Google Pixel 2 XL First Impressions: Big Brother Packs the Punch
The story has been republished from The Quint’s archives as Google Pixel 2 XL is now being sold in India.
Google Pixel 2 XL has been finally launched in India, with prices starting from Rs 73,000 for the 64GB variant. It’s safe to say that with a bigger form size and unique design, the Pixel 2 XL is worth looking at. Here’s our first impressions of the latest Pixel flagship but first...
Pixel 2 vs Pixel 2 XL – The Main Differences
Google seems to have given Pixel 2 the ‘iPhone 8’ treatment, offering it without an edge-to-edge display that boasts of a higher resolution. In simple words, Pixel 2 hasn’t adopted the 18:9 ratio screen size, and instead, you get the not-so-great 16:9 ratio.
Pixel 2 gets a 5-inch form factor, with big bezels that puts many mid-rage flagships to shame, and they’ve even decided that to pack it up with full HD 1920x1080 pixels resolution. Apart from this, the Pixel 2 series has the same hardware, camera optics, storage options, and yes, no headphone jack.
Also worth noting is that Pixel 2 gets a 2700mAh battery, which is almost 800mAh less than what you get with the Pixel 2 XL. Mind you, we don’t know if that makes a big difference to the battery life on offer, but nevertheless, we’re putting that out for you to know.
And here’s what the Pixel 2 XL offers, and it definitely gears up against the competition.
Pixel 2 XL is the first Google flagship to get an 18:9 ratio screen, but not its first to come with a 6-inch display (that laurel belongs to the Nexus 6). The phone gets hybrid aluminium coating at the back, which somehow makes the device feel lighter for its size, even at 175 grams.
The stereo speakers make their appearance on the front (both up and down), which offers an impressive audio quality. The fingerprint scanner is still at the back, and you have the Google branding at the bottom.
The Type C port can be seen at the bottom, and, even after all the mocking 2016, Google has removed 3.5-mm audio jack from the Pixel 2 series (which works with Type C to 3.5-mm adapter).
All in all, Pixel 2 XL’s design doesn’t stand out like its counterparts, but for some reason, we don’t mind having a less-flashy flagship to flaunt for a change.
Pixel 2 XL gets a 6-inch P-OLED screen with 2880x1440 pixels resolution with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection.
After hearing all the reports about the apparent blue tint on the Pixel 2 XL display, I was curious to see if the concern is real. Google has already rolled out its November patch that adds a new display tone feature ‘ Satured’ that does improve the display quality matters.
The colour levels are more skewed towards high contrast now, pushing it closer to the surreal quality of the Galaxy Note 8. But we’re pleased that Google has managed to somewhat fix the issue before the phone went on sale.
Hardware & Software
Pixel 2 XL comes loaded with Snapdragon 835 processor, the same one you get on the Galaxy Note 8 (not in India), and even the OnePlus 5 and Nokia 8 (for that prices, damn!).
The phone comes in two variants – 64GB and 128GB (non-expandable) along with 4GB RAM. As we’ve said it earlier, you don’t get 3.5-mm audio jack this year, and Type C port will be entrusted with the dual purpose of charging as well as listening to music (you can always go wireless). The fingerprint scanner at the back offers quick response and that’s about it (who’s betting the Pixel 3 XL will go the Face ID way?)
Pixel 2 XL isn’t the first phone to come with Android 8.0 Oreo in the country, but it seems that Google has managed the integration of hardware and software on the Pixel 2 quite nicely.
Pixel 2 XL gets a 3520mAh battery, which along with battery management of Oreo, should give you a day’s worth of use with ease.
No, Pixel 2 XL doesn’t get dual cameras this year, but we don’t really feel the need for one. Why is that? Just take a look at what the Pixel 2 XL can deliver.
This portrait image was shot indoors, and the clarity that the phone’s camera offers is probably the best in the business right now.
And if that doesn’t satiate your appetite, then take a look at this low-light image which was clicked without any extra lighting support.
Even after zooming-in, the amount of detail that you get is crisp and detailed, without any noise that’s disconcerting. We’ll be testing the camera even more (a lot more) and give you a detailed comparison between other flagships in the coming days.
What We Think
So, there you have it. Google Pixel 2 is a big step forward in the space of smartphone computing, married with Google’s machine learning expertise. The phone doesn’t dazzle for its price, and we’re happy that the simplicity of Google is all there to be seen with this one.
Impressive set of cameras, along with latest hardware features put it right up there alongside the elite. Not sure how many of you would like the phone missing out on 3.5-mm audio jack, but that’s how it is.
Android Oreo onboard makes an impressive debut on the phone, and we expect the battery management to become better with its future updates. Pixel 2 XL is the bigger brother that packs the punch in almost every way you want a flagship to be. The pricing, however, does leave us with questions that need some convincing.