Hello honey, I am (Google) dwelling

Android has a chequered history with tablets and even with the launch of the brand new Pixel Pill, there is a story to inform. Previewed at Google I/O 2022, it was a full yr earlier than the pill was formally launched, suggesting that Google wished this pill to be one thing particular.

This comes on the again of unceremoniously stepping away from tablets in 2019, simply earlier than the pandemic made tablets vital machine for a lot of. It is unattainable to keep away from comparisons to Apple’s iPad, which has dominated the premium pill house for a few years, into which Google now steps.


So does Google supply something distinctive on this pill and is it value getting enthusiastic about?

Google / Pocket-lint

Google Pixel Pill

Google’s return to tablets provides larger optimisation and a singular concentrate on good dwelling integration. It is a little bit on the costly facet – little doubt because of the bundled dock – however for Android followers, there’s enchantment on this pure Android Pixel Pill.


  • Good design and construct
  • Excessive decision show
  • Bundled Charging Speaker Dock sounds good

  • It is costly
  • Hub Mode is a bit lacklustre
  • App ecosystem cannot problem iPad

Design and construct

  • 258 x 169 x 8.1mm, 493g
  • Nano-ceramic coating

The Google Pixel Pill feels stable sufficient if you choose it up, with a pleasant high quality to the rear of the pill. Google describes this as a nano-ceramic coating, designed to really feel a little bit like porcelain. There is definitely a smoothness to it that I like, it feels larger high quality than one thing just like the Fire HD 10 tablet from Amazon, though the seems are related.


At 493g, the Pixel Pill is a little bit heavier than the Apple iPad (10th gen), though I do not assume it feels as premium. Nevertheless, I favor the curves to the perimeters of the rear of the Pixel Pill over Apple’s squared end – it is simply nicer if you find yourself holding it in mattress for any extended time frame.

There are a few rubber ft on one facet whereas there are 4 contact factors on the rear to make use of with the Charging Speaker Dock, openings on the ends for the audio system, and the digicam on the lengthy facet. That is proper, this pill is designed to be predominantly utilized in panorama. Talking of cameras, that is flush to the again of the pill so if you lay it down and also you contact it, it does not wobble round – which is one thing I am an enormous fan of.

There are 4 audio system across the physique of the Pixel Pill designed to make the audio a little bit extra immersive, however what they lack is any form of considerable bass – they’re a little bit missing on their very own. After all, there’s the Charging Speaker Dock which I will discuss later, however naturally that offers the Pixel Pill a considerable increase.

There is a fingerprint sensor constructed into the facility button on the facet of the pill and this makes it fairly easy to unlock with a faucet; it appears a bit unusual that there isn’t any face unlocking as discovered on latest Pixel telephones although, as this could streamline entry to the machine.

General the construct of the Pixel Pill is not fairly premium: the bezels are maybe wider than they need to be and it is a little bit hole sounding if you give it a faucet, but it surely’s usually nice, for those who can settle for that you do not get a steel pill in your $500.

What’s within the field? The Charging Speaker Dock

Earlier than I’m going a lot additional, I need to discuss concerning the Charging Speaker Dock. On the launch of the Pixel Pill, this accent comes within the field, and that is partly accountable for its $499 / £599 asking value. Take into account, nevertheless, that the Charging Speaker Dock will value $129 / £139 as a standalone accent, and I am positive that the Pixel Pill shall be obtainable for much less with out it sooner or later sooner or later – and it ought to be, as a result of on it is personal, the pill feels overpriced.


What’s not within the field, nevertheless, is an influence provide for the pill. The Charging Speaker Dock makes use of a barrel-style connector, so it solely powers the dock. You may have to purchase or use a separate USB-C charger for those who plan to make use of your Pixel Pill away from the dock. However for those who’re an Android phone user – and also you most likely are for those who’re contemplating the Pixel Pill – then your telephone charger will do.

Anyway the Charging Speaker Dock is each a pleasant thought and a barely puzzling transfer. Google’s distinctive promoting level for the Pixel Pill seems to be that when it isn’t getting used as a pill, it is not simply redundant tech mendacity round your home. As an alternative you’ll be able to dock it and it turns into extra like a Nest Hub, getting an audio increase whereas charging from that dock. It is not a singular thought: Amazon did precisely the identical factor with Show Mode on the Fire tablet, once more with a bespoke dock to rework it into a wise show.

The Charging Speaker Dock is wrapped in cloth, has a rubberised base and 4 charging pins to match the contact factors on the pill’s rear – whereas additionally being loaded with magnets in order that the 2 halves stick collectively.

Utilizing the Charging Speaker Dock is a seamless motion, it “docks” effectively because of these magnets and appears loads safe, though knock it laborious on the highest and the pill will disconnect and drop off. There is not any pairing to be achieved both, so no want to fret about Bluetooth or the rest – it simply works.

There’s software program assist, so on first dock you will be requested to setup Hub Mode to outline how the pill behaves if you place it on the dock – which we’ll discuss extra beneath.

The Charging Speaker Dock sounds fairly good. It provides a richness to the audio because of the 43.5mm driver, so watching a film or listening to your favorite tracks is a greater expertise than the pill alone. It is not fairly as stable because the Echo Show 10, for instance, which I believe has richer total sound.


What’s fascinating is that every one the audio is transferred to the Charging Speaker Dock when the pill is docked – it does not use the pill’s personal audio system in any respect. The charging has additionally been optimised: the pill solely ever fees to 90 per cent on the dock to keep up battery well being and it has a 15W charging charge.

Having a separate Charging Speaker Dock is an fascinating thought, however I am not completely bought on the notion of shopping for further docks: when there isn’t any pill it is simply an inert little bit of tech – you’ll be able to’t hook up with the audio system to make use of them for the rest.

Importantly, nevertheless, Google is pitching the Pixel Pill as this dockable machine: that is the intention – it isn’t an off-the-cuff accent, it comes within the field, so it is designed as major characteristic, whether or not you prefer it or not. And you actually do have to love it to think about the Pixel Pill, as a result of if docking it does not enchantment to you, you may be higher off with a distinct pill totally.

Show and {hardware}

  • 10.95in LCD, 2560 x 1600 pixels, 276ppi, 60Hz
  • Google Tensor G2, 8GB RAM, 128/256GB

The Pixel Pill has an LCD show slightly than an OLED one, which you’d discover on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+, though LCD continues to be typical for tablets at this value level. What’s vital right here is the decision of show – that 2560 x 1600 pixels is larger than the (cheaper) Hearth Max 11, and is about the identical because the Galaxy Tab S8, which might be its closest rival. Word although, that Google has opted for a 60Hz show, whereas the Samsung machine is 120Hz, though we would not say that is a deal breaker: you are more likely to spend much less time scrolling in your pill than you’re in your telephone, however sure, it relies upon what you do with it.


Due to the value, the Pixel Pill can be akin to the iPad and iPad Air, and shares the the five hundred nits brightness with Apple’s units. The show helps USI 2.0 stylus interplay – and yow will discover a selection of the best Pixel Tablet styli right here – whereas there’s loads of vibrancy and pop to the colors, with assist for HDR10 too. Films look nice, photos pop, and there is splendidly high-quality end to issues like apps and widgets. It is a disgrace that a number of the pill ecosystem simply is not there: whereas tailored apps like Google Calendar are sharp and luscious, you are just a few clicks away from touchdown on an app that is simply the usual Android model that does not actually match and appears horrible on the bigger show – extra on that later.

When it comes to efficiency, the Google Pixel Pill sits on Tensor G2 hardware, the identical that powers the Google Pixel 7 Pro and the Pixel 7a. It is flagship grade, so there isn’t any compromise right here, and all the things I requested the Pixel Pill to do occurred easily and rapidly – even with out having the most recent software program. In the course of the time I used to be testing the Pill I noticed no signal of slow-down or lag, it is a premium expertise.

I attempted taking part in some Call of Duty Mobile on the Pixel Pill and it regarded nice and performed easily, however in all honesty, this pill is just too huge for contact controls, it is simply not as a lot enjoyable as taking part in on a telephone. You possibly can join Bluetooth controllers – and the USB-C will assist you to join different equipment, however observe that you just may lose the connection to the audio system on the Charging Speaker Dock for those who join USB-C equipment.


The Pixel Pill comes with 128 or 256GB of storage which is quite a bit. That can play a task in elevating the value; arguably, a 64GB model would have made this pill extra approachable. Many individuals have a tendency to make use of fewer apps on tablets and on this planet of streaming, persons are downloading much less too – however if you would like a less expensive pill only for leisure, you may be higher with the Amazon Hearth HD 10.

Google Pixel Pill battery life

  • 27Wh battery, 12 hours video

The Pixel Pill has a cited battery lifetime of 12 hours of video watching. That accounts for having the brightness at about 80 per cent and streaming 1080p content material from YouTube. In my very own battery check, I discovered {that a} two-hour video ran the battery down by some 20 per cent at 50 per cent brightness, which might equate to about 10 hours of use.

After all it relies upon what you do along with your pill – ramping up the brightness will deplete it extra, however I’ve usually discovered no drawback getting by a number of days of intermittent use. After all the Charging Speaker Dock means it by no means runs out, it is at all times able to go if you’re at dwelling and for some folks that would be the enchantment of the dock – it simply means you do not have to consider plugging the pill in.

For these on the transfer, nevertheless, you will discover that the Pixel Pill will get by about 5 per cent battery in a 12-hour interval of standby, remembering in fact that that is an Android machine, so it likes to replace and so forth within the background. When you actually need it to final, you may need to flip it off. The Pixel Pill helps 15W charging by way of USB-C and there isn’t any assist for wi-fi charging.

A software program work in progress

The Pixel Pill launches on Android 13, with the promise of 5 years of Pixel updates. Which means you will get 5 years of safety updates, however solely three years of Android OS updates. That can probably see you thru to Android 16 in 2026. However the updating of this pill ought to be swift – as it is a Pixel machine you are on the entrance of the queue slightly than the again – and I am anticipating Google to push extra pill options as time goes by. Keep in mind that Google is simply getting began in its return to bigger show assist, each on folding telephones and tablets.


Google has labored laborious to optimise lots of its apps for bigger shows. That features the likes of Google Calendar which seems nice, as does Google’s Climate app. Gmail is helpful in two columns, whereas Google Images provides you loads of house to discover – and helps dragging and dropping into different apps.

Apps like Microsoft Workplace work properly and there is desktop Chrome right here too, which boosts the browser expertise. It may do with dropping the house to the highest of the show a little bit extra to offer you extra on-screen content material, however in some circumstances working the desktop model of one thing is healthier than utilizing the smartphone app.


Browser assist and providers like Workplace lead you down the trail of productiveness – as does stylus assist, though I did not check this pill with a stylus. I do not really feel like Google needs this to be a productiveness pill, nevertheless. The dearth of any form of keyboard case at launch means that, unlike the old Pixel C. Nonetheless, I linked a Corsair USB-C gaming keyboard (with full RGB, in fact) and located it labored effectively sufficient for speedy typing.

One factor the Pixel Pill natively helps is split-screen and you’ll simply drag up from the underside to entry the latest apps and hit the split-screen button, then choose your second app. That is along with the taskbar, which you’ll simply entry by swiping up rapidly from the underside. The taskbar will auto-populate with apps, so you’ll be able to faucet and go to what you need and this helps give the pill some differentiation from bigger Android telephones.


But it surely will not take lengthy to run into apps that are not optimised. Fb for instance – which is optimised for iPad – seems stunning on the Pixel Pill. These telephone apps generally lack assist for panorama use, so will generally open a portrait window in panorama, sitting in the midst of the show. The Pixel Pill means that you can shift these to 1 facet; in some circumstances, you are compelled into portrait, or caught in a form of rotational hinterland, the place the app is not completely satisfied, the pill is not completely satisfied, and the consumer expertise is fairly poor too.

This is not new. In truth I commented on it on the 2018 Pixel Slate (which was Chrome OS however would run Android apps) and it is nonetheless an issue. Clearly Google has tried to spice up the expertise, but it surely’s not there but: there’s the promise of extra optimisation to come back, however taken holistically, the software program nonetheless seems like a piece in progress.

Let’s discuss Hub Mode

As I stated above, bundling the Charging Speaker Dock within the field makes it a major characteristic of the pill, so logically Hub Mode is a major expertise. I discovered Hub Mode a little bit disappointing. It would allow you to setup what’s successfully a display screen saver in your docked pill – that may be utilizing Google Images like a digital picture body (weren’t those hot in like 2009?), an enormous clock, displaying you paintings or like an animated climate station.

Hub Mode Pixel Tablet

In Hub Mode your pill is successfully locked, however you retain entry to a few issues. The primary is the Google Residence app, for good dwelling management and the second is your Fast Settings and notifications pane. Which means you keep some controls you’ll be able to faucet to get to, though precisely why you’d need entry to Fast Settings, we’re nonetheless not fairly positive.

Pitching the Pixel Pill as a hub in your good dwelling hangs on entry to the Google Residence app, so if in case you have linked good units – cameras, lights, heating, and many others – you’ll be able to faucet to regulate. That is handy, though the format is not that nice and I a lot favor how Alexa presents good dwelling controls. Sure, you’ll be able to run the Alexa app on the Pixel Pill, however you’ll be able to’t select what apps you’ll be able to entry from Hub Mode.

Google Home app Pixel Tablet

The opposite factor that Hub Mode claims to permit entry to is Google Assistant. Effectively, there’s truly no distinction within the Google Assistant expertise whether or not the Pixel Pill is docked or not – as a result of it could reply to your voice in each circumstances and return visuals outcomes.

What I used to be anticipating from Hub Mode was one thing nearer to the interface you get on the Nest Hub – good huge graphical widgets, issues to faucet and customise, like a wise show. Hub Mode as a substitute is mainly a display screen saver and little extra. As a core expertise of the Pixel Pill, that feels a little bit disappointing.

Hub Mode on Pixel Tablet


  • Rear: 8MP, 1/4in sensor, 1.12µm, f/2.0, FF
  • Entrance: 8MP, 1/4in sensor, 1.12µm, f/2.0, FF

There is a pair of cameras on the Pixel Pill, however do not get too excited – we’re not speaking smartphone-grade cameras right here. As an alternative, there are two matching 8-megapixel cameras. It is uncommon to seek out units with the very same digicam setup back and front, however Google is probably being lifelike about what pill cameras are used for. Trace: this is not a pill try to be taking to a college meeting or the zoo to take photographs. Sure, I discover it irritating once I see folks waving round an iPad in public taking photographs – and let’s not sully the Pixel Pill’s identify by doing the identical factor.


These cameras are actually about video calling for the entrance digicam and advert hoc snapping for the rear – the truth that each are mounted focus is a testomony to that. Each are boosted as a result of it is a Pixel Digital camera expertise, with issues like Night Sight. You may as well dive into Google Images and edit and refine these photos, however this is not designed to compete with the Pixel Professional – it comes nowhere close to when it comes to efficiency.

The entrance digicam is fairly well-appointed for video calling. It is solely 1080p (though that is nice) with a respectably wide-angle view so you will get within the image in your Google Meet calls. Within the check calls I made, I discovered the standard to be good. That is about so far as I would go along with it: if you wish to take selfies, follow your telephone.


The enchantment of the Pixel Pill is that it is a Pixel machine, due to this fact the bloat-free software program and promise of updates means that it’s going to supply a superb expertise in comparison with a lot of the remainder of the Android pill market. And we all know that Google has a refreshed curiosity in bigger screens, so it is more likely to get higher.

However on the identical time the Pixel Pill stumbles in various areas. It is the identical value as an iPad, however the software program expertise and construct high quality is not pretty much as good. It is bought with a bundled dock with the concept of docking it, however the docked expertise is a little bit boring and I would not say that is a cause to purchase this machine – get a Nest Hub or Echo Present as a substitute.

That makes the Pixel Pill a little bit of a combined bag. We have waited a yr for it to reach, maybe whereas Google was attempting to determine what it wished to attain with it. I am simply unsure if it has determined but.

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