Welcome to yr two of Google . In 2016, Google jumped into the Android area with its first self-branded system, the Google Pixel. Google’s software program prowess shined on the Pixel 1, providing up unique options just like the Google Assistant, one of the best Android digicam because of superior software program processing, quick day-one OS updates and betas, and the smoothest, best-performing general construct of Android. The killer software program package deal made it one of the best Android telephone of the earlier era.

The Pixel nonetheless represented Google’s first foray into smartphone , although, and it did not provide something particular within the division. It was a bland-looking iPhone clone. It had the identical specs and primary design as all the things else. The Pixel even skipped water resistance, which had develop into an anticipated function at that worth level. Google stated it needed to make its personal , however it did not truly construct particular .

Google had an excuse, nonetheless: the unique Pixel was a rush job. All of the proof now we have factors to it being blasted out the door in about 9 months, roughly half the standard growth time for a smartphone. This yr Google’s second-generation smartphones—the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL—arrive after a growth timeframe a lot nearer to the standard smartphone schedule. Expectations are rightfully loads larger.

The software program package deal is just about the identical story as final yr: Google remains to be blowing away its competitors with a killer software program package deal that no different Android OEM can contact. In fact the corporate that makes Android additionally is aware of how finest to make an Android telephone, so with the Pixel 2 you are getting all of the “finest practices” for Android. Google provides you three years of day-one OS updates, an unbelievable digicam, one of the best UI efficiency, a cohesive software program package deal, and (when you purchase the XL not less than) that is “adequate” to face as much as the remainder of the high-end smartphone crowd.


Pixel 2
Pixel 2 XL
1920×1080 5.zero” (440 ppi)

Samsung AMOLED, 16:9 facet ratio

2880×1440 6.zero” (538ppi)

LG pOLED, 18:9 facet ratio

Android eight.zero Oreo
Eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (4 2.35GHz Kyro 280 Efficiency cores and 4 1.90GHz Kyro 280 Effectivity cores)
Adreno 540
64GB or 128GB
802.11b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.zero, GPS, NFC, eSIM
GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900UMTS/HSPA+: 1, 2, four, 5, 8CDMA: BC0, BC1, BC10FDD-LTE: 1, 2, three, four, 5, 7, eight, 12, 13, 17, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32, 66TD-LTE: 38, 40, 41
USB three.1 Sort-C
12MP rear digicam, 8MP entrance digicam
145.7 x 69.7 x 7.eight mm (5.7 x 2.7 x zero.three in)
157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm (6.22 x three.02 x zero.31 in)
143g (5.01 oz)
175 g (6.17 oz)
2700 mAh
3520 mAh
USB-PD fast charging, fingerprint sensor, notification LED, IP67 mud and water resistance, Daydream prepared, Lively Edge

This go-round, Google has truly finished one thing particular with the , too. The again design is extra refined than final yr, and the Pixel represents one of many solely premium, aluminum unibody telephones left standing. From HTC, Google is borrowing the U11’s stress delicate sides, so a fast squeeze at any time—even when the telephone is off—will hearth up the Google Assistant.

In actual fact, lower than a day earlier than our assessment was set to publish, Google dropped main information on us. The Pixel 2 has two SoCs. There’s the anticipated Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, however the Pixel 2 additionally hides a customized Google-designed SoC referred to as the “Pixel Visible Core.” Whereas at present dormant, the SoC packs in eight Google-designed Picture Processing Models (IPUs) that may ultimately allow the Pixel 2 to course of photographs sooner and extra effectively than ever.

All these modifications make the Pixel 2  state of affairs extra sophisticated than it was within the first yr. Like Apple, Google doesn’t personal any smartphone manufacturing services, however it does all of the engineering work itself and outsources the manufacturing to an organization like Foxconn. Google’s Pixel technique has been to associate with an Android OEM and construct a telephone collectively. Final yr the Pixel and Pixel XL had been constructed with the assistance of HTC. This yr the duties are cut up between LG and HTC. LG is constructing the Pixel 2 XL, whereas HTC is constructing the smaller Pixel 2. (Subsequent yr, Google will most likely have a a lot greater hand within the design, because it acquired the Pixel workforce from HTC. In September, Google paid $1.1 billion for about 2,000 HTC engineers and a patent-sharing deal.)

The “Google” Pixel telephones positively really feel like two completely different gadgets from two completely different corporations. These gadgets share the identical SoC, cameras, software program, and roughly the identical design; the screens, our bodies, and little particulars are utterly completely different. However make no mistake about it—the brand new Pixels stay within the higher echelon of Android telephones.

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