We have just seen the launch of Google’s ambitious Pixel phone upgrade this year. Both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have been subject of tremendous hype preceding the launch and now we can safely say they deserved it. They are loaded with ultimate smartphone cameras and deliver really lightning performance.
In spite of so many similarities in power and functionalities, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have differences that make one of them more lucrative than the other. The so called size and price-wise differences apart, there are others worth counting. Let us explain the key areas of difference between these two Pixel devices.
|Google Pixel 2||Google Pixel 2 XL|
|Processor||Snapdragon 835||Snapdragon 835|
Display: size and quality
The most obvious difference that attracts your attention between the new Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL is about their design and display. When it comes to display, Pixel 2 comes with the 5-inch 16:9 AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 pixel count.
In contrast Pixel 2 XL comes packed with 6-inch 18:9 P-OLED display with 2560 x 1440 pixel count. While the first one has 67.9% screen-to-body ratio the bigger Xl one offers 76.4% screen-to-body ratio. The display of both devices is equipped with Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
Apart from other differences the Pixel 2 XL offers more elongated display with 18:9 aspect ratio just like its big competitors such as iPhone X, Galaxy S8 and LG V30.
When it comes to similarities, both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL fully support HDR for watching high quality video through streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Video, Google Video, etc. Both the phones also offers a feature called always-on display which will continue showing time and notifications even while the device enters the standby mode.
New design changes brought in 2017
The pixel ever since its launch made a quick reputation as a sleek, slim and beautiful device. But the design commitment of Google continued to strive for a better design and now in 2017 we have Pixel phone with a further boost in design. Both phones this time shows significant difference in respect of screen to body ratio. While the Pixel 2 still retains good amount of bezel on top and bottom of the screen, the Pixel 2 XL now reduces the bezel to a least minimum.
Both the new Pixel phones offer backside with materials split between textured aluminium and glass. While look-wise they look appealing, the textured aluminium surface will also prevent them from slipping out of hands. Compared to full glass backs, this will ensure more durability and strength. The two tone finish will also give an unique flair to new Pixel phones. There are some nice colour options as well like ‘Slightly Blue’ and ‘Black and White’.
One design decision with the new Pixel range that deserves mention is the removal of headphone jack. It is clear that, Google Pixel wants to join the league of other advanced phones like iPhone 8 and iPhone X enabling hearing with wireless and Bluetooth connected speakers.
Distinct Performance Boost
Both the devices are loaded with latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core chipset which in respect of performance equals the latest A11 chipset introduced by Apple. Compared to the earlier processor used in the 2016 models of Pixel phones, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are respectively 30% and 27% faster. To match to the processor power, both Pixel phones have 4GB RAM.
The camera of Pixel and Pixel Xl even in their first launch last year proved to have more than any other cameras in comparison. They offered for the first time the real world speed to snap most crystal clear and vivid images. Taking the cue from them this year both Pixel upgrades took the camera and imaging features to the next level. Arguably, Pixel cameras stand as the best smartphone camera now. Let’s start from the camera specs.
Both Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL comes with 12.2 MP rear camera along with f/1.8, optical image stabilisation, phase detection, laser autofocus, dual-LED flash and a robust 1.4 µm pixel size. For video shooting both rear cameras can deliver crisp 4K videos at 30fps, 1080p at 120fps and 720p videos at 240fps. Both cameras comes with a big 8 MP front camera with f/2.4 speed and 1.4 µm pixel count while being able to deliver 1080p video output.
Cutting edge camera features
When you compare the camera output of latest Pixel range with other major smartphone offerings in cameras, you find most of them are trying to stay competitive with dual lens on the rear side. On the other hand, latest Google Pixel range in spite of not offering dual lens just deliver optimum image and video quality through a range of sophisticated software enabled features and camera functionalities.
The real trick that made Pixel cameras unmatched in output is the latest image processing algorithm used by Google in them. Both Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are equipped with intelligent image processing algorithm and machine learning. Such value additions with camera software helped Pixel cameras to deliver features like Portrait Mode which can produce crisp DSLR style images with blurred backdrop.
The new Pixel range also comes with a feature called ‘Motion Photos’ which works more like the Live Photos of Apple. By detecting movements these photos incorporate little motion in photos with a duration of 3 to 5 seconds.
If this is not enough another feature will make further push the Pixel camera. Google search will be available for search with the images. Thus, if the camera grab the image of a place or landmark and readily search for it, you will be provided detailed information about it instantly. The new camera will also support augmented reality and this will allow integration of third party 3D modelling.
Battery life and charging got slightly better
Except very negligible enhancements, battery life for both phone upgrades actually remained dull and not worth mentioning. In fact compared to the first Pixel, Pixel 2 this time have a slightly smaller battery. While earlier Pixel had only 2770 mAh battery, Pixel 2 has 2700 mAh battery. In comparison to the 3450 mAh battery of Pixel XL, we have now an incrementally increased 3520 mAh battery with Pixel 2 XL.
Android Oreo, the stock Android OS version used for latest Pixel range will bring more efficiency and boost the battery efficiency for the better. The Snapdragon 835 chipset also will boost the battery efficiency of the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The charging speed is also faster with 18W adapter connected with USB-C charging cable.
Storage and price
Google increased the entry level storage to 64GB while settling for 128GB storage on the upper side for both devices. Though price has been increased for both upgrades, Google still maintained enough sanity by keeping the price well within thousand dollar barrier.
While 64GB Pixel 2 will cost $649, the 128GB version of the same phone will cost $749. For Pixel 2 XL the 64GB version will cost $849 and the 128GB device will have a price tag of $949.
It is time to ask what’s the fuck about a better value between these two phones. Well, it obviously depends on your priority as a buyer rather than anything else. While the performance, core features and mostly the camera of both Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL looks quite akin, there are significant differences in display and design among them.