The Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL are Google’s newest smartphones and in a manner of speaking, Google’s most recent attempt at becoming a hardware company. Google is not particularly new to hardware, in the past, they have experimented with the Nexus range through partnerships with other OEMs, however after acquiring HTC’s engineering talent and trying again, with the first generation Pixel devices, you could tell that they had learnt a few things from their past experiments and the new devices—the Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL are meant to consolidate on those gains.
I’ll be reviewing the, larger of the two devices Google Pixel 2 XL, (both devices are pretty much the same, except that the smaller one features a smaller 5-inch display, made by Samsung, while the larger one features a 6-inch display made by LG. The smaller one also has larger bezels, and a smaller battery).
The device ships in a two-tone box, with an image of the device that’s inside, on it. It’s the kind of box you’ll have come to associate with Google over time. On one side of the box, you’ll find the side profile of the device, and on the opposite side, you’ll find a notice that Google’s Assistant is “inside.”
Taking off the cover, which was a bit tricky for me as there’s a near invisible tape holding it together on one side—reveals the Pixel 2 XL, wrapped in a translucent plastic sheet, face down in a cradle in the box. The plastic sheet is pretty plain, except for the printed active-edge guide, which tells you that you can squeeze the phones sides to activate Google Assistant.
Underneath the phone’s cradle, you’ll find a USB A to USB C adapter, which is handy for transferring your old phone’s content to the new one, safety documentation and a quick start guide, a sim removal tool, a USB C cable, a USB C to 35mm Audio adapter jack and a Fast charge ready travel adapter.
The device itself looks sleek in an understated way, its thin and nice to hold. The rubberised metal back feels good as well, but a combination of the thinness and rubberised back makes the phone feel a tad too slippery for my liking.
The device from the front is a pretty much edge-to-edge covered in glass. With the display off, you get the impression that all of it is display, but that changes as soon as it comes on, and you notice the thin bezels and chin.
A lot has been said about the display online, which I won’t rehash now, but might address in the full review, but I’ll say this: Do not believe everything you read on the internet.
The back of the device is a nice two-tone finish (the review unit features a two-tone black finish, however the 2 XL is also available in white and black, while the smaller Pixel 2 is available in both the above colours and an additional “kinda blue.”
The contrast between matte black rubberised metal and black glass on the back is aesthetically pleasing. There’s a 12-megapixel camera with the slightest of bumps at the back, along with an LED flash at the top left corner, a fingerprint scanner smack in the middle of the upper third of the device and a muted Google logo and certification signs at the bottom.
All in all, the device feels solid, great to hold and good to look at.
As you can tell, I’m trying not to give too much away at this point, but I can tell you that there’s a lot to love and not a lot not to about this device.
I’ll stop here for now, but I’ll be back with a detailed review soon.
I’ll leave you with some hands on photos.