are on their own.
The OG Pixel will be remembered as a phone with a bizarre design, uncertain future and truly incredible camera output. This led to more computational tricks and a trend of phones relying on AI to produce results that would be impossible for hardware alone. Even Apple later introduced computational photography features like Deep Fusion.
Unfortunately, it has never been seamless sailing for the first Pixel nor its descendant. The phones are prone to minor flaws and bugs that accumulate to give a less-than-stellar feel. And while the Pixel phones still perform well, when it comes to photography, they gradually overtake the phones that employ that computational photography on even better hardware.