Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have arrived and there are >significant differences between them. This isn’t difficult to see with Google’s new smartphones sporting very different designs. By contrast it’s a lot harder to see what Google has improved from the original Pixel to the Pixel 2. So should you upgrade?
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Let’s break it down…© Provided by Forbes Media LLC
Google Pixel 2 (left) vs Google Pixel (right)
Designs – Past Meets The Past
Easily the most disappointing thing about the Pixel 2 is its design. >Unlike the Pixel 2 XL which shrunk its bezels and jumped on 2017’s hottest smartphone trend (the elongated 18:9 aspect ratio display), the Pixel 2 looks identical to the original Pixel:
- Pixel – 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.5 mm (5.66 x 2.74 x 0.33 in) and 143 g (5.04 oz)
- Pixel 2 – 145.7 x 69.7 x 7.8 mm (5.74 x 2.74 x 0.31 in) and 143 g (5.04 oz)
Yes, the Pixel 2 is fractionally taller and wider than the Pixel but it is thinner and this results in the two models having exactly the same weight (that’s not a typo). Interestingly it also makes them slightly lighter than the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 (148g/5.22 oz).
But the design is still the problem. Not only does the Pixel 2 keep the large bezels of the Pixel in a bezel-dissolving year, but it compounds this decision by also removing the headphone jack – a move Google mocked Apple for in its advertising for the original Pixel. This will be a deal breaker for some (despite Google’s new ‘>Pixel Buds’) as will the ongoing absence of wireless charging.© Provided by Forbes Media LLC
Google’s original Pixel and Pixel XL both have a headphone jack
But elsewhere there is good news. The Pixel 2 has a new textured aluminium back which makes it easier to hold one-handed and the large top and bottom bezel space this year is used to fit front firing stereo speakers – a great move and welcome differentiator to rivals (the >Pixel 2 XL also has this).
In addition the Pixel 2 adds >IP67 dust and water resistance which was a big omission from the original Pixels and allows full submersion of the phone in up to one metre of water for up to 30 minutes. There’s a party trick too as the Pixel 2 can be squeezed on the sides to prompt the Google Assistant, this will either be genius or pointless depending on how much you use it.© Provided by Forbes Media LLC
Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL can be squeezed on the sides to open the Google Assistant
Finally alongside black and white options, the Pixel 2 adds a new ‘Slightly Blue’ colour option with a luminous turquoise power button that looks good, though arguably it’s not as striking as ‘Really Blue’ on the original Pixel which has been ditched.
Displays – Same Old, Same Old
As with the design, the Pixel 2’s display will look very familiar:
- Pixel – 5-inch 16:9 AMOLED, 1920 x 1080 pixels (441 ppi), 69.0% screen-to-body ratio, Corning Gorilla Glass 4
- Pixel 2 – 5-inch 16:9 AMOLED, 1920 x 1080 pixels (534 ppi), 67.9% screen-to-body ratio, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 95% DCI-P3 coverage
A few things do stand out here. Firstly the Pixel 2 actually has a slightly worse screen-to-body ratio than the Pixel, but at least that’s due to its new front firing speakers (the Pixel’s bezels were just dead space).
In addition there’s also Gorilla Glass 5 which offers more scratch resistance and a high level of >DCI-P3 support for greater colour accuracy and Google didn’t even bother to quote this figure for the original Pixel. The Pixel 2 also supports >HDR which is being fast adopted by Netflix, Amazon Video, Google Videos and YouTube, though Google quietly added support for the original Pixel as well last month.© Provided by Forbes Media LLC
Google’ss Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL offer Always On displays
Lastly the Pixel 2, like the Pixel 2 XL, has the option to toggle an ‘Always on’ display which means the time and notifications can be seen in monochrome at all times. This eats about 1% of battery life per hour and can be switched off if you don’t want it.
Performance – Android Star, iPhone Dust Eater
Don’t blame Google for this one. The Pixel 2 features Qualcomm’s fastest chipset but in 2017 Apple’s A11 >blew everyone else away. That said the Pixel 2 is still a worthy upgrade to the original Pixel:
- Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL – Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core chipset (4x 2.35GHz and 4x 1.9GHz Kryo CPUs), Adreno 540 GPU, 4GB RAM
- Pixel, Pixel XL – Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset (2x 2.15 GHz Kryo & 2x 1.6 GHz Kryo CPUs), Adreno 530 GPU, 4GB RAM
Snapdragon 835 gains are tangible from the 821 with Qualcomm claiming 27% greater performance and 30% more efficiency. That said the 835 chipset is now six months old, so it would’ve been nice to see Google get an incremental upgrade (836?) as the original Pixels did from the Snapdragon 820 featured in older 2016 Android flagships.© Provided by Forbes Media LLC
Google’s new Pixels are entertainment power houses with front firing stereo speakers
But the Pixel 2’s main strength is the same as the Pixel: stock Android. While it won’t win any synthetic benchmarks in 2017, the original Pixel remains one of the fastest smartphones available for real world usage and I find it outpaces even brand new Snapdragon 835-based models like Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8. The Pixel 2 will build on that.
Separately Google also promises the already superb fingerprint sensor in the Pixel has been upgraded in the Pixel 2 and will be the fastest on the market. In a year where Apple controversially >ditched Touch ID on the iPhone X, this could be a big selling point for the Pixel 2.
Cameras – A League Of Its Own
The original Pixel and Pixel XL are remembered primarily for one thing: >their incredible cameras. Now Google looks set to leap ahead of its 2017 rivals once again with the Pixel 2 rated as having the >best smartphone camera ever tested.
How has this happened? Through both a combination of hardware and software upgrades.© Provided by Forbes Media LLC
Google promises the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL has class leading smartphone cameras
On the back Google has stuck with a 12 megapixel camera sensor but it has a faster aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.0) and optical image stabilisation while combining it with the gyroscopic stabilisation and laser autofocus which was so effective on the Pixel. The front camera of the Pixel 2 has also bumped up from 7MP to 8MP.
But the real star is Google’s software. Whereas Apple and Samsung required power hungry dual rear cameras to achieve the popular ‘Portrait Mode’ (focused subject, heavily blurred background) Google merges ‘dual pixel’ technology and its class leading image processing to achieve the same (or possibly better based on early tests) with just one and this also works with the front camera as well for epic selfies.© Provided by Forbes Media LLC
Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have Portrait on both front and back cameras
There is a downside compared to dual cameras though, since two modules can offer either a 2x optical zoom (Apple, Samsung) or a super wide angle lens (LG). Neither of these can be done by the Pixel 2, but if it’s simply the best photos and video you want then Google’s phone is a class above the rest.
There are party tricks too. The Pixel 2 adds ‘Motion Photos’ (a rip-off of Apple’s Live Photos that ripped off Nokia’s Living Images) which creates 3 second short videos around the photos you take to bring them to life. You’ll also still get free unlimited photo and video storage on Google Photos so everything you upload until 2020 will be free for life.© Provided by Forbes Media LLC
LG G6 (left), Galaxy S8 (centre) Pixel (right) – shows the 2016′s phone’s camera skills
Finally the Pixel 2’s camera adds Google Lens which allows you to perform searches from the photos you take, and wider support for Augmented Reality (like Apple’s new iPhones) so third parties can integrate real-time 3D modelling into the camera view. This is an area which will explode over the next few years.
Battery Life And Charging – Disappointing Stagnation
So the Pixel 2’s camera is the star of the show, but its battery life is not.
While the Pixel has a 2770 mAh battery, the Pixel 2 has shrunk this my 70 mAh. That won’t make a tangible difference (especially when combined with the more efficient Snapdragon 835 and >improvements in Android Oreo), but there’s certainly no revolution in this generation. You should get a day of medium to heavy usage and no more.
As mentioned earlier, the Pixel 2 also lacks wireless charging in a year where even Apple jumped aboard (strange when some old Google Nexus phones supported it years ago), though fast wired charging out the box via >USB-PD over USB-C could >teach Apple a thing or two.© Provided by Forbes Media LLC
Neither Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL have wireless charging
Storage and Price – More For No More
While the Pixel 2’s battery life may not have taken a step up, thankfully the same can be said of its price in a year when Apple and Samsung pushed their premium smartphones >well over $1,000.
Thankfully the Pixel 2 still comes in at $649 and $749 like with original Pixel and the lower storage tier has doubled from 32GB to 64GB while 128GB remains at the top. The absence of a 256GB option seems amiss (especially with Google’s long running refusal to support expandable storage in its phones) but the unlimited Google Photos storage does effectively mean limitless capacity.© Provided by Forbes Media LLC
Google Pixel 2 in Almost Blue cannot hide its large top and bottom bezels but it remains a classy smartphone
On the surface the Pixel 2 looks a disappointing upgrade to the Pixel, especially considering the >more exciting changes made to the Pixel 2 XL. But look deeper and Google has addressed almost all the major shortcomings of the original model.
The large bezels remain but they fit front firing speakers. Aluminium and glass remain on the back but with a larger and more grippy aluminium finish. IP67 water resistance is added, the display is more colour accurate with Always-on functionality and the camera once again leaps ahead of the competition making it the number one selling point.
It is also worth pointing out the Pixel 2 is $200 less than the Pixel 2 XL at each storage tier and that’s significant given their displays are the only obvious differential.
So yes the Pixel 2 is a worthy successor and it also compares very favourably with Apple’s iPhone 8 given Google has fitted a superior display (AMOLED vs LCD, 1080p vs 750p), camera, speakers, pricing and battery capacity (Pixel outlasted the iPhone 7 and neither 2017 upgrade has improved). Apple’s A11 chipset is certainly faster, but real world performance is rocket fast on both phones.
So don’t be put off by the Pixel 2’s modest looks. This might just prove to be one of the smartest smartphone buys of the year…
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Source : http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/google-pixel-2-vs-pixel-whats-the-difference/ar-AAthh3R