I was late on getting a Google Pixel 2 XL. When Verizon sent one over for me to check out for a bit, I was hype and skeptical at the same time. I heard great things about the camera and horrible things about the screen. The Galaxy Note8 from Samsung was my daily driver at the time, and you know Samsung comes through when it comes to their displays. As the usual goes, check out the specs and how my time is with the Pixel 2 XL after a couple of months. I used it during the holiday season and at CES 2018.
Google Pixel 2 / Pixel 2 XL Specs
Display: 5 inch (1920 x1080) AMOLED | 441 ppi / 6 inch (2880x 1440) pOLED | 538 ppi (Pixel 2 XL)
Cameras: 12.2 Mp rear-facing camera / 8 megapixel front-facing camera
Processor / RAM: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 / 4GB RAM
Memory: 64GB / 128 GB Internal Memory (no expansion slot)
Battery: 2,700 mah nonremovable / 3,520 mah (Pixel 2 XL)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5 / Wi-Fi / Nano SIM / USB-C / fast charging /
OS: Android Nougat 8.0
Features: Water-resistant IP67 rating | no headphone jack
Design and Build
As you know there are two versions of the Pixel 2. It looks similar to the original Pixel You have the volume buttons on the right border and the power button right above them. Above the 5.2 inch display you have the 8 megapixel front camera. On the back you have the 12 megapixel camera (single lens). And in the top middle, of you have the fingerprint scanner. You won’t find a headphone jack or micro SD card slot.
By the time I got the phone, I already heard of all the screen problems. The dull colors were killer. Especially since I was coming from a Galaxy Note8, which has an incredible display. It was a bit annoying so I downloaded an app that helped balance the colors. When the update came for the display, the experience was a lot better since I was able to look at the phone without cringing. The colorshift was only noticeable when you looked for it.
Android 8.0 runs like a dream. No lag whatsoever. You can also use the HTC-Squeeze feature to activate Google Assistant. I don’t use it much, so I changed the pressure sensitivity so I’d stop accidentally activating the assistant. The fingerprint scanner works quick and is in a good position. The all-black model I am reviewing has a bit of a textured back. It’s not as slippery as it looks. I still use a case on it.
I could NOT wait to try out the camera. I loved the camera on the original Pixel. And I heard the Pixel 2 XL did Portrait Mode very well, with a single lens, at that! Taking pictures of random things is my favorite part of reviewing a phone. I enjoy just snapping away. The Pixel 2 XL camera is the main selling point. It just gets the job done. When cameras shoot awesome pictures in auto mode, that’s a huge deal for me. I share more pictures on my personal Instagram and Google+ pages.
Portrait Mode works 95% percent of the time. Sometimes it blurs out my earrings or my ponytail, but when it works, it just works well. Portrait Mode is the reason a couple of my friends are sold on the Pixel 2. Of course, you have to see the pics to get the idea of portrait mode. I LOVE IT!
It’s one of my fave features that has spoiled me. With Now Playing, Google is always listening to music and identifies it. It may not sound like a big deal, but I use it more than I thought. Of course not everyone is into the “always listening” permissions you have to allow from Google.
Pricing and Availability
The Pixel 2 XL had a pretty hefty price tag at release. It didn’t’ fall in line with the Nexus line or even the original Pixel. Now at Verizon you can get BOGO Pixel 2 deal, or trade in your current phone for a credit. If you pay off the phone in 24 months, it will run you $35.41 per month, or you can pay the full $849.99 price. You can find out more at Verizonwireless.com.
As for Verizon’s wireless service, they may be pricier at times than the other major carriers in the United States, but they have great coverage. I spent a lot of time in Atlanta, Georgia, Las Vegas, Nevada and of course, New York City, and the coverage was great all around. This is not all talk. Verizon has the receipts! RootMetrics ranked Verizon’s network #1 in the nation for the ninth time in a row. You can learn more about that HERE
Yes, battery life depends on use. My use is was pretty heavy in December and January. Google came through with the battery life on the 2 XL. With the holidays and then CES 2018, I used the phone heavily day in and day out. I had many good 10+ hour days. I’d say one of my tricks is to never have the brightness up more than half way up. I usually made it down to 9 pm with 15%.
You can’t lose with the Pixel 2 XL. If you can do without the headphone jack and expanded storage, you will love the simplicity and quickness that is Pure Android 8.0. If you’re coming to Android, you’ll enjoy how smooth the Pixel 2 XL works. The great camera and smooth UI make for a great user experience. If you need the headphone jack and expandable storage you have the option of the Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ from Samsung.