a woman standing on a bridge in a forest
The Final Verdict
The Phone
The Service
International Coverage

Unfortunately, there’s no “try before you buy” approach to wireless service and cellphones. Once you buy, you’re in. Two weeks ago we took the plunge and turned off our wireless service in favor of Google Project Fi and ditched our Apple phones for the new Google Pixel phone. So far the results are super compelling and we’ve got no regrets…

The Pixel Has “The Best Camera Ever Put Into A Phone”, And That Actually Seems True…

a woman standing on a bridge in a forest

a body of water with a city in the background

a city street with many cars and buildings

a sunset over a beach

All of these photos were shot with the Google Pixel using the standard camera app, and lightly edited with Snapseed, Google’s editing app. The raw images offered absolutely amazing depth of detail and light, which made editing them into Instagram worthy shots a breeze. I find it incomparably better to the iPhone camera so far.

a woman walking on a sidewalk near a bridge

And You Really Can Use Your Data In 135 Countries…

We switched to Google Project Fi for two compelling reasons. First, there’s no charge to use your data abroad. It’s the same as using it at home, so long as you stay within your data allowance you can use it in any of the 135 countries offered through the plan. The second reason is that if you go over, you don’t pay penalties, you just pay $1 for every 100mb. If you have a 2 gigabyte per month plan and you use 2.2, you’ll pay an extra two bucks. If you happen to only use 1.5, you actually get 5 bucks back. We’ve used it abroad, and it’s all legit.

a group of vehicles parked on a tarmac

The Google Assistant Tells Me When To Leave For The Airport…

Ok, ok, for artificial intelligence it’s brilliant. The Google Assistant, unlike Siri, can actually reason. I can ask it questions like “what time is my flight on Sunday?” and it will provide me with a detailed response, as well as the visual confirmation. I can talk to it (through secure voice recognition) without touching my phone, which makes it much like the home devices we’re seeing. Coolest of all, it tells me WHEN I need to leave for the airport. Once at the airport, it automatically pulls up a terminal map and updates my gate. Cool? I’d say.

a cactus with a city in the background

Calendar Integration Anticipates My Moves…

We get travel info pushed right to the phone. The calendar automatically sorts through your email account to find your travel plans and updates them (you can turn this off), offering directions and helpful information at each turn. This has eliminated the need for third party apps like TripIt and makes organization easier than ever while on the go, with confirmation numbers and contacts at the ready.

a view of the sun from an airplane window

Instant Reviews, Wherever You Are…

Simply walk by a cafe and the Google App will pull up reviews, websites and relevant information. This has been massive when looking for a morning cup of coffee or trying to pick an impromptu dinner spot. Using the assistant you can also ask questions like “where’s the best bagel spot nearby” and a legit list of places comes up. We’ve yet to be disappointed.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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