Google&#8216s first self-branded smartphone aced two of the most key components associated with a phone&mdashthe camera and software&mdashon its very first time-around. With&nbspthe Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, Google only needed&nbspto create a couple of upgrades&nbspto stay competitive.

But things departed to some rocky start following the smartphones&#8217 initial release in mid-October. Numerous reports of display problems cast doubt on if the Pixel would retain&nbspits title because the best Android line available on the market.

Precisely how bad would be the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL&rsquos issues, and do their excellent cameras and software compensate enough to contend with some of the best-rate devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and LG V30? More to the point, how can Google&#8217s flagship smartphones rival the iPhone X? Let&rsquos discover.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL design

While almost every other smartphone maker made a decision to maximize display property, Google made the decision to place huge half-inch bezels on top and bottom from the Pixel 2. There&rsquos most likely enough room to throw a joystick somewhere and a few controls alternatively, but Google required a far more conservative route, adding front-facing loudspeakers.

Due to this, the telephone feels larger than it must. Actually, the Pixel 2 is 5.7-inches tall, almost the precise height from the iPhone X, however with a presentation that’s a half-inch smaller sized.

Just look how dated the Pixel 2 seems near the iPhone X.

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Fortunately, when you switch the telephone around, things get far better. The aluminum/glass materials Google transported over in the original Pixel remain, giving the telephone a classy look that matches nicely with Google&rsquos budding hardware design language. The subtle texture from the aluminum back and smooth glass produce a enjoyable white-colored/white-colored contrast, while chrome finishes round the fingerprint readers, camera, flash, and display, give a premium touch.

My only gripe using the design is the fact that little dirt particles get lodged within the gap between your glass and aluminum, there&#8217s no easy way fix it out. That could seem just like a frivolous complaint however it&#8217s bothered me greater than it ought to.

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The Pixel 2 doesn&rsquot just look wonderful. It&rsquos extremely comfortable to carry, especially for those who have small hands. And since it isn&rsquot coated in glass like its rivals, they weigh just 5 ounces.

The Pixel 2 XL keeps the very best areas of the Pixel 2&rsquos design and adds a nearly edge-to-edge display. I only say &ldquoalmost&rdquo since it doesn&rsquot quite achieve the perimeters such as the iPhone X or perhaps Universe S8. It will, however, keep your Pixel 2&rsquos front-facing loudspeakers.

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Yes, the Pixel 2 XL is a great deal taller compared to Pixel 2 at 6.2 ” and far wider at 3 inches, nevertheless its lightweight frame and textured body allow it to be more manageable to carry compared to Universe S8 Plus or Note 8. That stated, it&rsquos not really comfortable to deal with in comparison to the iPhone X, LG V30, or Universe S8. Oh, and both Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are IP67 waterproof, so don&rsquot be worried about with them while it is raining.

You&#8217re most likely wondering the way the design comes even close to Apple&#8217s latest and finest, the iPhone X. There&rsquos without doubt the iPhone X and Pixel 2 XL are the most breathtaking phones ever released, however i provide a slight design nod to Google&rsquos entry. I favor the Pixel 2 XL&rsquos clean two-tone materials towards the iPhone&rsquos very reflective glass finish. Although they weigh comparable, the Pixel 2 XL disperses that weight better, which makes it feel a great deal lighter compared to X.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL display

Here&rsquos where things go downhill.

The Pixel 2 XL&rsquos 6-inch OLED display just wasn&#8217t excellent when it was initially release. After launch, multiple people were not impressed with what Google calls &#8220natural&#8221 mode, the XL&#8217s default color calibration. With natural mode selected, the display looked bland and just nowhere near just like its rivals. Rather of owning as much as its errors, Google claimed it chosen a &ldquomore natural and accurate&#8221 rendition of colours.

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In the event that&#8217s true, it unsuccessful miserably. Photos taken and viewed around the Pixel 2 XL looked undersaturated and lifeless. It had been so bad, I needed to send the photos I required on its camera to my laptop or any other smartphone before I possibly could assess how accurate their colors were.

Thankfully, the organization released a &#8220fix&#8221 using a software update that added a &#8220colors&#8221 setting having a &#8220saturated&#8221 option. The brand new color calibration considerably boosts color vibrancy. Now images pop from the screen with deep, wealthy saturation while white-colored balance remains excellent. For individuals who do desire a more reality (the &#8220saturated&#8221 choice is nowhere near&nbspaccurate), there’s additionally a &#8220boosted&#8221 setting that sits between &#8220natural&#8221 and &#8220saturated.&#8221

Here&#8217s a photograph showing the main difference in saturation between saturated and natural mode. It&#8217s difficult to jump on camera, but believe me, the main difference is big.

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In &#8220boosted&#8221 mode, the Pixel 2 XL&#8217s display is excellent, holding its very own from the iPhone X and LG V30. It might be a little bit undersaturated, however it&#8217s a large improvement towards the pale cast of natural mode and also the excessively wealthy saturated setting.

The program update didn&#8217t fix all of the Pixel 2 XL&#8217s display problems. There&#8217s still a little bit of color shifting&mdashwhere whites turn blue when viewed in an position.

It&#8217s exactly the same problem we had around the LG V30. It&#8217s not really a deal-breaker, but you realized better. More concerning are reports of screen burn-in (yes, like what went down for your old plasma television). Our test unit didn&#8217t show any indications of burn-in, but complaints were enough for Google to increase the telephone&#8217s warranty from one or two years.

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The Pixel 2 doesn&#8217t have the problems described above. That&#8217s because its 5-inch screen uses AMOLED, exactly the same technology in lots of high-finish phones up to this season. Before the color update, the Pixel 2&#8217s display was undeniably much better than the Pixel 2 XL&#8217s. Colors are wealthy, viewing angles are great, and in contrast to the Pixel 2 XL, the colour saturation doesn&#8217t have to be tweaked.

I actually do wish Google boosted the max brightness on these two devices. Visibility in vibrant sunlight is alright&nbspbut not just like the Note 8 or V30.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL software

No real surprise here, Pixel&#8217s phones operate on the most recent form of Android, which makes them a few of the only devices using the newest software as they are. Oreo is really a solid upgrade to Nougat. Everything feels snappier and simplified. A couple of of their best additional features include picture-in-picture, which helps you to see two apps at the same time, and notification dots, which provides you notification previews from apps before you decide to open them. Google&#8217s already excellent assistant can also be much improved, and Google lately launched Lens, a brand new augmented reality application that mixes its va with a few neat camera methods.

There’s also a couple of visual enhancements. Google&#8217s search bar continues to be dropped to the foot of the display which means you don&#8217t need to achieve up any time you wish to look something up, and also the settings menu is simpler to navigate.


The Pixel 2 will get security and have updates as soon as Google releases them, another appealing factor when compared with other Android devices and also the reason these to ought to be on any Android purist&#8217s shortlist. Oh, there&#8217s no bloatware. None. No lame gaming apps, no undesirable security software, with no application suite that attempts to contend with features already a part of Android. This really is Android at its finest.

Should you haven&#8217t owned an Android phone previously couple of years, you&#8217re in luck. The most recent software programs are far in the clunky, crowded interface of old. Actually, it didn&#8217t feel less stable than iOS within our tests. When there&#8217s downside to create regarding Google&#8217s newest OS, it&#8217s it&#8217s a little too simplified&mdashperhaps even Apple-like. Some areas, such as the camera interface, are extremely stripped lower it really makes me miss a few of the features you discover on the good Android skin.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL Performance

Both phones make use of this year&#8217s system-on-a-nick (SoC) preferred by flagship phones, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. I&#8217m shocked because when much faster these to feel&nbspthan a few of the competitors utilizing the same internals. They are easily the quickest Android phones ever released and simply take care of the iPhone X in tangible-world use.

That&#8217s thanks mainly towards the same integration between software and hardware which has benefitted Apple for a long time. Which reminds me, the Pixel and Pixel 2XL still can&#8217t touch Apple&#8217s latest A11 Bionic SoC when it comes to raw power, but don&#8217t allow that to sway you. Both phones have adequate processing capacity to handle all your needs, from uploading videos to gaming.

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Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL camera

The initial Pixel had, bar none, the very best smartphone camera in the market if this was launched this past year. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL&#8217s identical cameras develop that success, having a 12-megapixel lens that can take extremely detailed images.

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy

Photos are very well uncovered, and also the camera&#8217s HDR mode does a great job keeping vibrant images from blowing out.

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Color precision can also be decent, though not just like I had been wishing or expecting. Some shots look a little bit undersaturated, especially in comparison to the iPhone X and Universe Note 8. While individuals devices may provide an image that&#8217s a little oversaturated, certain photos taken using the Pixel 2 aren’t any better&nbspand just don&#8217t look as appealing. Within this first image, you can observe the way the Pixel overstates the contrasts, using the tree appearing way too dark. It almost provides it with a horror movie look (it was adopted a wonderfully vibrant, obvious day). I much preferred the Note 8&#8217s take, that was both better and much more colorful.

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The Pixel 2 does better in low light, however. These fruits are nicely saturated, and again, the facts are incredible.

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Regrettably, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL aren’t outfitted having a second lens, so no wide-position shots such as the V30 or telephoto images such as the Note 8 or iPhone 8 Plus/X. That&#8217s a genuine shame since i found myself wanting that extra little bit of zoom greater than I was expecting. As with this shot:

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The Pixel 2 does, however, include portrait mode, which adds fake bokeh (or background blur) for an image. Unlike other smartphones, the Pixel 2 has the capacity to accomplish this using software methods, not really a second lens. It labored in addition to I&#8217d wished but battled to obviously define edges. You can observe areas of my hair and ears are blurred in the look below.

Phillip Tracy

Low-light photos are great although not excellent. I favor the better image obtained from the Note 8, despite the fact that facts are smeared, whereas the Pixel 2 maintains individuals details but winds up with increased noise. The Android 8.1 update,&nbspwhich adds support for that Pixel&#8217s Visual Core nick and HDR+, marginally improves low-light performance with improved noise levels and brightness.

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL audio

Fundamental essentials only phones I&#8217ve reviewed this season with front-firing loudspeakers. Typically, phones with front-facing loudspeakers blast louder, clearer music than individuals with loudspeakers at the base. That&#8217s not necessarily the situation, though. Actually, the initial Pixel sounded pretty terrible. This season, however, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL make the most of their speaker placement, offering solid seem quality. The 2 phones have completely different seem signatures. The Pixel 2 sounds like the majority other devices, nailing the vocals, carrying out a decent job using the treble, but getting no bass extension. The Pixel 2 XL, however, includes a surprising quantity of bass, and mids seem thick and wealthy. Vocals, however, really are a bit hollow, and also the treble is underwhelming.

If you’re able to&#8217t beat them, join them. This past year, Google slammed Apple inside a Pixel ad for killing the three.5mm headphone jack. Possibly it recognized the commercial success of Apple&#8217s wireless AirPods because Google has copied Apple&#8217s much-hated decision. That&#8217s right: The Pixel 2 doesn&#8217t possess a headphone jack&mdasha user-hostile and albeit embarrassing omission. The Pixel 2 does have a 3.5mm to USB-C adapter, however it&#8217s not just a solution for individuals who cherish their wired earphones. Google did release its very own group of semi-headphones, the Pixel Buds, however they&#8217ve been met with middling reviews.

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Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL battery existence

Both phones have decent battery existence. I could go through the full day on one charge only had around 10-20 percent juice left.&nbspThat&#8217s an underwhelming result when compared to top phones we tested this season. The LG V30 has surprisingly excellent battery existence, easily pushing deep right into a second day’s use while both iPhone X and Universe Note 8 finished each day of medium-to-heavy use with around 30 % remaining.

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As the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL support fast charging via USB-C connection, they aren’t wireless charging compatible. It&#8217s another missing feature that leaves me scratching my mind.

In the event you purchase a Google Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL?

Should you&#8217d requested me this in November, I would have stuttered. However, after Google updated its display with better color saturation, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are&nbspboth simple to recommend. They&#8217re the quickest Android devices I&#8217ve ever tested and are available using the best software and camera associated with a phone available. When the rest hadn&#8217t been this type of bumpy ride, the Pixel may have emerge in front of this season&#8217s top device, the iPhone X.

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Sadly, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL don&#8217t achieve their full potential due to some infuriating omissions. There&#8217s no headphone jack, no wireless charging, with no dual-lens camera. The Pixel 2&#8217s thick bezels are clunky and screen burn-in issue cast doubt within the durability from the Pixel 2 XL&#8217s display.

There&#8217s the cost. It&#8217s high. Less than iPhone X or Universe Note 8 high, but $650 and $850, correspondingly, quite a bit of money to decrease on phones that, while excellent, are missing some key hardware elements.

So, who should purchase the Pixel 2? Ironically enough, exactly the same people that want an apple iphone-like experience on Android. A no-nonsense phone with blazing fast speed along with a class-leading camera that&#8217s free from the features you receive having a Samsung or LG device. However for individuals individuals who have been attracted to Android because of its wealthy set of features and &#8220see what sticks&#8221 approach, the Pixel 2 isn&#8217t the telephone for you personally.

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