Pixel 2 being a pure Android device does not come up with anything groundbreaking to the counter. Instead, it just followed the same idea as did last year with top-notch Android performance, high-innards and luring features with some refinements and touch of the redesign. However, it is worth noting that like Apple, Google has also ditched the headphone jack this time. Let us dig into the details in our Pixel 2 hands-on review below.
What We Like?
- Nonpareil camera
- Clear and bright display
- Dual front-facing speakers
- Premium water-resistant body
- Nonsuch and futuristic design
- Fast processor
What We Don’t?
- Still, has bezels
- No headphone jack
Highlights Of Pixel 2 Hands-On Review:
Google wanted to proclaim more than just a boatload of products at its event. The company believed to foster a new discussion around user hardware, moving from a story about specs to one about artificial intelligence and machine learning. Today, we are reviewing the all-new and high-end Google Pixel 2. Have a look at the highlights of our Pixel 2 hands-on review.
- This new iteration of Google’s smartphone lineup, Pixel 2 is arguably not only about hardware innards. In fact, It’s about developing hardware and software together.
Pixel 2 features a five-inch AMOLED screen; which brings higher resolution, better color reproduction and more flexibility. Otherwise, however, the insides are basically the same.
The new devices don’t mark a significant depart design-wise but do bring some pleasant changes. That two-tone back is still in position, but this time the company has opted for a much solid aluminum unibody design; that gives the phone some added heft, without making it overly bulky. Google’s carved away at the bezels up front, as well, boosted along by the subtle curve of the front glass on the left and right side.
No Headphone Jack
Google went ahead and dropped the headphone jack from the bottom of the phone, after mocking the Apple for cutting it last year.
Excellent hardware and new AI smarts mean this year’s Google phone is better with low-light photos while adding a new portrait mode.
Another area where the Pixel 2 makes on the success of its predecessor is in the video. The first time around, Google did some astounding things with digital stabilization to provide smooth cuts, even when you’re in action filming with the smartphone.
Google’s front-facing camera is easily one of the best in the industry, and its ability to use Portrait mode sets it ahead of the pack. The front camera has only 8 megapixels compared to the rear’s 12, but it makes the most of them. The Pixel 2 hands-on review detailed all the camera features of this latest phone by Google.
When notification dots are the most striking feature in your major software update, it presumably goes without stating that it’s not the most compelling new operating system update.
This year’s anxiously awaited pure Android devices hold big shoes to swell. Google’s own Pixel and Pixel XL from last year provided us top of the line specifications with undiluted Android software. In addition to substituting the Nexus line of smartphones, the Pixels were also Google’s first completely self-branded smartphones; with nary a sign of their production partner’s presence. We present you our detailed Pixel 2 hands-on review so that you can learn all about the newly launched Google Pixel 2.
If the Google Pixel and Pixel XL had a flaw, it was the idea of the hardware itself. Arguably much better looking than what images made them out to be, the first line of Pixels did not sway any beauty contests.
Many forgave the cumbersome outer appearances for the sake of the killer performance, and the marvelous camera, notably the digital video stabilization, however. By just about every standard, Google’s first generation of Pixel smartphones showed to be a champ. Indeed, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have a solid job ahead in the wake of their forerunners. Read on our Pixel 2 hands-on review to know more about it.
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
- Memory: 4GB RAM
- Storage: 64GB or 128GB
- Rear camera: 12.2MP, 1.4μm pixels, Autofocus with laser and dual-pixel phase detection, Optical and electronic image stabilization, f/1.8 aperture lens
- Front camera: 8MP, 1.4μm pixels, f/2.4 aperture lens, fixed focus
- Video: 1080p at 30, 60, or 120 fps on rear camera
- “Active Edge” squeezable sides
- USB-C, no wireless charging
- No headphone jack
- Bluetooth 5.0
- 18W power adapter and USB-C headphone dongle in box
- Battery: 2700mAh
- Screen: 5-inch, 1920 x 1080 AMOLED, 95 percent DCI-P3 coverage, 100,000:1 contrast ratio
- Size: 5.7 x 2.7 x 0.3 inches
- Weight: 143 grams
Google has continued with the glass/metal combination it used on the original Pixel with the Pixel 2, which at first had me a little disappointed when I first held the phone for writing Pixel 2 hands-on review, as the combination of the original Pixel didn’t precisely wow.
However, on the Pixel 2, the merging of the glass and metal is far more crafty, making for a beautiful finish which looks and feels fabulous in hand.
Google has moved the fingerprint scanner down on the Pixel 2, taking it out of the glass block and onto the main metal body.
It’s a good move too, as it reduces the number of fingerprint smudges you get on the rear glass, something which was very noticeable on the black version of original Pixel.
While you may not be entirely sold on the look of the back of the phone, we can confirm in this Pixel 2 hands-on review that it looks great in real life, and would encourage you to check it out in a phone store.
In hand, it looks premium, and the smaller screen size versus the larger Pixel 2 XL means the new Google Pixel 2 can be easily held and used with one hand.
Google has opted to stick with large bezels above and below the display on the front; which doesn’t give the phone the futuristic, eye-catching look of the Samsung Galaxy S8, LG V30 or iPhone X – which is a bit of shame.
On the plus side though, the extra space provides room for dual front-facing speakers; which should improve audio playback, mainly for gaming and video. Squeeze the sides; and like on the HTC U11; the Pixel 2 will trigger Google Assistant; giving you access to the voice-enabled AI.
The power/lock and volume keys on the right carpet nicely under thumb and finger, while you charge the handset via a USB-C port on the base of the phone. There is, however, no headphone jack. That means if you want to continue using your trusty pair of wired headphones you’ll have to use an adapter to go through the USB-C port.
The 5-inch Full HD display with AMOLED technology may not win any prizes for resolution, but like the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus it still manages to look really, really good. Colors are vibrant, with text and images crisp and clear. As we’ve also mentioned, its smaller size versus most of its flagship competition means you can easily use the Pixel 2 one-handed.
One of the big new features on the Pixel 2 is its always-on display, allowing you to see the time; date, email and text notifications, and reminders; when the phone’s screen is technically turned off. It can also detect the song that’s playing and display that information on the always-on display too; although we weren’t able to test that feature out in the demo area for Pixel 2 hands-on review.
The power of the Snapdragon 835 CPU paired with the trusty Adreno 540 GPU gave no hints they were making much of an effort to handle tasks in our Pixel 2 hands-on review. In fact, it is quite exciting to see pure Android running without any hindrance at all. The octa-core Snapdragon is tuned to 2.35GHz and 1.9GHz. Those hoping for some off-the-map RAM and storage figures should put their expectations in check, however. The Pixel has 4GB of RAM and will be available with either 64GB or 128GB of non-expandable storage. However, like last year’s Pixel devices, full resolution storage of photos and videos (often the lead culprit in consuming on-device storage), have no limit storage in Google Photos.
Features And Software:
As it does every year, Google is playing around with how you Google on the Google phone. The biggest change — and the biggest gimmick — is that you can squeeze the sides of the Pixel 2 to launch the Google Assistant. Mario Queiroz, VP of product management for Google’s consumer hardware division, says, “What we tried to do with Active Edge was not make it a gimmick, [but instead ask] how could it perform a useful function.” One of those functions is also silencing the phone when it’s ringing.
The squeeze works, but you have to get used to it a little. It took me a minute to figure out that a quick squeeze works better than a death grip.
The Pixel 2 home screen is new, too: Google put a huge Google search button at the bottom, integrated into the dock. It also integrated the search box you see with the app drawer with that button. So there’s one less way to Google now. It will also pay attention to your wallpaper: if it’s dark, the app launcher and notification shade will automatically switch to a dark mode to match.
More from Pixel 2 hands-on review, it will also be the first phone to fully support Google Lens, the company’s new system for recognizing objects in photos. To start, it’ll only work on a few categories like books, movie posters, business cards, and landmarks. Lens isn’t built directly into the camera, though: it’s a button on either the Google Photos app or inside the Google Assistant
We tried a demo, and it worked fine identifying a book. I also pointed it at my watch, and it knew it was a watch, but it was too much to ask that it identify the precise model. Google says more categories will get added over time.
Google is also giving the Pixel 2 one more trick: ambiently identifying music. Just like the microphones are always on and listening for you to say “OK Google,” they will now also listen to music. The always-on lock screen will silently show what music is playing. Google says the new “Now Playing” feature happens locally, with a small database that is stored on the phone itself and updated periodically. No data is sent to the cloud.
You will want to use that storage too, because the Pixel 2 promises to continue the baseline of excellence set by its predecessor. While dual-cameras are all the rage it seems, last year’s Pixel can still hold its own against 2017’s flagships, and that is why we are not disappointed to see a single sensor on the Pixel. Measuring in at 12.2-megapixels with an f1.8 aperture; the Pixel’s main camera adds optical image stabilization to the well-executed digital stabilization that impressed us last year. Laser-assisted autofocus remains as well.
True to Google’s form, AI drives a lot of the features of this camera; particularly its own take on Portrait Mode. Instead of relying on a second camera to collect data enabling the bokeh effect; the dual-pixel implementation allows Google’s algorithms to do the heavy lifting. Google earned new bragging rights again this year for the camera; with DXOMark giving the Pixel 2 camera a score of 98.
You’ll find Android 8.0 Oreo installed, the new version of the Android OS released in August. It brings new features such as picture-in-picture mode and notification channels; and the Pixel 2 and 2 XL also have some other neat software improvements — notably a new home screen. The Google Search bar is on the bottom for easier access; there are new live wallpapers that subtly change; and a dynamic calendar widget shows what’s next on your agenda at a quick glance. There’s also an Always-On Display; which can not only tell you the time, it will identify a song playing it the background and show it here without you asking. It even happens locally on the device – no internet connectivity needed.
The whole package is powered by a very respectable 3,520 mAh battery that should offer all-day battery life. In fact, Google says a 15-minute charge can deliver up to 7 hours of battery life.
Our Point Of View:
So far, there’s a lot to like about the new devices from Google. Our biggest gripe is the loss of the headphone jack, but we’re looking forward to testing the phones further to see if the other improvements and features make up for it. Follow our Pixel 2 hands-on review to get the new updates.