Google Pixel 2 hands-on review: A small upgrade

Last year, the Pixel and Pixel XL made a gigantic hit when they were officially announced at the #MadeByGoogle event. The Pixel and Pixel XL were among the best smartphones in 2016, hitting millions of units sold every quarter. With a great success, Google had something major planned for the second generation Pixel phone.

Google today announced the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, following months of endless rumors. The new duo of smartphones serves as Google’s strategic plan to take on Apple’s 2017 iPhone lineup. The second generation Pixel phone is not a huge upgrade over the original model, but it combines perfectly the winning formula found in the previous model and trending features. This helps the phone stand in line with other top-tier smartphones out there like iPhone 8/iPhone 8 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S8/S8 Plus.

If you are planning to grab the Google Pixel 2 this year, make sure you check out our review in the section below. Before we begin, note that the Pixel 2 will retail for $649 in the US for the starting 64GB model, which is slightly cheaper than the iPhone 8 ($699).

  1. Design

The original Google Pixel was among the most beautiful flagship phones in the market. This year, Google continues to take what’s the best of the design of the last year’s model while polishing up a few things to make the phone a compelling choice. The Pixel 2 features a metal and glass design, just like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. The edges are perfectly finished on both sides, thus offering a premium look and a comfortable hands-on experience.

The biggest design change on the Pixel 2 lies in the removal of the traditional 3.5 mm headphone jack. However, the device features a USB-C port on the base, allowing users to connect a traditional pair of headphones to the phone. Camera and flash are located at the top of the device, while a fingerprint scanner sits on the back. According to Google, the fingerprint scanner on the Pixel 2 is the fastest one on the market. So, let’s wait and see.

  1. Display and performance

The second generation Google Pixel sports a 5-inch Full HD OLED display, just like the original model. But, Google officially added an always-on display at the top of the display, allowing users to check time, date, email, and text message notifications and reminders without waking up the screen. The display on the Google Pixel 2 looks pretty good and offers more details and better picture quality.

Under the hood, the Google Pixel 2 is powered by the latest Snapdragon 835 chipset, offering a lot of power for handling heavy-graphics tasks. The chipset is coupled with 4GB of RAM, allowing users to run a lot of apps at the same time. The Google Pixel 2 is not the most powerful smartphone out there, but it can handle almost everything without issue mainly thanks to the stock Android OS.

  1. Camera

The first generation Google Pixel was one of the best camera phones ever made last year, beating out the Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. This year, the Pixel 2 retains the best camera features from the last year’s model.

The Google Pixel 2 is packed with a 12MP rear camera with OIS (optical image stabilization) and HDR smarts support. The 12MP rear camera on the Pixel 2 also features Portrait mode, just like the iPhone 8 Plus. The Pixel 2 sticks with a single lens on the rear, but it still manages to offer stunning pictures even in low-light conditions.

Also read: How to fix Split View and Slide Over not working issue on your iPad (iOS 11)

Are you planning to buy the Pixel 2 this year? Let us know in the comments below.

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