On Wednesday 4th October, Google announced the 2nd generation of their Pixel smartphones, the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. These are the predecessors of last year’s flagships; Pixel, and Pixel XL.
With this year’s edition, the Pixel 2 XL has seen some substantial design changes while the Pixel 2 has somewhat remained the same in terms of design. However, both of these smartphones have seen significant advancement in technology. Google Pixel 2 seems like a worthy challenger for Apple’s flagship iPhone x though we won’t lay our hands on it for quite some time.
Just like in last year’s models, Google is leveraging heavily on the capabilities of their AI-infused engine, the Google Assistant. The company claimed that Google Assistant is now even smarter than it used to be, and Google CEO, Sundar Pichai also pumped this further by saying that the company’s mission is AI-first. Here, let’s take an overview at what we expect from Google’s new smartphones.
Both Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 come in two variants; the 64 GB version and the 128 GB version. The 64 GB Pixel XL will start at $649 while the double-storage version will sell from $749. The flagships come in three colors; Black, White and Blue.
As for the Pixel 2 XL, the 64 GB version will start at $849, and the bigger version almost matches Apple’s iPhone X at $949. It comes in either Black or Black & White.
In this year’s edition, Google switched from the 5.5-inch display in Pixel XL to a 6-inch display. Though not a perfect edge-to-edge display, it almost covers the entire face of the smartphone. Pixel 2 sticks with its 5-inch display that features squared-off corners and thick bezels. Both pixels, however, boast OLED displays with 1080 p resolutions and 2880 x 1440 resolution for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL respectively.
Fingerprint Sensor, not Facial ID
Unlike iPhone X, the new Pixel smartphones will be using the fingerprint sensor, which Google says is the fastest on any smartphone. This may be judged for now, but whether its good or bad will be seen after iPhone X hits the market. Though Apple later explained for it, the facial ID failed during the iPhone X launch.
Last year, Google Pixels were set apart by their Camera. Though they have now been overtaken, Google is hoping to do that again with this year’s cameras. Both phones sport a 12.2-megapixel rear camera with a f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization.
Further, the camera uses a “dual-pixel sensor,” technology that divides a pixel by 2. This will allow for faster autofocus and the blurred background effect we’ve seen with iPhone 8. Note that Google achieves it with a single camera!
Google has introduced a new feature to their smartphones, the ‘Active Edge.’ This squeezable feature means that you can just squeeze the sides of the phone to trigger certain actions.
The default action is launching the Google Assistant and silence phone calls. This feature was first seen on the HTC U11 smartphone. This is perhaps not a coincidence, given HTC was developing the Pixel 2 hardware. Earlier on, Google also bought HTC’s hardware wing.
That’s it for now!