Google Gets Serious About Hardware
The Most Important Things to Know About Google’s New iPhone Rival, the Pixel 2 & Pixel 2 XL
The next iterations of the Google Pixel line are now official and match most of what was revealed in the leaks. Here are the biggest improvements and changes found in the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2.
1. The camera on both devices is the touted as being the best in any smartphone.
This is thanks in large part to Google’s application of machine learning. Famed third-party camera consulting service and rating service DXO gave the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL a score of 98, which is higher than the iPhone 8’s 94 and significantly higher than last year’s Pixel score of 89.
The camera hardware boasts a 12.2MP rear camera paired with a f/1.8 lens that’s faster than last year’s version. The new device also adds optical image stabilization.
Google says the cameras use “dual-pixels” that work, apparently, by dividing every standard pixel in two. Google says this technology makes autofocus faster. It also allows both the front and rear cameras on either new Pixel device to mimic Apple’s Portrait Mode without needing an additional lens.
This combination of hardware and software likewise means the Pixel 2’s rear camera will be the first to support Google Lens, which can identify objects, scenes, and other elements. Support for augmented reality capabilities similar to the new iPhone 8 and upcoming iPhone X are present as well.
2. Both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL feature OLED screens.
The Pixel 2 looks very similar to the original Pixel. It features a 5-inch full HD OLED display. The Pixel 2 XL has a much different look from its predecessor. The new pOLED, QHD+, 18:9 display features minor side bezels, similar to the look of Samsung’s latest flagships. It’s jumped from 5.5 to 6 inches in size; both screens also feature a circular polarizer, which makes them easier to read while wearing polarized sunglasses.
3. Both devices are available for preorder now and ship on October 19.
The Pixel 2 starts at $649. The Pixel 2 XL will start at $849. The 128GB versions of both cost $100 more. You can preorder here.
4. Buyers will get free cloud storage for images and video (again).
As with the first Pixel launch, Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL owners will get free cloud storage for all videos and images captured using the device, for life and at full quality. This is a significant upgrade over Google’s existing free photo-storage service that allows any user to store images and videos at a compressed image quality. Especially when you consider the Pixel 2 and 2 XL’s 4k video capabilities.
5. You can unlock both phones with your fingerprint.
Both devices feature a fingerprint sensor conveniently placed in the middle of the device’s rear panel. Google claims “it’s the fastest on any smartphone.”
6. Both are water and dust resistant.
They are IP67 resistant, which means they’re splash proof but not fully waterproof.
7. Neither the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL have a headphone jack.
Traditional headphones can be connected via an adapter.
8. Neither the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL have wireless charging.
Since the bodies of both devices are made of aluminum and Gorilla Glass, wireless charging isn’t supported. Quick charging is though.
9. Both models are available with either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage.
This is less than the 256GB options Apple is offering with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.
10. Both have a few color options, with the Pixel 2 XL getting the most striking combination.
The Pixel 2 is available in color options of “just black”, “kinda blue”, and “clearly white”. The Pixel XL, meanwhile, is available in two colors: “just black”, and “black and white”. Both models have unique color options highlighted with a bright pop of color, in the form of either an orange or seafoam button.
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