As we mentioned in our Google Pixel Roundup, Google finally unveiled the much-awaited Pixel 2 series of smartphones with two new offerings just like last year, Pixel 2 and the bigger Pixel 2 XL. Here we are going to breakdown the specifications and features of both of these new smartphones so Android purists who prefer buying Google smartphones over others can make an informed decision whether Google Pixel 2/XL are worth upgrading to or not.
Google Pixel 2/XL Reveal
Much like other flagship smartphones in the market right now, Google Pixel 2 series phones aren’t exactly cheap either although they are still cheaper than the $1000 iPhone X. Google continues delivering one budget device while other for those who are open to spending a bit more. All the while making sure no one party is at a major disadvantage when it comes to performance and support.
Under the hood, both Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones have the same specifications. Both are powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, have 4GB of RAM and offer 64GB/128GB storage options. The new Pixel 2 smartphones also share a similar camera with a 12MP f/1.8 aperture sensor with features like optical image stabilization and portrait mode. The Pixel 2 camera scored a record breaking 98 on DxOMark test, leaving behind all the other phones like iPhone 8/8 Plus, Note 8 and LG V30. It seems like this is becoming a trend with Google now as last year’s Pixel smartphone scored an 89 on the same test and was crowned as the highest rated smartphone camera at that time.
As the smaller device, Pixel 2 has a 5-inch OLED screen with 1080p resolution which might seem a disappointment in 2017 especially given the price tag. Pixel 2 XL on the other hand is better in this regard as it brings an appropriately sized 6-inch 2880×1440 OLED screen.
While fast charging is back in both Pixel 2 devices, Google has removed wireless charging as the tech doesn’t charge fast enough to meet their standards yet. Both the smartphones charge with a USB-C port which is not only used to charge the smartphones but also transfer data and be used for wired headphones. Yes, following in Apple’s footsteps, Google has ditched the 3.5mm audio jack from Pixel 2 smartphones and instead switched to wireless Bluetooth 5.0 Pixel Buds. However, a dongle is included in the package for those who are not a fan of wireless headphones so they can continue to use their old wired ones.
One of the biggest selling point of Google smartphones has always been their software. Since the OS used in Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL comes straight from Google, it doesn’t have any extra “flavorings” that might end up slowing down your device or act as bloatware. Similarly, Pixel 2 devices will also be the first to receive any new major or minor security updates that are released for the Android OS.
Working side by side with the hardware, Google has also introduced the Active Edge technology in Pixel 2 series devices. The tech was first seen in HTC U11 with Edge Sense where you can squeeze the sides of your smartphone to access various features. The Pixel 2 camera will also greatly benefit from the software improvements as instead of going all out with the sensor size, Google believes in software enhancements and stayed 12MP while providing more features through the software.
As is expected, Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones will come with Android 8.0 Oreo straight out of the box but what’s really interesting here is Google’s promise to support these devices with at least 3 years of OS updates. Traditionally, Google devices have had 18-24 months of software support which can sometimes extend a few more months.
Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will be available on 19th October although you can already start pre-ordering. The 64GB model of Pixel 2 will cost $650 while Pixel 2 XL will be $850. The 128GB storage options are however really expensive as the Pixel 2 price goes up to $750 and the Pixel 2 XL to a massive $950 making it a difficult purchase unless you buy on contract through a carrier. Both smartphones will be available in 3 color options: Just Black, Kinda Blue and Clearly White. The retail package of Pixel 2 smartphones includes the device itself, a USB-C charger and power adapter as well as a USB-C to 3.5mm earphone adapter for those who will not be spending money on Bluetooth headphones.
So there you have it, Google Pixel 2/XL reveal breakdown for those who are interested in buying this purist Android device from Google and want to know more before they finally decide to shell out the money for these flagship devices. While the price point isn’t as lucrative as some of Google’s previous offerings like Nexus 4 and Nexus 5, it is becoming clear that Google is now more focused on the premium smartphone market rather than catering to budget users who are interested in devices under $400.