It’s October 4th, so Google has come up with the second generation of Pixel smartphones, and they are named them as Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, respectively. Both devices have packed a serious punch under the hood and comes with updated designs and better overall specifications. Sounds like just ok right? Hang on; Google has done an incredible job of redefining the most commonly used features on smartphones such as Cameras, Displays, Software, and Speakers. You may not be excited of listening to it, but if you are an Android fan, you should be excited. Wondering why? Let us explain.
Google has taken a conservative approach in designing these devices while other manufacturers are pushing the boundaries. This is especially evident when we talk about regular Pixel 2 smartphone. There are thicker bezels just like last year, but they have put it to good use this time around as you get front firing stereo speakers. The back of the device boasts same two-tone metal and glass finish, but the glass has occupied less real estate this time. You find the nicely positioned fingerprint sensor to unlock the device.
Probably, most of the folks will get excited with the Pixel 2 XL’s design as it fits in-line with the other full-screen display smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy S8, iPhone X, and LG V30. Just to let you know, Google has kept a healthy amount of side bezels even on Pixel 2 XL. The search giant has also managed to cram a front firing speaker under the smaller bottom bezel of Pixel 2 XL.
Google Pixel 2 has got similar 5-inch OLED display with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution like last year’s Pixel, but the Pixel 2 XL has got much larger 6-inch POLED panel with 2880 x 1440 pixels. Yes, the odd resolution was due to the unusual (maybe not anymore) 18:9 aspect ratio. The top and bottom bezels are much smaller than Pixel XL, and you can see rounded corners on display just like what you see on all other top dogs.
Google says they have custom tuned the display to boast 95% DCI-P3 colour gamut on Pixel 2, and 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut on the Pixel 2 XL. Google has touted a lot about the 100000:1 super contrast ratio and True black levels. The display also supports Full 24-bit depth and 16.77 million colours. The other impressive factor is that Pixel 2 XL’s display has covered with 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5 panel, whereas Pixel 2’s display has got 2.5D Gorilla Glass 5 sheet on top of the display panel.
Under the hood, Google has no option other than going with Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Octa-core SoC, which clocks at 2.35GHz. As expected, it’s paired with Adreno 540 GPU to handle graphical intensive tasks. The biggest talking point is custom designed Security Module, which will be used to securely store fingerprint data.
Both the models equipped with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage onboard. If you can shell out more money, you can get 128GB internal storage. You may not need to worry about the storage as Google is allowing all Pixel 2 and 2 XL device owners to store full resolution photos and videos (even 4K videos) on Google Photos till 2020. There is no limit to this, being a Pixel owner, you can store as many photos and videos as possible.
Google is using Pixel 2 series of devices to showcase the power of Android 8.0 Oreo. As expected, Google has made a couple of changes to the Pixel launcher. The major one being the relocated Google Search widget, which is now close to your fingertips as it’s positioned at the bottom of the display. It definitely makes sense for Pixel 2 XL owners as it boasts much taller 6-inch display. In addition, users can see their notifications on the home screen via a widget, which is super impressive. You can pretty much expect the smoothest Android experience on Pixel 2 devices.
Last year’s Pixel devices held the crown for having industry-leading camera modules. It was reiterated by the guys at DxoMark as it was scored 89 points on their professional benchmark tools. This year, Google has pushed the envelope by offering the cameras, which scored unprecedented 98 points on DxOMark. It’s definitely a feat, which we never saw before. To remind you, the recently released Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone 8 Plus models have been scored 94 points.
Let’s get into the technical details — Google is using the same sensor on both the devices, so there are no cut corners like iPhones. Users get a 12.2MP rear sensor with Dual Pixel Phase Detection, which works in tandem with Laser AF sensor to produce smoother images. The pixels are 1.4μm sized with f/1.8 aperture. There is OIS and EIS stabilization and oh boy… Google’s Machine Learning algorithms come into play here to stabilize the photos and videos never like before on a smartphone. The rear sensor can record up to 4K videos @ 30fps. The 8MP Selfie shooter, on the other hand, comes with f/2.4 aperture, but it is a Fixed Focus sensor.
There is one key selling point to discuss the camera, which is nothing but Portrait photos. We have seen this feature introduced with iPhone 7 Plus, but it was widely adopted by the industry since then. Now, Google has come up with similar functionality, but they are achieving the same functionality using the single sensor. How’s it possible you may ask, Google is putting Machine Learning in front to analyze and create the 3D depth map of the subject or object so that the software can pick the subject endpoint accurately. There is some really impressive technology going on.
Google has integrated HTC’s Edge Sense like feature into these new devices, so you can squeeze the frame of the devices to trigger Google Now Assistant. They are calling it Active Edge. Google has unfortunately ditched our favourite 3.5mm headset jack, and bundling USB-C to 3.5mm port adapter.
The connectivity features include Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, etc. The Google Pixel 2 offers 2700mAh battery whereas Pixel 2 XL offers larger 3520mAh battery. These batteries can be charged via USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 port, which supports Super fast charging speeds. In fact, Google was saying — users can get up to 7 hours of usage time with 15 minutes of charge. Both devices are Daydream Ready so that users can take advantage of newly released Daydream VR Headset.
Pricing & Availability:
Google is following its funny naming scheme for Pixel 2 devices as well. The smaller Google Pixel 2 will be available in three colour options – Just Black, Clearly White and Kinda Blue. Meanwhile, the bigger Google Pixel 2 XL will be available in Just Black and Black & White colour options.
The Google Pixel 2 will be starting at $649 in the US, and Pixel 2 XL will set you back at $849 and up. These two devices are now available for pre-order in the United States. It’ll also available in Australia, Canada, Germany, India, U.K, Italy, Singapore and Spain.
In the US, Google has once again teamed up with Verizon to offer the latest devices, but you can order them via Google Store through Project Fi.