Google Pixel XL More Difficult to Repair Than iPhone 7

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Google's Pixel XL has garnered global attention since its early October launch. But what's really inside the aluminum unibody-glass smartphone? Teardown specialist iFixit screwed, spudgered, picked, and tweezed its way through the handset to find out.

Google's Pixel features on-screen buttons, a back-mounted fingerprint scanner, single rear-facing camera, two speaker slits, a USB-C port, and a headphone jack. IFixit finds that the device is not exactly a breeze to fix. In fact, its repairability score of six out of 10 is lower than that of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, both of which earned a seven out of 10.

The Pixel XL lost points because of the phone's "thin, poorly supported" display assembly and press-fit notches, which make removing the midframe "laborious." On the plus side, the phone allows for easy access to its USB Type-C port and microphone, allowing for cheap replacements.

Google does its best to obscure any partner input. "With nearly everything out of the case, we've seen almost zero evidence of this phone's HTC manufacturing origin," iFixit says. HTC's moniker appears only on the battery, which features a removal tab for "painless" expulsion.

Google's new lineup of Pixel smartphones are the first to tap into Google Assistant and the company's Daydream VR platform. The device comes in two sizes: 5 or 5.5 inches, and runs a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, with a high-definition AMOLED Corning Gorilla Glass 4 display. There is also 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, a fingerprint sensor, a USB-C connector, and 3.5mm headphone jack, plus support for Bluetooth 4.2.

The Pixel is a Verizon exclusive in the US (but not really); the carrier has promised to push Android updates to the devices as soon as Google makes them available.

For more, see PCMag's review of the Google Pixel XL and the slideshow above.

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