Google today unveiled its much-anticipated Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL handsets. While both devices have been engineered and designed by Google, the former has been manufactured by HTC while LG is making the Pixel 2 XL this time around.
Both handsets go up for pre-order in the U.S. from later today, with the Pixel 2 hitting the retail store first on October 19. The Pixel 2 XL will launch next month on November 15. In the US, the handsets will be exclusive to Verizon, though Google will also be selling the unlocked variants through Google Store, Best Buy, Amazon, and other retailers. The Pixel 2 starts at $649, while the Pixel 2 XL starts from $849.
Google Pixel 2
As the name suggests, the Pixel 2 is the smaller of the two devices unveiled by Google today. It is the direct successor to the original Pixel from last year. Made by HTC, the Pixel 2 sports largely the same design language as its predecessor. While the handset continues to feature a 5-inch Full HD 16:9 aspect ratio display, it is now an AMOLED panel. The Pixel 2 also continues to come with gigantic top and bottom bezels make it significantly larger than what its display size would suggest.
Google is at least making better use of the bezels this time around by including front-facing stereo speakers on the handset. The company is likely making up for the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack with this move which is going to disappoint a lot of consumers. Similar to last year, the Pixel 2 sports a glass top at the rear which acts as an RF window. The handset is still made from aluminium, though it now sports an IP67 water-resistant certification.
The Pixel 2 sports a Snapdragon 835 chipset running at 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM, 64/128GB storage, Wi-Fi ac, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, and GPS. The handset features a 2700mAh battery with fast charge support.
At the front, the Pixel 2 sports an 8MP f/2.4 shooter. As for the rear camera, the handset sports a 12MP f/1.8 shooter with OIS, EIS, 1.4-micron pixels, and Dual-Pixel Autofocus. Despite coming with a single camera setup at the rear, the Pixel 2 comes with a Portrait mode which makes heavy use of machine learning. The front 8MP shooter also offers Portrait mode for your selfies.
The Pixel 2 will be available in Kinda Blue, Just Black, and Clearly White.
Pixel 2 XL
Unlike the Pixel 2, the Pixel 2 XL sports a completely different design when compared to its predecessor. Google has managed to greatly thin down the bezels on the front of the handset, though its still not bezel-less as seen on the LG V30, Galaxy S8, and Mi Mix 2. The front of the device is dominated by a 6-inch QHD+ POLED display featuring an 18:9 aspect ratio. The front Corning Glass protecting the display has a subtle 3D curve as well. Similar to the Pixel 2, Google has also managed to include front-facing stereo speakers on the Pixel 2 XL. The company hopes the stereo speakers and the inclusion of Bluetooth 5.0 will make users forget about the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack on the device. Like its smaller brother, the Pixel 2 XL also sports an IP67 certification which makes it dust and water-resistant.
In terms of internals, the Pixel 2 XL sports the same internals as its smaller brother. This means we are looking at a Snapdragon 835 chipset clocked at 2.4GHz, 64/128GB storage, Wi-Fi ac, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, and GPS. The rear of the device features a 12MP f/1.8 aperture with OIS, EIS, 1.4-micron pixels, and Dual-Pixel Autofocus. The Dual-Pixetechnologyechnolgoy on the Pixel 2 XL allows it to offer Portrait mode using machine learning. Portrait mode is also available for the front camera.
The Pixel 2 XL will be available in Just Black and a stylish Black-and-White color.
Active Edge, Android Oreo, Google Lens
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL come with squeeze-able frame called Active Edge which can be used to quickly trigger Google Assistant. Google says that using machine learning, it will be able to identify false presses to ensure optimum user experience. Active Edge will also work with third-party cases.
Both handsets will be running on Android Oreo out of the box. It will also come with a redesigned home screen which features the Google Search bar being moved to the bottom for easier accessibility. Being a Pixel, the handsets will also receive monthly security update and be the first in line to receive future versions of Android. Google is also promising three years of security and OS updates for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, up from the two years that it offered for the Pixel and Pixel XL.
To complement the excellent rear camera on the new Pixels, Google is offering exclusive access to Google Lens to the handsets. They also come with exclusive AR stickers which one can add in their photos and videos.