Google has officially taken the wraps off its new smartphones—the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Let’s take a quick look at what these devices have to offer.
Taking a jab at its competitors, Google’s product head Mario Queiroz was quick to say that they aren’t reserving special features into the bigger Pixel 2 XL. The phones both run on Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with 4GB of RAM, either 64GB or 128GB of storage, USB Type-C port, rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, and front-facing speakers.
Unfortunately, Google opted to ditch the headphone jack here, too, and doesn’t offer wireless charging. With the phones running on the latest Bluetooth 5.0 tech that should make audio streaming more seamless and it should boost data transfer rates and range. The lack of the audio jack, though, means you’re going to either have to deal with the pesky adaptor or use wireless headphones.
Of course, Google launched its answer to Apple’s AirPods with what they call Pixel Buds. The cool thing about these wireless headphones is that they support real-time translations of conversations. The headphones are compatible with USB Type-C for charging and runs for five hours on a single charge.
Cameras on the two devices are the same specs-wise and with the high praises the first Pixels got, we have high expectations for this one, too. Both phones carry a 12.2-megapixel rear shooter with f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization. Google’s introducing what it calls a “dual-pixel sensor” for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. This is supposed to divide every pixel into two, which means the pixels are going to be smaller this year (1.4μm instead of last year’s 1.55μm) but this would supposedly help with things like faster autofocus and the ability to have a Portrait Mode without needing a second camera.
The split pixels serve as the second lens, allowing the camera sensor to capture a second image that’s ever-so-slightly offset from the first. And with the data and multiple shots it takes, Google is able to create a depth map that helps identify the background and foreground. We’d call it magic but we know it’s just nifty tech at work. Portrait mode also won’t be limited to people but will work on objects, too. Also, the 8-megapixel front-facing camera on the two phones also has Portrait Mode but it doesn’t have the dual-pixel sensor.
These new phones are also going to be the first to get Google Lens feature, which lets you point at different objects (mostly landmarks and books) and Google will pull up information for you. It can even scan email addresses and Wi-Fi passwords and do what it needs with those pieces of information.
On top of that, Google has included augmented reality stickers into the Google Camera app. There was a demo of the Stranger Things sticker pack at Google’s event. Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla, one of our contributing editors and owner of site Canadian Reviewer, was at the Made By Google event in Canada and got shown a demo of the stickers which placed Eleven with a Demogorgon on a set in front of them. You can take photos with these stickers and make it look like you’re interacting with them. We’ve embedded the video below:
Two of the big differences with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are the screen size and resolution and battery capacity. The Pixel 2 XL has a 6-inch 2,880 x 1,440 resolution pOLED display and a 3,520mAh battery. The Pixel 2 has 5-inch 1,920 x 1,080 AMPLED display and 2,700mAh.
Both phones though get a feature we’ve seen in the HTC U11 but Google opts to call it “Active Edge.” This basically means you can squeeze the sides of the phone to trigger certain actions like launching Google Assistant or silence phone calls.
The Pixel 2 comes in white, black, and “kinda blue” and will retail for US$649 (around P33,000) for 64GB of storage and $749 (around P38,000) for 128GB. The Pixel 2 XL comes in black and a black and white version and goes for $849 (around P43,000) for 64GB and go up to $949 (around P48,000) for 128GB. Google doesn’t sell the Pixel in the country but if you’ve been thinking of getting it in the countries it is available in (like the US, Canada, and UK), both phones are expected to ship by October 17th.