Google’s two new children Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were one of the most awaited phones this year. Initially, the smaller one of the two didn’t garner much attention as its elder sibling, the Pixel 2 XL, was blessed with more in trend and taller 18:9 display, bigger battery, and a bigger marketing push.
Still, the Pixel 2 got the due attention it deserved after the Pixel 2 XL faced heat over display issues like screen burn-in and color shifts, issues which are potential deal breakers but don’t plague the smaller sibling. We have been using the Google Pixel 2 for a couple of weeks now and here’s our assessment of the phone:
Google Pixel 2 Review: Design and Build Quality
The Google Pixel 2 design engineering won’t exactly flatter you at first glance. The bezel on the front is way too broad for a premium phone in 2017, and the two-tone (glass visor with subtle curves engulfed in metal) construction could appear rather drab.
But more you use it, the more you begin to appreciate the nuances. Google has chosen function over form, and the design is certainly unique in a good way. We like the plastic-like “hybrid coating” on the metal as it lends the phone a nice grip, and had almost forgotten the degree to which dual frontal speakers can enhance multimedia experience.
There is Gorilla Glass 5 on the front which gets merged with a silver frame which also contains seven antennas. The Active Edge allows you to literally squeeze your phone to call Google Assistant into action, and the IP67 water and dust resistance certification ensure that you don’t have to fret sudden downpours or accidental spillage.
The thick chin wasn’t half as bad as we had anticipated it to be, but yes the 5-inch display size might be a bit difficult to look past is you are used to bigger displays. In our opinion, 18:9 5.5-inch display panel is the gold standard for compact phones in 2017 and that’s a mark Google has missed. The good quality adaptor that Google bundles in the Pixel 2 box helps to an extent, but we still missed the audio jack.
The Pixel 2 is a treat to hold in hands thanks to its tailored grip, compact size, extremely well-managed weight distribution and tactile finish.
Google Pixel 2 Review: Display
There where question marks raised over the Pixel 2 XL display but none of those concerned are valid for the Pixel 2. It comes with a smaller 5-inch AMOLED display which is sourced from Samsung.
It supports a respectable 1080P resolution that amounts to 441 pixels per inches. Google continues to offer 16:9 aspect ratio in the compact pixel. The Pixel 2 display is well calibrated but clearly not as vibrant as the one we see on Samsung’s flagships. If you like a tad oversaturated colors, you can switch to the new Saturated Colour Mode that was added in a recent update.
The phone is also equipped with Night Mode to filters out blue light that you must use as often as possible.
Google Pixel 2 Review: Performance and Software
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were among the first few smartphones to have Android Oreo out of the box. If you are true Android fan than the Google Pixel 2 is just what you need. It offers unadulterated and smoothest Android experience you could hope for. The intuitive animations and zippy response make it a treat to use.
Google Assistant is deeply integrated within the system and it can be hailed by using a voice command or with a simple squeeze. Latest features such as Picture-in-Picture mode works flawlessly on supported apps. Another feature “Now Playing”, which recognizes music playing in the surroundings worked well and manages to recognise even Hindi songs accurately. Google has confirmed that Pixel 2 will receive Android update for the next three years which makes it futureproof.
The Google Pixel 2 excels when it comes to heavy lifting, thanks to the 2.35Ghz Snapdragon 835 chipset paired with 4GB LPDDR4X and UFS 2.1 storage. Opening apps, switching apps, multitasking and heavy games – all run flawlessly. I have been using the Pixel 2 for more than 20 days and I am yet to experience any stuttering, freeze or lag.
Google Pixel 2 Review: Camera
The Pixel 2 cameras are its biggest USP. Both front and rear cameras are truly magnificent and manage to deliver best mobile photography experience. Even with minimal effort, Pixel 2 images turned out really impressive, especially in the portrait mode.
Google engineers went in with a single shooter instead of roping for a dual camera setup. To deliver stunning results, Google has also added a dedicated Pixel Visual Core chip which should enable camera related machine learning and five times faster HDR+ results with far lesser power consumption.
The Google Pixel 2 comes with a 12.2-megapixel sensor with f/1.8 aperture and 1.4 μm pixel size. It comes with dual pixel technology which Google uses for depth sensing to offer bokeh effect in portrait mode. The results are really impressive. Up front, there is an 8-megapixel sensor with f/2.0 aperture.
Background blur in the portrait mode is extremely clean for both front and rear cameras. Images captured in the normal mode were also highly impressive, even in low light. The Google Lens which is also a part of Pixel Camera is not available in the live view and is still work in progress.
Google Pixel 2 Review: Battery and Sound
The phone a 2700 mAh battery which is certainly not massive enough. On day to day basis, I find myself plugging my phone for a quick top up in before the end of my workday. The good part is that a fast charger comes bundled with the box. It tanks up pretty quickly.
As far as audio is concerned, on both headphones or speakers, it remains impressive. The dual front speakers are loud and clear. Similarly, audiophiles can enjoy best quality music by using Bluetooth headphones or connecting their existing headphone via given 3.5mm to Type C connector. The sound output remains top notch.
Google Pixel 2 Review with Pros and Cons
The Google Pixel 2 design-wise might look a tad dated, especially when considered side by side with 2018 flagships, but it more than makes up with its fantastic camera and great performance. It’s almost 2018 and we still don’t have a perfect Android phone, but at least now we have the perfect smartphone camera.
Pixel 2’s compact size, active edge technology, and stereo speakers ensure that all the basics are well covered. With guaranteed updates and upgrades for next 3 years, the Pixel 2 certainly is a good buy for anyone who doesn’t mind or adores a compact phone. Google further sweetens the pot with 2-years warranty.
- Smashing Camera
- Excellent Performance
- Stereo speakers
- IP67 rated water and dust resistant
- Compact and Squeezable
- Unlimited Cloud Storage
- Fast Charging
- Single SIM
- No Memory card slot
- No 3.5mm jack
- No Wireless Charging