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Google,Pixel 2,pixel 2 xl,pixel 2

Google Pixel 2: here’s what you should know

The dust has finally settled following last night’s Google event, which saw the company reveal a host of hardware, including the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

But what is there to know about the company’s two new smartphones? We’ve gathered some of the more important details…

No headphone jack

True to the rumours, Google’s smartphones omit the headphone jack in favour of Bluetooth or USB Type-C audio. It’s extremely cheeky, given the fact that it mocked Apple for doing the same at the original Pixel launch.

Want to use your legacy 3.5mm accessories? There is an adapter in the box, but otherwise, it’ll cost US$20, thank you very much.

But it’s water resistant

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are the first Nexus/Pixel smartphones to pack water resistance as well, so it should survive a shower or brief dunk.

The phones feature IP67 water resistance, which is below the standard set by the Galaxy S8 and LG G6. But either way, all three companies have crafted phones that will survive a rain storm.

Key specs

Both Pixel 2 models sport a Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB/128GB storage models.

In a neat touch, the phones also feature HTC’s Active Edge tech, allowing Pixel 2 owners to squeeze their device to launch the Google Assistant.

Otherwise, the biggest difference is in the screen department, with the smaller model using a 5-inch 1080p screen (16:9), while the larger one uses a 6-inch 1440p display (18:9). They’re both using OLED tech, naturally.

What about battery life?

Google is promising a 2700mAh battery in the Pixel 2, which is below average for a flagship in 2017. Meanwhile, the XL model is delivering a 3520mAh battery, which is above average for a high-end phone in 2017.

But the company is touting seven hours of “go” with 15 minutes of charging. Here’s hoping the smaller Pixel has more endurance than the battery size suggests.

An always-on music recognition feature

One of the more peculiar features is the ability for the Pixel 2 devices to automatically (and somewhat passively) recognise background music, displaying the title on the lockscreen.

It’s rather weird in its execution, because Google says it doesn’t receive data and that the tech uses your local data to tag the music. Surely there’s more to it than that?

What about the camera experience?

Google made a big song and dance about being the number one smartphone camera on DxOMark last year. And it’s tooted its own horn again this year, achieving a 99 rating on the camera benchmark website. Of course, DxOMark is no stranger to criticism, being called “horseshit” by Apple expert John Gruber.

Anyway, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL feature 12.2MP main cameras (single not dual camera) with a larger f/1.8 aperture for better low light performance. Other noteworthy camera specs include 1.4 micron pixels, OIS and EIS and 4K recording. But Google is also touting a portrait mode, using machine learning rather than two cameras.

Only care for the selfie experience? Then you’re getting an 8MP f/2.4 front-facing camera.

Android support

Google has generally done a great job with updates on its Nexus/Pixel devices — although Apple still beats it with support for four-year-old hardware.

In any event, Google promises three years of updates for the Pixel 2 range.

Price?

The Pixel 2 starts at US$649, getting you the standard model with 64GB of storage. Want the XL model? Then you’ll be spending US$849.

The 128GB model of each phone is US$100 more expensive — so US$749 for the standard Pixel 2 and US$949 for the XL.

Don’t expect a South African launch anytime soon though.

Author Bio

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings over seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat. More