The latest flagship from Google makes good on the hype with a smart, powerful phone that shatters the stock Android mold. Pixel 2 XL review, features, news, specs and price UK: Google’s Pixel 2 XL is bigger, but it’s also a lot better looking than the Pixel 2.
Special operating system
The key to Android’s success is the open architecture that allows manufacturers like Huawei the best engineering products on Amazon or Samsung to change the system in their own interest. That these interests are not congruent with those of Google, so that Huawei not Google photos prominently placed on the home screen, but the own photo app, lies in the nature of things and is the main driver of the Pixel program (and the Nexus predecessor). By his own admission, Google is about “uniting hardware and software under one roof” to “demonstrate the best Google experience.”
That does not mean that one finds a particularly slender or “the best” Android version on the pixels, as is repeatedly claimed. These smartphones are just about all Google applications and services pre-installed and seamlessly interlock. For example, Google’s image recognition software Lens is directly linked to the photos app, which Google can only realize at their smartphones – at least to start.
Whether such an ultimate Google networking leads to better user guidance and a more stringent interface than on a Samsung smartphone, for example, everyone has to decide for themselves. It is undisputed, however, that the interface was tuned very well to the hardware, which can be felt, for example, by pressing the power button to switch off the smartphone : the pop-up menu is displayed on the touchscreen next to and at exactly the same level the physical key. We also wish such subtleties from Huawei the best engineering products on Amazon and Co.
Long update cycles
Another aspect associated with providing hardware and software from a single source is software support. Apple has been doing it for years with its iPhones, which still receive after three years, the latest iOS version. Google goes with the pixels in this direction and guarantees the devices for three years new versions of Android and regular security updates. This is more important in our opinion than the “Googleization” of Android, but no longer a strong USP. Because like our update analysis shows that all major brands are delivering two new versions of Android for their top-of-the-line models and are also close to handing over the monthly security patches on time. They do not get to Google, but they’re not that far away either. In any case: If you attach importance to strong software support, it is absolutely right with the pixels.
The cameras are excellent
Already last year, the Pixel series surprised with an outstanding image quality, which at that time hardly anyone, had trusted Google. This line continues the IT giant with its successors. In both models, a large 12.2-megapixel sensor is installed, which is optically stabilized and flanked by a bright optic with aperture f1.8. As our tests show, image sharpness and color reproduction are above average, even outstanding in low light conditions.
With the XL model, the sharpness decrease towards the edges is more pronounced, but that is criticism at the highest level. Both cameras are among the best we’ve ever measured in the connect lab. Rounding out the strong notion of a very good 8-megapixel front camera (which can also blur the background) and an excellent video quality – Verwackler compensate the pixel phones better than most other models.
Google with a strong presence
The results from our test lab are impressive, especially the long battery life: the Pixel 2 achieves 8:46 hours in the connect usage mix, an excellent value in the 5-inch class. The Pixel 2 XL lasts for almost 9:13 hours as long as the current leader in the connect leaderboard, Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro. With moderate use are also sometimes two days without a plug in it. Google puts in both smartphones an 18-watt fast-charging power supply in the delivery box, which brings the battery in about 60 minutes from zero to 70 percent.
All in all, both devices have a very good test result, which is not surprising in view of the outstanding cameras and the well-tuned operating system. Who decides on a pixel phone, does not go wrong. The high prices are a deterrent, especially since there are good alternatives that are cheaper.