The new Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have several improvements over the original Pixel that was launched last year. Among the updates is the camera, which got the highest rating of any smartphone camera from DxO-Mark with a score of 98. It can take impressive photos in any lighting, and it can accomplish this with the help of Google’s computational photography and machine learning. It also includes “Portrait Mode” which blurs the background of the subject, and it works on both the front facing and rear facing cameras. Google has combined optical and electronic video stabilization for better video capture as well.
In addition to taking great photos, Google’s Pixel 2 phones can give you information from those photos. Using Machine Learning and advancements in Google’s computer vision, it can tell you about landmarks, books, music albums, movies, and artwork by tapping the Lens icon in Google Photos.
Google Assistant is a key part of the Pixel 2 experience, and now you can get to it quicker using a new feature called Active Edge. By giving the phone a quick squeeze, you can activate the Assistant and ask for what you need. It can now help you manage more settings and apps on your phone, too. For instance, you can say “turn on do not disturb” instead of going into settings, and you can control your music, smart home devices, and more.
Google boasts “all day” battery life on the Pixel 2 based on a mix of talk, data, and standby use with the always on display off. A 15 minute quick charge can give you up to seven hours of usage. The phones are water and dust resistant with an IP67 rating. One of the biggest advantages to having the Pixel phone is that it’s a pure Android experience, meaning there’s no additional software overlays installed. This also means you’ll get security and operating system updates right away from Google. It ships with the latest version of Android, which is 8.0 Oreo.
The Pixel 2 is available in two sizes. The regular “Pixel 2” has a 5-inch OLED display, and comes in Just Black, Clearly White, and Kinda Blue. The larger “Pixel 2 XL” has a 6-inch pOLED 18:9 display has significantly reduced bezels and comes in Just Black and Black & White. It comes with either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage. Google has partnered with Verizon, so the phone is available at Verizon stores and the Google Store online. It starts at $649.