Home / Android Tips / Google Pixel 2 XL review: It’s all in the optimization – Hardware reviews

Google Pixel 2 XL review: It’s all in the optimization – Hardware reviews

It is now been two weeks for the reason that arrival of the Google Pixel 2 XL in my arms and it is time to let you know about my enjoy. After you have over the novelty issue, I have had time to inspect the bigger Pixel 2 intensive and there is unquestionably extra to it than what seems in the beginning look. Now, I believe assured to ship a important verdict on Google‘s newest cellular providing. Get ready your self, as a result of in all probability it’ll no longer be utterly delightful….



  • Design (imagine it or no longer)
  • Top quality cameras
  • Stereo Speaker
  • Android in its purest shape
  • Very good battery
  • At all times-on show
  • IP67


  • Show
  • Small device insects
  • Fingerprint reader
  • three.five mm headphone jack lacking

Lowest worth: Google Pixel 2 XL

Easiest worth

Google Pixel 2 XL unencumber date and worth

First off, the Google Pixel 2 XL isn’t for individuals who want to save a greenback—very a lot the other. Beginning at $849 for the 64 GB fashion, the Pixel 2 XL is much more now at the pricey facet. The Pixel 2 XL is now to be had in the course of the Google Retailer and at collaborating outlets.

Graceful and forged: Pixel 2 XL / © AndroidPIT

For many who want some additional garage of their telephone, there is additionally a 128 GB model to be had for $949 bucks.

Google Pixel 2 XL design and construct high quality

In the case of design, the brand new Google smartphone leaves me feeling ambivalent. I appreciated the primary era of Pixel very a lot, with its most commonly distinctive design and the glass window positioned at the again of the smartphone to create distinction with the steel frame. Additionally, the absence of a sticking out digicam used to be without a doubt a professional.

With the Pixel 2 XL, it sort of feels that Google has taken a step backwards by way of smoothing the perimeters of the smartphone and shrinking the glass phase. Within the black colour variant, which is the only I am the usage of, the tool will also be summed up with a unmarried phrase: dull.

I recognize the aluminum unibody frame even if this has averted Google from putting wi-fi charging. As well as, the paint with which the aluminium has been lined makes the smartphone really feel like plastic.

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Glass turns out to glide at the entrance floor. / © AndroidPIT

Do not get me fallacious, the smartphone’s construct high quality is very good and feels forged in-hand, however we’re a long way from the sensation of the “bare” aluminum final yr and the HTC units of the golden instances. Due to this coating, your smartphone does not slip on your arms or on easy surfaces, which is just right.

The entrance phase, alternatively, made me fall in love from the first actual second. The glass that covers it at the entrance has extraordinarily curved edges and the play of sunshine mirrored from the display screen is truly gorgeous in my view. Aesthetically, I additionally recognize the site of the stereo audio system precisely the place the curvature begins and, within the Black & White model, the distinction between the black entrance glass and the white aluminium edge is fabulous.

google pixel 2 xl features
Within the “Panda” colour, the ability button is orange. / © Google

It is true, the facet edges of the smartphone aren’t in any respect similar with the ones of S8 and S8 Plus, however the more room used to be important to introduce the Energetic Edge serve as that I will be able to speak about later. It must be famous that within the black model, the perimeters glance even wider than the two-tone counterpart.

The fingerprint reader is now not built-in into the glass window however is positioned at once beneath. It’s smartly located and simply reachable however it is not slightly as speedy Google promised. Extra incessantly than no longer, it does not paintings and desires a couple of tries.

Google Pixel 2 XL show

The Pixel 2 XL show has proved to be a divisive factor, with Google just lately addressing person lawsuits in a device replace that can permit your smartphone the power to saturate extra colours. Despite the fact that in my enjoy, it has no longer been an issue, even though I recognize that this is a subjective matter. 

The panel is a 6-inch POLED produced by way of LG with QuadHD+ solution (i.e. 2,880 x 1,440 pixels) and 18:nine facet ratio. The solution is excellent for taking part in multimedia content material equivalent to pictures and movies, even if we will infrequently benefit from the complete vary of colours this show is able to.

There may be give a boost to for HDR content material, however recently handiest the YouTube platform helps playback: no Netflix or Amazon Top Video in HDR. You’ll use a media participant equivalent to VLC to observe offline HDR video content material, you probably have it to be had. All over the playback of those movies, the colours are alive, vivid and delightful, however there is simply no longer that a lot HDR content material to be had at the moment.

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Pixel 2 XL subsequent to the Galaxy S8 Plus. / © AndroidPIT

In all different sides of smartphone use, flat and washed out colours are the norm at the Pixel 2 XL. However, I’ve to confess that once two weeks my eyes have already gotten used to it, and taking a look on the S8 Plus, I every now and then surprise the way it made me like overly saturated colours such a lot within the first position. It truly simply relies on what you are used to seeing, even though the Pixel 2 colour downside undeniably exists. If you wish to have additional clarification in regards to the calibration of colours at the Pixel 2 XL, I counsel you learn this Google+ by way of the well-known developer Supercurio. 

Google Pixel 2 XL particular options

Energetic Edge

This Google Pixel 2 XL has the Energetic Edge characteristic already observed at the HTC U11, as does its little brother. In observe, you’ll “squeeze” the facet edges of your tool with a slight drive (adjustable from the settings) to summon Google Assistant.

Sadly, the serve as isn’t detachable and will handiest be used for this goal, however as we already know, the guts of the Pixels (even the primary era ones) is the virtual assistant of the corporate so this comes as no wonder. Thankfully, Google Assistant is infinitely extra helpful than Samsung’s Bixby so the usage of the assistant does not get too anxious. To the contrary, you’re going to in finding your self evoking Google Assistant a lot more incessantly than anticipated and finding its nice doable. Apparently, you’ll use the serve as even if the display screen is off.

It takes a while to get used to this new method of interacting together with your smartphone, however after some time, I now in finding it very herbal and intuitive. Due to the immediacy of Energetic Edge, I have ended up the usage of Google Assistant a lot more incessantly than I used to.

Google Pixel 2 XL device

The Android model in this smartphone is Oreo eight.zero, even if Google has no longer but up to date its smartphone to the most recent safety patches in October. Seeing because the Pixels are meant to replace quicker than different smartphones, its ordinary to look some Sony and Samsung smartphones overtake them. On the other hand, it will have to be mentioned that, theoretically, you’ll additionally check out the beta of Android eight.1 with up to date patches.

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The At a Look widget isn’t detachable, however very helpful! / © AndroidPIT

If you are expecting inventory Android on a brand new telephone, even a Pixel, you make a large mistake. Android inventory is now not sufficient and in this Pixel we discover a model retouched by way of Google, even though relatively, in virtually each facet to supply a better degree enjoy. Clearly, customization has not anything to do with what the quite a lot of OEMs like LG, Samsung or Huawei do to their smartphones.

Ranging from the off show, we will in finding a few new options: At all times On show and the popularity of ambient track that I will be able to speak about later. I’m thankful to Google for including the At all times On show as I truly neglected it at the first Pixel.

Proceeding on, you’ll release your smartphone with a double faucet and this may be a at hand addition. We then return to the house, and right here we discover the Pixel Launcher with its new graphics. The Google seek bar has been moved down and likewise works as a neighborhood seek for your smartphone, with relatively other graphics than same old. On the height of the primary display screen, the place the hunt bar used to be prior to now positioned, is a brand new widget known as At a Look that displays us climate, date, subsequent calendar appointment and visitors data.

AndroidPIT Google Pixel 2 XL 1605
The quest bar beneath will prevent from stretching your finger to succeed in for the highest. / © AndroidPIT

Nonetheless speaking about house display screen we discover the brand new Dwelling Universe wallpapers which can be truly superb and difficult to rip one’s eyes clear of. There may be a dismal theme this is activated at the Pixel Launcher and Fast Toggles when a most commonly black background is about.

Even the shutdown menu is ready-made in comparison to Android inventory and even if with the Android eight.1 beta Google has presented those graphic adjustments even at the outdated Pixels, that doesn’t imply that they’re a part of natural Android (i.e. that of the AOSP venture).

dark mode
The darkish facet of the Pixel 2 XL. / © AndroidPIT

The 3 yr guaranty of gadget updates (no longer simply safety patches however updates to all the OS) additionally will increase the longevity of your smartphone method past the typical, which makes the Pixel 2 XL’s worth appear extra justified.

Google Pixel 2 XL efficiency

On paper, the Google Pixel 2 XL has not anything particular to supply with regards to and efficiency. We discover the similar options that may be discovered on any top finish 2017 smartphone, and Google does not enlarge on anything else. The processor is the standard Snapdragon 835 that we already know, the GPU is the inseparable Adreno 540 built-in in Qualcomm’s SoC and we discover four GB of RAM which is greater than sufficient. Google is not attempting the now not unusual trick of stuffing a telephone with an over the top quantity of RAM purely for advertising causes.

With reference to the specifications, smartphone does not appear precisely bleeding edge, and the benchmarks I have made verify this observation by way of surroundings the Pixel 2 XL on rankings very similar to its opponents:

Google Pixel 2 XL: benchmark effects

 Smartphone  3-d Mark Sling Shot Excessive ES three.1 3-d Mark Sling Shot ES three.zero 3-d Mark Ice Typhoon Limitless ES 2.zero Geekbench four – unmarried core Geekbench four – multi core
OnePlus five 3736 4441 40819 1944 6555
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 2527 2787 31829 1522 5403
Apple iPhone eight Plus 2675 3663 63361
Google Pixel 2 XL 3581 4763 38069 1873 6291

Apple has taught us, then again, that the numbers imprinted on the datasheet and benchmarks do not constantly inform the total tale. Google has if truth be told labored laborious to optimize and device with a philosophy this is nearer yearly to the only utilized by the Cupertino corporate. The consequences are obviously visual to any individual.

This telephone flies! Slide fluidly between the quite a lot of apps as handiest Google and Apple smartphones know the way to do. Opening apps is speedy and you’re going to by no means in finding your self in eventualities the place your smartphone will have to forestall to “suppose” all through even essentially the most excessive multitasking.

Heavy 3-d video games do not rigidity the Pixel 2 XL, nevertheless it must be mentioned that no smartphone with identical has any actual issues on this appreciate. Internet surfing hasn’t ever been an issue, and generally, surfing between internet pages, social media feeds and different apps hasn’t ever been so relaxing for an Android person.

AndroidPIT Google Pixel 2 XL 1589
The 2 new Pixels percentage the similar specifications sheet, however a separate show. / © AndroidPIT

It is not at all that makes this Pixel 2 XL particular, however you will not feel sorry about the acquisition of this smartphone in prefer of fashions with extra exaggerated specs. The nice enjoy it gives is in a position to make any individual who makes use of it remember the fact that higher specs do not constantly imply a greater ultimate enjoy.

So far as the remainder of the is worried, we clearly in finding NFC, Bluetooth five.zero and the entire connectivity we want as LTE cat 15 and WIFI a/b/g/n/ac Twin Band antennas. The USB Kind-C three.1 USB port is very good for connecting to a PC, which promises upper switch speeds than the typical for smartphones with USB Kind-C 2.zero.

Google Pixel 2 XL audio

Google has integrated two entrance stereo audio system in each its new smartphones. The ensuing sound is powerful, sufficiently wealthy and delightful. In case you are partial to the outdated Boomsound of HTC, you’ll be able to even be glad with those audio system.

The quantity does not succeed in the speaker ranges of the iPhone eight Plus, when gazing movies and taking part in video games, you’ll be able to recognize the site. You will not duvet both of the audio system with the palm of your hand when grabbing your smartphone as is the case on many competing units.

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Would you surrender the audio jack in trade for stereo audio system? / © AndroidPIT

One of the most unique Pixel’s major promoting issues final yr used to be the presence of the three.5mm headphone jack, so it is a pity that Google modified its thoughts and made up our minds to not come with it this time. You are going to nonetheless discover a USB Kind-C mini-jack adapter within the field, however no headphones are integrated.

Having to depend virtually unquestionably on Bluetooth headphones, it’s fulfilling to notice that a minimum of many efforts were made in regards to wi-fi audio high quality. All prime quality Bluetooth formats equivalent to Sony’s LDAC and Qualcomm’s aptX/aptX HD are to be had.

Google has additionally presented the popularity of offline track at once from the At all times On show with out even the wish to ask. Your smartphone can pay attention to the encompassing atmosphere each 60 seconds and, if it acknowledges a track, a small message seems on the backside of the always-on show with monitor name and artist.

The popularity can rely on a catalog of about 10,000 tracks that may be known utterly offline and with out sending information to Google servers, which is okay. Tracks will likely be continuously up to date and mechanically modified underneath a Wi-Fi community. Clicking at the small observe on the backside of the display screen brings up Google Assistant with the entire data associated with the known track.

Google Pixel 2 XL digicam

The entrance digicam is eight MP with f/2.four and glued center of attention. With reference to the rear digicam, Google opted for a unmarried 12.2 MP sensor and f/1.eight aperture. In each sensors, the scale of person pixels is 1.4μm, however the rear digicam has twin pixel generation, which is used for PDAF focusing (helped by way of laser) and bokeh impact software with out the will for a double digicam.

MVIMG 20171027 090916
On this scenario, the utterly black structures have been visual to the bare eye and the daylight used to be blinding. / © AndroidPIT

When taking an image in portrait mode, the digicam is in a position to create a intensity map of the scene by way of calculating the diversities detected by way of the 2 adjoining pixels within the sensor, which might be then processed to blur the background into the image. The entrance digicam additionally has this mode however makes use of a special and not more actual gadget. The method is a lot more advanced than that, and an in-depth learn about of the topic will unquestionably come.

The smartphone can report 4K and 30 frames consistent with 2nd video the usage of a hybrid symbol stabilization gadget that mixes OIS (of which the rear digicam is provided) and EIS with superb effects. Google has supplied the Pixel 2 telephones with a chip devoted to symbol processing, designed in collaboration with Intel, which will likely be activated with Android eight.1 known as Pixel Visible Core.

The Google Pixel 2 XL may be supplied with Google Lens capability that can let you have more information out of your pictures. In his evaluate of the Google Pixel 2, my colleague Benoit Pepicq will cross into extra element in regards to the serve as.

Google Pixel 2 XL battery

My expectancies about battery lifestyles have been very low from the start. The outdated Google Pixel XL that I owned unquestionably did not stand out during its battery lifestyles, and the opposite Android smartphones like S8 Plus and HTC U11 at maximum assured me 5 hours of use for 13-15 hours of being powered on. However, Google has controlled to amaze me.

Do not get me fallacious, it has no longer but accomplished the stratospheric consequence that I accomplished with iPhone eight Plus, however I used to be stunned. Regardless of the QHD+ show, the ever responsive top efficiency processor, the popularity of track and the “OK Google” hotword constantly to be had and very makes use of, the three,520 mAh battery used to be in a position to provide me greater than seven hours of display screen time all through my conventional day. To get this a lot lifestyles out of a top-of-the-range smartphone with superb efficiency is truly spectacular.

pixel battery
Excellent process Google! / © AndroidPIT

And the most efficient factor is that the consequences are constant. The optimization of Google‘s particular and device for this tool truly makes a distinction.

Rapid charging as much as 18W is to be had and any Energy Supply appropriate charger can be used. Although appropriate chargers succeed in 27W the smartphone will handiest price as much as 18W, which is sufficient to give us seven hours of battery lifestyles with 15 mins of charging in line with Google. And, if truth be told, charging is speedy sufficient, similar to different smartphones on this worth vary. It is a pity that we lack wi-fi charging at the moment.

Google Pixel 2 XL technical specs

Dimensions: 157.nine x 76.7 x 7.nine mm
Weight: 175 g
Battery dimension: 3520 mAh
Display dimension: 6 in
Show generation: POLED
Display: 2880 x 1440 pixels (537 ppi)
Entrance digicam: eight megapixels
Rear digicam: 12.three megapixels
Flashlight: Twin-LED
Android model: eight.1 – Oreo
Consumer interface: Inventory Android
RAM: four GB
Inner garage: 64 GB
Detachable garage: No longer to be had
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Choice of cores: eight
Max. clock pace: 2.45 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth five.zero

Ultimate verdict

Google has in spite of everything began to be aware of each facet of the smartphone, even converting the graphics and making a blank UI, speedy and delightful to make use of. The device enjoy is whole due to the total suite of Google apps, which might be constantly rapid and, above all, clever. Each unmarried a part of this device is designed to make lifestyles more uncomplicated: Google Assistant, the brand new Pixel Launcher, fast seek in settings, the improbable digicam with a chip devoted to synthetic intelligence, reputation of offline track and extra.

Regardless of the quite a lot of issues reported within the shows, regardless of the being not anything particular, regardless of the design that didn’t persuade me 100 %…Google has been in a position to enchant me with a very good total enjoy and that leaves no room for unfavourable conclusions. Google has crammed the primary gaps that experience separated me from the primary era Pixel, such because the loss of IP67 certification and the constantly on show, and I am very happy with this.

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Adore it or hate it, the Pixel 2 XL proves very divisive right here within the place of job. / © AndroidPIT

Despite the fact that one may object to many of Google‘s choices with regards to the Pixel 2 XL, I might nonetheless make a choice this smartphone over the contest time and again, as a result of that is nonetheless undeniably the most efficient Android smartphone, so far as the overall person enjoy is worried.

You’ll’t say that you’ve got truly attempted Android till you have got owned a Pixel, and as soon as attempted, it is truly laborious to return. Your checking account may no longer precisely love you for the paying the cost of this data, then again.

The place to shop for Google Pixel 2 XL

Easiest worth

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