Google has officially unveiled the Google Pixel 2. The Pixel 2 is the successor to last years Google Pixel, which actually just happened to be one of the best smartphones of 2016. Beautiful display, superb camera and blisteringly fast software were all accounted for with the original Google Pixel. The only department that the Pixel fell short in, was its design.
The Google Pixel’s design was not bad by any means, but it was far from exciting. It was very well built, however, it had large bezels and no water resistance. Despite the design, the Pixel was a very good first effort into the smartphone hardware market from Google.
Google released two new smartphones yesterday, the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. Let’s start with the specifications, the specs below apply to the Pixel 2 and the pixel 2 XL:
- Snapdragon 835
- 4GB of Ram
- 64GB or 128GB of storage
- IP67 dust and water resistance
- Single 12.2MP camera on the back
- 8MP camera on the front
- Fastest Fingerprint scanner on any smartphone
Pretty good right? There’s no doubt that the Pixel 2 is a well spec’d device and it will certainly run Android extremely smoothly. The 12.2MP camera on the back of both devices also has the highest DxOMark rating of any smartphone camera… ever! From early sample shots that I’ve seen, the camera does look impressive. So far so good…
What I don’t like about the Google Pixel 2 – My Google Pixel 2 Rant
My first gripe is fairly insignificant, but annoying never the less. The removal of the headphone jack. There is no justifiable reason that I can tell, for as to why they removed it. And to make things even worse, Google actually mocked Apple for removing the headphone jack on the iPhone 7. Literally one year later, Google does the very thing they laughed at Apple for doing… What?! It’s not really that not a big of a deal, it’s just the reality that we all have to come to terms with. The headphone jack is a technology.
Oh, and Google is kind enough to include a USB Type C to 3.5mm headphone jack adaptor in the box. But if you lose it, it costs £20 to replace! For reference, Apple’s (the company infamous for high prices) equivalent adaptor costs £9 to replace.
Now let’s talk about the design. The Google Pixel 2 XL is where I’ll begin and I have to say, I really like the design. It’s tall 18:9 quad HD display looks gorgeous and it has much slimmer bezels that last years Pixel XL. The bezels aren’t quite as small compared to the Samsung Galaxy S8 or LG V30, but they still look good. The back of the device also looks sleek and modern. It has this unique design which consists largely of metal with a small glass window at the top. It’s a unique and quirky design, but I think it works well.
No 18 by 9 aspect ratio display on the Pixel 2
The smaller Pixel 2’s design, I’m not so fond of. The back of the Pixel 2 is the same as the Xl’s, which is great. However, the front of the device, in my honest opinion, is terrible. 2017 has been the year of shrinking bezels, and for some unbeknown reason, Google decided to put huge bezels on the Pixel 2. The bezels at the top and bottom are simply too large for 2017 standards. Google really missed a fantastic opportunity here. And here’s why…
Every smartphone with an 18:9 aspect ratio display tends to be large, that’s just the way it is. Why didn’t Google use the same Pixel 2 XL design for the Pixel 2? Instead what we got is a 5″ 16:9 (1080p) display with huge bezels. The Google Pixel 2 good have been the first ‘small’ smartphone with an 18:9 display. A smartphone with a tall display, thin bezels and usable with one hand? I’d buy it! The reason Google didn’t do this is so that consumers buy the more expensive Pixel 2 XL which costs £170 more. Bear in mind the Pixel 2 costs £629. Right now on Amazon, you can pick up the stellar Samsung Galaxy S8 which has a higher resolution 18:9 display for £70 less. Albeit you won’t get the dual front-facing speakers which the Pixel 2 has (which is actually an awesome inclusion in my opinion).
The Google Pixel 2 was almost perfect
To me, the Pixel 2 feels very much like an ‘S’ upgrade. The design is better than last years Pixel, but it’s a closer call than I’d like. I just feel Google really missed an opportunity to make a smartphone with thin bezels and an 18:9 display, but at the same time, not be huge. Not everyone wants a big smartphone and Google knows this; otherwise, they would have only made the Pixel 2 XL.
Don’t get me wrong, the Google Pixel 2 is a great smartphone. It has almost everything you’d want from a 2017 flagship; OLED display, excellent camera, great build quality, buttery smooth software, front-facing speakers and high-end internals. But if you also want the 2017 design, you’ll have to fork out extra for the Google Pixel 2 XL.
Please take my Google Pixel 2 rant with a pinch of salt, it’s just my opinion. I don’t dislike the Google Pixel 2 by any stretch of the imagination, I just think that it could have been done slightly differently…