Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL review

Different manufacturers help Google create their own devices that use different screens. How new Google smartphones look on the background of others flagships 2017? A couple of days acquaintance with smartphones allowed to get an answer to this question.

Introduction

Although it is believed that all manufacturers of electronic devices copy each other, including Apple and Google, again and again In the smartphone market, they choose different paths. Apple has moved from one size of the smartphone for all needs to issue three models of different sizes and appearance at once.

Google has moved from sales of devices for enthusiasts to commercial products, on which she wants to earn by offering Apple worker levels and a friendly interface.

Last year, this transition Google became apparent. Nexus smartphones ruled on peace and Pixel appeared. This direction can be called successful as we obtained smartphones with with the best cameras, but there were also flaws.

The second generation of PIXEL smartphones is now coming. Again there is a standard smartphone and a larger XL model. In their hardware characteristics, much in common, but there is a division in style iPhone 8 and iPhone X L. Pixel 2 produces a company HTC, it has a screen with a diagonal 5 inches and the traditional aspect ratio of 16: 9. PIXEL 2 XL created LG. Here, the 6-inch screen has a ratio 18: 9 and curved edges.

Different manufacturers offer different screens, so it is possible to say that Pixel smartphone ruler loses unity? Can we count on getting the best cameras again? Let's get a look.

You are reading a review of the portal Phonearena.com, The original material was published on October 17, 2017.

Package contents

  • Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones
  • Adapter USB-C > USB-A
  • Cable USB-C
  • Charger USB-C
  • USB-C headphone adapter
  • SIM eject tool
  • User manual

Design

Last year's original Pixel smartphone was unusual with its two-tone back. At the top was glass that surrounded the camera and fingerprint reader. At the bottom, metal was used covering the back panel and edges of the smartphone.

Now Google is taking the same approach, but there are differences. Again, a combination of different materials is used, the glass at the top is not so noticeable, it is in a narrow strip around the camera.

Smartphones are still made of aluminum, but they don't feel completely metal. Google calls the coverage hybrid. It looks like plastic, feels like ceramic, so I want to double check that it's actually metal. The matte finish adds a sense of durability and contrasts with the glossy glass on top.

The top edge of smartphones is almost empty, except for the microphone jack. On the left is the SIM card slot, at the bottom is another microphone and a USB-C connector. On the right side are the power buttons and volume rocker, although the placement differs from the traditional one in that the power button is higher up. Because of this, you can accidentally press the volume control. There is no headphone jack.

Removing it is a controversial step, but it has become easier to protect the hull from water. Despite this, IP67 certification is used, so the level of reliability is not as high as in the case of IP68 that many other flagships have.

Pixel 2 smartphones share roughly the same basic design, but the differences become apparent rather quickly. Because the Pixel 2 has a traditional aspect ratio screen, it has larger bezels at the top and bottom, and the screen-to-body ratio isn't the highest possible. Both models have front stereo speakers.

The smartphones are roughly the same thickness, but the Pixel 2 XL uses curved glass on the front and corresponding curves on the back, resulting in a narrower phone. Given the reduction in width, the Pixel 2 is more comfortable to hold than the Pixel 2 XL. There is a small protrusion around the screen of the latter to protect it or avoid accidental pressing on the edges, but this loses a bit of the premium appearance.

Minor differences include the letter G on the back of the case. On the XL it's more radiant and reflective, while on the standard model it's barely visible and made from the same material as the entire back panel.

Screens

The biggest difference between the two smartphones is their screens. The Pixel 2 again features a 5-inch AMOLED Full HD display. The screen on the Pixel 2 XL is not only larger, but also longer and narrower. Here the diagonal is 6 inches, the resolution is 1440 x 2880, pOLED technology is used. If there is any doubt that it was released by LG, you need to look at the curved corners, which immediately resemble the smartphone LG V30.

However, the Pixel 2 XL is larger than it and the bezels are not as thin. The purpose of such wide screens is to fill as much space as possible on the front of the case, so Google's version seems unfinished. There is a wide screen, but the rest of the hardware components cannot take full advantage of its capabilities. For example, this can be said about a camera that cannot take photos with an aspect ratio of 18:9 (that is, 2:1).

It seems that Google switched to this screen ratio under the pressure of fashion, and not of its own accord. The idea does not seem to be fully realized.

Looking at the capabilities of these screens, they are able to produce bright and saturated colors of OLED panels, although the colors can be made more moderate in the settings. In the standard display mode, the devices give good color accuracy, although it cannot be called ideal. In particular, red has a dull brown tint.

The real downside is the maximum brightness, which leaves a lot to be desired: 408 nits on the Pixel 2 and 460 nits on the Pixel 2 XL. Galaxy S8, LG G6, iPhone 8 can produce significantly greater brightness, which makes it easier to see images in the sun. Sometimes it happens that the brightness is higher in automatic mode, but it is impossible to say about Pixel 2.

Interface and Functionality

Before us Google Smartphones They work on the latest version of the operating system, in this case this Android 8.0 OREO. If you read the reviews of this system, you already know what to expect from it in terms of functionality and appearance. In general, it seems little different from previous versions, but after starting working with smartphones, you will start notify changes. For example, points on application icons show that there are unread notifications.

One of the advantages of Android on these smartphones is the effective use of high-density of pixel screens. Often new smartphones offer huge icons and too large text size. Pixel 2 is able to include the maximum amount of information in its screens. In this case, everything remains well visible, if desired, you can reduce the scaling in the system settings at its discretion.

taking over the sample HTC U11, Google offers technology called "Active Edges" (Active EDGE), which is called Edge Sense. There, when you click on the smartphone body, certain actions can be performed, you can adjust the power of pressing.

Unlike HTC, where you can quickly run applications by your choice, here you need to press only for starting Google Assistant. This is perfectly triggered, but the assistant is still running on a long pressing of the HOME button, you can also say the phrase "OK Google", so that the new functionality seems excess. We already understood that Google wants to make us use their virtual assistant. I would like to be able to adjust the press on other actions.

processor and memory

As for the hardware components, Google does not offer anything special and Here is a combination of processor SNAPDRAGON 835 and 4 GB of RAM. Some Android flagship manufacturers offer 6 GB and even 8 GB of memory, but currently 4 GB is enough for the vast majority of users.

Naturally, the level of performance is comparable to other expensive Android devices, in some benchmarks the results are slightly lower, in others slightly higher. Between the two Pixel 2 smartphones, the difference in frame rates may be due to the difference in the number of pixels on the screens. Since there are more of them on a large model, performance may be slightly lower due to the need to waste additional system resources.

So the performance isn't mind-blowing, but it doesn't fail when compared to the best of Android.

I would like to say the same about flash memory and especially support for microSD. Unfortunately, memory cards are not available, there are two options for the amount of internal memory to choose from - 64 GB and 128 GB. Of course, Google is betting big on cloud storage, but it's a weak alternative to 256GB of local storage and the ability to install a memory card.

Google has long abandoned the use of microSD slots and does not intend to change its decision.

Communication

it appeared in the first generation of Pixel. It should be noted that the Pixel 2 has a rare charger with its own USB-C connector, meaning it can be used as a cable with a USB-C connector on both sides.

USB-C > USB-C and the more familiar USB-C > USB-A, now there is only one left. There is also an adapter between these two interfaces, which makes it easier to transfer files from an old smartphone ​​, but you will need to get your own cable to work with it.

Cameras

With last year's Pixel phones, Google seemed to set out to counter the trend of smartphone cameras, namely dual cameras, zoom lenses, monochrome modules, and the like. A simple single module was introduced that produced great photos thanks to an exceptional image processing process, including auto-HDR+ mode.

In the new smartphones, history is repeated. A single rear camera received a resolution of 12.2 MP, relatively wide aperture F / 1.8, optical stabilization images, autofocus with a combination of technology Dual Pixel and laser guidance. The front is the camera 8 mp, the size of the pixels on both chambers is the same and is 1.4 μm.

The main chamber looks like last year's, only a little decreased pixel size, the aperture has become wider, optical stabilization appeared. Will all this allow the excellent results of the first generation Pixel?

Quality of photographs

Last year's magic actually is in Pixel 2. Both devices are able to produce beautiful photos with minimal effort. Updated software intuitive and simple, fast and responsive. You need to bring the lens to the object, set the exposure and focus, click on the shutter button.

With different conditions of lighting and scenes, smartphones can hold the quality of photographs at a consistently high level. Of course, with low lighting, digital noise is observed, but it hides only in the darkest sections of the frame, while the highlighted objects are satisfied with the clear. The front camera also perfectly copes with his work in the dark, although it is difficult to keep the device smoothly here in an extended hand to get a cleaner exposure.

By the quality of photos The Pixel 2 camera reminds the iPhone, while the colors are not so saturated, but they look natural. Contrast and saturation do not overtake the stick, as it often happens with the support of HDR, so the results are obtained approximately as we see the world with our own eyes.

Since the expectations were great, this time the Pixel 2 camera does not seem revolutionary, but it does not detract from its merits. Any fan of mobile photography can safely use it.

recording video

At first glance, here are the possibilities are quite modest: there is support for 4K, 1080p formats, 720p, and that's all. Other smartphones provide additional options, such as 2K, MMS format, square video with the aspect ratio of 1: 1, but Google does not.

These three permissions are only the top of the iceberg, after selecting one of them, you can activate electronic stabilization and set the frame rate, except on the 4K resolution. Whatever option you choose, the quality of shooting will be high. The image is obtained clear even if there is a stabilization that reduces the shaking of the hands.

On the sound quality when recording video complaints, there is also no, the camera is impressive by the speed of capturing new objects and setting the focus. She does it clearly faster than the eyes of a person.

As mentioned above, the disadvantage of this camera is the lack of ability to record video at a resolution of 18: 9, which would be ideally suited to the screen. This ratio is not as popular as 16: 9, but you can reproduce this video of smartphones becomes more and more. This again suggests that the elongated Pixel 2 XL screen was not the most desirable for developers.

Multimedia

This year, Google included in Pixel 2 double front stereo speakers. Some companies are successfully included in smartphones. Rear speaker and ear shell, but the quality of the front speakers does not exceed. They give the best sound with the effect of presence.

This happens this time. It seems that more compact smartphone sound quality is slightly better, it is louder and cleaner. Perhaps, the whole thing in a larger framework, under which there is more space for components.

Unfortunately, Google decided to abandon the analog headphone connector. The package includes an USB adapter, so that you can use the wired headphs you have. It is not possible to criticize not only the decision to abandon the connectivity, but also the high cost of such an adapter, if you purchase it separately.

No one like the lack of choice in terms of listening to sound, no one wants to carry an extra adapter with them. What's worse, this adapter is simply not working as high quality as it should. During use, it heats up, and another smartphone refuses to recognize the connected headphones and an adapter, completely ignoring them and gives out sound through the speakers. After that, you have to insert and extract the adapter several times, restart the application and eventually restart the smartphone.

Quality of calls

99% of the time about the quality of phone calls on smartphones do not think - They are simply eating and perceived as due. Smartphones are filled with such advanced technologies that telephone calls seem to be extremely simple. Recently, sales of the iPhone 8 began, where there were problems with clicks during telephone conversations, now the same attack was found on Pixel 2.

The PIXEL 2 XL instance worked as it should be. A more compact model from the moment of a set of the number before the conversation was stopped, published the clicking sound, loud and annoying than on the iPhone.

Apple has already eliminated this problem using a software update. I would like to hope that Google will be done very soon, but on expensive smartphones such problems should not be initially.

Autonomous work

Pixel 2 battery capacity is 2700 mAh, the large model received 3520 Mach. Although the rest of the hardware characteristics are similar, it was expected that the larger screen compensates for the difference in the size of the batteries and the duration of autonomous work will be approximately equal.

Tests with enabled screens have shown that Pixel 2 is able to work 8 hours 40 minutes, while Pixel 2 XL worked 8 hours 57 minutes, so expectations were justified. These are solid results that will not get rid of the need to recharge the device every day.

Unfortunately, there is no support for wireless recharging. She obviously did not prevent, but also a big minus it would not call her lack.

The recharging time is also decent, accounted for 111 minutes and 152 minutes in standard and large models, respectively. Therefore, it should be noted that Pixel 2 XL is 90% charged less than an hour and only the last 10% will be painfully long.

Conclusion

New Pixel is reminiscent of the mirror of the entire smartphones industry. Last year's successes were taken as the basis, the trends of this year were added to them in the form of a new aspect ratio of the screen and the lack of a headphone connector. Performance is at the level of other flagships, the camera is still as simple and high-quality.

Some changes can be noted Especially: the design of last year's smartphones was rather strange, now this appearance is partly preserved, but improved. Support for compression of the case for calling the Google Assistant, which is not such a successful innovation, but does not hurt anyone.

Many of these two devices will prefer compact Pixel 2. It is more convenient to keep it with one hand, the speakers give out a slightly better sound. His senior comrade seems to be too hard to offer something new and unique, without knowing how to dispose of the maximum to dispose of its long narrow screen. He is far from failure, but it is not felt as full as the standard version.

In any case, the two of these smartphones will become excellent purchases. It would not hide the presence of additional advantages like a miicrosd memory card connector and wireless recharging, but they are not needed.

In the US, the cost of the devices begins from $ 650 and $ 850 per Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, respectively. Version 128 GB in each case costs $ 100 more expensive. Taking into account the foregoing it seems that, according to the ratio of price and quality Pixel 2 will become more attractive purchase.

Accessibility in Russia

In our country, Google's devices are already officially sold in the next time. However, taking into account the presence in Yandex. Market of the first generation pixel smartphones in various online stores, you can not be doubt that new models will soon appear there.

Pros

  • Unique appearance, excellent hardware components
  • Simple and high-quality chamber
  • High performance
  • stereo speakers
  • Protection against water and dust
minuses
  • Lack of headphone connector
  • High price PIXEL 2 XL
  • Screen 18: 9 could be better
  • Sound problems with telephone conversations on Pixel 2