The Google Pixel 2 XL, launched in 2017, was Google’s second iteration of its Pixel lineup, emphasizing the pure Android experience, timely updates, and camera prowess. Here’s an in-depth review of the Google Pixel 2 XL:
The Pixel 2 XL was Google’s flagship offering for 2017, aiming to showcase the best of Android and set a benchmark for other Android OEMs. With its unique design, top-tier camera, and pure software, it was targeted at users who wanted the quintessential Android experience.
- Operating System: Shipped with Android 8.0 (Oreo), with guaranteed updates due to its Pixel lineage.
- Display: 6.0-inch P-OLED with a resolution of 1440 x 2880 pixels, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
- Processor: Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835.
- Memory: 4 GB RAM with options of 64 GB or 128 GB internal storage.
- Camera: Single 12.2 MP rear camera with dual-LED flash and an 8 MP front camera. Despite having a single lens, it offered portrait mode using software algorithms.
- Battery: 3520 mAh non-removable battery with fast charging support.
- Other Features: Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C, front-facing stereo speakers, water and dust resistance (IP67), and Active Edge (squeeze to activate Google Assistant).
- Camera: The Pixel 2 XL’s camera was among the best in its class, offering outstanding photo quality, especially in low light. Its software-driven portrait mode was also impressive.
- Software Experience: Being a Pixel device, it offered a stock Android experience with timely updates directly from Google.
- Front-Facing Speakers: The stereo speakers provided a robust audio experience, especially for media consumption.
- Active Edge: The squeeze feature to activate Google Assistant was a unique addition, providing quick access to the voice assistant.
- Display Issues: Early units of the Pixel 2 XL faced criticism for display issues, including muted colors, blue shift at off-angles, and potential burn-in.
- No Headphone Jack: The omission of the 3.5mm headphone jack was a point of contention for many users.
- Price: The Pixel 2 XL was priced at a premium, making it expensive compared to some of its competitors.
- Design: While the design was unique, it wasn’t universally loved, especially with its relatively large bezels compared to other 2017 flagships.
Comparisons to Other Technologies:
In its segment, the Pixel 2 XL faced competition from:
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Offering a Super AMOLED display, Snapdragon 835 (or Exynos 8895), and a dual-camera setup.
- iPhone X: With its Super Retina OLED display, Apple A11 Bionic chip, and a dual-camera system.
- LG V30: Featuring an OLED display, Snapdragon 835, and a dual-camera setup with a wide-angle lens.
The Google Pixel 2 XL was announced in October 2017 and became available shortly after.
- Display Controversies: As mentioned, early units had various display issues, which Google addressed with software updates and extended warranties.
- Audio Recording: Some users reported subpar audio quality when recording videos, which was later improved with updates.
- USB-C Audio: A few users faced issues with USB-C audio, especially with third-party headphones.
The Google Pixel 2 XL was a testament to Google’s vision of Android, offering a pure software experience, timely updates, and a camera that set benchmarks. While it had its set of challenges, especially concerning the display, it remained a solid option for those who prioritize software and camera performance. For users who value a bloat-free Android experience, timely updates, and top-tier camera performance, the Pixel 2 XL was a strong contender in the 2017 flagship segment.