What’s the best smartphone money can buy; if you want one right now. iPhone X??? But wait that’s not an android phone, so what other options are you left with? It’s most likely that an average consumer will speak out some big names in the game like Samsung S8, Note 8 or LG V30, but if you ask some tech enthusiasts, you might hear these names like Oneplus 5T, Google Pixel 2/2 XL, Razer phone. The other group of people has hardly even heard of these smartphones. Let’s discuss Google’s new smartphone Pixel 2 XL here.
Design and Built
Starting with the design, Google has really stepped up this year with the minimal bezel and slightly refreshed look compared to Pixel and Pixel XL from last year. With the aluminum build and partial mix of the glass window at the top, this thing totally stands out from the crowd of glossy and fragile glass-made smartphones trend these days. Available in black and white variants, it has tactile power and volume buttons on the right side with sim tray at the left, there is just one USB Type-C port though.
Last year Google had mocked Apple for removing 3.5 mm headphone jack from iPhone but they went down the same road this time. However, that has been compensated with one of the best front-facing speakers which only a few smartphones have been able to manage, they are loud and clear with decent audio. The fingerprint scanner is at the perfect spot at the back which is one of the best out there and to add up, this device is IP67 rated for dust and water resistance.The battery performance is also excellent in this device, for me, it easily lasted one to two days on heavy and light usage respectively.
Now, the most important feature that consumers look up to their smartphones; camera, Pixel 2 XL has the best smartphone camera, hands down. DxOMark has also rated it with the highest smartphone camera rating. Some may argue with iPhone and Samsung having better cameras but they are mostly saturated and seems eye-pleasing with artificial effects.
What Google has to offer is more natural and sharper images with best low-light performance ever. It also has bonus features like Google lens and portrait mode on both front and rear cameras that the other smartphones boast about. Most flagships getting dual lens set up, Google does it with just a single lens that uses dual pixel technology. If the camera is your highest priority, you should definitely consider this device.
Software and Pixel Exclusive
The software experience is just awesome on this device, there is no lag at all. Apps open quickly, the UI animation is buttery, RAM management is good. There’s Google Assistant built in which can be summoned by voice or a special feature where you can squeeze the lower bottom for triggering it. On top of that Google offers all new android updates on this device until 2020 with unlimited Google Photos upload on full resolution. Minor tweaks like ambient display, changeable theme color according to wallpaper background, Google exclusive live wallpapers, Now Playing feature and reorganized overall UI gives the users totally satisfying android experience.
This device could be almost a perfect smartphone if it wasn’t for that display. With mostly three issues that people are reporting, the first one was the low saturated display not being as vibrant like other smartphones out there which was done by Google on purpose to make it look as natural as possible with that color gamut thing but the company released an update to fix it by giving options to change the saturation mode.
The other two problems are more of a personal preference and hardware issues, being the blueish color shift when the display is tilted and the screen burning issues that only a few are complaining. Both these issues are typical OLED panel properties, most of the other smartphones exhibit these issues as well. Personally, I didn’t notice any of these issues while using this device daily.
157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm
Android 8.0 (Oreo)
Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 Octa-core (4×2.35 GHz Kryo & 4×1.9 GHz Kryo)
4 GB LPDDR4x
Primary: 12.2 MP (f/1.8, 27mm, 1/2.6″, 1.4 µm, Dual Pixel PDAF) with EIS and OIS
Secondary: 8 MP (f/2.4, 27mm, 1/3.2″, 1.4 µm)
USB 3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector (PowerDelivery 2.0)
Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
Volume adjustment buttons, power button
Non-removable Li-Ion 3520 mAh
To conclude, Google Pixel 2 XL is more of a simple and smooth software experience with zero bloatware rather than flashy additional features and heavy skin that other smartphones these days has to offer. Whereas having not miss out on useful features which is a must for any 2017 flagship.
You might find better value for money like Oneplus 5T at the moment but with some compromises, Oneplus 5T review here. If you are ready to spend that extra money and have the best smartphone experience, Pixel 2 XL is the best choice for anyone. The pricing at Google store is 850$ for 64GB and 950$ for the 128GB variant. If you want one in Nepal, unfortunately, you just have to reach out to your cousins, friends or any relatives in US, Australia or some other foreign countries or if you are lucky enough, you might find one in one of the stores in Newroad who sell imported electronics.