Google Pixel 2 XL Review
Google Pixel 2 XL
- Excellent performance
- Long battery life
- Impressive camera
- Stereo speakers
- Best Android experience
- 64 GB of base storage
- Active Edge is very useful
- Pricing a little steep
- 18:9 screen has been done better on other phones
- No headphone jack
- No USB Type-C headphones in the box
Google Pixel 2 XL Review – The phone only Google could make.
Discover a better way to capture, store, and see the world with Google Pixel 2 XL. Pixel 2 features a smart camera that takes beautiful photos in any light, a fast-charging battery and the Google Assistant built-in.
Capture stunning photos with an effortless photography experience. Pixel 2 changes the way you take, save and share your moments – including new ways to dress up your photos with AR stickers.
Save all your photos and videos in original quality with free, unlimited storage in Google Photos. This means you’ll never have to delete photos again. Plus Google Photos makes it easy to find, organize, and share whatever you want.
With Google Lens you can use your camera to explore the world like never before. Simply point at words, images, posters and landmarks to get additional info.
Need help or answers? Just ask the Google Assistant, built into every Google Pixel 2. You can request a ride, reserve a table, and buy a ticket – using only your voice.
Access your Google Assistant even faster with Active Edge. Just squeeze the sides of your Pixel to start chatting.
Pixel 2 XL also features a striking encased glass metal unibody that’s water resistant.
|Disclaimer||If you see any error or incomplete data, please Contact Us.|
|Dimensions||157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm (6.22 x 3.02 x 0.31 in)|
|Weight||175 g (6.17 oz)|
|SIM||Nano-SIM card & eSIM|
|- IP67 certified - dust and water resistant|
|- Water resistant up to 1 meter and 30 minutes|
|Display||P-OLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|6.0 inches, 92.6 cm2 (~76.4% screen-to-body ratio)|
|1440 x 2880 pixels, 18:9 ratio (~538 ppi density)|
|Corning Gorilla Glass 5|
|- Always-on display|
|- 100% DCI-P3 coverage|
|OS||Android 8.0 (Oreo)|
|Chipset||Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835|
|CPU||Octa-core (4x2.35 GHz Kryo & 4x1.9 GHz Kryo)|
|Internal Memory||64/128 GB, 4 GB RAM|
|Primary Camera||12.2 MP, f/1.8, OIS, phase detection & laser autofocus, dual-LED flash|
|1/2.6" sensor size, 1.4 µm pixel size, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama|
|Video||[email protected], [email protected]/60/120fps, [email protected]|
|Secondary Camera||8 MP, f/2.4, 1/3.2" sensor size, 1.4 µm pixel size, 1080p|
|Loudspeaker||Yes, with stereo speakers|
|- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic|
|- Type-C to 3.5 mm headphone jack adapter|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO|
|USB||3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector (PowerDelivery 2.0)|
|Sensors||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer|
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Ion 3520 mAh battery|
I find it difficult to make sweeping statements like “This is the best phone out there, period,” because such generalizations are prone to be wrong for a lot of people. That said, I can safely say the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are the best Android phones I’ve used all year (and I’ve used a lot of them). While I don’t agree with all of Google’s choices, something special is bound to happen when a company as smart as Google takes such strict control over how its vision of smartphones should be realized. The optimist in me thinks we haven’t seen Google at its best yet, either — remember, Google’s hardware team just picked up 2,000 new employees from a company that itself made some truly memorable phones over the years. I fully expect things to get even better in time, but for now, Android fans shouldn’t miss the Pixel 2 and 2 XL.
This year’s Pixel phones are a bit like a mirror, which we can hold up to see a reflection of the smartphone industry as a whole: they take the solid foundation we got with the original Pixel phones while updating the formula with very 2017 changes like the 2 XL’s 18:9 display or the disappearing headphone jack on both phones.
Performance is right in line with the rest of the flagship crop, and Google largely manages to recreate the easy-to-recommend camera experience that made last year’s Pixel so special.
Some changes are really smart: the design of the original Pixel was a bit odd, and while the Pixel 2 doesn’t abandon that look, it does tweak it enough to make the phone feel a little more palatable. Others, like the introduction of Active Edge (squeeze) to call Google Assistant, are less successful, but also don’t take much away from the overall package. And really, the only outright miss is the death of the headphone jack.
Of the two handsets, we’ve got to say that we prefer the smaller Pixel 2 a little more. It’s more comfortable to use, its speakers sound a tad better, and it feels like a phone that’s more comfortable being what it is. The Pixel 2 XL, meanwhile, seems like it’s trying a little too hard to offer users something new and different, without really taking full advantage of its big, super-wide display. But it’s also by no stretch a failure – just a phone that doesn’t feel as fully realized as its smaller sibling.
In the end, both phones are very solid choices. We wish they had some welcome extras like microSD expansion or wireless charging, but these features aren’t going to carry equal weight with every shopper, and we imagine that for a lot of smartphone users, both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will easily give them everything they need.
Pricing starts at about $650 for the Pixel 2, or $850 for the Pixel 2 XL; doubling storage to 128GB adds an extra $100 to either model. Considering everything we’ve said, that makes the Pixel 2 feel like the better value, and $200 might be a little much to ask for a screen upgrade. Ultimately, we’re just happy we have the choice, and whether you like your phones big or small, classic or forward-thinking, the Pixel 2 line has you covered.
A lot of phones are designed to razzle dazzle you with their first impressions. The screens on Samsung phones wrap around the edges. The iPhone X and Essential phones have screens that go so far to the edge that they have notches cut out of their screens.
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL do not razzle dazzle. It’s not just the somewhat disappointing screen on the Pixel 2 XL, it’s that Google has gone out of its way to do things that are functional instead of flashy. Instead of going bezel-less, it added front-facing speakers. Instead of a million camera effects, it focused on one or two, while making the core camera experience much better with machine learning. The list goes on.
The Pixel 2 has many, many things going for it. Were it not for a few problems — the screen, the slightly inelegant design, and (yes) the lack of a headphone jack — it might have received the highest score we’ve ever given a phone. As it is, it’s a great phone, but not quite a home run.
Still, there are just a lot of little things that are better on the Pixel 2. You find yourself using the Assistant more because it’s giving you better answers over time. You are able to triage your notifications a little faster. The camera makes it much easier to get great shots, even in low light.
The Pixel 2 isn’t the nice dining room table with the fancy silverware. It’s the kitchen counter where you actually eat. It’s not as impressive, but it’s much more comfortable. That’s what makes the design of this year’s Google Phones great. They’re meant to be of use, and they are.
The Google Pixel 2 XL is the ideal smartphone for the entertainment fanatic who craves big screens for movies and gaming, forward-thinking, slim bezel-clad design and of course, photography.
It’s also quite a fashionable phone, launching alongside several “Made for Google” accessories that really bring it to life.
As mentioned, you really need to want the best on the market in certain areas to justify the cost of this phone. The person that prides performance over value will enjoy what’s on offer here, as there are better phones on paper to go for.
But if you just want a phone that’s big, powerful and will take photos that regularly make you think ‘wow’, then this is the phone for you.
Should I buy it?
Despite its shortcomings, the competition has only a small leg up on the Google Pixel 2 XL. Sure, the tiny advantage the Note 8 has in the bezel department will make this a deal-breaker for some, as will the lack of features on the Pixel 2 XL like a 3.5mm headphone jack, wireless charging and removable storage.
But what the Pixel 2 XL does have casts a pretty large shadow over the other flagship options. The camera, as mentioned many times before, is spec-defying and a sight to behold. In fact, it’s so good that it has influenced us to bring it on a honeymoon as our sole camera.
Additionally, the new Pixel Launcher is simply the best iteration yet and since we first turned on the Pixel 2 XL last week, it has quickly overwritten our muscle memory from the Pixel XL, which we used as our daily driver since it launched in 2016.
In terms of hardware and software, the Pixel 2 XL looks and feels like Google’s most cohesive, fully-realized attempt at a phone yet. Building off of last year’s learning, the company has crafted one of the smartest smartphones ever.
It offers a whole lot of promise today and perhaps more importantly, it will continue to improve in the years to come right alongside Google’s ever-intelligent services.
Buying a Google Pixel 2 XL may be a little out of your comfort zone, because it isn’t sold directly by most carriers. But it’s worth it. Verizon sells the 64GB Pixel 2 XL directly for $849.99 or $35.41 per month. But that model has bloatware and a locked bootloader. Just go instead to the Google Store online, where it’s $849 or $35.38 per month.
Balancing the Pixel 2 XL against the Galaxy S8, the Galaxy has a standard headphone jack, wireless charging, and a microSD card slot. It’s also a little easier to hold, because it’s narrower. The Pixel 2 XL brings cleaner and more updated software, longer battery life, better low-light camera performance, and none of that Bixby nonsense.
We understand that the XL’s missing headphone jack will be a deal breaker for some, and the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 are spectacular alternatives. I’m sticking with my S8, personally. But the Pixel 2 XL’s software and low-light camera performance make it an elegant, no-worry experience for the average buyer. So we’re going to flip our Editors’ Choice over to the Pixel 2 XL and make it our general recommendation for Android smartphones.
Google has, once again, made the best pair of Android phones you can buy today. If someone has at least $649 to spend, knowing nothing else about what they want from a phone, I will be able to recommend they buy a Pixel 2 and have no worries about them enjoying the experience.
In either phone, you get hardware that’s well-built and beautiful with all of the requisite specs and base hardware features, paired with an unrivaled software and user experience that you’ll enjoy every day. You’re also getting a smartphone that’s likely to produce the best photos you’ve ever seen come out of a phone, in just about any situation you put it in. Then you get the smaller things you only notice over time — very strong battery life, loud stereo speakers, IP67 water resistance, software that’s well hedged against slowdowns over time, and three years of guaranteed updates.
The Google Pixel 2 XL’s display quality is objectively not good enough to match its $849 starting price, but the smaller Google Pixel 2’s is more than good enough for $649. The lack of a headphone jack is troubling for many, myself included. And the software doesn’t have the massive number of specialized features you’ll find on other phones.
But those few cons are washed away in just a couple of hours of actually using either phone; and that excellent experience will stay strong for months — and even years — to come. Google has outdone itself this year. It has made the phones that everyone should be considering, even if its sales will end up being tiny in comparison to the big names.
The only question, really, is which size you should buy. The Google Pixel 2 XL is probably too expensive for many people, and its 6-inch display may actually be too big as well. The Pixel 2, with a very attainable price, offers excellent value for the money — it also has a better display and more manageable size. Unless you feel like you need the extra screen size or battery of the 2 XL, pick the Pixel 2. You’ll love it.
To pixel peepers — anyone for whom screen quality and color accuracy is a top priority — these issues can be irksome, and if having a superlative screen is a priority for you (and that’s totally fine if it is), I suggest a few great alternatives below. That includes the smaller Pixel 2, which has the same camera features, software goodies and processing speeds as the Pixel 2 XL, but uses a different AMOLED screen.
In the meantime, we’re keeping an eye on our other Google Pixel 2 XLs to see how they fare over time with normal use. Right now, we don’t know how serious or how widespread the burn-in issue is (are these anecdotal issues with an early batch of screens, or are they symptomatic of an endemic problem with the product?), or how well Google’s upcoming software updates will help ameliorate the problem.
As such, we aren’t changing our review rating for now, but we may do so at any point in the future when and if warranted by continued testing or third-party reports.
If these display problems don’t deter you from the Google Pixel 2 XL’s roomy size, promptly updated Android software and peak performance, the phone is still otherwise great. It’s also entirely possible that your unit will be problem-free.
If you opt for the XL, we’d recommend that you take a look at it in real life to make sure you’re happy with the screen’s color palette, and compare it side-by-side with the standard Pixel 2 and Samsung Galaxy phones. When purchasing, verify the vendor’s return policy — again, the Google Store is the safest bet — and pay close attention to the screen while in the 15-day return period.
In case you skipped right to the conclusion, here’s what you need to know. There aren’t a ton of things that separate the Google Pixel 2 from the Google Pixel 2 XL, so the model you choose will most likely depend on whether you want a big or small screen. Just know that if you choose the bigger Pixel 2 XL, you may be a tad disappointed by the display. I think it’s totally fine, but you may not.
With every year it’s becoming more and more clear that you don’t buy a Pixel for its revolutionary hardware or industry-leading design. You buy the Pixel for the stellar software; for three years of OS updates; for the little tweaks that make using an Android phone truly enjoyable.
In the case of the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL, Google brought its wonderful software experience to good hardware, which makes for a great pair of Android phones. You should absolutely buy one— you won’t regret it.
The Google Pixel 2 XL is one tall glass of smartphone. It’s the best smartphone for Android enthusiasts, and 8.0 Oreo is the most refined and matured version of Android that we’ve seen yet. Add three years of software updates and unlimited Google Photos storage at full resolution, and you’re looking at Google’s finest software/hardware experience on mobile.
If you’ve already got the Pixel XL and are looking to upgrade to the Google Pixel 2 XL, you might consider holding onto it for another year. The new camera is slightly better, but the Pixel XL still holds its own as one of the best smartphone cameras. Besides, this is a lot of money to drop for a new phone considering the Google Pixel 2 XL starts at $850.
What’s unfortunate are the concerns surrounding the display of the phone. During our review period, there’ve been reports of screen burn-in issues on brand-new devices. Likewise, the blue color-shifting and somewhat muted color reproduction of the display has to be held to more amounts of scrutiny considering the price that Google is selling the phone at. Google will address the muted colors and burn-in concerns with a future firmware update but there is hardly anyone can do about the color shift. Still, for many of you, this may not even be a concern so definitely try and get a look at the phone’s screen first-hand at a store before committing to the purchase.
Here’s the bottom line. The Google Pixel 2 XL brings Google into the present: high-end specs with a high-end camera in a premium body with a new-age 18:9 display. The Google Pixel 2 XL is for the kind of person who likes to tinker with their phone or who would like to have the latest software by the company that makes the mobile software for more than half the phones on this planet. The flexibility of Google’s operating system is something that many appreciate, and to be able to appreciate Oreo the way that Google intended is an Android purist’s dream.
Google has finally started to pay attention to every aspect of the smartphone, even changing the graphics and creating a clean UI, fast and pleasant to use. The software experience is complete thanks to the full suite of Google apps, which are always speedy and, above all, intelligent. Every single part of this software is designed to make life easier: Google Assistant, the new Pixel Launcher, quick search in settings, the incredible camera with a chip dedicated to artificial intelligence, recognition of offline music and more.
Despite the various problems reported in the displays, despite the hardware being nothing special, despite the design that did not convince me 100 percent…Google has been able to enchant me with an excellent overall experience and that leaves no room for negative conclusions. Google has filled the main gaps that have separated me from the first generation Pixel, such as the lack of IP67 certification and the always on display, and I’m more than happy with this.
Although one might object to many of Google’s decisions when it comes to the Google Pixel 2 XL, I would still choose this smartphone over the competition again and again, because this is still undeniably the best Android smartphone, as far as the final user experience is concerned.
You can’t say that you have really tried Android until you’ve owned a Pixel, and once tried, it’s really hard to go back. Your bank account might not exactly love you for the paying the price of this knowledge, however.
Google’s focus and the main selling point of its latest smartphones is the combination of hardware, software, and artificial intelligence that these two constitute. The Google Pixel 2 XL is certainly a very good smartphone, but there is still quite a lot to criticize, especially at the high price point.
The biggest drawback of the smartphone is the display. Our measurements are performed from a vertical position onto the display, so the results are actually really good. However, even small shifts of the viewing angle will result in a visible color cast, so the picture always looked a bit distorted. Furthermore, the POLED screen is also too dark among the high-end competition, which is especially problematic under direct sunlight. We cannot understand why Google opted to remove the MIMO-WLAN technology, either.
One of the highlights is the camera of the Pixel 2 XL, which leaves a great impression in all lighting conditions and Google Lens is a great additional feature. The rating is a bit lower due to the missing Pro mode and the lack of video features, but we think the pure picture quality of the Pixel 2 XL is even slightly ahead of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 models.
The long update cycle (until October 2020) of the new Pixel models is another major advantage. If you plan on using the device for a long time and want a smartphone with a modern OS, the Pixel 2 XL is hard to ignore.