Update: A previous version of this post claimed that if you had Google’s Preferred Care on the Pixel 2 XL, that you could get two replacements for free. This is untrue. The Big Guy needs to do a better job of reading his emails. You still have to pay $99 per replacement, but they did extend free “warranty” replacements for another year. This would be things like manufacturer defects and normal wear and tear.
Yes. I’m a Fanboy
The Pixel 2 XL… But wait.
Let me get this out of the way first. I am completely, 100% a Google fanboy. If Google sold toilet paper, I’d probably find a way to justify buying it. That said, I am only stating what I believe are facts here, but if I get out of line, call me out on it. It got old bashing Apple a year or two ago, so I don’t do it as much anymore unless I’m just trying to troll someone. I know at least one of the other Big Guys loves the iPhone, so I’m sure we’ll probably have a look at that in the future as well.
I’ve read about the screen on many different sites. You’ve read about the screen on many different sites. I’m not getting into that here, but I will say that while I can see the tint at an angle on the new POLED screen, I find the screen otherwise just fine.
Best camera score on dxomark ever!!!!! I don’t care. It takes great pictures, just like the gen 1 Pixel XL before it and the Nexus 6P before it. I don’t have an eye for this enough to tell if it’s really any better. The software portrait mode that was added is pretty neat in how they actually pull it off with one lens.
No headphone Jack
I haven’t used a headphone jack in forever. And yes, I realize the iPhone had it last year, and I think Google even took jabs at Apple for it. I didn’t care then, and I don’t care now. Supposedly this allowed them to give us a more waterproof phone though.
How does it compare to last year’s model?
The new Pixel 2 XL comes with a screen that is a little bigger than the previous phone, the speakers have been put on the front again (and you get two instead of one!), and the minimum storage size has been bumped from 32 GB to 64 GB.
I’ll take this time to point out a cool feature that Google actually added to search the other day. You can get results for device comparisons directly in search, so instead of pointing out every spec here, I’ll leave you with a picture to show off the new Google comparison feature. I think they may still have some work to do as the battery life specs seem off to me.
New Features on the Pixel 2 XL
- The new Pixels both have a feature that you can turn on to allow the phone
to identify any song it hears and display it on the ambient screen. It’s pretty neat unless you’re paranoid about it always listening to you. They claim this all happens offline, and no information is sent to Google for identification.
- Squeezable sides. I thought this was a gimmick when I first heard about it. I still think it’s mostly a gimmick, and I usually trigger it by accident. You can mess with the sensitivity and even turn it off.
- This is actually awesome. Last year they gave Pixel owners the ability to save unlimited pictures in “high quality” on the Google Photos cloud. I believe they later extended this to all Google Photos users. This year Pixel 2 owners get unlimited storage of original size photos!
- I love the Google Assistant. It keeps getting better. The phone version almost has feature parity with the version on the Google Home now. They even recently added the ability to say “Hey Google” instead of just “OK Google” to your phone.
- Speaking of the assistant, one feature they added to the assistant on the phone is called Google Lens. Basically you can use the assistant to search an image that you have taken and get results. I think this is similar to what they tried to do with Google Goggles, but it seems to work OK.
- AR Stickers. Not something I really care about. It was neat in the demo that they showed. However, it doesn’t seem to actually be available yet.
I’ve been pretty satisfied with the last few editions of the Google Nexus and Pixel phones. The ONLY thing that has been missing for me has been the battery life. The gen 1 Pixel XL was almost there as a typical day for me looked like this.
I would get about 12 hours if I was lucky. If the boys had activities at night, or if we had something else going on which caused us to be out late, I would often end up with a dead phone or one that was about to die by the time we got home. Note that this is only with right at 2 hours of screen on time.
With the Pixel 2 XL, I EASILY get through my day. Below is my current battery usage after a full day of usage with three hours of screen on time!
I know that battery life on phones usually declines over time, so I will update if this gets bad enough that I can no longer get through a day on it, but the gen 1 Pixel XL never had enough juice to get me through more than 12 – 16 hours a day.
- The Battery! It’s only slightly bigger at 3520 mAh vs the gen 1 Pixel XL’s 3450 mAh battery so some of this improvement can be attributed to Android 8, Oreo, I’m sure.
- The gen 1 Pixel XL was a bit slippery to hold. I don’t know if it’s the squeezable sides or just the material that the phone is made out of in general, but I feel a little safer while wielding this one. I am going to attempt to go without a case.
- It’s vanilla android. I love the pure Android experience. You get that here.
- Did I mention the battery?
- The preferred support is offered for $129 and offers 2 replacements for $99 a piece. They have also extended the 1 year warranty to 2 for manufacture defects and normal wear and tear.
- Price. No phone is worth almost a thousand dollars.
- While I can see the tint on the screen at an angle, it doesn’t bother me much, but I think the internet has made me paranoid that my screen sucks.
- I scratched the screen. This is completely my fault, but I honestly can’t figure out how I did it.
- Did I mention the price?