Google just unveiled their new range of smartphones. Namely a 5-inch Pixel 2 and a larger 6-inch Pixel 2 XL. Here are my first impressions

Design

Unlike the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, these new Pixels are not a remake of the old design from 2016.

Both have a metal back with a glass top panel that doesn’t enable wireless charging. No other 2017 Flagship has a metal back, giving the Pixel 2s a unique premium feel.

Sadly, the smaller Pixel 2 has an ugly design on the back. The Rear camera, instead of being in a corner or the center of the top panel, sits in an awkward position. The thick bezels on the front might be a major turnoff for some people.

The larger Pixel 2 XL is simply beautiful. With its glass that curves around the edges, slim bezels, high screen-to-body ratio and the properly positioned rear camera, it overcomes the downsides of its smaller brother.

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have a button with colors contrasting the aluminum body, which for me is a nice touch. However, for a more executive look, the ‘Just Black’ color option will do the job.

Display

The Pixel 2 has a 5-inch 1920×1080 pOLED screen which is perfect for a phone this size.

The Pixel 2 XL has a taller 6-inch 2880×1440 pOLED screen with an 18:9 aspect ratio and rounded corners. It looks very similar to an S8 but without a curved screen. Google has done a great job with the Pixel 2 XL by pitting a 6-inch screen onto what is otherwise a 5.5 inch chassis.

Features

With the new Pixels you get unlimited cloud storage for all your photos and videos in original quality. A great feature for people like me who take a lot of photos.

Front facing speakers are an asset that’s absent in almost all flagships today, Save the Pixel 2. Even the Pixel 2 XL found enough space to put two of them despite the obvious lack of space in the bezels.

There is also a pressure sensitive side, similar to the one we saw on HTC U11. Simply squeeze to launch Google Assistant. Thank God there is no Bixby button.

It also has, what Google claims to be, the fastest fingerprint scanner ever.

The absence of a headphone jack is a bad call on an otherwise perfect phone.

With Google lens paired with Assistant, the ability automatically identify the song that’s being played at a bar or party, IP67 water resistance, Always on display and a lot more, the Pixel 2 and 2 XL are packed with features that are actually useful.

Camera

The Pixel 2 and 2 XL both have the same cameras; The highest rated smartphone camera ever! with a DxO Mark score of 98, Google is aiming for the moon. The larger pixel size of 1.6μm and smaller aperture of f/1.8 promises great performance in low light. The 12.2 Megapixel sensor strikes the balance between pixel size and resolution.

Both have a portrait mode on both the front and rear shooters without having a secondary lens. Thanks to Machine learning.

Performance

Nothing crazy here, with a Snapdragon 835 and Adreno 540 both the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL have what it takes to be a flagship in 2017.

Battery

The Pixel 2 and 2 XL has a 2700mAh and 3520mAh battery respectively. With great optimisations in Android Oreo both these devices are sure to last more than one day even with heavy use. It also has quick charge, Google claims 7 hours of use with a 15-minute charge.

Pricing

Unlike last year, Google didn’t price their Pixels like iPhones. Not only are they less expensive than their iOS competition, but also better in some places.

With a price tag from 650-950$ the Pixel 2 and 2 XL are well priced.

Verdict

Android’s most anticipated phone of 2017 didn’t disappoint with it’s specs or pricing. Already my favorite; Without doubt, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is one of the best phone you can get right now.

-Salmanul Fares

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