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Google Pixel 2 XL review

8.1/10 AVG.
RATING



8.1/10
Informr score
The Google Pixel 2 XL currently has an Informr score of 8.1 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 54 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Great battery life
  • Excellent main camera
  • Fast performance
  • Slick design

What's bad

  • Potential image retention/screen burn-in issues
  • Poor viewing angles
  • Slippery

With the second iteration of the Pixel, Google hopes to entice more people to the Android side. It’s large size and great specs are some of the draws, but is it enough to impress reviewers. Let’s find out!

The Pixel 2 XL, as the name suggests, is a large phone measuring in a 6.2 x 3.0 x 0.3 inches and weighing around 176 grams. While not the largest phone on the market, it definitely is larger and heavier than the Galaxy S8. The weight comes from the mostly aluminum back.

Despite its large size, many were surprised with how comfortable it was to hold mostly due to the narrow width and three-dimensional curve around its edges. With that said, they still found it quite slippery and suggest using a case if you’re especially prone to dropping your phone.

Another new addition to the Pixel 2 is its IP67 water resistance. That means it can survive quick dunks in the water, though you don’t want to let it soak for too long. 

If you’re hoping for a 3.5mm headphone jack, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Despite some pointed jabs at Apple for removing this port, Google has decided to do without it for the Pixel 2. 

Taking up a majority of the phone is, of course, the 6-inch QHD+ 2,880 x 1,440 pOLED display. Unlike the Pixel, the Pixel 2 has a resolution of 18:9 to complement the narrower design. Despite the specs, many critics aren’t impressed with the display. They found it to be somewhat dull in terms of vibrance though they add the colors were more “naturalistic” in comparison to the more oversaturated Samsung displays. 

They noticed two drawbacks the viewing angles and issues with image retention. First - the viewing angles. When they turned the display slightly side-to-side they saw a significant drop in brightness and color vibrance. 

The biggest downside - one Google has addressed with a promise for software update to patch the issue and an extended warranty for two years - is image retention. This essentially is when “ghost” versions of buttons appear on top of an image - for example, your app icons might ghost on top of an empty Google Document. 

While Google has said image retention and burn-in are in line with industry norms, many reviewers disagree. They state that it’s quite worse than normal especially since The Verge noticed this behavior in multiple unit, including a few minutes after unboxing one.

Performance-wise, the 4GB of RAM and Snapdragon processor combined to create a seamless experience for experts. They didn’t notice any lag or crashes even when multitasking. 

Battery life also impressed them. They were able to manage a full day even with heavy usage. For light to moderate usage, they easily managed a day and a half of use.

The biggest draw of the Pixel 2 XL is its camera. The 12.2MP camera provides an impressive f/1.8 aperture lens. In essence, the wider aperture allows for better lighting in dark settings. But how does it perform? Critics were blown away by the quality of the pictures.They were impressed with the overall image quality, sharpness and color accuracy. 

Thanks to the wide aperture, they were also able to get decent low light performance. Most of their pictures had very little grain and, because of higher shutter speeds, little to no blur. PC Mag states, “In auto mode, the Pixel 2 XL takes the best photos of any camera we’ve tested this year.”

Critics have a difficult time outright recommending the Pixel 2 XL due to the screen. Most suggest you check out the phone before making the purchase to ensure you will like it. In general, however, most have positive things to say about it. Tech Radar states, “It offers a whole lot of promise today and perhaps more importantly, it will continue to improve in the years to come…” CNet adds, “If the display problems don’t deter you...the phone is still otherwise great.


Operating system
Android
Processor
2.35 GHz
Screen Size
6"
Camera
12+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Android Central

Even a year later, if I had to choose one word to describe using the Pixel 2 XL, it would be "consistent." Other phones may have more RAM, and 2018 has meant there's a better, faster, stronger processor available. Still, the Pixel 2 XL is smooth as butter: apps open in an instant, there's no lag whe...

- Tom Westrick, Android Central
G Style Magazine

Even amidst the early display issues that the 2XL had(which Google pushed out updates for) it has turned into a “must have” device and really made its mark on the mobile industry. Best of all its had the backing of Verizon which I feel has helped it tremendously.

- Jason Million, G Style Magazine
Techaeris

The Google Pixel 2 XL is the second iteration of Google’s internally developed smartphones. While it’s nothing overly special or different, it is a solid Android smartphone with the added luxury of having stock Android and timely security updates straight from Google.

- Jason Bouwmeester, Techaeris
GSM Dome

Google Pixel 2 XL is a must have phone for Android purists, who want the clean, fast, pure unaltered Google mobile OS, with an extra scoop of Google Assistant.

- Alexandru Stănescu, GSM Dome
WhistleOut

The Pixel 2 XL is one of the best Android phones you can buy, but it's not quite a homerun for Google. The amazing camera and performance are offset by potentially problematic screen issues and a design that pales in comparison to the competition. These aren't deal breakers, but they mean the Pixel...

- Alex Choros, WhistleOut


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Screen Size
6"

The Google Pixel 2 XL's screen size is 6 inches with 1440 x 2880 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.35 GHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 Octa core 2.35 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 8.0 Oreo (Update Available: 10) operating system (OS).

Camera
12+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 12+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 8+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
64/128 GB

Internal memory is 64/128 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
3520mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3520 mAh battery. LG's performance ratings are 1200 minutes, 629 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Google Pixel 2 XL Specs

Overview
Release date October 17, 2017
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CDMA:
800/850/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/2100 /800/850/900/1800/2600/2300/2500 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, EV-DO Rev. A, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 8.0 Oreo (Update Available: 10)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 Octa core 2.35 GHz
Internal Storage 64/128 GB
RAM 4 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1 W/kg
Body: 1.18 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 2 Years
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3520 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Up to: 705 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 629 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Up to: 729 minutes
Talk Time Up to: 1200 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 11.3 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Just Black, Black & White
Dimensions [H x W x D] 15.7 x 7.6 x 0.8 cm (6.2 x 3 x 0.3 in)
Weight 175 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Water Resistant
Rugged design No
IP Rating IP 67
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology P-OLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1440 x 2880 pixels
Pixel density 538 pixels
Size 6 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
ƒ/ 1.8
Resolution
12+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Panorama, Self-timer, Dual Pixel Phase detection
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, FLV
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
F2.4 aperture
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, M4A, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, FLV, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Stereo
Headset Jack No
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): LG Pixel 2 XL

Additional Sensor: Barometer, Active Edge, Hall effect
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