Google Pixel 2 vs 2 XL: Long Term Review

by birtanpublished on October 28, 2020

What's up guys Mike here the Detroit Borg with my overdue look at the pixel two and the pixel two XL which came out about six months ago now when these launched there was quite a few issues with them specifically related to the pixel to XL display but a number of changes have happened since then which I think make these devices much better than they were at launch so I'm glad I waited because I'm much more positive about these devices than I was when they came out but we're gonna take a look at both of these phones aside by side because they are quite different even though they have some similar specs in

Terms of the unboxing experience is pretty much identical for both phones even the boxes are the same size despite these size differences of the phone the pixel is available in multiple colors but those colors also come with different finishes specifically the just black color as I have here have more of a texture to it so it feels a bit more grippy or more slippery depending on how you look at it but generally speaking I like the texture on the black one compared to the smoother texture of the other colors I also picked up the black and white pixel 2xl which has that

Contrasting black glass on the back and the white shell but it also gets you an orange power button the only thing to consider here is that the orange power button is plastic compared to the metal power button on the black model in terms of the accessories we get quite a few things in here so of course we get some paperwork which highlights its major features and functions which also includes a sim ejection tool but we also get a USB a2 USBC adapter which is nice to have but more importantly we also get a headphone adapter so because this does not have a built-in 3.5 millimeter

Headphone jack like a lot of other smartphones lately this does have a USBC adapter to work with your existing headphones but headphones are not included with a phone also included is a USBC cable and a power adapter which does work with fast charging now in many ways there's quite a few differences between the pixel two and the pixel two XL not just in terms of their size there's also a big difference in terms of the display quality and I think that's the biggest differentiator there are some design differences as well so for example the pixel 2 XL is more

Rounded at the edges while these smaller pixel two is a little box here we have a flatter glass front panel with a chamb furred edge instead of the rounded corners so the design of the pixel 2 is pretty iconic now we have a glass trim piece along the back but this time it's a bit smaller for the pixel 2 the fingerprint sensor is still along the back but this time it's surrounded by metal instead of glass now the body itself is all metal but it's also coated in a layer of a polymer or a paint which doesn't quite feel like metal but it doesn't feel like classic

Either it has the rigidity and heft of metal but doesn't have the cool touch of metal even though the finish resembles anodized aluminum in terms of the buttons they're all on the right side so we have a Vaughn control just below the sleep/wake power button and the power button is kind of a reach on the pixel to excel and the primary reason they did this is to give you enough room for the edge sensors so this is one of those phones that you can squeeze specifically to activate the Google assistant so there's actually pressure sensors in the edge of the phone so they had to leave

You enough room to grip the phone to squeeze it without hitting the controls although I still do that quite often the only thing we'll find on the left side is a nano SIM tray which is water-resistant so you'll see a gasket surrounding the tray so this is one of the first Google made phones that is water-resistant so we finally get that like a lot of other smart phones today this is also one of the first smartphones to get an e SIM or an embedded electronics in this only works with Google's project fire service but hopefully other cures will eventually

Use it only thing we'll find on the bottom is a USBC connector but there's a difference in terms of the microphone arrangement so you will see a microphone on the bottom of the pixel – but not the pixel – Excel instead that's on the top in terms of speaker quality they sound pretty good nothing amazing they're not as lyall as I expected but there's quite a difference in terms of the quality between these two I think the pixel to excel sounds a bit deeper but it's also a little more muffled than the pixel – but the pixel – does exhibit some distortion at higher volume so it's kind

Of hard to tell you which one sounds best but they definitely have a distinct sound this is Apple's first smart speaker and there's really here to take on things like the Amazon echo and the Google home although we have the same cameras the hardware on the back is arranged a bit differently and the camera on the pixel 2 XL sticks out a bit more because it's sitting behind the display which isn't the case on the smaller phone now besides pricing there's two main differentiators between these devices battery size as well as display size not

Just display size but display quality but both of these are Ola displays the XL supplied by LG so it's called APO Latour polymer OLED while the one supplied by Samsung on the smaller phone is an AMOLED display so the smaller display is pretty conventional its 1080 by 1920 good for 441 pixels per inch but the pixel to excel is extra tall and of course we have more pixels as well so we have a resolution of 1440 by 2880 that's an 18 by 9 display good for 530 pixels per inch now besides the obvious real estate difference there's also a

Difference in terms of the color tone so the smaller pixel 2 can only cover 95% of the DCI p3 range while the pixel 2 XL can cover up to 100% so that means the pixel 2 XL display looks a bit more vibrant it also looks no Swilly brighter than the pixel 2 so White's are much more vivid and the high pixel density means things look extremely sharp now there has been some controversy with the pixel 2 XL but that stems from earlier software and that's because the displays were tuned for a more natural or accurate color instead of vibrancy or saturation but some new color settings

Allow you to apply a much more saturated color profile to the phone so they look much more like other modern OLED displays they're definitely much more pleasant to look at and more consistent with other displays that you might be using pixel to XL does have a few issues with the display worth pointing out I think the biggest and most obvious one is the blue shift so when you tilt the phone any degree off-axis you'll see the screen sort of shift toward the blue side so this is a pretty common distortion from the polarizer on top of an OLED display now this is typical of

Older OLED displays and it's much more noticeable when the display is dim or if you're looking at a white screen now the good news here is that looks like they might have corrected some of this with later builds of the pixel 2xl so to test this out I actually bought the white and black pixel too in January of this year and if you compare them side-by-side there's a noticeable reduction in that blue shift so it definitely looks quite a bit better one of the other issues with the pixel to XL display is image retention that's especially noticeable with the Android navigation keys which

Are on screen and to minimize this effect with a new software update they dimmed down the navigation keys when you're not using them so for me this seems to have largely corrected the issue when it comes to batteries the pixel 2 has a 2700 are barely while the pixel to Excel has a fairly massive thirty-five hundred and twenty milliamp hour battery that's quite a bit bigger than the 3300 in the note eight and in terms of berry life the pixel to excel has been one of the best performers I've seen I'm able to get about two days of use out of this

Phone but that has declined in the past six months with some software updates which seem to have affected it but it's still one of the best performers out there and that's thanks to the large battery and the highly optimized software in terms of performance both phones are identical they get the Snapdragon 835 four gigs of ram across the board we also get two storage options 64 or 128 gigs and we do not have expandable storage in this case but it's a welcome improvement over the previous generation especially on the multi-core score in terms of camera

Hardware they keep it pretty simple we have a single 12 megapixel sensor with an F 1.8 aperture we do get optical image stabilization and laser assisted focusing along with a dual LED flash so really what makes this camera stand out isn't the hardware which is pretty standard it's the image processing power of Google software which produces some of the best results I've seen out of any smartphone camera today now despite the lack of a secondary camera the pixel 2 still has depth perception for the portrait effect within the camera app and it's actually one of the best

Portrait effects I've ever tested it's able to clearly define the subject and blur out the background even for challenging situations such as hair if you had hair as well as glasses now this works extremely well on both the front-facing camera and the rear-facing camera the camera app also has an AR demo which works surprisingly well so you can add 3d animated objects within your cameras field of view and you can record that and it works surprisingly well especially if you throw a lot of assets on the screen it's surprising what it can keep up with so you can

Place an item in the environment walk around in and keeps track of its location so really what makes this camera perform so well is not only the hardware but it's also the processing power within this phone and Google's software so without a doubt this is one of my favorite cameras in terms of still photography it does a fantastic job with color in all lighting conditions excellent detail with great dynamic range it doesn't over sharpen images and generally speaking it's one of the best cameras in terms of just pointing and clicking

And getting instantly great results this camera really excels in low-light not only it doesn't bring up a lot of detail but it does it without over saturating the image so it doesn't look yellow it also brings up detail without over sharpening or introducing a lot of color noise from bringing up the exposure too much so again a lot of that is the processing power not just the hardware just like the still photographs the videos also have excellent exposure and color so video looks extremely vibrant and with optical image stabilization and software stabilization hand-held video

Looks extremely smooth and natural so testing out this front facing camera it's recording at 1080p it is stabilized electronically so it's holding pretty smoothly here it's got a nice wide angle lens so you can see quite a bit in the background you don't have to hold the phone too far away from me for it to work really good looking camera overall definitely gets the job done better than most so checking out the interface we have the always-on display showing us ordained time and notifications DoubleTap to waken up we have quick shortcuts to our voice assistant and the

Camera app we can also double press the power key to launch quickly into the camera app which is very handy in terms of unlocking the device very quick just lightly tap the fingerprint sensor takes you right to the home screen so the home screen has some significant design tweaks for the pixel to launcher so we have this dock area which includes the Google assistant box so this takes you right to search but we also have our app row up here which you can rearrange so you just drag and drop whatever app you want here but basically we can swipe across on the home screen and all of

This stays down here which is very handy you can also swipe up to get to the app drawer you have your recently accessed apps or suggested apps toward the top and you can scroll through them down below of course we also have Universal search so you can search the device or just search the web Google assistant is everywhere on this device so swipe to the right to get to the Google assistant with all of your notification cards down below we have quick shortcuts to things like our weather food entertainment and much more in the upper corner as always we can

Long press on the home key to get to the Google assistant we can use our voice to wake it up or just squeeze the phone it takes you right to it starts listening right away so it doesn't give you a time to think you have to be ready for it what's the weather like tomorrow this also works from the lock screen what's the weather like tomorrow into Anto I do have to authenticate so you get the idea works in most situations including when you're within apps so IP now for the notification shade you'll see your notifications down below and our quick setting toggles up top which

You can expand out again so the first toggles are the first six if you want to rearrange these to keep your favorite toggles in the first row I have to do is go to the editor and drag and drop them around like so in terms of the toggles we have a nightlight so this will warm up the display and strip away some of the blue light but you can also schedule this just have him hold to get to the control panel for that so you can schedule this for sunset and sunrise so that will use your location to determine that or you can customize the schedule of course we have an LED flashlight and

We have a battery saver mode so you click on battery saver you'll see the status bar and navigation bar turn red to make sure you know it's on another nice detail here is the animated wallpaper so not only does it move around with the phone but you can see it is animated like a live video and I can modify this so we can go to wallpapers and pick a few different ones I'm actually called living universe now some of them have a little more impact than others but for example we have flying over Monument Valley and you'll see some balloons floating overhead you can see

It's moving just very slightly so if you want this you can set this as as the main wallpaper or you can check out some of the other ones here such as walking in the clouds in Hawaii you can actually see the car is moving around on the road down below so six months later after that rocky launch I have to say the pixel to excel is still one of my favorite smartphones out there now the pixel 2 is nice if you want something smaller but I personally prefer the larger display and the bigger battery of the pixel 2x so even though both phones are mostly the same overall although

Neither phone has outstanding displays or outstanding designs and it certainly would be nice if they had wireless charging I think this still has the best camera system on the front and back of any smartphone we also have that fantastic battery life on the pixel 2 XL and because it remains stock Android it also remains up to date which isn't the case with all the Android phones so for that reason the pixel 2 XL is still my go-to Android phone but of course I will be reviewing the galaxy s 9 so make sure you stay tuned for that in my next video

Hope you guys enjoyed this one sorry it's late and if you guys enjoy this please let me know with a like and I'll see you again in my next video

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