7 Things To Know About Google's New Pixel 2 Smartphone

The Next Generation

While the fall has already seen the debut of major new smartphones from Apple and Samsung, Google isn't one to be left out. The company is continuing its push to become a significant contender in the premium smartphone market with its Pixel phones, initially introduced a year ago. On Wednesday, Google unveiled the second-generation models in the Pixel lineup -- the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. The devices include new features and upgraded specs, along with prices in the same ballpark as new Apple and Samsung smartphones.

In the following slides, the CRN Test Center rounds up what you need to know about Google's new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones.


The biggest difference between the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is on the display. The Pixel 2 XL includes a 6-inch display with QHD+ (2,880 x 1,440) resolution, while the Pixel 2 has a 5-inch screen with FHD resolution (1,920 x 1,080). Even more striking is the difference in the borders around the displays. The Pixel 2 XL features a minimal bezel, similar to this year's "edge-to-edge" Samsung phones, the Galaxy S8 and Note8. The Pixel 2 sticks with the bezels above and below the screen, like with the original Pixel. However, both displays use OLED technology for improved colors and contrast, which is the same display technology in Samsung Galaxy phones and the iPhone X.


Contrary to rumors, not even the Pixel 2 XL will be getting a dual-camera system. Google is arguing that the phone does not need one to take superior photos, however. The company said both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL would include a 12.2-megapixel rear-facing camera with features including optical image stabilization, improved autofocus and a new type of portrait mode. The portrait mode feature is also available using the 8-megapixel front-facing camera. The rear camera in the Pixel 2 and 2 XL has received the highest rating yet for a smartphone camera by research firm DxOMark, according to Google.

Google Assistant

Like with the original Pixel, the Google Assistant will be built into the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones, and Google touted some upgrades coming to the voice-controlled assistant. Improvements include more types of routines that the Google Assistant can help with -- one example given was that saying "good morning" could trigger a series of actions such as turning on lights, starting a coffee maker and putting on a playlist. Saying "find my phone" will also be able to ring the Pixel 2, Google said. Meanwhile, the Pixel 2 will have a new way of calling up the Google Assistant -- by squeezing the sides of the phone.

Google Lens

One new feature that will be debuting first as part of the Pixel 2 phones is Google Lens, which uses computer vision and machine learning to look up information by pointing the phone at a structure or object -- such as buildings, books and artwork. Google Lens will also be able to copy email addresses, phone numbers and URLs automatically.

Storage, Processor & RAM

Google will offer both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL with two variations on internal storage -- 64 GB and 128 GB. However, as with the original Pixel, Google says that Pixel 2 and 2 XL owners will receive unlimited free storage for all photos and videos that they take with the phone.

Regarding processing power, both versions include Qualcomm's top-of-the-line Snapdragon 835 processor and 4 GB of RAM.

Other Specs

Google hasn't offered battery life estimates for the new smartphones, beyond claiming that they will be able to handle "all-day" usage. The Pixel 2 XL includes a large battery (3520mAh) while the Pixel 2 battery is smaller at 2700mAh. Both models feature IP67 water resistance, suggesting they can survive submersion in waters as deep as 3.3 feet for a half-hour. Also, both models have eliminated the 3.5mm headphone jack, in favor of USB-C as the only port. Google did say it will provide a USB-C to 3.5mm headphone adapter in the box with either of the phones.

Price & Availability

The Google Pixel 2 will have a starting price of $649, and the Pixel 2 XL will start at $849. That means the Pixel 2 XL is roughly on par with the pricing of the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus ($825) while being $50 higher than the iPhone 8 Plus. It is, however, $150 cheaper than the iPhone X and $80 cheaper than the Galaxy Note8.

Google said that pre-orders have begun for the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL, and shipping will begin for the phones Oct. 19. Buyers in the U.S. will get a free Google Home Mini (regularly $49) with their purchase of a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL "for a limited time," Google said.