How Is the Google Pixel 2 Different From Its Predecessor?

Google today announced the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL , sequels to its original Pixel smartphones. The two phones appear to be identical except for the larger Pixel 2 XL screen and both run Android 8.0. You might be thinking of upgrading the original Pixel to the Pixel 2, but before shelling out $ 649 for the cheapest 64GB model when it becomes available on October 19, check out what has changed since the Pixel debuted last October.

First, it looks the same

Similar to Apple’s austere iPhone 8 design, the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones are remarkably similar to their predecessors. Of course, what’s on the inside matters and the two smartphones have subtle changes like the front-facing speakers, but that doesn’t mean they have to look nearly identical to last year’s model. The fingerprint sensor is still on the back of the device, where your index finger would normally rest. Plus, both Pixel 2 devices are rated IP67 water and dust resistant.

The camera is even better

The latest Pixel has been praised for its excellent camera, which is a rarity in a world where the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy line of smartphones usually grabs attention in terms of camera quality and performance. Both Pixel 2 phones have a 12-megapixel rear camera that scored 98 in DxOMark’s smartphone camera quality test (the first Pixel scored 89 ). While last year’s model had the same megapixel resolution, the Pixel 2 has an f / 1.8 aperture compared to the Pixel 1’s smaller f / 2.0 aperture. The front 8MP camera hasn’t changed, although it (along with the rear camera) supports Google’s new Portrait Mode, which creates mirror-like images by blurring the background of your image’s subject.

Goodbye headphones, I hardly heard you

Although the inscription hung on the wall for a while, Google simply hammered a nail into the coffin of its wired headphones . Following Apple’s lead, Google’s new phones have completely ditched the jack – it required either Bluetooth headphones, headphones with the new USB-C connector, or an adapter (great) to listen to music through your positively archaic 3.5mm cans. Google also announced its own Bluetooth headphones, the Google Pixel Buds, which support real-time translation via Google Assistant. Just tap the Pixel Buds with your finger, ask it to help you speak the foreign language of your choice, and start speaking. Très incroyable!

While removing the headphone jack makes it easier for Google to waterproof the Pixel 2, it also means that the entire consumer electronics ecosystem is becoming more and more dated. Adapt (in this case with a literal adapter) or die, I suppose.

Screens without bezels (or cutouts)

Google boldly resists the trend of taking a chunk out of your smartphone ‘s rectangular display while leaving the Pixel 2 untouched. The 5-inch display has FHD resolution (that’s 1920 x 1080), while the larger Pixel 2 XL has a 6-inch QHD + (2880 x 1440) curved display.

Squeeze me i dream

The Pixel 2 and 2 XL have a rather new feature: squeezable sides. Borrowed from the HTC U11 smartphone (which makes sense given that Google bought the company’s smartphone division for a steep $ 1 billion), Active Edge lets you squeeze the sides of the device and activate Google Assistant. Active Edge also works when your phone is in the case, so you don’t have to defy the elements to take advantage of this unusual feature, or constantly ask Google Assistant for attention if you are in a noisy environment. Hopefully Google will allow you to repurpose Active Edge for other functions, such as taking pictures or opening frequently used apps.

Google’s announcement included other accessories, both new and familiar for the Pixel 2, including new smartphone cases, a removable camera (aptly named Google Clips) and two new Google Home models. Whether they are all good, we will find out soon enough.


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