Pixel 2 and 2 XL review—The best Android phone you can buy

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Acceptable to year two of Google Hardware. In 2016, Google jumped into the Android machinery space with its first self-branded device, the Google Pixel. Google’s software mastery shined on the Pixel 1, offering up exclusive features like the Google Confederate with, the best Android camera thanks to advanced software processing, securely day-one OS updates and betas, and the smoothest, best-performing overall build of Android. The hatchet man software package made it the best Android phone of the previous age group.

The Pixel still represented Google’s first foray into smartphone armaments, though, and it didn’t offer anything special in the hardware department. It was a bland-looking iPhone clone. It had the in any case specs and basic design as everything else. The Pixel even pranced water resistance, which had become an expected feature at that cost point. Google said it wanted to make its own hardware, but it didn’t in point of fact build special hardware.

Google had an excuse, however: the original Pixel was a plodding job. All the evidence we have points to it being blasted out the door in about 9 months, almost half the usual development time for a smartphone. This year Google’s second-generation smartphones—the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL—show up after a development timeframe much closer to the usual smartphone earmark. Expectations are rightfully a lot higher.

The software package is pretty much the even so story as last year: Google is still blowing away its game with a killer software package that no other Android OEM can raise. Of course the company that makes Android also knows how to the fullest extent to make an Android phone, so with the Pixel 2 you’re getting all the “best exercises” for Android. Google gives you three years of day-one OS updates, an absurd camera, the best UI performance, a cohesive software package, and (if you buy the XL at least) computer equipment that’s “good enough” to stand up to the rest of the high-end smartphone throng.

SPECS AT A GLANCE
Pixel 2 Pixel 2 XL
SCREEN 1920×1080 5.0″ (440 ppi)

Samsung AMOLED, 16:9 orientation ratio

2880×1440 6.0″ (538ppi)

LG pOLED, 18:9 aspect ratio

OS Android 8.0 Oreo
CPU Eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (Four 2.35GHz Kyro 280 Demeanour cores and four 1.90GHz Kyro 280 Efficiency cores)
RAM 4GB
GPU Adreno 540
STORAGE 64GB or 128GB
NETWORKING 802.11b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, NFC, eSIM
Joins GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSPA+: 1, 2, 4, 5, 8
CDMA: BC0, BC1, BC10
FDD-LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32, 66
TD-LTE: 38, 40, 41
PORTS USB 3.1 Type-C
CAMERA 12MP end camera, 8MP front camera
SIZE 145.7 x 69.7 x 7.8 mm (5.7 x 2.7 x 0.3 in) 157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm (6.22 x 3.02 x 0.31 in)
Pressure 143g (5.01 oz) 175 g (6.17 oz)
BATTERY 2700 mAh 3520 mAh
STARTING PRICE $649 $849
OTHER PERKS USB-PD impatient charging, fingerprint sensor, notification LED, IP67 dust and water resistance, Daydream in proper shape, Active Edge

This go-round, Google has actually done something exclusive with the hardware, too. The back design is more refined than continue year, and the Pixel represents one of the only premium, aluminum unibody phones left side standing. From HTC, Google is borrowing the U11’s pressure sensitive sides, so a energetic squeeze at any time—even when the phone is off—will fire up the Google Pal around with.

In fact, less than a day before our review was set to publish, Google deserted major hardware news on us. The Pixel 2 has two SoCs. There’s the expected Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, but the Pixel 2 also hush ups a custom Google-designed SoC called the “Pixel Visual Core.” While currently quiet, the SoC packs in eight Google-designed Image Processing Units (IPUs) that force eventually enable the Pixel 2 to process photos faster and more efficiently than all the time.

All these changes make the Pixel 2 hardware situation more tangled than it was in the first year. Like Apple, Google does not own any smartphone turn out facilities, but it does all the engineering work itself and outsources the manufacturing to a house like Foxconn. Google’s Pixel strategy has been to partner with an Android OEM and set up a phone together. Last year the Pixel and Pixel XL were built with the purloin of HTC. This year the duties are split between LG and HTC. LG is building the Pixel 2 XL, while HTC is erection the smaller Pixel 2. (Next year, Google will unquestionably have a much bigger hand in the hardware design, since it come into possession of the Pixel team from HTC. In September, Google paid $1.1 billion for all over 2,000 HTC engineers and a patent-sharing deal.)

The “Google” Pixel phones decidedly feel like two different devices from two different companies. These instruments share the same SoC, cameras, software, and roughly the same design; the camouflages, bodies, and little details are completely different. But make no mistake respecting it—the new Pixels remain in the upper echelon of Android phones.

Table of Pleasures

  • Hardware: A tale of two phones
  • Metal backs and wireless charging
  • The grainy LG OLED revelation
  • Squeeze for assistance
  • Audio and Google’s hypocritical removal of the 3.5mm jack
  • eSIM—Because using a leviathan plastic card to hold 128KB is dumb
  • Google Hardware silence doesn’t feel like “Google” hardware
  • The Pixel’s perfect software
  • Ambient Show and Now Playing
  • Google Lens
  • Google’s Android update outlook
  • Scene: Head and shoulders above the Android pack
  • Camera
  • The best Android phone out there
  • The Sufficient
  • The Bad
  • The Ugly

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