Google has just announced its new line-up of smartphones - the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The Pixel 2 packs 5-inch display while the Pixel 2 XL makes the jump to a 6-inch display, albeit with tiny bezels.
The smaller Pixel looks a lot like the last-gen device, but is now comes with stereo speakers and the "visor" at the back has been shrunken. The fingerprint sensor which was earlier housed in this glass accent has now been moved below it where it is more accessible. The camera lens occupies a larger surface area this time around.
The specs are pretty similar on both phones, including Snapdragon 835 coupled with 4GB RAM and an option to choose from 64GB or 128GB of internal storage. Both have OLED displays, the smaller Pixel 2 has a 1080p display while the larger Pixel gets a QHD+ (2880x1440 pixels) resolution display for a crisper 538 PPI.
Then there's "Active Edge" support as well, meaning you can squeeze the phone to launch the Google Assistant, silence phone calls and possibly add to more actions based on the app you are in. Its similar to what we saw on the HTC U11, but not as feature-rich. Both phones now also have IP67 dust and water resistance as well.
The major highlight of the last-gen Pixel phones was its camera. This time too Google has worked a lot on the camera front. The new Pixel 2 smartphones use a new 12.2-megapixel camera sensor with a f/1.8 aperture lens and optical image stabilization. It combines OIS and EIS for video stabilization, while last year we just had electronic image stabilization on both phones.
The company also announced that DxOMark gave the Pixel cameras a record-breaking score of 98, which is mightly impressive given that the current-gen iPhone 8 and Galaxy Note8 are tied with a score of 94 in second place.
The camera uses dual-pixel technology which allows the camera to focus faster and can also be used to capture more information about a scene. Google says, using machine learning and the dual-pixel sensor, their engineers have added "Portrait mode" or bokeh mode to the camera of the Pixel 2 without the need for a second lens as on the iPhone 8 plus or Galaxy Note 8. The portrait mode on the Pixel phones work on both faces and objects, and it even works on the front camera.
In addition to all this, Google is also giving unlimited storage on its cloud for you original resolution photos and videos, forever. Getting free storage is a huge benefit given that it is not expandable on the phone. The company has also partnered with the creators of Stranger Things, Star Wars, and others to make augmented reality stickers available for the Pixel 2. You can add emojis, videos and 3d animated characters and see them move as you take a shot.
There are some changes to the Google launcher as well with the biggest change being the search bar moved to the bottom of the screen, just above the navigation buttons. Near the top, you now also have an "at a glance" widget which shows upcoming meetings from your calendar, weather, and date. Always-on display has also been added to both phones and with its always-on microphones, it displays the song that you are listening to, even if it's on your TV or radio.
The Pixel 2 will be available in 3 colors: white, black and blue. It has been priced at $649 for the 64GB storage option and $749 for 128GB. The Pixel 2 XL, on the other hand, will come in 2 colors only, black and the black & white. The white version comes with a black glass accent and an orange home button which gives it a distinct appearance. It will start at $849 for the 64GB storage option and $949 for the 128GB option. Both are available to pre-order starting today and will begin shipping October 17. Those who pre-order any of the new Pixel smartphones before October 19 will get a free Home Mini.