Hello honey, I am (Google) residence

Android has a chequered historical past 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 needed 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 inconceivable 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 price getting enthusiastic about?

Google Pixel Tablet - main image tag

Google / Pocket-lint

Google Pixel Pill

Google’s return to tablets provides better optimisation and a singular deal with good residence integration. It is a little bit on the costly facet – little question because of the bundled dock – however for Android followers, there’s attraction 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 strong sufficient once you decide 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 Hearth HD 10 pill from Amazon, though the appears are related.


At 493g, the Pixel Pill is a little bit heavier than the Apple iPad (tenth gen), though I do not assume it feels as premium. Nevertheless, I favor the curves to the sides 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 period.

There are a few rubber toes 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 digital camera 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 once you lay it down and also you contact it, it does not wobble round – which is one thing I am a giant 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 type of considerable bass – they’re a little bit missing on their very own. After all, there’s the Charging Speaker Dock which I am going to speak about later, however naturally that offers the Pixel Pill a considerable enhance.

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 is no face unlocking as discovered on current Pixel telephones although, as this could streamline entry to the machine.

Total 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 once you give it a faucet, nevertheless it’s typically effective, in the event you can settle for that you do not get a steel pill on your $500.

What’s within the field? The Charging Speaker Dock

Earlier than I’m going a lot additional, I need to speak in regards to the Charging Speaker Dock. On the launch of the Pixel Pill, this accent comes within the field, and that is partly answerable 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 certain that the Pixel Pill might be accessible for much less with out it in some unspecified time in the future sooner or later – and it needs 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 in the event you plan to make use of your Pixel Pill away from the dock. However in the event you’re an Android telephone consumer – and also you most likely are in the event you’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 a substitute you possibly can dock it and it turns into extra like a Nest Hub, getting an audio enhance whereas charging from that dock. It is not a singular thought: Amazon did precisely the identical factor with Present Mode on the Hearth pill, once more with a bespoke dock to rework it into a sensible show.

The Charging Speaker Dock is wrapped in material, 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” nicely because of these magnets and appears a lot safe, though knock it onerous on the highest and the pill will disconnect and drop off. There isn’t any pairing to be executed both, so no want to fret about Bluetooth or the rest – it simply works.

There’s software program assist, so on first dock you may be requested to setup Hub Mode to outline how the pill behaves once you place it on the dock – which we’ll speak about 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 strong because the Echo Present 10, for instance, which I believe has richer total sound.


What’s attention-grabbing is that each 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 take care of battery well being and it has a 15W charging price.

Having a separate Charging Speaker Dock is an attention-grabbing thought, however I am not completely bought on the notion of shopping for further docks: when there is no pill it is simply an inert little bit of tech – you possibly can’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 informal accent, it comes within the field, so it is designed as main function, 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 attraction to you, you could be higher off with a distinct pill fully.

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 fairly than an OLED one, which you’d discover on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+, though LCD remains to be typical for tablets at this value level. What’s essential 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. Be aware 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 prone to spend much less time scrolling in your pill than you might be in your telephone, however sure, it relies upon what you do with it.


Due to the value, the Pixel Pill can also be corresponding 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 choice of one of the best Pixel Pill styli proper right here – whereas there’s loads of vibrancy and pop to the colors, with assist for HDR10 too. Motion pictures 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.

By way of efficiency, the Google Pixel Pill sits on Tensor G2 {hardware}, the identical that powers the Google Pixel 7 Professional and the Pixel 7a. It is flagship grade, so there is no compromise right here, and every thing I requested the Pixel Pill to do occurred easily and shortly – even with out having the most recent software program. Through 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 Name of Obligation Cellular on the Pixel Pill and it regarded nice and performed easily, however in all honesty, this pill is just too large 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 let you join different equipment, however be aware that you simply would possibly lose the connection to the audio system on the Charging Speaker Dock in the event you join USB-C equipment.


The Pixel Pill comes with 128 or 256GB of storage which is rather a lot. That may 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 the earth of streaming, individuals are downloading much less too – however in order for you a less expensive pill only for leisure, you could 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 together 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 all the time able to go once you’re at residence and for some those who would be the attraction of the dock – it simply means you do not have to consider plugging the pill in.

For these on the transfer, nevertheless, you may discover that the Pixel Pill will get by about 5 per cent battery in a 12-hour interval of standby, remembering after all that that is an Android machine, so it likes to replace and so forth within the background. For those who really need it to final, you would possibly need to flip it off. The Pixel Pill helps 15W charging through USB-C and there is no 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. Meaning you may get 5 years of safety updates, however solely three years of Android OS updates. That may seemingly see you thru to Android 16 in 2026. However the updating of this pill needs to be swift – as it is a Pixel machine you are on the entrance of the queue fairly than the again – and I am anticipating Google to push extra pill options as time goes by. Do not forget that Google is simply getting began in its return to bigger show assist, each on folding telephones and tablets.


Google has labored onerous to optimise a lot of its apps for bigger shows. That features the likes of Google Calendar which appears 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 operating the desktop model of one thing is best than utilizing the smartphone app.


Browser assist and companies 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 desires this to be a productiveness pill, nevertheless. The dearth of any type of keyboard case at launch means that, in contrast to the previous Pixel C. Nonetheless, I related a Corsair USB-C gaming keyboard (with full RGB, after all) and located it labored nicely 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 current apps and hit the split-screen button, then choose your second app. That is along with the taskbar, which you’ll be able to simply entry by swiping up shortly from the underside. The taskbar will auto-populate with apps, so you possibly can 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 – appears surprising on the Pixel Pill. These telephone apps typically lack assist for panorama use, so will typically open a portrait window in panorama, sitting in the course of the show. The Pixel Pill lets you shift these to 1 facet; in some circumstances, you are compelled into portrait, or caught in a type of rotational hinterland, the place the app is not glad, the pill is not glad, and the consumer expertise is fairly poor too.

This is not new. In actual fact 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, nevertheless it’s not there but: there’s the promise of extra optimisation to come back, however taken holistically, the software program nonetheless looks like a piece in progress.

Let’s speak about Hub Mode

As I stated above, bundling the Charging Speaker Dock within the field makes it a main function of the pill, so logically Hub Mode is a main expertise. I discovered Hub Mode a little bit disappointing. It should allow you to setup what’s successfully a display saver on your docked pill – that could be utilizing Google Images like a digital photograph body (weren’t these sizzling in like 2009?), a large clock, displaying you art work 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 Dwelling app, for good residence management and the second is your Fast Settings and notifications pane. Meaning you keep some controls you possibly can faucet to get to, though precisely why you’d need entry to Fast Settings, we’re nonetheless not fairly certain.

Pitching the Pixel Pill as a hub on your good residence hangs on entry to the Google Dwelling app, so when you have related good units – cameras, lights, heating, and many others – you possibly can faucet to manage. That is handy, though the structure is not that nice and I a lot favor how Alexa presents good residence controls. Sure, you possibly can run the Alexa app on the Pixel Pill, however you possibly can’t select what apps you possibly can entry from Hub Mode.

Google Home app Pixel Tablet

The opposite factor that Hub Mode claims to permit entry to is Google Assistant. Properly, there’s really no distinction within the Google Assistant expertise whether or not the Pixel Pill is docked or not – as a result of it may possibly 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 large graphical widgets, issues to faucet and customise, like a sensible show. Hub Mode as an alternative is principally a display 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 a substitute, there are two matching 8-megapixel cameras. It is uncommon to search out units with the very same digital camera setup back and front, however Google is probably being lifelike about what pill cameras are used for. Trace: this is not a pill you have to be taking to a college meeting or the zoo to take pictures. Sure, I discover it irritating once I see individuals waving round an iPad in public taking pictures – and let’s not sully the Pixel Pill’s title by doing the identical factor.


These cameras are actually about video calling for the entrance digital camera 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 time Sight. You may also 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 digital camera is fairly well-appointed for video calling. It is solely 1080p (though that is effective) with a respectably wide-angle view so you may get within the image on your Google Meet calls. Within the check calls I made, I discovered the standard to be good. That is about so far as I might go along with it: if you wish to take selfies, follow your telephone.


The attraction 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 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 prone to get higher.

However on the similar 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 purpose to purchase this machine – get a Nest Hub or Echo Present as an alternative.

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 making an attempt to resolve what it needed to attain with it. I am simply unsure if it has determined but.