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Phone Review: Google Pixel

Phone Review: Google Pixel

Let me start this review by saying that first of all I am a huge (hardcore) fan of Apple ever since the iPhone 4, where I still think that is the best phone they ever made. As of late, they haven’t been stepping it up their game in terms of innovation. In my opinion, they just have been strategically reinventing the wheel by recycling what’s been done and adding with some extras to get us excited for more. By the meantime, other brands have been doing other things to raise up the competition including Google where they have introduced their first phone actually named Pixel. This following review will be based from my perspective from the day-to-day especially how the phone react to different situations from photography, usability and overall experience. Let’s go! Gear Google Pixel XL Phone Review First Impressions and Design From the unboxing, the phone looks beautiful especially with that shiny glass back side that covers almost the third of its size. Maybe the glass back side can improve the signal but I must admit the design is not as sexy like the iPhone 7 Matte Black for example. The phone feels pretty great in your hand and I love the button placements on the phone including the retina scanner on the back. You can clearly see that the Pixel wasn’t meant to be pretty (boring!) but to make you super efficient and productive. This phone does exactly that! From the inside, you are running on the battery of 3450 MAH battery where it’s just incredible. One of the those days where you forgot your charger from a day to the office, I was able to last one full day with only 19% battery percentage on Battery Saver mode which is just so amazing where there was a time I used to be constantly charging my iPhone. The Pixel is running on Android 7.1 Nougat, it gives a pretty smooth experience where I was able to confuse iOS users at times, it is quite simple and supremely intuitive to navigate. How about the camera, let’s talk about that! The Pixel wasn’t meant to be pretty but to make you super efficient and productive. This phone does exactly that! Camera On the first day, my impression of the camera was that I didn’t quite liked at all. The Pixel needed a little bit more customization in the settings. You gotta play with the phone and understand its different photographic approach by making some tests. Once the setup is ready, the camera is such a beast in many situations including: low-light, daylight and even during the night. Let me elaborate on that, what’s making the Pixel camera shine from its rivals is not about the lens but about its image processing software. Like a DSLR, the camera will make you think more about your shots, I am speaking as if you were looking to improve your mobile photography. You can always leave the camera to HDR+Auto or HDR+ and be fine. I personally like to switch it up depending on any situations where it’s not just about snapping a picture but getting the best from your environment with the Pixel. It took me a little more time as an iPhone user to get uses to the Pixel camera. But with time, you’ll create a better habit for your mobile photography and it’s a great feeling! The Pixel literally made me ditch my DSLR not only for everyday photography but for situations where you’ll need a DSLR. What a time to be alive and to have tools that can actually make your life better in many levels of fun and professionalism. What a time to be alive and to have tools that can actually make your life better in many levels of fun and professionalism. Some Shots   Best Feature By switching to the dark side (I don’t know why we used this term), I must admit the Pixel made me love my phone again, not by its look but how it can actually improve my life. I didn’t mention it before but the built-in Google Assistant (Google version of Siri) is really good and helpful. When I had Siri, I had many situations where Siri would never understand what I am saying, maybe it’s because of my french accent. I didn’t had this problem with the Pixel where you feel like you’re actually having a conversation with Google Assistant instead of giving orders. But one of its best feature would be the unlimited storage. Every photo or video you take are stored in Google Photos that you can easily access and even share a link from a photo in particular. It’s a really well-thought-out feature that can influence your decision of getting a Pixel. What can be improved? It’s not the perfect phone! Some will say that the phone should be Water Resistant but I don’t agree with that. Since it even became a standard? I would say that the speakers on the Pixel might need an improvement. Overall, they are not that great. For starters, the sound is not that loud and you can easily cover your finger because of its placement. The other thing I would mention is more related to Android 7.1 Nougat where I am not a big fan of its native SMS app. Maybe it’s my UI design side but I have a hard time getting around using this app because it’s too flat and makes my SMS messages almost invisible where on the other hand with Apple, iMessages are way more attractive for daily use. More Photos   Final Words Aside from its minor problems, the Pixel is a phone coming to a high standard to the market. I completely made the switch! Sometimes I would still use my iPhone 6 and yet it will make me love my Pixel even more. Love how Google is definitely changing the game by putting the focus on efficiency instead of making things pretty and sexy. Apple, I guess it’s time to step it up! Pros Camera Unlimited Photo and Video Storage Fast Battery Life UX of Android 7.1 Nougat Cons Speakers Native SMS app

Highly Detailed Illustrations by Rod Hunt

Back in the early 2000's I remember that people really loved that pixelated style (Pixel Art) that E-boy and other pixel artists developed. It's awesome because it remind us that videogame fell and got all that isometry techniques that are pretty hard to master. Back in those days, I quite remember the artworks of Rod Hunt, they are isometric as the other artists of this genre, but they got something really interesting about it: they are not squared and pixelated illustrations, they are all drawed. Well, enough talking guys, I think you will dig his style as much as me, also fell free to access his Website and find some awesome Case-studies of his pieces. Rod Hunt is a London based Illustrator & artist who has built a reputation for retro tinged Illustrations & detailed character filled landscapes. With UK & international clients spanning publishing, design, advertising & new media, he's illustrated everything from book covers to advertising campaigns, theme park maps, iPhone Apps & even the odd large scale installation too! (Rod Hunt's Website)

Great Pixel Art by eBoy

A while ago - December/09 to be more precise - we featured an article showing Super Cool Pixel Art Posters by eBoy. Since I really like pixel art and those three guys, Kai Vermehr, Steffen Sauerteig and Svend Smital - Eboy's team, manage to create amazing stuff, I decided to do a new post about their work! This time around we will show you some of their animations, pixoramas, editorials, toys and other stuff. In my opinion, the word to explain pixel art is 'cheerful'. I mean, all artworks with this style are nice, colorful, happy... they have a cool atmosphere, a nice vibe. At least I think so. :) And these guys from eBoy have some really cool pixel art pieces to show. As here we will show only a couple of them, make sure to visit their website or their shop for further pieces. Hope you like it! Enjoy. =) Animations Pixoramas Editorials Toys In-The-Wild Europe Shop Icon North America Shop Icon eBoy Pixorama Stickers iPhone Skin Coke Dublin Billboard Ad Campaign made for Coca Cola together with McCann Erickson in Ireland. eBoy and Space Invader at Ohlala! Restaurant & Bar in Paris!

Interview with Artist Jurryt Visser: Pixel vs. Vector Mixmaster

I introduced Jurryt a couple of weeks ago, and with his previous feature, he has proven himself truly worthy of an interview. Aiden Kolh, a writer, photographer, and painter, sat down with Jurryt for quite an intense and eye-opening interview. Enjoy! Think positive, live day by day, set your goals and make sure you got the will to reach them. That is life at its best. Aiden: Hello, Jurryt! Now, you are from Holland. In itself, the Netherlands is a rather artsy country where many, many famous artists have come from. Tell us about yourself, and, if so, how has the Netherlands’ reputation for artists such as Van Gogh, Escher, Kooning, and so on, influenced you to create digital art? Jurryt: Hi! My name is Jurryt Visser and I am a graphic designer and a digital artist. The Netherlands is a really artistic country as well, maybe together with England the country where you need to be for arts. Everything around here is quite fashionable and art really 'lives' here. Without any doubt, the environment, commercials and attitude of the people influence me greatly in everything I do with design. The Dutch history is full of art as well. Think about van Gogh, who inspired me a lot when I was younger. He had a great style which no one appreciated, but still very unique in that time. Besides the historical and modern famous artists, the history for example with the VOC (Verenigd Oost Indisch Compagnie) inspired me as well. It still does. The Dutch have been all over the world and left their fingerprints basically everywhere. It's the same what I want to do. I want to go to Indonesia to stay there for a long time, to focus and dedicate myself to make unique arts which can be related to the Dutch history as well. So to come back to your question if the Netherlands inspired me in what I do. Yes, it did and still does. Aiden: You are now 20 years old. When did you start graphic design, and what motivated you to do so? You mentioned van Gogh as being an influence when you were younger. Where did you begin? Jurryt: Well, at a very young age I started drawing and people said I had the feeling for it. I never did something with it, because I just didn’t know you could make work out of it. Years later, when I was, I think, 14, I started to go to the graphic design university and I gained so much interest when doing "my own thing". I had some teachers with who I could philosophize about arts, design and being an entrepreneur, so within 2 years, I was sold by arts. My last 2 years at school, was more free time than school. I almost didn’t go to school at all, because I had my own clients and I prefer being alone when I make digital arts. Finally in 2007, I had my first 'piece' online, which seemed to be getting popular with many people. That was really cool and motivated me to develop myself further. Van Gogh inspired me, besides mentioning his style, in the way no one ever appreciated his work. But now, everyone adores his work. It motivates me to keep trying to be unique, even if the "mass" of the people don't appreciate it. Eventually you are the one who makes something unique everyone likes. Aiden: You have a rather unique style of art that you create. Tell us about it, and how you developed it. Also, if you could, briefly relate how you go about creating such images? Jurryt: Thank you. It started several years ago. I told a teacher of mine: I want to create something that combines and balances photography with digital arts perfectly. He was laughing a bit and wasn't really serious about this. I always looked up at this teacher, because he has a certain reputation which everyone wants to have in his line of business. But because he was a bit "good luck", it motivated me to just do it and show him and everyone else that I can do it. I wanted to prove myself. I devoted several hours playing with this idea and eventually I had my first art piece which balances photography with digital arts, I think, quite good. In that time, I received a lot of positive comments about the style, that I wanted to try more, bigger, better quality. I came with some pieces which were not really good, but others were really loved by the people as well. I asked a friend of mine to make a photo in this pose. He did this. After tweaking the image in Photoshop the best I could back then, I started to illustrate it in Illustrator. I was rather amazed I was able to design this and opened my eyes to try to do it even better. Many people already have mixes of digital arts and photography, photography with digital arts elements in it. I wanted to make the perfect balance between them. Aiden: A while back you showed me a picture you created of a panda bear. What made you design that, as you said it was experimental? Jurryt: Um, because I am very busy with my work, doing graphic design for clients, I almost haven’t any time to do digital arts as well. I was bored, had some spare time and wanted to draw something. Just for fun. But why a panda? I don't know for sure. As you know I love Asia and in Asia there are pandas. For some reason pandas really adorable, but they are still bears. Aiden: You have mentioned to me in the past that you work about 80 hours a week, all graphic-design related work. Tell us about that, and any goals you have for the future. Jurryt: Yes, I work as a Creative Director at the design agency I work and besides that I have my own international business running. Besides digital arts, I really enjoy designing a brand identity, website, or any other print media. As long as I am the designer and the one who makes the graphic decisions. With my own business, I want to go all over the world. I'd like to see a great verity of cultures, arts, corporations... and food! With my own business I'm planning to go to Indonesia next year. I first want to stay in Singapore, Jakarta and of course other places to get inspirations. I will stay there for at least one year and want to work there. I still have clients here in the Netherlands who are willing to go further with me, even when I am in Indonesia. That says something. I already have a designer here in the Netherlands who is willing to freelance for me here. After 1 or 2 years, I want to go to China and / or Japan. Feeling, tasting, seeing their way of working and thinking. Helping people there with arts from a Dutch designer. I want to show the people all over the world that nothing is impossible as long if you want it. If I want to go to Indonesia and other countries, I will do that. I will blog about it, I will work for it. With this, I hope to inspire people to look further then just their own country, or state. There is so much more about arts and design than we think we know. Aiden: Beyond historically influential artists like we’ve talked about, who are some modern-day designers that you enjoy watching? You are a part of the slashTHREE artgroup, you contribute to deviantART, as well as the Behance network. What about people you see here on the internet? Jurryt: I'm not sure if I really enjoy 1 designer in particular. I enjoy their works and just random work I see. I have respect for many artists and digital artist. For example, I have major respect for Anton Corbijn. The way he get things done and his vision about arts and life are really good. And for business like, I enjoy Armani. The way he reached the top. Really inspiring. I don't think someone should get totally crazy about 1 person. If you are like that it is so much harder to create something that is your own. I think people limit themselves when they focus too much on others. Aiden: You mentioned that you wanted to blend photography and digital work perfectly. What inspires the pieces you create, pieces like “Boss”. Jurryt: Everything actually. Sometimes just music, other times movies, my mood, etc. Also talking to people about arts an design, about your goals, it motivates and inspires to create a new piece. Boss was inspired by a movie. Not sure what movie, but I had this idea to catch the movie's atmosphere in this piece. It is really mysterious and you are able to create your own story behind it. Aiden: Personally, “Soul” and “Reality” are some of my favorite pieces from you. Tell us a little about them, what inspired you, and how you went about creating them. Jurryt: Both are actually really personal. After "Portrait", "Reality" was my first bigger art piece again. I wanted to show, as I want in all of my works, the difference between "Reality" and "Fiction". Someone wants to get out of the reality, or out of the place you want are living in right now. It hurts and people don't like it when you try to, but everyone has thought about it. “Soul” was made for slashTHREE and has basically the same concept as my other work: getting out of reality. To get out, it's so hard and painful.... and you have to do it all by yourself like in our society…individualism. Aiden: And they are great pieces indeed. There are a million other things that we could talk about here, but our interview has gotten pretty long. Thank you for taking time out of your busy 80-hours-a-week schedule to talk with us! It has been great talking with you. Do you have any last statements you wish to make? Jurryt: Think positive, live day by day, set your goals and make sure you got the will to reach them. That is life at its best. Featured Artwork: About the Interviewer: My name is Aiden Kolh, and I am a 19 year old writer, photographer, and painter. I have an insatiable lust for music theory, and, on top of writing literature, I compose music for my band, and other groups on a paid basis. I am currently a student at the Art Institues, Detroit specifically, and am pursuing a career in art, photography, and music composition. On the side, I administrate the community at slashTHREE, and will be interviewing artists from time-to-time here at Abduzeedo!