Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL | First impressions

The hot new Google phones are out, as you already know. I ‘educated’ myself enough for initial impressions on the latest Pixel 2 and the bigger Pixel 2 XL, so let’s get on with it.

Pretty much all the leaks and rumors that we saw were accurate, again! These people are getting talented by the day! But anyway, let’s focus on the phones.

The Pixel 2 is the smaller one of the two with a traditional 5 inch 1080p AMOLED display on it. It still has humongous bezels on it. One would say it looks ugly by 2017 standards. Sure, it supports some loud and crispy front firing speakers now, but so does the bigger Pixel XL, and it doesn’t have as big of a bezel. I feel this was a deliberate move by Google to sell their expensive and seemingly more attractive Pixel XL units more than the smaller one, but of course, I could be wrong!

My favorite

The larger Pixel 2 XL has a beautiful front design with some thicker than average side bezels. It could be so because we have been spoiled with the phones with curved edges like the S8 and the Note 8, but still, it is definitely notable up front. It thankfully has a larger 18:9 display which is a QHD P-OLED panel. It looks great for some initial impressions.

Colored power buttons!

There are a few interesting things in the new design now. The power button is of a different neon color, which is a genius aesthetic choice. It stands out more than I thought, and looks pretty funky. I like it!

New colors and designs!

There are new colors this time around, with equally funny names: Just black, Kinda blue, Clearly white and a Black and White.

My favorite is the Black and white. The glass visor is black in color and the matte finished aluminum is white. It also has that orange colored power button, which is awesome. The Kinda blue color is a pretty good looking shade too, but it is only available for the Pixel 2 and not the Pixel 2 XL.

But you know what’s not awesome about these two. They’re missing a hole in which we all love to stick our metallic connectors. As perverse as it sounded, I am talking about the headphone jack. IT’S GONE!

It took me a while to realize it because admittedly, there is so much that’s good. But that one black dot on the white sheet always gets our attention, sooner or later.

Always On display

Talking about the good things, there’s actually a lot to drool over here. There is a new always on display feature, which is much appreciated. The new wallpapers are one of a kind. You can see the waves are moving on the seemingly stagnant wallpaper. It is partially live!

courtesy: BuzzFeedVideo

There is a new squeeze function on the edges, similar to the edge sense on the HTC U11. You can squeeze the edges to launch the Google assistant and… that’s about it! You can’t do anything other than that, no remapping, no customization. You can either leave in enabled, or turn it off. Google could’ve done a lot more with that edge pressing thingy, which they call as active edge.

I expected it to be there since these phones are made by over 2000 of HTC’s engineers after all.

Another major thing to note is that mind-boggling camera! It is the highest rated sensor on DxOMark, again! It scored a whopping 98/100, which is apparently pretty dope. 

The highest rated camera yet!

The camera is stunning, to say the least. There is still only one sensor back there, and it’s not a dual camera setup like all other flagships of this year. But it can achieve the same blurry background effect, or what we call portrait mode, using machine learning!

The camera is a dual pixel sensor, meaning there are 2 pixels in a single pixel space. This helps the sensor to differentiate objects at microscopic scales, literally. Also, the wider f/1.8 aperture helps to get more light into the sensor in low light.

This time we have OIS too, so expect jaw-dropping smoothness in video on that already amazing camera!

The 8 mp selfie camera can also take incredibly detailed portrait mode shots. It does an incredible job in even mid to low lighting situations. So if you couldn’t tell by now, I am blown away with these cameras! Expect some cut throat competition, Samsung and Apple!

This is just magical!

Another incredible feature is called Now Playing. It uses the always-on microphones to listen to the audio and music playing nearby you, and if it is loud enough to be picked up, i will show which song it is directly on your notifications shade, or even your lock screen! If that doesn’t make your head explode, I don’t know what will.

You can even see more details of that detected song by double tapping on the lock scree, to be shown a card on it, by Google assistant. THIS is what I call practically magic, okay Apple? This is it.

A great device, as expected!

Okay, so these were my initial thoughts on the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. This (headphone) jackless device is priced $649 for the Pixel 2 and $849 for the Pixel 2 XL. For India, it will be 61,000 INR and 82,000 INR respectively, taxes included.

Pre-orders are up immediately and you can register yourself to receive one. It will most probably be worth it, but I suggest you wait for the full review. Also, let me know if you want to see a comparison to the present Pixels.

What do you think about the new pixels. Let me know down in the comments. Come hang out with me on twitter @thehopelessgeek.

Cheers!

I am a tech nerd and a smartphone lover. Check out my blog 'dope tech fever'. Just google it!