Review: Google Pixel 2
Google Pixel 2 might be hard to find, but if you go through the hassle, it is definitely worth buying.
Great performances and the best single camera we’ve ever seen on a phone at a fair price.
Both the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 are IP67 waterproof, so they can survive for an hour if they’re submerged 1m underwater. There’s no headphone jack, which is something we’re now used to, and Google has figured out it was pointless to provide you with low-quality earbuds for you to leave in the box. It makes sense, let’s not get upset over this.
Music on the phone sounds all right through the dual front-facing stereo speakers. There might be some minor ticking noises, but Google promised a software fix coming soon.
While the XL model is quite big, the Pixel 2 allows for one-handed use on many occasions. One example is a feature acquired from the HTC 11 called EdgeSense: you can squeeze the phone to launch Google Assistant, rather than having to press a button as it is for Bixby on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8.
The fingerprint scanner is in the back, but it’s distinguishable from the camera, so you won’t find yourself randomly pressing the wrong part of your phone as it is the case for the Samsung competitors.
The first thing you notice on the Pixel 2, is the presence of bezels. Not only do they make it look worse and sort of old, they take away some space that could have been left for the screen. Apart from this, the Full HD is bright and colorful, but it’s not the best one out there, and we don’t recommend it if you’re planning on playing a lot with Google Daydream VR.
Pixel 2 is a Google native product and, being such, is and will always be the first to get software updates. The phone comes with Android Oreo pre-installed and will also be the first to get Android P and Android Q updates. Despite Samsung software improving a lot over time, Android is still the best and most customizable software out there, unless you’re an iPhone fan and are looking for something completely different.
The Snapdragon 835 chipset is the same as the Galaxy S8 one, with no new introduction by Pixel, which combines it with 4GB of RAM. Plenty enough for anything you have to do, but a few years from now you might regret not having 6GB and having to upgrade.
The basic model has 64GB of internal space, which is twice as much as last year’s 32GB one. There’s the possibility to buy a 128GB version and you might want to look into it, since there’s no microSD card slot on the Pixel phone, unlike most Android competitors
Possibly the best camera on a phone right now: pictures are always in focus, realistic and vibrant. Low light situations are not a problem for the Pixel 2 as they are for an iPhone 8 or Galaxy S8.
The 12.2MP main camera has an f/1.8 aperture while the selfie camera is an 8MP with f/2.4. Videos are also stunning with the possibility to capture 240fps slow motion, and good optical image stabilization.
However, transitioning from one camera to the other without the possibility of simply swiping, as is for the S8, is something we didn’t appreciate, just like we didn’t like necessarily having to tap buttons to take pictures.
The battery is efficient, lasting an entire day of moderate use despite just being 2,700mAh. This is thanks to Android Oreo battery saving options. It’s an above average battery that won’t impress nor disappoint.
Fast charging is available, but Google still hasn’t found a way to display battery life on a switched off phone, as every other smartphone has a very long time ago.
The camera really sells this phone. A good camera is paramount to most people nowadays, not just for social media, but also so to take one less device while on holiday, forgetting about carrying a camera with you all the time.
If you’re going to carry a reflex with you, buying this phone could lose a lot of its appeal.
It’s not the greatest looking or best-performing device out there, but it is a very good phone.
Unless you’re already sold on the Samsung or Apple competitors, the Pixel 2 might be a good option to save you some money.