pressure on smartphone manufacturers must be intense.
year they are tasked with upping the ante on last year’s
phone. Sometimes they radically change the design, like
Apple did this year with the iPhone X, but other times
the upgrade seems more incremental, meaning key features
get an upgrade, but the overall look and feel are not
Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL don’t have a radical new design
— in fact, they look a lot like the Samsung Galaxy S8
Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL do have going for them
are features that can keep up with any phone on the
market and the best Android software experience on the
fact, I received my review Pixel 2 XL from Verizon, and
there were absolutely no preinstalled Verizon apps to be
year’s Pixel XL featured a clean, button-free 5.5-inch
screen but with some familiar wasted real estate above
and below the screen. This year’s Pixel 2 XL stretches
its 6-inch screen area to within a quarter-inch of the
top and bottom edges in front.
make a comparison, the Pixel 2 XL is basically the same
size as the iPhone 8 Plus, but the Pixel 2’s screen is
half an inch deeper.
iPhone X’s 5.8-inch screen extends out fully to the
top and bottom of the phone, but it does have that goofy
notch on top of the screen. I guess every phone has to
make a few compromises.
Pixel 2 XL measures 6.22 x 3.02 x 0.31 inches and weighs
6.17 ounces. It is IP67 certified dust- and
water-resistant. (It can take a dunk in 3 feet of water
for up to 30 minutes.)
6-inch OLED screen has a resolution of 1,440 x 2,880
pixels with an 18:9 aspect ratio, and it’s covered
with Corning Gorilla Glass 5. It has an always-on
Pixel 2 XL runs Android 8.0 (Oreo) on a Qualcomm
Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor with an Adreno 450
ships with 64 or 128 gigabytes of storage and 4 Gb of
RAM. There is no storage expansion slot, and the
3,520-milliamp hour battery is not removable.
fingerprint reader is mounted on phone’s back, right
where your index finger comes to rest when you hold the
phone. This placement is perfect, and if I ruled the
world, all other phone manufacturers would put their
fingerprint readers in the same spot.
charge/sync port is USB-C, and it can quick-charge with
Power Delivery 2.0. The Pixel 2 and 2 XL do not have
Pixel 2 XL’s main camera has a 12.2-megapixel sensor
with a wide-angle f/1.8 lens. The Pixel’s camera is
top-notch, although it doesn’t have a dual-lens system
like some other flagship phones. The camera does have
optical image stabilization and a dual-LED flash. It can
shoot 4K video at 30 frames per second and 720p video at
selfie camera has an 8-megapixel sensor with an f/2.4
radios include 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0.
Pixel 2 XL has stereo speakers but no headphone jack,
although a dongle to connect a pair of headphones to the
phone’s USB-C port is included.
lot has been written about the screen on the Pixel 2 XL.
heard there were some complaints about image burn-in and
was really surprised to find the screen shifts to a
bluish tint when you view it at any angle other than
straight-on. The blue cast is not as visible when
viewing color photos, but it’s very visible when
looking at a page with a white background.
for a phone that can cost upwards of $1,000 after taxes,
I was really disappointed in the screen.
comparisons with the iPhone 8 Plus and Galaxy Note 8
easily showed the Pixel 2 XL well behind competitors in
screen image quality.
Pixel 2 costs $649 for 64Gb and $749 for 128Gb. The
Pixel 2 XL costs $849 for 64Gb and $949 for 128Gb. It’s
available locally from Verizon, which has it
exclusively. You can find it at Best Buy and other
places Verizon phones are sold. You can also buy it
unlocked for any carrier if you purchase directly from
really conflicted about the Pixel 2 XL. I love the
design, and I love the features and I love the pure
Android experience, but I can’t say I’d like to use
that screen every day.
up the same websites on the Pixel 2 XL and iPhone 8 Plus
make me really appreciate how crisp and clear and
true-to-life photos look on Apple’s displays.
think anyone who wants to buy the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
should spend some time with one before they make a
First-rate features, pure Android goodness
The screen is a step backwards in image quality.
line: If the screen doesn’t bother you, the Pixel 2 XL
is about as good as an Android phone gets.