The Google pixel of 2016 was easily one of my favourite flagships. The buttery smooth UI and the incredible cameras were it's standout features.
Though the phone failed to impress me in the audio department and the prertrt poor screen to body ratio, it was a phone that almost perfected the basics! And now, we have got a refresh to it. These are my thoughts on the new Google Pixel 2.
Design: The new Pixel is surprisingly duller than I expected it to be. In an era of bezel haters, we have the pixel 2 with that big ol' forehead and chin up front. There's just no other word for it I'm afraid, it's UGLY.
Sure, it has front facing speakers on those dreaded bezels, but it doesn't really need to be THAT big! I mean, the Pixel 2 XL has those speakers too, but has a much skinnier bezel.
That said, the pixel was never the one to incorporate industry leading aethetics anyway. It is about doing what a smartphone is expected to do, really well. And they've got it on point, again!
The fingerprint sensor resides on the metal part, instead of the glass visor this time. The power button has a unique color in different variants and there are new colors too. There's a new "kinda blue" color as opposed to the 'really blue' version of last year.
But this color is exclusive only to the Pixel 2 and is unavailable on the bigger Pixel 2 XL. The review on that is coming soon.
You know who else we notice other than the new black and white Panda color, the absence of an important hole. Yeah it's gone. No more headphone jack!
But regardless, the pixel 2 is still a gorgeous phone. It fits really well in the hand, thanks to the small form factor. But I can't help but to demand more for my money, after being aesthetically spoiled by futuristic beauties like the S8, and the V30.
Display: The Pixel 2 is smaller of the two, with a 5 inch 1080p AMOLED panel, and the same familiar 16:9 aspect ratio. The display gets bright enough for the direct sun, has great vibrancy and saturation being an OLED panel, and boasts a very high contrast ratio.
It's a great display regardless of being "only" 1080p. You won't even know it unless someone compares it to an S8. That someone will be me, soon, in an upcoming post!
You will have no grounds to complain here, as this display is good enough for all things except VR.
Performance: The new Pixel 2 is running on a Snapdragon 835 CPU and 4 gigs of RAM. The UI is the same slightly modified version of stock android, and it's fluid as ever. The phone is insanely responsive to your touches and the interface glides under your fingers.
If you have used any of the previous pixels, the OnePlus 5, or the HTC U11, you'll know what I'm talking about!
I don't need to specify anything more, do I? It's a google flagship, use your imagination!
The fingerprint sensor on the rear is incredibly fast. Almost as same as the unfair speeds of the OP5 sensor.
There are no heating issues to be found and the phone performs exceptionally well. End of story.
Camera: This is the feature which really separates this phone from the rest on the market. The cameras on this thing are absolutely wonderful.
Spec wise, it is rocking a 12 mp dual pixel sensor with f/1.8 aperture and laser autofocus. Not the newest when it comes to general hardware, but believe me when I say this, there is no other phone in the market which makes such seamless use of optics as this.
I mean, the Pixel 2 uses machine learning and stuff to get better photos. The dual pixel technology essentially divides each pixel into two individual left and right parts, so you get note details per pixel.
As a result, it can do portrait mode with that fancy background blur, using only a single sensor. It can do it on the front camera too! It works incredibly well, easily separating even fine details on the foreground from the background. I'm seriously impressed!
There is also OIS this time, which is always nice to see. You also get unlimited uploads to Google drive at full resolution, at least until 2020.
Battery: The Pixel 2 packs a pretty familiar 2700 mAh unit. The battery life has been pretty darn good. The screen on times have been 5 hours on a regular day, which is great for such a small unit.
The recharge times have also improved. You can expect a 65\% or more charge in about a half hour. Pixel has always been an endurance champ, and the successor to it doesn't disappoint either.
Price and Verdict: I think it's time to wrap up. The pixel 2 is available at 649 USD. So, should you buy it? Maybe not!
The pixel 2 is made for those who don't care a lot about looks bit want a highly functional android phone. It would be fine in a market without the galaxy S8 and would even sell extremely well! But this is not that world
If you're planning on upgrading to the Pixel 2, I'd suggest you hold that thought just a little longer. Maybe newer offerings from Huawei will be a better choice for this premium investment of yours.