Last year, Google brought something exciting to the Android scene – the cutting-edge Google Pixel, along with its bigger brother the Pixel XL. Almost a year later, and the tech giant is back with two new upgrades.
Boasting the highest rated camera ever (DxOMark Mobile rating), both the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL are seriously advanced smartphones. But what’s the difference between the two, and which model is right for you?
Google Pixel 2 & 2 XL design
Both the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL feature a sleek metal unibody for maximum style and durability. Google’s new smartphones are also both IP67 dust and water-resistant, providing an additional layer of protection to both devices.
You’ll find the same two-toned design seen on the original Pixel on both models, but Google has relocated the fingerprint scanner to the back of the handset to allow for larger displays. With the slimmer bezels and larger screen on the Pixel 2 XL, it's not difficult to tell the two apart.
Need a helping hand? You can ask questions, set reminders or even take a selfie with Google Assistant, which is launched by simply squeezing the phone.
Google Pixel 2 & 2 XL display
Similar to the previous model, the Pixel 2 features a beautiful 5-inch full HD screen. With AMOLED technology built in, images appear clear and bright, while sturdy Corning Gorilla Glass 4 withstands the bumps and scratches of everyday use. As for the Pixel 2 XL, bigger may just mean better, thanks to its almost edge-to-edge display. Its QHD screen stands at 6-inches, making it ideal for viewing movies online or playing graphics-heavy games.
New to both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is the always-on display. View the time, date, reminders and more without having to touch the device, and thanks to an innovative on-board library, the Pixel 2 and 2 XL will recognise whatever song is playing around you and display it on the screen – even without an internet connection.
Google's very own personal assistant shows off the impressive work the company have been doing with AI. While available on the first Pixel, the addition of Google Lens for the Pixel 2 is an example of how Google are making vast improvements to their intelligent assistant every day.
Basic commands, like creating reminders and sending texts are a breeze. Newer features are much more exciting and include instant song identification, money transfers, tracking airline prices. You can even use Google Assistant on your phone with smart appliances - such as smart ovens, dishwashers or central heating.
Google Pixel 2 & 2 XL camera
Google has added the same superb camera to both the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. It’s so good that the trusted industry standard for camera and lens image quality - DxOMark Mobile – has rated the Pixel 2 and 2 XL the highest-rated cameras ever on a mobile device.
The 12.2MP rear camera can capture some amazing shots, with dual-pixel autofocus and HDR+ technology. Photos are brilliant even in bright or low light and it’s easy to add a Bokeh effect or use portrait mode thanks to built-in software.
Making its debut on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is Google Lens, powered by AI technology. Just point your camera at an object, building or photograph and Google Lens will recognise what it's looking at and bring up a host of information. For example, if you place the Pixel 2's camera towards a restaurant you'll see reviews, opening times and address info.
Position the camera at the SSID sticker on your router (the sticker with your internet's username and password) and your phone will automatically connect to Wi-Fi. Equally as cool, if you place the lens towards a drink - be it beer, wine or orange juice - Google Lens will take a guess at what's inside the glass.
Google Pixel 2 & 2 XL power
You’ll find the same impressive specs inside both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Powering each device is a powerful octa-core processor, 4GB of RAM and Android Oreo, the latest Android operating system. As for storage? Both of Google’s new smartphones offer a choice between 64GB and 128GB models.
The extra-large screen on the Pixel 2 XL requires a little extra juice, so the Pixel 2 XL is equipped with a larger battery than the regular Pixel 2. This clocks in at 3520mAh compared to 2700mAh, to help with the heavy lifting.
When it comes to charging, you won't have to wait around for long, thanks to rapid charging letting you power up up to 7 hours of life in just 15-minutes.
Google Pixel 2 & 2XL Audio
The 3.5mm headphone jack has been replaced on both models with USB type c connection for flawless digital audio. You can also listen to your favourite songs on Google's first wireless headphones, Pixel Buds (sold separately). Working with Google Assistant, Pixel Buds can do more than send music to your ears - you can set reminders, access messages and follow satnav directions.
One truly innovative feature of Pixel Buds is the ability to translate foreign languages. If someone speaks Italian, for example, you'll hear a real-time translation fed back to you.
Which Google Pixel is right for you?
Still struggling to decide? If you simply adore the big-screen phablet experience, then the premium Google Pixel 2 XL is sure to be a hit. Its smaller brother, the Pixel 2, is just as impressive however, and you’ll find the same ground-breaking Google technology inside for a lower price tag – ideal if you don’t need a huge screen.