Google's new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones detailed

Google's new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones detailed

Google unveils their new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones and we go into detail about them right here.

@anthony256
Published Thu, Oct 5 2017 2:56 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:34 PM CDT

Introduction & Under The Hood

Google announced their next-gen Pixel smartphones at their media event, with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL now official we have all the details on the smaller and larger versions of Google's flagship smartphones.

Pixel 2 rocks a near identical look to the previous-gen Pixel, while Pixel 2 XL receives a facelift. We have a 6-inch display on Pixel 2 XL, up from the 5.5-inch display on the original Pixel XL smartphone. Pixel 2 XL's huge display takes up most of the front of the phone, and while it's not a full edge-to-edge display, it has tiny bezels at the top.

Pixel 2, on the other hand, has a very Pixel-like look with its 5-inch display and squared-off corners with massive bezels. The only difference between its predecessor is that there's a glass accent at the top of the phone that is smaller and doesn't suck the fingerprint sensor into the middle of it.

Under The Hood

Inside, we have Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, and the option of 64GB and 128GB of storage. Both of the new Pixel smartphones feature front-facing stereo speakers and OLED displays, while the Pixel 2's 5-inch display has a 1080p resolution (441 PPI), but the Pixel 2 XL rocks an impressive 6-inch OLED display with a native res of 2880 x 1440 (538 PPI).

Sorry... No Headphone Jack

No 3.5mm Headphone Jack

Google's new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphone don't have a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is a massive shame... especially considering Samsung's entire stack of flagship phones still include it. This includes the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, and even the Galaxy Note 8... all with 3.5mm headphone jacks.

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Squeeze Me

Where Google has performed some big differences is in the "Active Edge" side of things, where Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL owners can squeeze the sides of their smartness to trigger certain actions. In its default form, squeezing your new Pixel 2 smartphone will launch Google Assistant, and silence phone calls.

Camera Improvements

This is one area that Google continues to lead in, is constant improvements to the camera software on Pixel smartphones. The release of Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are no different, with Google's VP of Product Management, Mario Queiroz saying that his team "reimagined smartphone photography."

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Google handed over Pixel 2 to DXO for testing, with the phone setting a new record score of 98. To compare this, the new iPhone 8 Plus has a score of 94, coming in second.

Both Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 rock 12.2-megapixel rear-facing cameras with an f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization. The previous-gen Pixel and Pixel XL smartphone featured a f/2.09 lens with electronic image stabilization, so just here we have two serious improvements that let Google lead the smartphone camera race.

But it's the new "dual-pixel sensor" that Google says divides every single pixel in two, making the pixels much smaller, benefiting Google's cameras inside of the new Pixel 2 handsets. The split pixels acts like a second lens, which allows the camera to snap a photo that is a little offset from the first.

With that data, Google can create a depth map that identifies the background, and foreground of a photo, and then blur the background to keep the subject in focus.

Always-On Display, Google Lens, & Pricing & Availability

Always-On Display

The new Pixel 2 smartphones will sport a new search box at the bottom of the screen, beneath the app dock. This makes using Google itself incredibly simple on Pixel 2, as it's the first thing under your thumb as you're about to use the phone.

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Google has also included an "at a glance" agenda widget that shows your upcoming meetings, the date, and even the temperature. The always-on display will show notifications, and the time, too.

Google Lens

This is something smartphones will do more and more as computing power, AI, and deep learning technologies continue to evolve. Google Lens lets you point your Pixel camera at objects like books and landmarks, which Google will give you information on them.

Not only that, but the feature will also let you scan email addresses and Wi-Fi passwords automatically putting that information into use. Nifty.

Price & Availability

Google is offering Pixel 2 in white, black, and "kinda blue" for $649 and $749 for the 64GB, and 128GB versions respectively. The Pixel 2 XL, on the other hand, will only have two colors, black and white, and will be priced at $849 for the 64GB version, and $949 for the 128GB model.

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Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will be shipping by October 17, and if you order before October 19 you'll get a free Home Mini... not bad at all, Google. You can order Google's new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones from the Google Store right here.

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Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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