A couple of days ago, Google announced their high-end Chromebook called Pixelbook, a virtual reality headset called Daydream View, their Google Home Mini, and most importantly, their new Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL, two second generation high-end smartphones.
The original Pixel and Pixel XL were a huge success, and now the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL mark the launch of of Android 8.0 Oreo, so these phones will be the world’s first look at the newest Android version.
Google Pixel 2
-The Pixel 2 looks very similar to the original. With the same size bezel and same rounded corners, the new Pixel 2 also sports the same 5-inch, 1080p (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) wide-color gamut, 24-bit P-OLED screen that can display 16.7 million colors. The front camera is also in the same place, as well as the rear camera and the fingerprint sensor. The Pixel 2’s unibody is a combination of aluminum, plastic and glass.
The changes are this: The Pixel 2 now has two speakers, one above the screen and one below, to give you true stero sound. Secondly, instead of a 16:9 aspect ratio, the Pixel 2 offers a new 18.9 aspect ration, but sadly no headphone jack now. Rather, the Pixel 2 ships with a USB-C-to-3.5mm adapter.
Google Pixel 2 XL
The Google Pixel XL is a different story. Sporting a 6-inch QHD (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) P-OLED display, it’s much taller than the original XL, with more screen real estate. Other than that, it has the same two-tone design as the Pixel 2 XL, and the same camera and fingerprint sensor. And it too also has nixed the 3.5mm headphone jack connector for a single USB-C port.
The Power of the Processor
Both the Google Pixel 2 and the Google Pixel 2 XL are IP67 dust and water-resistant, and able to survive under water at 3 feet. Both touchscreens on each are shatter and scratch resistant, thanks to Gorilla Glass 5. They also use e-SIM technology that can switch between cell networks on the fly, and both the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL have Active Edge, Google’s AI Assistant.
Inside, the new Pixel phones sport a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, an octa-core system-on-chip that boasts a 27 percent performance advantage over the first-generation Pixel lineup. They also have Quick Charge, giving you five hours of battery with only five minutes of charging, as well as 128GB of internal storage, 4GB of RAM and Bluetooth 5.0 radios.
One difference is that the XL has a 3,520mAh battery, which gives you a full two days of use, versus the Pixel 2 with only a 2,700mAh battery, which offers a little more than a day of battery life.
Google Pixel 2 Software
As mentioned, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL run Android 8.0 Oreo, the latest version of Google’s operating system, and the new Pixel 2 family will have features you won’t find in other Oreo-touting devices, particularly the new Pixel Launcher, the app that powers the phones’ home screens. In addition the the Google search bar, you’ll also get a completely transparent notification system, as well as upcoming calendar events, temperature, weather and a daily briefing widget.
There’s also “Now Playing”, a feature of the Google Assistant that’s exclusive to the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. It uses “always-on” three-microphone technology and on-device machine learning to listen for tunes nearby. If it identifies a match, you’ll see a handy link to Google Play Music Store listing the tune, and giving you the option of purchase.
The new Android 8.0 Oreo has a picture-in-picture mode, an Autofill service that remembers your app login passwords, and a battery-optimizing task manager that gets rid of corrupt background apps. The new Google Pixel 2 also has ARCore, an augmented reality framework that will allow new and exciting AR games and other apps.
Google Pixel 2 Shooters
While last year the Google Pixel family had great cameras, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are even better with best-in-class sensors. A custom-designed Google imaging chip powers both phones’ cameras, and the cameras themselves boast an 8-megapixel f/2.4 aperture sensor on front, and a single-lens 12.3-megapixel rear f/1.8 aperture rear camera with high dynamic range, phase detection autofocus and optical image stabilization. Google calls it the Pixel Camera, and it’s capable of all sorts of stuff that the original Pixel couldn’t do.
The Google Pixel 2 Camera actually learns as it goes. Motion Photos, another camera feature, snaps three-second video clips before and after a picture is taken, and Face Retouching uses an algorithm to clean up skin imperfections and blemishes. Pretty suite, huh?
The Pixel Camera also uses Google Lens, an AI photo analyzer that can pick out books, DVD covers and more, and give you a description of what you snapped.
The new Pixel 2 lineup ain’t cheap. The Google Pixel 2 comes in “kinda blue”, “clearly white” and “just black”, will be available in 64GB and 128GB storage configurations for $649 and $749 unlocked, respectively. Alternatively, you can opt for Google’s monthly financing, which is $27.04 per month for the 64GB model and $31.21 per month for the 128GB model.
The Google Pixel 2 XL, available in black and white, also comes in a 64GB or 128GB configuration, and will sell for $849 and $949, respectively. A 24-month installment plan for the 64GB starts at $35.38 per month and $39.54 per month for the 128GB. They begin shipping in late October, and they are currently available for pre-order.
For a limited time, Google’s throwing in a free Google Home Mini speaker with the pre-order of a Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. New Google-made earbuds, Pixel Buds, are available starting today. And the search giant’s launching an accessories program for the new phones, Made for Home, with hundreds of third-party manufacturing partners.
The Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL are exclusive to Verizon Wireless in the U.S.