Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL: Everything You Need To Know
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Google has launched two new flagship smartphones: the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. The latter features a longer bezel-less screen, but both gadgets showcase Google’s vision of the ideal Android smartphones.

As we know well already, there is no “ideal phone”. People have different preferences and priorities. So before you order one online or go to the store to grab it, you need to know a few things.

Price and Availability

Both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are available for pre-order now, and shipping starts on October 17. You can place orders at the Google Store.

  • Pixel 2: $649 (64 GB) or $749 (128 GB)
  • Pixel 2 XL: $849 (64 GB) or $ 949 (128 GB)

The Pixel 2 has three color options: “Just Black,” “Clearly White,” and “Kinda Blue.” The Pixel 2 XL’s color options are “Just Black” and “Black and White.”

Important Specifications

Besides the screen and the battery, Google has some major improvements and additions in the new Pixel 2 phones. Here’s a quick look at the important specifications of both phones:

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL: Everything You Need To Know pixel 2 xl specifications 670x395

What’s the Difference Between the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL?

Unlike the iPhone and iPhone Plus, both of Google’s Pixel phones share most of the same hardware. The biggest difference is the screen size.

The Pixel 2 XL has an infinity display, which means it removes the bezel at the bottom. What you get instead is a larger 6-inch screen in what would have been the size of last year’s Pixel XL with a 5.5-inch.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL: Everything You Need To Know google pixel 2 xl differences 496x500

Meanwhile, the Pixel 2 sticks to the standard touchscreen phone format we have been used to for years now. It’s a 5-inch screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio, just like its predecessor.

Both smartphones use OLED displays for better colors. The 5-inch Pixel 2 has a resolution of 1920×1080 (441 ppi), while the 6-inch Pixel 2 XL boosts the resolution to 2880×1440 (538 ppi), in an odd 18:9 aspect ratio.

The other difference in the phones is the battery capacity. The Pixel  2 packs a 2700 mAh battery while the Pixel 2 XL has a 3500 mAh battery. However, Google is quick to state that you shouldn’t go by the numbers alone here. The larger screen size requires the larger battery. But the actual battery life for both phones is the same, lasting you all day of regular usage, or giving you seven hours of use on 15 minutes of charge.

The Best Phone Camera Ever?

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have the same camera, and it’s a monster. In fact, it is the best-reviewed mobile ever by DxO Mark, an industry-wide camera and image quality analysis service. The Pixel 2 camera got an overall score of 98, eclipsing the iPhone 8 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note 8, which both got 94. Individually, the Pixel 2 scored 99 on photo abilities and 96 on video recording.

To learn more about the camera, watch this quick video from the 9:50 time mark:

Note that this achievement is with a single camera unlike most new dual cameras like the iPhone and others. Google also says its camera can take Portrait photos, which focus on the subject and blur the background.

Goodbye 3.5 mm Headphone Jack

Like the iPhone, Google has gotten rid of the standard 3.5 mm headphone jack. The only port on the second generation Pixel phones is a USB-C port What Is USB Type-C? What Is USB Type-C? Ah, the USB plug. It is as ubiquitous now as it is notorious for never being able to be plugged in right the first time. Read More . So you’ll need wired headphones with such a connector, or a converter for it. And of course, you could use wireless Bluetooth headphones too.

Ever since the iPhone 7 removed the headphone jack No Stereo Jack, No Problem: Why the iPhone 7 Sounds Great No Stereo Jack, No Problem: Why the iPhone 7 Sounds Great It's official -- Apple has removed the standard 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7. But don't worry, this is a good thing. Read More , other phone makers have been going with a single port. Google has followed suit, and honestly, it’s not a bad ploy.

The standard 3.5 mm analog headphone jack takes up more circuitry than new smartphones can afford, so the change makes sense. But there is plenty of backlash from users. If you have a favorite pair of headphones to listen to songs on your phone, this is a big disappointment.

Water Resistant and Improved GPS

The new Pixel 2 phones are also IP68-rated dust and water resistant What Makes a Device Waterproof or Water-Resistant? What Makes a Device Waterproof or Water-Resistant? A lot of devices are marketed as waterproof, but that can be severely misleading. Most are actually water-resistant. What's the difference? Here's everything you need to know about it. Read More . In simple terms, this means that both phones will survive rain, water spills, and other liquid accidents. But if you drop it in a river, the phone can’t handle that.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL: Everything You Need To Know pixel 2 water resistant 670x471

Apart from that, Google has made Maps a highlight here. GPS, or Global Positioning System, is an American product with American satellites in a limited orbit. Partnering with non-American satellites improves your localization on earth. To that extent, Google has partnered with GLONASS, BDS, and GALILEO to improve location tracking How Does GPS Tracking Work and What Can You Track With It? How Does GPS Tracking Work and What Can You Track With It? GPS. We know it as the technology that guides us from A to B. But GPS is more than that. There is a world of possibility, and we don't want you to miss out. Read More .

eSIM, So No SIM* (*Conditions Apply)

The other big thing about the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is that apart from a standard nano SIM, it comes with a new eSIM, or electronic SIM. With this, a user does not need to insert a SIM card into the phone, as we have all been doing for ages.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL: Everything You Need To Know pixel phone eSIM 670x335

The eSIM is a new standard that Google says you can use as long as you are a subscriber of Project Fi. Project Fi is pretty awesome After Using Project Fi for Three Weeks, This Is What I Found After Using Project Fi for Three Weeks, This Is What I Found Google's Project Fi seeks to be a low-cost but powerful phone plan. I've been using it for a few weeks, and here's all you need to know. Read More , but it’s not for everyone. If you are someone who travels across the USA (or the world), or if you aren’t a US citizen, Project Fi is useless right now. So don’t weigh this heavily in your purchase decision for now.

Project Fi matters for some US natives who will use the service without any logistical issues, and big carriers like AT&T are expected to incorporate it soon. But don’t let this be a purchase decision unless you want to and can use Project Fi.

Smart Software Is the Difference

The new Pixel 2 phones have a shortcut for Google Assistant, the smartest phone assistant 10 Things You Didn't Know Google Assistant Could Do 10 Things You Didn't Know Google Assistant Could Do Android's version of Siri -- Google Assistant -- is more powerful than most people realize. Read More . While you’re holding the phone, squeeze it to active Google Assistant, and then you can issue voice commands. It’s a small but convenient factor in one-handed usage of an excellent everyday gizmo.

The phone also comes with Google Lens, which is a smart algorithm that identifies different things in a photo. This lets you interact with each in a different way.

And as you probably know by now, Google throws in a bunch of goodies with Pixel phones. Buyers will get unlimited Google Drive storage for their photos, videos, emails, and other cloud data.

Will You Buy the Pixel 2?

So that’s everything you need to know about Google’s two new phones. Overall, these are excellent gadgets that seem to focus more on smart software than over-inflated hardware specifications. After all, it’s the experience that matters, not the specs.

Which leads to the obvious question, should you buy it over an iPhone or other Android phones? And if yes, which of the two is right for you? What do you think?

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  1. Zhong
    October 15, 2017 at 1:17 am

    Did you guys publish an article comparing the headphone jack and usb-c?

  2. Andreas
    October 9, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Would I buy the Pixel 2? Yes.

    Can I? No.

    Google is only making it available for select markets. So thank you, Google.