Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are Androidsmartphones designed and developed by HTC and LG and marketed by Google. They were announced during a Google event on October 4, 2017, as the successors to the Pixel and Pixel XL. They were released on October 19, 2017, and serve as the second set of smartphones in the Google Pixel hardware line. On October 9, 2018, they were succeeded by the third-generation Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
In early March 2017, Google's Rick Osterloh confirmed that they would bring a "next-gen" Pixel phone later that year. He stated it would "stay premium" and that there would be no "cheap Pixel".
Google originally intended to use HTC to manufacture both their 2017 flagships, but later shifted to LG to manufacture the bigger Pixel 2 XL. The unreleased device that was supposed to be the Pixel 2 XL under the codename "Muskie", was later re-developed by HTC into the HTC U11+.
The back of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is made from aluminum with a thin "premium coating" of plastic and has a top section made from glass to provide wireless transmissivity. Unlike the original Pixel XL, which was simply an enlarged version of the Pixel design with no other changes, the Pixel 2 XL's external design differs from its smaller sibling, employing a taller 2:1 P-OLED display (marketed as 18:9) instead of the Pixel 2's 16:9 AMOLED.
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are both powered by the QualcommSnapdragon835, coupled with 4 GBLPDDR4X RAM. They both come in storage options of 64 or 128 GB.
Magnified view showing the diagonal PenTile pixel arrangement on the Pixel 2 (not XL)
The Pixel 2 has a 5-inch (130 mm) AMOLED display panel with 1920×1080 resolution, coming in at around 441 ppi, while the Pixel 2 XL comes with a 6-inch (150 mm) P-OLED display panel with a 2:1 aspect ratio and a 2880×1440 resolution at 538 ppi.
Both phones have a 12.2 megapixel rear camera capable of recording 4K video at 30 FPS, 1080p video at 120 FPS, and 720p video at 240 FPS. The camera also contains phase-detection autofocus, laser autofocus, and HDR+ processing. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL also include the Pixel Visual Core (PVC) image processor for faster and lower power image processing, though it was not enabled until Android 8.1 was released in January 2018. The PVC was custom design by Google's consumer hardware team with collaboration from Intel. The Pixels do not have support for 4K video at 60 FPS, as the processor is not powerful enough. The Pixel 2 includes Optical Image Stabilization which the Pixel lacked. Google uses Fused Video Stabilization which reduces issues with camera shake, motion blur, rolling shutter distortion, and focus breathing as found in other image stabilization methods.
The phones ship with stock Android8.0 "Oreo" on launch. Google has promised three years of software and security updates, making it closer to the average four years of support that Apple provides for its iPhones.
The new Pixels also include a feature called "Active Edge". With this, the Google Assistant can be launched by squeezing the phone's sides, similar to the HTC U11's "Edge Sense" feature.
This phone was also released with the new Google Lens app, which is designed to bring up relevant information using visual analysis by the camera. Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL also automatically reverse searches songs which are playing around the device.
Android 8.1 Oreo was released for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL on December 5, 2017.
Pixel 2 owners receive free unlimited storage for all photos and videos taken on the phone in original quality through the end of 2020, with unlimited high-quality storage continuing afterwards.
Google updated the Pixel 2 with many features from the Pixel 3, such as: Night Sight, Google Duplex, Call Screening, Playground, New Google Lens, Portrait Mode Depth Effect Adjustments, Flip to Shhh and Digital Wellbeing.
The Pixel 2 camera received a score of 98 from DxOMark, making it the highest performing mobile device camera at the end of 2017, and was overtaken in March 2018 by Samsung's Galaxy S9+.
The Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL received mixed reviews. The phone was praised for the camera quality and water resistance, but was criticized for the removal of the headphone jack, particularly after Google mocked Apple for doing the same with its iPhone 7 phone at the launch of the first generation Pixel phone just 12 months prior. Google was also criticized for the price of the USB-C to 3.5mm headphone adapter it sells, which costs US$20 while Apple's Lightning to 3.5mm adapter costs US$9, as well as for not including headphones with the phone. It's charging hole fits most other phones too. However, news outlets noted that because USB-C is a standard interface, unlike Lightning, there are a variety of third-party adapters that retail for less than Google's official one. Google later dropped the price of the adapter to US$9, keeping the price in-line with Apple's offering.
YouTuberJerryRigEverything, who performs durability tests on various smartphones, criticized Google for their design choice with the antenna lines on the sides of the handset. When he bent the Pixel 2, it cracked at the antenna line near the middle of the phone, voiding its water resistance and warranty, while most other phones from competitors pass his bend test. This does not apply to the Pixel 2 XL.
The design of the smaller Pixel 2 was regarded as plain, and its big chunky bezels were not well received, considering that earlier 2017 phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6 had moved to nearly bezel-less screens.
The Pixel 2 XL screen became infamous for quality control issues, a flaw shared with the LG V30 which also has the same manufacturer and P-OLED screen type. The Pixel 2 XL has a blue tint visible on the screen when the phone is viewed at an angle. Many were dissatisfied and it was speculated that Google had installed the polarizer incorrectly. However, when Google addressed the tint, they stated that it was a design choice to have the blue tint to go along with the cooler color temperature used by the screen (it is calibrated to a D67 white point, which is 6700K).
The Pixel 2 was update with the Pixel 3's Night Sight feature which dramatically improves low light performance with no flash or tri-pod. Using Night Sight the Pixel 2 takes superior low light photos than newer 2018 flagships such as the iPhone XS, Huawei Mate 20 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
Vlad Savov of The Verge has complained of under-saturated and distorted OLED displays, and there have also been reports of screen burn-in on some Pixel 2 XL units.
The Pixel 2 XL also suffers from a "black smear" problem, which occurs when a group of black pixels transition to colored ones, and tend to linger for a while, before changing to their expected state.
Google conducted an investigation and said that a software update would be coming soon that would add a new mode for more saturated colors, reducing the maximum brightness of the Pixel 2 XL devices by 50 cd/m2 to reduce load on the display, and fading out the navigation bar after a period of inactivity. The November security patch came with three new screen modes that Google promised earlier, although Google has also said that further enhancements would be included in a separate software update to be released in December. Google also extended device warranty to two years for both devices worldwide.
The Pixel 2 XL has an issue where the screen may flash randomly. It occurs when the phone is locked or unlocked. The issue was fixed in the June system software update, but returned with the July update.
Hundreds of Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL owners have been complaining of high-pitched and clicking sounds coming from the phone. Google investigated the issue and recommended turning off NFC to temporarily fix the problem until a software update comes out. The November security patch fixed the clicking sound as well as the KRACK WPA2 Wi-Fi security issue, however, it did not fix the buzzing sounds heard during calls on some devices. Google has promised a fix in a future update.
The Pixel 2 XL has a volume flaw that reduces the sound level of audio clips sent through messaging apps such as Google Allo, Instagram, and Telegram among others. Google is aware of the problem and is looking into it.
Some of the USB-C to 3.5mm adapters for the headphones do not work. In some cases, rebooting the phone can fix the issue temporarily. Google is offering replacements for the faulty adapters.
Some Pixel 2 XL suffer from speaker rattling when playing content or even during phone calls.
Multiple users reported that the microphone can randomly stop working. A possible solution is to blow into the microphone.
Some units suffer from Bluetooth connectivity issues.
The Pixel 2 XL comes with a charger capable of fast charging at 18W, but the phone is not able to charge at more than 10.5W, taking two and a half hours for a full charge. Below 20 °C (68 °F) the charging speed is just a mere 3-4W, but the phone will still display "Charging rapidly", which is misleading.
The phones are known to randomly reboot. Google promised a fix in the coming weeks. The random reboots are believed to be caused by the LTE modem. The Android 8.1 release in 2017 did not fix the problem.
The Android 8.1 update introduces an issue in the Pixel 2 XL making the fingerprint sensor slower. Google is investigating the issue.
The phones have issues with Wi-Fi mesh networks, where disconnects are common. Google is already investigating this issue.
Users started reporting battery drain issues after the February security update. The battery drain become worse after the April security updates. Google is looking for a fix.
Users are reporting proximity sensor issues. Google is aware of the issue and looking for a fix.
Some users are having issues making calls and receiving MMS messages. Google claims these issues are fixed but users are still complaining about them.
The Pixel 2 produces blurry panoramas. Google has known about this issue since December 2017, but has not been able to deliver a fix. There is a workaround for this issue but it requires rooting the phone (which requires a full wipe if the bootloader wasn't previously unlocked). Google has promised a fix later in 2018.
The June OTA update introduces an issue that makes the phone much slower to wake up from sleep. Google is already aware of the issue and looking for a fix.
The camera has an issue where it sometimes shows "fatal camera error". Google is aware of the issue and working on a fix.
The phone has lag issues and can get extremely laggy without a known cause. The only known fix is to replace the device. Google is aware of the issue and looking for a fix.
Pixel 2 refurbished phones have a locked bootloader. Google is aware of the issue and is looking for a fix.
In the United States, Verizon and Project Fi are the exclusive carriers for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. They are available direct-to-consumer for use on any wireless network through Google's online store, or from Best Buy and Target.
According to IDC Senior Research Director Francisco Jeronimo, Google shipped 3.9 million units in 2017, twice as much as Pixels sold in 2016.
On March 21, 2018, Google did a temporary offer if a consumer financed a Pixel for 2 years the consumer receives $200 cashback, to compete with the Samsung Galaxy S9 and iPhone X. The promotion ended March 31, 2018.
On July 9, 2018, Google reduced the Pixel 2 XL price significantly.
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