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Google aren’t exactly new to the phone market, though their self branded phones are still kind of a novelty. When the company started to produce their own phones we expected a lot, fortunately the original Pixel phone delivered. But is it really time for an update? Can Google really do better than the original? The Pixel 2 is an attempt to improve on what was already close to perfection. Luckily for Google, the 2 is an incredible phone.
Why should you want to get your hands on the Pixel 2? It’s a flagship phone, so there’s tons of power, a great screen, and great cameras. But then, you’d expect all those things. The Pixel 2 is incredible because it’s such a great balance, it just ticks every single box, making it one of the best top end mobiles around.
This is one good looking phone. It’s got rounded corners, sleek edges and a slim line profile. Google have stuck with the glass and metal build seen on the original Pixel, but the design is tweaked to make the form of the phone flow better. The Pixel 2 feels amazing in the hand, solid and premium, and build quality is second to none.
Aside from that design, the Pixel 2 packs a whole lot into that frame. There’s loads of power, an incredible screen, some amazing cameras, and a whole bunch of extras, like the new “side squeeze” feature.
Yes, this is a premium phone, yes, it’s going to cost you. But in terms of return on investment, the Pixel 2 really delivers. This is one of the highest specced and best mobiles out there, and it’s a real pleasure to use.
Top of the list when choosing a top end phone has to be performance, and the Pixel 2 isn’t going to let you down. You’re getting octo core processing power, with a quad core 2.35 GHz and a quad core 1.9 GHz processor running side by side, along with a full 4 GB of RAM. All of that makes the Pixel 2 lightening fast and super responsive.
It’s a Google phone, so you’re running Android, obviously. And the Pixel 2 will be one of the first phones running the latest Android 8.0 Oreo straight out of the box. This gives you a few new features as well as more stability and security. And since this is Google you’ll be running stock Android, meaning there’s no manufacturer interface added on top, and no bloatware. You get pure Android.
Flagship phones need top end performance, and that’s exactly what you’re getting here. The Pixel 2 is extremely responsive and extremely fast, whether you’re running multiple apps or running CPU intensive games the Pixel 2 will do anything you need.
You’ll be getting a superb display as well. You’re getting a 5 inch screen, which really is the perfect size. Typing on screen is easy and comfortable, viewing is great, but you can also slide the Pixel 2 easily into your pocket and use it one handed as well.
In terms of resolution you’re getting 1080 x 1920, so High Definition, and that works out to be around 441 PPI. Whilst this isn’t the highest resolution screen around, picture quality is still sharp and clear. And since this is an AMOLED screen colour reproduction is excellent as well. This is also an always on display, so you can check your notifications and even the time without pressing a button (though you can toggle off this option if you choose).
The display on the Pixel 2 is absolutely beautiful. It’s just the right size, picture quality is sharp, and colours look amazing. No, it’s not the best screen around, but it is right up there, and the specs don’t do it justice, you really need to experience the display in person.
The original Pixel had one of the best mobile cameras around on its release, and the Pixel 2 doesn’t disappoint on the camera front either. At the front of the phone you get an 8 MP, f/2.4 aperture cam which gets amazing pics, particularly with the special “portrait mode” enabled.
Moving around to the rear and you’re seeing a 12.2 MP, f/1.8 aperture camera, with an incredible 1/2.6 sensor. That’s a bit techie, but in basic terms you’re getting a great camera that’s particularly good in low light conditions. You also get optical image stabilisation, phase detection and laser autofocus, dual LED flash, and all the regular HDR/panorama/face detection etc. settings that you’d expect to see on a top end phone.
If you love taking snaps with your mobile, then the Pixel 2 is going to be the perfect fit for you. Pictures are perfectly detailed, with true colour reproduction, and are sharp and clear, even in low light conditions.
Obviously, as a top end phone you’re getting loads of special features, but we do need to single out a few for special attention. Firstly, this is a water resistant phone. An IP67 rating means that the Pixel 2 should be fine in water of up to a metre in depth for up to thirty minutes.
Secondly, Google have added a new way to interact with your phone, a kind of squeeze gesture. But gently squeezing the sides of the Pixel 2 whilst it’s in your hand you’ll automatically launch Google Assistant. The gesture is more natural than it might sound, and makes the Pixel 2 just that bit more convenient to use.
There’s a rear mounted fingerprint sensor, which many people find more comfortable to use than the more traditional front mounted sensor. There’s also quick charge tech for faster battery charging. Finally, it’s worth noting that the Pixel 2 does NOT have a regular headphone jack, so you’ll either need an adaptor or need to use wireless headphones.
|Technology||GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE|
|Dimensions||145.7 x 69.7 x 7.8 mm (5.74 x 2.74 x 0.31 in)|
|Weight||143 g (5.04 oz)|
|SIM||Nano-SIM card & eSIM|
|- IP67 certified - dust and water resistant|
|- Water resistant up to 1 meter and 30 minutes|
|Type||AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||5.0 inches (~67.9% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1080 x 1920 pixels (~441 ppi pixel density)|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass 5|
|- Always-on display|
|- 95% DCI-P3 coverage|
|Chipset||Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835|
|CPU||Octa-core (4x2.35 GHz Kryo & 4x1.9 GHz Kryo)|
|Internal||64/128 GB, 4 GB RAM|
|Primary Camera||12.2 MP, f/1.8, OIS, phase detection & laser autofocus, dual-LED flash|
|Features||1/2.6" sensor size, 1.4 µm pixel size, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama|
|Video||2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps, 720p@240fps|
|Secondary Camera||8 MP, f/2.4, 1/3.2" sensor size, 1.4 µm pixel size, 1080p|
|Alert types||Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones|
|Loudspeaker||Yes, with stereo speakers|
|- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic|
|- Type-C to 3.5 mm headphone jack adapter|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO|
|USB||3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector (PowerDelivery 2.0)|
|Sensors||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer|
|Messaging||SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM|
|- Fast battery charging|
|- MP4/H.264 player|
|- MP3/WAV/eAAC+ player|
|- Photo/video editor|
|- Document editor|
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Ion 2700 mAh battery|
|Colors||Kinda Blue, Just Black, Clearly White|
The Google Pixel 2 is a fantastic phone. With loads of power, a great screen, fantastic cameras, and tons of special features, this is everything you’d expect from a top shelf mobile and then some. If you’re looking for a premium Android device, then the Pixel 2 should definitely be at the top of your list.
Connectivity wise you’re getting the usual suspects: WiFi, 3G, 4G, plus the new 5.0 version of Bluetooth. The Pixel 2 comes in two versions, with either 64 GB or 128 GB of internal memory. There is no SD card slot, however, so you can’t add extra storage.
So, bottom line time, and was there anything we didn’t like about the Pixel 2? Not really, to be honest. We always prefer an SD card slot, but they’re becoming rarer on top end designs. A little higher screen resolution would be nice, but in reality the picture quality on the Pixel 2 is excellent. On the whole, we really love this phone, and think that you will too. If you want a top end Android that will do anything and everything, then definitely check out the Google Pixel 2!
by Dan Forster, Mobile Phone Expert
Dan is our mobile phone review expert helping customers make better buying decisions. With a passion for technology and taking things apart Dan single-handedly reviews all the phones listed on the TigerMobiles.com website.