Google Is Back With the Pixel 2 & 2 XL

Google is keeping Samsung and Apple on their toes with the release of the Pixel 2 and 2 XL. These phones are strikingly similar, but they are being produced by two different companies. Even though Google masterminded these phones, HTC is manufacturing the Pixel 2 while LG produces the 2 XL. This caused some critics to raise their eyebrows, but Google swears that these are more than tweaks on existing phones. After seeing the specs, it’s obvious that Google has once again outdone themselves.

Aside from their manufacturers, the Pixel 2 and 2 XL have a lot in common. The only thing that sets them apart is the screen size, battery and hardware design. Both sport the cutting edge cameras, processors and dual speakers. They are both being released on October 19th and can be upgraded to 128GB of storage for $100 extra.

Priced at $649 for the 64GB Pixel 2 and $849 for the 2 XL, these are far from budget phones. Instead of relying on flashy designs, Google chose to win over fans with improved cameras and AI features. By sticking to tradition, these releases provide amenities that were overlooked by Samsung and Apple. There’s no arguing that they are quality releases, even though they don’t look like it at first glance. To separate fact from the hype, we tried out these phones for a day. What we discovered was shocking, so prepare to explore the features of these groundbreaking phones!

What the Pixel 2 & 2 XL Have to Offer

Pixel 2

These phone’s aren’t the sexiest, but they hold their weight.

When you first pick up these phones, they don’t automatically win you over. There’s no edge to edge display, even though their OLED screens have been improved. The 2 XL has been upgraded to a 6-inch screen, which is considerably larger than last year’s 5.5-inch screen. Even though the 2 XL got a makeover, the Pixel 2 looks eerily similar to last year’s model. It sports a 5-inch screen with large bezels, and both designs sport aluminum frames that look like plastic. This material choice makes the phone easier to grip, but it won’t impress anyone at the bar.

Even though these designs are somewhat homely, Google managed to jazz them up. The Pixel 2 is available in black, white and blue, while the 2 XL comes in black and white. These colors are far from wild, but they sport a few fun variations. The white version has a black shade on the back and a neon power button. It isn’t much, but it’s still a fun deviance from the norm.

Pixel 2

A few design tweaks make sure these phones stand out.

The specs are pretty standard, but Google had a different game plan for winning over customers. Both models have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 12 megapixel rear cameras, 8-megapixel selfie cameras and 4GB of RAM. While these specs aren’t wild, the tweaks to the cameras are. There’s a dual pixel sensor on the back, which means every pixel is made up of two smaller ones. This paves the way for faster auto-focus, and it also creates an epic portrait mode that blurs background items.

Even though these phones allegedly pack the best cameras on the market, there’s plenty more surprises. The Pixel cameras feature augmented reality stickers from Stranger Things, and Star Wars stickers are in the making. These are the first phones to feature Google Lens, which pulls up information on items the camera is pointing at. They also sport Active Edge, which allows users to pull up Google Assistant or silence phone calls by squeezing. The phones also boast always-on display that listens for music. Upon detection, it will automatically show what you are listening to on the screen.

At the end of the day, Google managed to create two remarkably dependable smartphones. Their cameras and special features are on the next level, but users will have to support a semi-boring design. It’s an interesting trade-off, but the Pixel 2 is still a tempting release. Google may not dethrone Apple or Samsung this year, but they have proven that they’re viable competition.