Google Pixel vs Google Pixel 2 – Is It Worth The Upgrade?

As we mentioned in our breakdown of Google Pixel Event, the tech giant finally unveiled its two new smartphone devices for Android users and just like last year, the new members of the Pixel smartphone family are mostly similar to each other with only minor changes. But how exactly do these new Pixel devices fair against their older counterparts? Our comparison of Google Pixel vs Google Pixel 2 should help clarify that so you can decide whether it is worth upgrading or not.

Google Pixel vs Google Pixel 2

On the surface, both Pixel and Pixel 2 look a lot similar due to their 5-inch 1080p FullHD display and the fact that they are basically smaller and slightly cheaper version of their XL counterparts. Even the Google logo, fingerprint sensor, and the back design is similar. However, that is pretty much where the similarities end as Google Pixel 2 shakes up things considerably in other areas of design.

Hardware Specifications

Google Pixel vs Google Pixel 2 hardware

While the original Google Pixel used the Snapdragon 821 processor, the Pixel 2 adopts the latest Snapdragon 835 which is much more power efficient than the 821 while also happens to be the current top-tier mobile chipset. Because of the improved processor, the Google Pixel 2 is able to deliver a better VR experience and the Adreno 540 GPU onboard the SoC is capable of 4K 60FPS output.

The Snapdragon 835 on Google Pixel 2 is also better than 821 aboard the original Pixel thanks to improvements in LTE network technology. Apart from the GPU and processor upgrade, the Pixel 2 also has more storage available in the base model, 64GB instead of the 32GB. While the Google Pixel wasn’t exactly bad, this round of Google Pixel vs Google Pixel 2 is clearly won by the new device thanks to the improved processor which basically lets it perform everything the original did but in a better way.

Display and Design

As mentioned above, the design of both devices is pretty much the same and so is the display. However, Google took a bold risk with Google Pixel 2 and decided to ditch the 3.5mm audio jack in favor of Bluetooth wireless headphones, much like what Apple did to push Apple EarPods. While those who don’t prefer wireless headphones can still use their old wired ones, they will need to use the USB-C to 3.5mm adapter that is included in the Pixel 2 box.

 

No clear winner here as while removing 3.5mm adapter does seem harsh especially considering the price of the wireless Google Pixel Buds, the USB-C to 3.5mm adapter makes up for it by still giving you the option to use your old earphones.

Software

The Pixel 2 shown at the Google Pixel Event was running a special version of Android Oreo, the latest Android firmware. It seems like the Pixel 2 family will have some special features and slight changes in the firmware as compared to the old Pixel smartphones. Despite it being the same OS, there are going to be some changes baked in there that differentiate it from older devices just like there was a difference between Nexus and the original Pixel family.

Some of these changes have already been highlighted by Google such as Google Lens powered by a smarter Google Assistant, support for the new Daydream VR headset as well as some launcher tweaks.

Another major change that clearly gives the Pixel 2 an edge when it comes to Google Pixel vs Google Pixel 2 is the software support. While the original Pixel will still continue to receive regular updates till the end of its software cycle, which is usually 18-24 months, the Google Pixel will have guaranteed software support for at least 3 years. That means all the upcoming major Android upgrades, Android P, Q and R will be available on Pixel 2 as soon as they are launched.

Camera

While on the paper, the Google Pixel 2 camera pretty much remains the same as last year, a single 12.2MP sensor compared to 12.3MP sensor of original Pixel. However, Google believes that software will drive the cameras further than hardware which is why they focused on adding a lot of features to the Pixel 2 camera. Because of that, there is now a portrait mode in Pixel 2 camera, optical image stabilization and other features including an aperture size of f/1.8. Clearly, the Pixel 2 is a winner in Google Pixel vs Google Pixel 2 although for now, it seems only by a small margin and we won’t really know how well the new camera performs until the smartphone is released.

Pricing

Google Pixel 2 clearly wins the Google Pixel vs Google Pixel 2 competition when it comes to pricing. While the original also launched with a price tag of $650, same as Google Pixel 2, this price now gets you 64GB of storage instead of just 32GB. Things remain the same for the 128GB model though as both Pixel and Pixel 2 cost the same, $750.

Final Verdict

There really isn’t any clear winner in the battle between Google Pixel vs Google Pixel 2. While the new Pixel device does have some nice new features and additions, it is certainly not worth the upgrade when you already have a Pixel device. However, if you are upgrading from an older phone like a Nexus or some other company’s Android phone, the Pixel 2 should be a no brainer as it does everything the Pixel does but better and offers more value for money.

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