“Google’s Pixel, the first smartphone to carry the search giant’s brand name, arrives in stores on Thursday in a lucky stroke of timing,” Brian X. Chen writes for The New York Times. “This holiday season, all Google’s new phone has to do to compete with those from Samsung, the world’s largest handset maker, is not burst into flames. ”

“The absence of a major competing Android device works out especially well for Google because the Pixel is, relatively speaking, mediocre,” Chen writes. “It is slower than Apple’s iPhone 7 and the Galaxy S7, Samsung’s smaller flagship phone. Photos shot with Pixel’s camera don’t look as good as the iPhone’s. And Google’s built-in artificially intelligent virtual assistant, called Assistant, is still fairly dumb.”

“But hey, the Pixel probably won’t burn down your garage or injure a child,” Chen writes. “So if you prefer Android and are already hooked on Google’s suite of internet-powered software, including its maps, photos, email and document-editing apps, then you probably won’t regret buying the Pixel… After testing Pixel for five days, I concluded that although the device’s features are underwhelming, this is a good smartphone for Android fans.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In other words: If you’ve already settled for an inferior, privacy-trampling, insecure ecosystem (of sorts) where “free” means that you are the product, not the customer, then an inferior, mediocre handset like Google’s Pixel is perfect for you because you don’t know WTF you’re missing.

Chen concludes that, if you are “not deeply invested in Google’s ecosystem, there is another route: Try an iPhone. Apple’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus outperformed the Pixel in every way in terms of hardware features. And so far, to my knowledge, Apple phones haven’t blown up.”

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