Google Pixel 2 is all about the camera

Today's Google event is now over, and there's a ton of hardware to be looked at. Besides the Pixelbook and the Home Mini and Max speakers, we're now going to discuss what was probably the most-anticipated bit of kit from the show, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones.

The freshly-released handset appears to be more of an iteration on the existing Pixel rather than a full-on reimagining. The 5" AMOLED display with 1920×1080 resolution (441 PPI) can display 95% of the DCI-P3 color space and extends all the way to the phone's sides. Google claims the fingerprint sensor in the new model has an improved placement and faster reading speed. The Pixel team chose to remove the headphone jack in a moment of courage, but there's an included adapter and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity to make up for the omission somewhat.

The camera on the first Pixel phone was lauded as one of the best in a smartphone, and Google has seen fit to double down on it. The snapper on the Pixel 2 has an f/1.8 aperture and a 12.2 MP sensor behind it. The camera supports both Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS). During its presentation, Google showed a rather impressive video of the technologies in action in a bumpy motorcicle ride, and the results were rather impressive.

There's also a now-common portrait mode that applies a bokeh effect to backgrounds, except the Pixel 2 manages to pull this off with its single camera thanks to the integrated depth-sensing technology. You can use portrait mode for your selfies using the front-facing camera, too. Those with a love for looping GIFs will appreciate the "motion photo" functionality that automatically creates a short loop from a single shot while removing extraneous motion. Once again, Pixel 2 owners get free unlimited online storage for photos and videos at their original resolution.

The Android 8.0 OS onboard the Pixel 2 also has a few unique touches. Squeezing the phone brings up the Google Assistant, which also now has its always-present box under the home screen icons. The Pixel 2 is the first handset with Google Lens integration, too. Thanks to the underlying OLED technology, the screen can stay on all the time and display notifications and other useful information without sucking the battery dry. A novel but interesting feature is that the Pixel 2 will listen to whatever music's playing and tell you the artist and song without reaching out to the internet to do so. Google says that all operating system and security updates will be handled automatically.

The Pixel 2 has other hardware niceties. The handsets are IP67-rated for water and dust ingress, and the 2700 mAh fast-charging battery can get you 7 hours' worth of usage out of just a 15-minute charge. There's a Snapdragon 835 SoC inside with all its eight cores, accompanied by 4 GB of RAM and served by 64 GB or 128 GB of flash storage. A single USB Type-C port handles charging and data transfer duties.

The Pixel 2 XL is mostly similar to its smaller brother other than in dimensions, display, and naturally battery. The bigger handset has a 6" OLED display with a resolution of 2880×1440 (538 PPI) and an impressive 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space. The battery in this model has a capacity of 3520 mAh.

Google says the Pixel 2 will arrive in stores in October 17 for $649 with 64 GB of storage, or $749 with 128 GB. The XL variant will arrive in two to three weeks and goes for $200 more, with a price tag of $849 with a 64 GB chunk o' flash and $949 for 128 GB. There's also a phone trade-in program available, and as an added bonus, all Pixel 2 purchases includes a promotional code for a Google Home Mini while supplies last.

Comments closed
    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 2 years ago

    Ordered my XL 2 day after announcement. I have a old NEXUS 6.

    I have to say the thing I appreciate about these devices is the utilitarian approach to design and functionality. The phones are skinny but not the skinniest. Rather they have a good personification of looks and function. Similar to what apple achieved in the iphone 6. And unlike the iphone 8’s this year we have better, more modern displays!

    • gmskking
    • 2 years ago

    I did want this phone so I can put different ROMS and such on it. Just don’t know if that ability is worth the price considering the lack of features on this phone. I use the headphone jack constantly on my current phone. Might have to go with the V30 instead.

    • southrncomfortjm
    • 2 years ago

    I was all against removal of the headphone jack until I got a decent set of Bluetooth earbuds. Haven’t used my headphone jack in weeks.

      • willmore
      • 2 years ago

      Yeah, too often people blame BT audio for bad audio quality when it’s the speakers/earphones that messed things up. I’ve been using BT audio exclusively for a few years and I don’t think I’d miss a headphone jack. Oh, wait, my phone hasn’t had one for 10 months and I didn’t miss it. 🙂

      • Redocbew
      • 2 years ago

      I don’t mind using bluetooth earbuds with my phone either, and honestly I can’t tell the difference in quality. I realize there may be differences I’m just not hearing, but I can’t bring myself to care about it all that much. I wish they had a blinking LED or some way of indicating they needed to be charged rather than randomly screaming “LOW BATTERY” into my ears while I’m using them, but that’s really my only complaint.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 2 years ago

    double post!

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 2 years ago

    Making the mandatory remark about sd card slot, and headphone jack. But really I’m very happy with the XL 2. As phones get more similar the promise of a great camera (and this should be one of the best if not the best) is something to get excited about.

    I’m 2 years out of date so I will be picking this up. Comparing this to the iphone, pondering if this is the season to go apple, but the platform is to closed and things like their laptop offerings are languishing in odd places in terms of design and usability.

    Android phone, windows laptop… I’m good to go!

    • tsk
    • 2 years ago

    Oh it’s always funny to read comments about phones launches on sites like TR, endless wine about no SD card, headphone jack and price.

    I think these phones are gonna sell like hot cakes either way.

      • [+Duracell-]
      • 2 years ago

      If I didn’t have a Pixel already, I would probably be all over this. I’ll be waiting until the phone dies, though.

    • NTMBK
    • 2 years ago

    So they didn’t fix the insane price? Damn.

    • RtFusion
    • 2 years ago

    Wow, the Pixel 2 XL looks really bad against the iPhone 8 Plus if you care about built-in storage and dual cameras at this price range.

    For Canadian pricing, $1,289.00 is the top spec’ed Pixel 2 XL for 128 GB. The iPhone 8 Plus is at $1,269.00 for 256GB plus dual camera, better hardware design, and faster processor.

    I thought Google’s ad campaign was to “Ask more of your phone”. Where is the headphone jack, dual cameras, micro-sd card, and non-cringey (and the crap colour naming) looking design?

    I think some groaned during the live cast when it was announced that there wouldn’t be a headphone jack and I found that to be hilarious.

    I am hoping Samsung will not jump to the non-headphone jack, non-micro SD band wagon with their S9. If so, will hang on to my S8 for much longer.

      • kvndoom
      • 2 years ago

      Google said to ask more from your phone. They never promised that you’d get it.

      • DancinJack
      • 2 years ago

      I’d rather have ten phones with no headphone jack than have to use TouchWiz and be subjected to Samsung’s abysmal update schedule.

    • willyolioleo
    • 2 years ago

    I’ve become completely disinterested in high end phones. No headphone jacks, no SD card support, cutting down on batteries just so they can advertise thinness and other useless fashion things.

    For my current phone i ended up buying a mid-range xiaomi, because… surprise, they use functionality as a selling point. Big battery, sd expansion slot, value priced. Seems like I’ll be looking to China again for my next phone.

      • bfar
      • 2 years ago

      Yea, I went from a Nexus to a cheap Moto G5 plus. The battery life is phenomenal, I’m not sure I could go back now. Great tech is all well and good, but we’re reaching a point where cheaper models cover everything we need.

      • NTMBK
      • 2 years ago

      I just want a midrange phone that doesn’t use crap A53 processors.

        • tipoo
        • 2 years ago

        Yeah, I wish that Redmi got more people to follow along the path of having two A72 cores, and then whatever little cores. Not a fan of the little.little approach either. Snags in Javascript are entirely per core bound.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      If I wasn’t provided one, the midrange would definitely be where I was. Moto G5 Plus is more than enough phone for most people for instance, and there was that Redmi something or other with two A72s in that same price tier.

    • adisor19
    • 2 years ago

    So the A11 still wipes the floor with it performance wise. How is Google justifying the pricing on these phones exactly ?

    Adi

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      3.5mm removal fee

      • Pancake
      • 2 years ago

      Maybe because raw CPU/graphics speed doesn’t mean anything? People buy devices based on function and utility.

        • tipoo
        • 2 years ago

        So,
        What function or utility justify the price point?

      • Voldenuit
      • 2 years ago

      Right? An iPhone 8 Plus 256 GB has twice the CPU performance and twice the storage capacity of the 128 GB Pixel 2 XL, for the same price ($949).

      W. T. F., Google. W. T. F.

      • Beelzebubba9
      • 2 years ago

      If you like real Android that hasn’t been defiled by insecure, janky, and dysfunctional OS skins and the guarantee of timely updates and the promises of support for the life of the phone, then it’s your only real choice.

      If you’re judging a smartphone by performance than yeah, there’s nothing else anywhere close to the iPhone.

      • [+Duracell-]
      • 2 years ago

      Are you that surprised, honestly? We already knew S835 doesn’t hold a candle to A11, so why would a new phone using S835 be any different?

    • tipoo
    • 2 years ago

    The XL isn’t bad, but man, the regular makes the iPhone 8 bezels look not old.

      • willmore
      • 2 years ago

      Front facing speakers? Seems worth it. If they’re stereo, then doubly so.

        • tipoo
        • 2 years ago

        Yeah, but the XL seems to have the same front facing speakers in much slimmer housings. I guess only teardowns will tell if it was for that.

    • RdVi
    • 2 years ago

    They removed the headphone jack AND made the phone taller than last years pixel? How?

    I like one handed use phones, but a 5″ screen is as small as I’m willing to go at the same time. If I’m going to go with such a small screen then I want other benefits like great pocketability and handling from a small body to go along with it. While this phone isn’t overly wide, it still could be better. The height as mentioned is appaling for a 5″ screen phone. On top of that the battery is smaller. So what was removing the headphone jack for if not saving space for a smaller body or larger battery? Water resistance? Many phones have better water resistance than this while maintaining the headphone jack. Very disappointed in the sacrifices google want me to make at this price point just to get clean android with the best update regime.

      • jihadjoe
      • 2 years ago

      IKR? Somehow Google managed to take the worst elements of Apple (no headphone jack, humongous top and bottom bezels) and Samsung (curved screen) and thought, yeah that’ll be a good fit for our new phone!

      And they didn’t even make good use of the space top and bottom of the screen. At least previous Apple and Samsung phones put those bezels to use with home and nav buttons.

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    No, don’t copy Apple.

    The headphone jack is as important as the power button. Bluetooth audio quality is crappy, I can get crappy audio from a £49 dumbphone and spend the remaining $600 on a 3/4 camera FFS.

    • Beelzebubba9
    • 2 years ago

    I pre-ordered a Pixel XL 2 to replace my beloved Nexus 6P, and I’m very much looking forward to the upgrade.

      • Stonebender
      • 2 years ago

      No way. I’ll be keeping my Nexus 6P until it dies. Then I’ll pay $70 for a refurbished one. What’s the justification to spend that much money if your current phone works? I don’t get it.

        • Beelzebubba9
        • 2 years ago

        [quote=”Stonebender”<]"What's the justification to spend that much money if your current phone works? I don't get it."[/quote<] The 6P is old at this point and mine is physically falling apart (RIP), so it has to be replaced. As far as cost goes I live in a place with high salaries and a high cost of living, so even the a phone like the Pixel XL 2 or iPhone X or Galaxy Note 8 doesn't represent a huge portion of my expenses for that given month, let alone amortized over two years.

    • willmore
    • 2 years ago

    It scored a 99 on DXOmark besting the Samsung GN8 and the iPhone 8plus.

    Still, $1K? No thanks. That’s way out of my price range.

    I don’t mind the lack of a headphone jack. I don’t even know the last time I plugged something into one of those anywhere. Oh, yeah, I remember, it was 6 months ago when I was trying to get a sine wave into a little amplifier board to drive some speakers. Fortunately, the old tablet I use as a siggen has such a jack. Other than that, I always use BT for audio. Cables suck.

      • DancinJack
      • 2 years ago

      98

        • willmore
        • 2 years ago

        Sorry, I was looking at the photo subscore. Everything sucks at video.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      98 out of what? I read the [url=https://www.dxomark.com/google-pixel-2-reviewed-sets-new-record-smartphone-camera-quality/<]DxOMark article[/url<] but it's just full of superlatives and it doesn't help me understand exactly how far from dSLR quality we are yet. Based on the text alone you'd think that the days of a discrete camera was over. In that regard, it feels like 3DMark in that the number is "higher" but I don't get the real-world application. [quote<] Autofocus performance is excellent as well. Overall, the Pixel 2’s capabilities in bright light make it ideal for a wide variety of outdoor photographers — from image lovers who are looking for the perfect landscape or cityscape, to those who want to capture sporting events or family outings. The Pixel 2 does an amazing job of rendering detail in both the bright and dark areas of difficult scenes, even compared to one of our other top Photo performers, the HTC U11 (click on an image to view a full-resolution version)[/quote<] Like, I feel all this text needs a huge qualifier: "for a smartphone camera"

        • DancinJack
        • 2 years ago

        [url=lol]Ben doesn’t know how to BBcode[/quote]

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 years ago

          I [derp]do[/herp] that a lot.

        • moriz
        • 2 years ago

        [quote<]full of superlatives and it doesn't help me understand exactly how far from dSLR quality we are yet.[/quote<] far, far away. no matter how good of a sensor and lens they can stick onto a phone, the ones in DSLRs and mirrorless cameras will always be better. if they can make a good small image sensor, they can make a big sensor using the same technology that's much better. it's simple physics: image sensors need to gather light. the bigger the pixels on the bigger sensors gather will always gather more light. the more light gathered, the cleaner and sharper the image.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 years ago

          Exactly. I’m bringing up a point that I know the answer to because I feel like the language used on that site is extremely misleading. It reads like marketing, not real evaluation.

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 2 years ago

            Oh, indeed. Thanks for the forward, bro.

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 2 years ago

        It’s a matter of physics, Watson. Smartphones have tiny sensors, comparatively, and in some instances similar pixel count.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 years ago

          See this comment:

          [url<]https://techreport.com/news/32648/google-pixel-2-is-all-about-the-camera/?post=1054585#1054585[/url<]

      • Redocbew
      • 2 years ago

      DXOmark is hooey, so says The Kampman. I agree on the price though.

        • tipoo
        • 2 years ago

        I think people still don’t understand it or know to take it for what it is. It’s an objective measure of sensor and lens quality, and the testing is very vigorous. However that does not mean better end photos, as you can see with the Pixel 1 whose HDR+ still makes the lens and sensor punch far above their weight, because software is half the story on smartphone cameras now.

        It’s a datapoint, it’s not everything, and it’s not baloney.

          • Redocbew
          • 2 years ago

          You could probably say the same about most benchmarks. Rarely is there a case where there’s some kind of blatant shenanigans intended to skew the results one way or another, and yet derFunk’s comment about it seeming like it’s 3DMark for cameras isn’t far from the mark either.

          • Jeff Kampman
          • 2 years ago

          DXO is not 100% objective by any means.

            • tipoo
            • 2 years ago

            It’s the closest thing to attempting to be for smartphone cameras. Of course little is 100% objective, but numerating aberration, autofocus, lens sharpness, etc, attempts to be.

            Again it doesn’t imply better end photos though, it is what it is.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 2 years ago

        Jeff is a camera geek, though. He drew comparisons between the red dot on the Apple Watch and Leica. That’s a whole different ballgame than this.

        There’s probably a middle ground, but there’s no context given with these scores and the text that accompanies them is borderline hyperbole. There’s room for improvement, for sure.

      • strangerguy
      • 2 years ago

      So, $650-$1000 for:
      -A very marginally better camera than GN8/iPhone 8/X
      -No headphone jack, no SDcard, no dual-SIM model, terrible bezel to screen ratio versus Samsung
      -Bundled spywa-I mean assistant so we can datamine you while datamining you.
      -Far worse SoC than iPhone 8/X
      -Faster updates than rest of Androidland, but ultimately still running a commodity OS with only 2 years of support versus at least 4 years from Apple

    • DancinJack
    • 2 years ago

    Oh good another comments section of everyone complaining it doesn’t have every single feature they personally want. Good deal.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      THAT’S WHAT I’M HERE FOR GET OFFA MY LAWN

        • DancinJack
        • 2 years ago

        I’ll up-vote that to offset whoever doesn’t like you.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 years ago

          I feel that they have their reasons.

      • kvndoom
      • 2 years ago

      Deity forbid people actually expect to get features they desire when spending nearly a grand on a luxury item.

        • DancinJack
        • 2 years ago

        That isn’t what I said.

        These phones have a ton of good features. Just because it doesn’t have the one or two features you want doesn’t make it a bad device. Everyone is entitled to their opinion so I expressed mine just like the whiners.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 2 years ago

    Can’t I just get a phone that has good software support (on-time OS releases), plenty of performance, and total lack of stupid “machine learning” nonsense? I have one now (iPhone 6S) but both Apple and Google are all about on-device machine learning to drive their respective vendor lock-in attempts and it’s just not something I care about.

    • VinnyC
    • 2 years ago

    I’ve got a Nexus 5. I wouldn’t mind a new phone, but I’m not about to spend $1k for something I use to occasionally browse Facebook and make a phone call. That said, what’s the best pure Google phone that’ll work on T-mobile that’s worth upgrading from the Nexus 5? Opinions welcome.

      • magila
      • 2 years ago

      I just bought an Xperia XZ1 Compact to replace my Nexus 5. It’s a little pricier than I’d like at $600 and it’s not completely pure Andrioid, but for me all the other flagships are too damn big. I also actually prefer a matte plastic body over metal or glass. More durable and no interference with the antennas, what’s not to like?

      • Voldenuit
      • 2 years ago

      OnePlus 5. Snapdragon 835, 5.5″ 1080p AMOLED display, 6/8 GB RAM, 64/128 GB storage, headphone jack, dual rear cameras, AF front camera, aluminum unibody $479/539 MSRP. OxygenOS (light skin over Nougat).

      Aaand… well that’s it really. Mi Mix 2 is about $649 but has no headphone jack. Moto G4 and X4 only using Snapdragon 6xx. Every other major flagship is over $600, sometimes way over. Not a fan of samsung’s heavy skins and slow updates. LG V30 is $800 (OUCH). nokia 8 is $899 (double OUCH).

      EDIT: PS Since you’re on T-mobile, worth mentioning that the LG V30 is the only phone out right now that supports Band 71.

        • AnotherReader
        • 2 years ago

        How does Oneplus compare to Nexus/Pixel when it comes to update frequency?

          • DancinJack
          • 2 years ago

          Not as good, but still better than most.

          • Voldenuit
          • 2 years ago

          I’ve only had my OP5 for a couple months, have heard that they’re pretty good, but can’t speak from too much experience.

          I do know that the OP3 has Oreo available for beta branch users (I think it’s an opt-in program), and have heard that the 3T and 5 are supposed to get Oreo ‘within weeks’.

          They did fix some camera and video issues on the OP5 pretty quickly after launch, including adding EIS to 4K video in a recent patch.

        • Shobai
        • 2 years ago

        My wife’s just got the 64GB OP5 and it comes with 6GB RAM; the 128GB option comes with 8GB (rather than 4/6)

          • Voldenuit
          • 2 years ago

          You’re right. I have the 8/128 GB OP5 myself, must have had a brain fart while typing it up :p. Fixed.

        • southrncomfortjm
        • 2 years ago

        Seconded. I had the OnePlus One and now have the OnePlus 3T and have no regrets. I’ve spent $800 total on both phones over a 3 year period.

      • AnotherReader
      • 2 years ago

      The high price of Google’s phones and the pathetic update period, when compared to iPhones, has me , a Nexus 5 owner, considering an iPhone for the first time.

      • wabbit
      • 2 years ago

      Anything you can install LineageOS or a similar ROM on?
      Check their device list.

      • Aegaeon
      • 2 years ago

      My wife has been happy with a Nokia 6 since it launched in July. Stock Android 7.1, and so far it’s had OTA updates every month, so hopefully HMD Global keeps that trend going.

      It’s not a high end phone by any means (Snapdragon 430, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB flash expandable with micro SD card), but at $229 from Amazon you could afford to replace it much sooner than a high end phone, and it seems to meet your requirements (wife doesn’t use the Facebook app though).

      A Nokia 8 model with better specs (Snapdragon 835) is supposed to be launching in the US later this month.

      • [+Duracell-]
      • 2 years ago

      Unlocked OG Pixel?

      • klrcommute
      • 2 years ago

      [url<]https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/20/16339476/motorola-moto-x4-project-fi-android-one-smartphone[/url<] Might be worth a look @ $399 and running pure android? If it's really pure android? The big question is who's pushing the updates, and on what schedule?

        • Shobai
        • 2 years ago

        “Lenono? Le-no chance.”

    • DreadCthulhu
    • 2 years ago

    No headphone jack? No microSD card slot? Its like Google doesn’t want technically savvy people buying their phones, or recommending them to others. And the non-technically savvy/influenced by the same are just going to buy an iPhone, due to Apple’s excellent marketing.

      • diable
      • 2 years ago

      You win fanboy post of the day.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 2 years ago

        That is hardly fanboi-ism. It’s a very realistic look at how Google has been chasing Apple the last couple of years instead of trying to do something different. The Nexus program was different, although probably not a moneymaker. They could have stuck with the Nexus program, raised prices by 20%, and caused a revolution in affordable, stock handsets that would have eventually forced Apple to do something else. Instead they launched their Apple copycat program.

        edit: spelling, thanks DancinJack.

          • DancinJack
          • 2 years ago

          You guys spelled fanboi wrong.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 2 years ago

            My apologies. Fixed.

          • klrcommute
          • 2 years ago

          Yep, I switched to Google Fi and waited for the 1st Gen Pixels to launch, hoping for a 128GB storage option. As soon as I saw their me-too lineup (and margins) I did a total 180 and picked up a discounted Nexus 5X for $250.

      • David
      • 2 years ago

      Google hasn’t ever had an SD slot on an “official” device.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 2 years ago

        Nexus One, but that’s it from what I remember. I had a Nexus S and it didn’t. Don’t remember if there was something in between the two, but I don’t think there was.

      • [+Duracell-]
      • 2 years ago

      I consider myself tech-savvy but I don’t need any of those. Just give me 128GB of fast onboard storage (like my current Pixel) and I’m set.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 2 years ago

    So I have to carry an adapter to listen to my headphones?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      I guess you just have to buy multiple adapters for each set of headphones you want ot use. That’s obviously not optimal.

    • jihadjoe
    • 2 years ago

    No headphone jack, no buy.

      • soccergenius
      • 2 years ago

      [url=http://money.cnn.com/2016/10/04/technology/google-apple-headphone-dig/index.html<]It seems like only yesterday...[/url<]

      • RoxasForTheWin
      • 2 years ago

      Shame, I was on the fence between this and the S8 Active. Thanks for making the decision that much easier Google!

      • klrcommute
      • 2 years ago

      Being on Google Fi this release makes me want to buy a Pixel 1 before the headphone jack goes extinct…just as soon as they knock another $150 off of it.

      • TwistedKestrel
      • 2 years ago

      (wrong thread)

      • southrncomfortjm
      • 2 years ago

      You ever actually tried just using a $30 set of Bluetooth earbuds as your daily driver? Once I switched to wireless, my life got so much better in terms of portable music. My biggest issue was the damn cord getting caught on stuff all the time. Now, not an issue. That alone wins for me.

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        But the quality! Bluetooth compression murders all audio.

          • psuedonymous
          • 2 years ago

          Nah. Get a non-crap set and it’s fine. I’ve used the SBH-80 for years and have never had the desire to go back to wired headphones (and on the few occasions I’ve left them at home and had to fall back to the wired spares, ugh! Not fun having to deal with wires).
          If “but muh high fidelity” is the main draw of portable audio, then why dick about with the headphone jack in the first place: get an external USB DAC & amp (Android supports external USB audio devices) and cut out whatever equipment has been shoved into the corner of an already too small phone case.
          Using the internal jack is just half-arseing things.

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