Using the Pixel 2 XL in 2020 – worth it? (Review)

by birtanpublished on November 4, 2020

The google pixel 2 and 2 xl are quickly approaching three years old and right now are still fully supported up to android 11. hey how's it going i'm josh from 91 tech and today we're taking a look at the google pixel 2 xl a phone about as famous for the camera as it was infamous for the display how does it hold up in 2020 there were two iterations of the google pixel 2 the pixel 2 and bigger pixel 2 xl while the cameras are the same and those were

The headlining features of the pixel 2 there is a notable difference between the two phones the bigger one has a reduced bezel size as well as an actually worse display due to the most controversial point at launch the nasty blue tint that happens whenever you shift the phone even slightly off axis but we'll get to that and what google did about it in this video we're gonna be mainly looking at the excel unless that's the phone i actually have i can't see the smaller pixel 2 being a great experience

Anymore besides just the outdated design it also probably has a pretty rough battery at this point functionality wise however it is about the same as the pixel 2 xl so most things i say about this phone will apply to that one so let's start with the design perhaps the most important aspect of any smartphone the back of the phone looks similar to the first pixel we still have an aluminum body with the top part hosting the camera and being glass the pixel 2 does have a camera bump

Unlike its predecessor but i'm actually okay with this because with the bigger and general camera i think it looks a lot more aesthetically pleasing than the old one did the first pixel kind of has that tiny thing tucked up in the corner and i don't know why but it just looks wrong to me the smaller pixel also has a camera bump but everything is arranged differently and again it just looks off kind of weird that they did it different than the xl because i think the xl looks perfect anyways we have the fingerprint sensor right below the glass and it's quite good definitely not the

Best one i've ever used but it does the job and it does it well of course i've never been a huge fan of the fingerprint sensor being on the back as you always have to pick up your phone to unlock it but that's just a personal pet peeve of mine and i don't really have any legitimate complaints while i do like the pixel 2 design one thing i miss from the pixel 1 is the brilliant blue color luckily we do still have a few nice options here the smaller pixel 2 came in clearly white kind of blue and just black the kind of blue is well

Kind of blue but still not nearly as loud as the first pixel the 2xl is more limited in colors we only get just black and then black and white the black and white is actually one of my favorite smartphone colors of all time simply for that orange power button and i wish they would bring it back of course i have just black here and honestly i think it looks pretty nice i will say that the pixel 3 and 3xl the next year with the frosted glass is my favorite design at least from the back of any pixel thus far but the aluminum

Of the 2xl looks nearly the same even if it means no wireless charging on the bottom of the phone we have usb-c which is great but we also have no headphone jack which is not great and is especially annoying because these phones didn't actually come with earbuds in the box just a dongle one neat feature of this phone is squeeze gestures squeezing the phone will bring up google assistant it's a simple feature but one that's cool to have but let's look at the front of the phone with that display the pixel 2 xl thrust google into a more

Modern style with a smaller bezel rounded corners and actually curved glass it's kind of subtle but the glass curves on the edges similar to galaxy phones but without the display extending over i actually really like this it gives the phone a very premium feel and kind of stands out from most other smartphones google did remove this the next year with the pixel 3 and the easy answer as to why is likely just to reduce costs in the manufacturing process the bezels aren't terrible for 2017 but are

Pretty thick for 2020 standards however the pixel 2 and 2xl do take very nice advantage of front-facing speakers and they sound quite good of course this phone here is cracked and i apologize for that i bought this phone back in the days when i wasn't making a ton of money from youtube but it doesn't hinder the experience at all so i feel like i'm getting a pretty good gist of what this phone can do the only thing is that the selfie camera got some dust or something in front of it so it doesn't work anymore or at least doesn't work

Properly but oh well luckily it's not my main device the display of the pixel 2 xl was the most controversial aspect of the phone within the tech community although it didn't seem like there'd be issues on the surface the smaller pixel 2 has a 5 inch 1080p display the 2xl features 6 inches and a resolution of 1440×20 which produces a higher pixel density than the small pixel and you would think it would be a better screen in all fairness the pixel 2 xl does look fine for the most part but if you tilt

The phone to any angle other than straight on you'll see an awful blue tint now this is something oled displays have always had but it's much more pronounced on the 2xl than it is on other phones supposedly google through updates was able to make it better but from the one i have here it still looks pretty darn blue now defenders will say that it doesn't matter because you're almost always looking at your phone straight on anyways i don't see this as necessarily true sometimes my phone is on my desk thus at an off angle or i'm watching

Something in bed it might be holding my phone oddly or i put my phone down while watching youtube and now the whole image looks blue this is a serious issue and was the deal breaker for it in 2017. it didn't cost much less than the iphone 10 but the display was awful in comparison now as harsh as i'm being times have changed back in the day i would recommend staying away from the pixel 2 xl simply because that display on an 850 2017 smartphone was an absolute joke but the truth is

It is something you can get used to and i'm able to live with it pretty easily the blue shifting could be passable if the price reflected the flaw and nowadays it does i'm jumping ahead in my typical order of how i review phones but turning to ebay.com the pixel 2 xl only costs around a hundred dollars and that's for a used or refurbished device that varies a bit but holy crap for this phone that is a terrific price the blue screen is something i think is easily ignorable for a phone of this caliber especially when you're

Talking about a hundred dollars you're getting android 11. the camera is still great and while the blue shifting is annoying this is still in my opinion one of the nicest pixels to date and definitely the best looking from the front ever since this excel the 3xl and 4xl have both looked quite odd you had the big notch on the 3xl which was made fun of to no end and then on the 4xl you have a tiny little chin and just giant forehead like yeah sure practically both of those later models

Are technically better but i much prefer the symmetrical design of the pixel 2 xl regardless of all that 100 is a great price for this phone and so if you're on a really harsh budget and are fine with buying used this really isn't a bad choice by any means now keep in mind battery life might be questionable it was actually decent when it came out so this phone is almost three years old so there's a good chance you'll need to keep a charger nearby with even only light to moderate use now don't get me wrong i'm not saying go out

And buy a pixel 2 xl typically i don't recommend buying used just in general because there can be so many potential issues that spawn from that but for those interested you have good reason to be the camera and android 11 are the big two but the other noteworthy one is that the newer pixels really haven't brought a whole much more to the picture the pixel 3xl just looks strange and really didn't improve much it has the same amount of ram and performance is pretty similar the pixel 4 xl in my opinion is just too expensive to be

Worth it at all even when there's a discount and that's because we know in two years it's going to cost the same as this phone and this phone costs a hundred dollars so i it just doesn't hold its value at all i would never buy a google pixel brand new but let's slow down here and take a look at the camera the reason people bought this phone we have a rear 12 megapixel sensor that just takes fantastic photos for 2017. and even now i'd say they hold up really well i think the weakest aspect

Is probably hdr as the sky is often kind of blown out but when it comes to the general quality the pixel 2 and 2xl can still produce some very impressive shots the portrait mode was one of the most talked about features there's definitely issues depth isn't always right and sometimes you can see weird clipping which is something all portrait modes tend to do so this is great for 2017 and still pretty decent now video recording is pretty bad with some awful 4k30 footage being produced the stabilization

Is jittery everything is over sharpened and just doesn't look clear this isn't a good video and unfortunately even the pixel 4 can't seem to get things right the selfie camera is pretty good as mentioned before mine is kind of useless the camera is eight megapixels and that is pretty darn good for 2017. definitely still more than acceptable for 2020. speaking of what's acceptable let's look at the hardware i definitely wouldn't label it as more than acceptable but we do have the

Snapdragon 835 processor and four gigabytes of ram the chipset is older and the ram does concern me four gigabytes is pretty low for android and could mean poor performance in the future but i'll say performance with the latest beta version of android 11 is pretty decent it's a beta so it's been a bit buggy but that's to be expected honestly i'd say this phone is still totally usable however i wouldn't expect it to get android 12 with the first google pixel being stuck on android 10. that phone also had 4 gigabytes of ram so that doesn't

Help its case but considering this is a 100 phone in 2020 i'm not sure you can expect much more from it yeah iphones are always supported for way longer but even getting support for three years is an impressive feat in the android world the galaxy note 8 an originally 930 phone launched at the same time as the iphone 10 and yet it only got two years of software support while the 10 will likely get at least another two years and the pixel 2 is at least getting android 11. i think the pixel line has a lot more

Potential if google actually made the effort to really optimize the android experience for both newer and older pixels and they have the ability to do so they could really challenge apple for the software support crown but they don't seem to show any indication of doing that at least right now there's a lot of things that need fixed in the pixel line but better support for older phones is a place to start and to their credit the pixel 2 xl is much better off than most of its

Competitors overall i'm not saying you should buy this phone over a newer one but if it fits your price range i'd say it's probably got to be one of if not the best phone you're getting for a hundred dollars it holds up pretty well in 2020 given that it's fully supported and the camera still takes nice photos the blue tinting in the display is annoying but again something you would get used to the phones never should have left the factory like this but a hundred dollars it's livable

Ultimately in my opinion the pixel 2 xl might just be the best google pixel to date if it weren't for the blue tint and the lack of headphone jack and the lack of wireless charging this in my opinion and could have been one of the best androids of all time but instead google does what they always seem to do with the pixel phones and they screwed up one aspect while making the other aspects so great any of you have the google pixel 2 or 2xl how's that going for you let me know in the comments down below if you found this video interesting or

Helpful maybe hit that like button and consider subscribing for more content just like this you can follow me over on twitter and instagram 91 underscore tech if you'd like to for some reason discord link in the description and with that all being said thank you so much for watching i'm josh from 91 tech and i will see you all next time you

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