The Google Nexus used to be the Android phone reference design. Since Google has now been going it along on reference Android phones, they’ve also been looking at making the Android experience the best it could be. Essentially, Android’s reference design should be the best of the best in terms of specifications, beginning with the original Pixel. Now, the Google Pixel 2 takes that best in class to the next level.
The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL has been launched by Google. The headline change, apart from all the specifications, and bound to cause some customer complaints, the Pixel 2 twins would join the iPhone in dropping the 3.5mm headphone jack to which people have grown accustomed. Rather, owners of the Pixel 2 would be forced to connect their wired headphones to the USB-C port via a provided adapter.
As for the all important innards of the Google Pixel 2, the sheet reads as you’d expect:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
- 4GB of RAM
- 64GB or 128GB of storage
- 5 inch, 1920×1080 pixel AMOLED screen (Pixel 2), or
- 6 inch, 2880×1440 pixel pOLED screen (Pixel 2XL)
- 3520mAh battery
Mostly top of the line stuff, including fast charging and IP67 resistance, though Google has chosen not to go all out on the screen resolution. This is likely to ensure battery life is decent. While the Google Pixel 2 twins might not have the biggest and baddest of all specification sheets, Google is hoping that the software will be the compelling factor in a customer’s purchasing decision, along with what it describes as the best phone camera in the world. This means that Android Oreo comes standard on the Pixel 2 twins.
The Google Pixel 2 is also an acknowledgement that the hardware race within Android manufacturers is now untenable. Manufacturers now realise it has to be all about software and features. HTC released a phone that can be squeezed as a shortcut. The Pixel 2 twins has something similar to this function. Squeezing the phone’s bezels will bring up the Google Assistant by default.
Because of the praise and success of the original Pixels, Google has had to increase the workforce and capabilities behind the brand. Google has spent over US$1 billion on a technical partnership with HTC, and securing some of that company’s staff and expertise.
Finally, if you are in the market for a new Android phone, then the Pixel 2 is an obvious candidate. You will have to give your consideration to three colours while shopping for the Pixel 2, Blue, Black and White; while you can only choose black or black and white for the Pixel 2 XL. Launch prices are US$649 for the Pixel 2 and US$849 for the Pixel 2 XL.