We must recognize that the short reach of the distribution of the first generation of Pixel phones left us with a bad taste in our mouths. But it seems that Google has amended this lack, because its Pixel 2 XL will reach all markets and also will do so with specifications that should shake their rivals in the high range.
A phone that of course, assembles the best Qualcomm processor, which boasts a screen and design, but above all, photographic equipment. A terminal with a price of $849 (now with a free case) that we will see if it justifies in this, our in-depth analysis of the Google Pixel 2 XL.
After saying goodbye to the Nexus family, Google focused its mobile forces on bringing high-end phones to the market, and that’s how the first Pixel were born , to which now these new and vitaminized Pixel 2 happen, which, as we can see, have a technical sheet to be able to show off.
Pixel 2 XL data sheet
|PROCESSOR||Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835|
|DIMENSIONS||157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm|
|SCREEN||6-inch pOLED Resolution QHD 1440 x 2880 pixels (~ 538 ppi) Gorilla Glass 5 and Wide Color Gamut|
|ANDROID VERSION||Android 8.1 with Google UI|
|REAR CAMERA||12.2 MP f / 1.8 and 1.4μm pixels, OIS, EIS, PDAF, LDAF|
|FRONTAL CAMERA||8MP, 1.4μm pixels, f / 2.4, fixed focus|
|CONNECTIVITY||4G LTE, Wi-Fi a / b / g / n / ac, NFC and Bluetooth 5.0|
|OTHERS||Fingerprint reader, IP67 protection, E-SIM, stereo speakers, Active Edge, USB-c|
|COLORS||Black / White and black|
Design: first surprise, then love
We wanted to see how this terminal looked in hand, because its design in renders was most promising. At first glance it is a terminal with differentiating elements that make it striking at the same time as different from the others. In hand it is comfortable and the grip is easy due to its size, restrained despite a diagonal of 6 inches.
It is a very pleasant phone to the touch and it offers good feeling of resistance. Its back is metallic, but it is curious that it does not look like it, since Google has made a special treatment that results in it looking like plastic, a quality plastic, but plastic after all.
This is actually something positive, because we like this type of finish more or less, it gives the phone a degree of roughness that results in a better grip, ergo, less possibility of slips and falls. But not all the back is of this material, since the upper third of the phone is in shiny glass, just above the fingerprint reader.
And yes, the fingerprint sensor is located in the back, a location that you may like more or less but that allows you to take more advantage of the front of the phone. On the operating level sensor we will say that the experience has been positive: it is pleasant to the touch, fast identifying and nothing erratic.
We said that the rear location of the sensor opens possibilities to a better use of the front, however, the Pixel 2 XL embraces your screen with frames, reduced yes, but frames after all, and something that begins to be strange to see among the most important flagships.
Screen: mixed feelings
The polemics around the POLED panels chosen for the Pixel 2 have come true and we have to say that this element has left us quite disconcerted, because it is not a screen that does justice to a product as round as this Google Pixel 2. But let’s begin by describing it.
We speak of a screen – as we say POLED – of 6 inches with QHD resolution with a contrast or calibration of the color that leaves a lot to be desired and that from Google justify that it is well designed to achieve greater fidelity of color in the panel, more naturalness.
But in addition to the little contrast and naturalflat color reproduction, the Google Pixel has a bigger problem with its screen, and it is that the bluish tone in which the screen returns when we look at it from big angles is very, very evident in this Pixel 2 XL.
Performance: the fastest on this side of the market
We can say it higher but no more clear: there is no Android terminal that moves as smoothly as the Pixel 2 XL. This terminal makes any other Android of the most powerful that has just come out of the oven and we do not seem so fast, and not only are our feelings, but also the results of performance tests that give us the reason for this.
Where is the secret? Well it was easy to deduce: one ends with Android 8.0 tuned to the fullest by Google, since at the level of specifications it loads the usual pack of range stops for this 2017: Snapdragon 835, 4 GB of RAM (LPDDR4x) and 64 GB of internal memory.
Of course, nothing to expand the ROM via microSD, Google wants us to give use to its unlimited storage system of photos and videos in the cloud that it offers with Google Photos and that is maintained in original quality until January 15, 2021 completely free of charge for the owners of a Pixel 2.
Autonomy: hard days test
The Google Pixel 2 XL mounts a 3520 mAh battery without having to sacrifice its silhouette and thanks to it, we have managed to pass beyond the working day without having to resort to any battery saving mode. And we are not talking about a “quiet” day but one of those days that we submit to terminals in our tests.
Photography, YouTube, alternating between Wi-Fi and data, with a lot of social network consumption, instant messaging and with notifications jumping every moment. With this behavior we believe that a user, who uses such an exaggerated, would be able to spend the entire day but yes, without abusing the screen.
In the PCMark Work autonomy test, the terminal passes 6 and a half hours and in screen time, the use of the Pixel 2 XL has left us on average for 5-6 hours. In terms of charging time, the phone takes 25% to reach half an hour and the full charge is made in two hours, something rather slow compared to other fast charging systems.
Software: Oreo in its purest form
One of the main reasons that can lead us to opt for one of this new Pixel is, without a doubt, the possibility of enjoying the best Android experience on the market. And is that not only Google releases the latest version of your OS on their phones, but they are designed so that Android 8.0 flow like silk in them.
The best of Android 8.0 is its speed of operation, the PiP, perfect on generous screens, and that the system is increasingly intuitive and more convenient to use, especially at the level of notifications.
Camera: not always two is better than one
The camera has become one of the star elements when choosing a terminal and although the Google Pixel 2016 already highlighted in this section, the Pixel 2 XL exceeds and by far, many times. This year’s camera arrives with aperture f1.8, much brighter, and also includes OIS, which adds to the electronic stabilization of the previous Pixel.
The sensors are 12 megapixels with phase detection with automatic focus on the main camera and 8 with fixed focus for the front. How has this configuration been translated in terms of photos? Well, it is hard to find situations where the Google Pixel 2 XL does not offer excellent results, with good color reproduction, even in skin tones, level of detail with good light: in short, a delicious experience.
With no light Pixel 2 XL exceeds its rivals, and not by the noise reduction that is almost more noticeable than in other terminals such as Galaxy Note 8 or HTC U11, but in the final result, as we can Observe in the following sample photograph.
But the most fascinating of the camera of this terminal is in portrait mode, which also boasts to be the result of a single sensor. Here Google shows us that the results of a good portrait mode partly owe their results to good software, and the evidence is sent to us.
If we have to find a “snag” to the camera of Pixel 2 XL would be, in any case, the interface of the application, which is simple, and that is somewhat short for those who like to go beyond shooting and little else.
Google Pixel 2 XL, the opinion
The Pixel 2 XL is with all of the law an impressive terminal that justifies the $849 it costs with an impeccable performance, the latest Android running through its veins and a design that, despite maintaining frames, is completely competitive in the high-end.
The camera deserves special mention, and that is without a doubt, it has left us one of the best sensations so far with a smartphone, however we cannot say the same about the POLED panel that it assembles. A pity this last, because this Pixel 2 XL could be one of the firm candidates for best smartphone of 2017.