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Google has unveiled the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. These new smartphones both run on Android, both share an aesthetically pleasing design sensibility, and both are missing the 3.5mm headphone jack. That’s right, folks, Google has joined the Apple-led ranks and killed the headphone jack.
In September 2016, Apple launched the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. And while these devices won plaudits from journalists and fans alike, Apple’s “courageous” decision to remove the headphone jack proved to be controversial. And now, 12 months on, Google has followed suit with the Pixel 2.
We Love You, 3.5mm Headphone Jack!
In the time since Apple launched the iPhone 7, other smartphone manufacturers have removed the headphone jack from their flagship devices. But given how Google mocked Apple over its decision just 12 months ago, I expected the Big G to be the last man standing by refusing to follow the herd. Instead, the Pixel 2 has arrived, and the 3.5mm headphone jack is nowhere to be found.
Google knew that removing the headphone jack would annoy people. So the company won’t have taken this decision lightly. In fact, as product chief Mario Queiroz said after the Pixel event, this is all about maximizing the size of the screen in future hardware iterations. He told TechCrunch:
“The primary reason [for dropping the jack] is establishing a mechanical design path for the future. We want the display to go closer and closer to the edge. Our team said, ‘if we’re going to make the shift, let’s make it sooner, rather than later.’ Last year may have been too early. Now there are more phones on the market.”
This is the very definition of following the herd. Apple broke ranks first, others followed, and now Google feels comfortable enough to jump on board the edge-to-edge express. The problem is not everyone is obsessed with a bezel-less future. Especially those who have spent a fortune buying a decent pair of headphones.
The kicker is, of course, that Google has a ready-made replacement for you in the form of the Pixel Buds. Like Apple with its AirPods, Google’s decision to kill the headphone jack has a positive knock-on effect for the company. Which is, in essence, millions of people buying Google Pixel Buds.
I’d Rather Have Beefy Bezels, Thank You
So, in conclusion, while Apple sat the headphone jack down in the electric chair, it’s Google that has flipped the switch.
And while I understand Google’s desire to maximize the size of the screen by getting it as close as possible to the edges of the device, that shouldn’t be as the expense of another feature most of us use on a regular basis. Especially if the ugly notch cut out of the new iPhone X is anything to go by. I’d rather have beefy bezels and my headphone jack back than that abomination.
Are you interested in buying a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL? If so, what’s the main draw for you? Are you bothered by Google removing the headphone jack? Would you prefer a bezel-less, edge-to-edge display over a headphone jack? Or has Google messed up? The comments are open below.
Image Credit: B Rosen via Flickr