Pixel 2 XL – The Best One Out There?

When Google released their first self-branded phone last in the form of the Google Pixel and the Google Pixel XL, it earned rave reviews from almost every reporter out there. But somehow, that success did not translate into success among the consumers. The Pixel 2 XL is Google’s 2nd try at the premium (large) smartphone market. Does it do enough to justify its premium price tag? (Retailing at Rs. 60,000) Let’s find out.

 

Hardware

Being a flagship phone, Google made sure to include the best internals on this phone. It has the latest Snapdragon 835 SOC accompanied by 4GB of RAM. The build of the phone is phenomenal. It is made of Super premium materials. The coating around the aluminum body adds a nice texture and grip to the phone. The black glass panel is extremely glossy which means more scratches and fingerprints so that may annoy some users out there. The fingerprint sensor is quick and the edge squeeze feature is a nice gimmick. The biggest miss here is the lack of the headphone jack which could be a deal breaker for a lot of users who do not own wireless headphones yet. The missing 3.5mm jack is possibly the only thing stopping it from being called one of the most well-built phones.

 

Display

The screen of the Pixel 2 XL is an LG manufactured 5.5” display with 2K resolution. The screen issues of the AMOLED panel by LG have been well established by now which is something that shouldn’t be excusable on a flagship phone. But credit must go out to Google who have more or less rectified that with their software updates. It is noticeably less saturated than other phones, especially when the screen brightness is set to low, but anything over 30% brings it pretty much on par with most of the other phones out there apart from the Galaxy Series and the iPhone X. The thing that slightly stands out is that blue-ish color you see when looking at the phone at an angle but is something that is a manufacturing defect. For a regular user, this screen is still one of the best out there. But here’s hoping Google will respond strongly with the Pixel 3.

 

Camera

Lets just get this over with. The Pixel 2 XL has the best camera on any smartphone in the world. This isn’t an overstatement. The camera clicks absolutely beautiful shots and is aided by the amazing HDR+ mode on the Camera Application. It captures photos quickly and with excellent results in all lighting conditions. The Pixel is the only phone which can click pretty accurate Portrait photos without using a dual lens using just software. It blows every phone out of the water in this aspect including the iPhone X and the Note 8. There is also a google designed custom chip for the camera which should help the camera improve over time. All in all, the combination of software/AI helps it be the best camera phone in the market.

 

Software

Android is made by Google. The Pixel 2 is made by Google. So there are no surprises that Android Oreo runs smoothly on this phone. It will be the first phone to get future Android and Security updates. Being guaranteed with 3 years of OS updates also signifies Google’s commitment to the Pixel series. This is by far the best version of android out there currently (obviously). There isn’t a single app on the Google Play Store that won’t run smoothly on this phone. The software is where iOS and Android really start to compete. Android has made huge strides recently and the Pixel exploits it wonderfully and gives the user the best possible Mobile OS experience. It feels faster not just in general use but apps also seem to run quicker than on other phones/OSes. Popular apps like Instagram and Snapchat run as well as their iOS counterparts. The Google Assistant also recognizes speech extremely well and performs a multitude of functions which should not be a surprise as Google is clearly leading on AI. The brilliant software on this phone makes a delight for everyone to use- from developers to casual users.

 

Bottom Line

The Pixel 2 XL has a few flaws – the display being one of them and of course the lack of a headphone jack. But there are a lot of things the Phone does better than any phone on the market. The combination of top level hardware and brilliant software makes it the best phone to use for a user. The promise of future updates almost guarantees that it’ll only get better. The price may be steep for the hardware it offers but the software makes it worth it. The Pixel 2 XL is truly one of the best phone (if not the best) phone out there for sure.