The company Google released in 2017, two smartphones: the classic smaller and newfangled more. The real flagship was Google Pixel 2 XL, which combines a powerful stuffing, a steep camera, and a troubled display. In this case, all the traditional for the reference Android features are preserved and even become better.
Google Pixel 2 arrived in full combat kit: in the box, except the phone, lies a USB Type-C cable, a power supply for fast charging and a USB-C adapter for 3.5 mm. Quickly unpacked the entire farm, inserted a SIM card into the phone and ran to take photos because I read that the camera in Pixel 2 is indecently good. Let’s check!
Features of Google Pixel 2 XL:
- Screen: P-OLED, 6 inches, resolution 2880×1440 pixels
- Platform: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
- RAM: 4 GB, ROM: 128 GB
- main camera: 12 megapixels (f / 1.8, OIS), front camera: 8 megapixels (f / 2.4)
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, Type-C
- Battery: 3520 mAh
- Accelerometer, light sensor, fingerprint reader, compass, protection IP67
- dimensions: 157,9х76,7х7,9 mm, weight: 175 g
- OS: Android 8 Oreo
Design and Materials
In Pixel 2 XL, Google first used the display with an aspect ratio of 18: 9, which had a direct impact on the design.
The smartphone tries to look like a “frameless” model, but in fact, although the frames on the top and bottom of the screen are smaller than in the first Pixel XL, they are still quite large. Therefore, the Google smartphone is more than, for example, Huawei Mate 10 Pro with the same display diagonal.
To the frame Pixel, 2 XL quickly get used to, but the design still seems slightly outdated. From the front panel in the device, it is difficult to distinguish anything, it is completely made of a protective glass, which is rounded at the edges.
On the bottom and top of the screen, there are stereo speakers, they are recessed into the case and dust is easily collected.
The edges and most of the back side of the smartphone are metal but covered with plastic spraying with a rough texture. Thanks to this Pixel 2 XL does not slip, and it is nice to hold in hands.
On the back of the smartphone, as in the first generation, Google used a glass insert. This time it is smaller and is located above the fingerprint scanner.
This approach, on the one hand, makes the design of the Pixel 2 XL more recognizable (other manufacturers usually use either glass or metal), and also allows the body to be rid of plastic strips of antennas.
Unlike last year’s Pixel XL, the new model is equipped with water and dust protection in accordance with the IP67 standard, which allows it to be lowered into the water to a depth of 1 meter for up to 30 minutes.
Pixel 2 XL received a 6-inch OLED display with a new 2: 1 aspect ratio and a resolution of 2880 × 1440 pixels, a DCI-P3 color spectrum coverage. The production technology allowed to realize always included display and maximally deep black color.
Great contrast on the spot, also the display was pleased with the excellent maximum brightness. Overflows and care in green-blue-red shades under small deviation angles (classical OLED shortcomings) are present. At minimal brightness, in addition to strong care in blue tones, one more traditional negative OLED is clearly pronounced:
Color rendering of the display is difficult to praise: profiles suggest choosing natural colors that look more like faded, and other modes drastically depart from reality towards acidity. The temperature is slightly cool, but within reason, it does not irritate.
The fingerprint scanner
The fingerprint scanner is located on the back of the Pixel 2 XL case. He has a good location, when you get the smartphone out of your pocket, then the index finger of both the right and left hands falls exactly on the scanner.
It works very quickly, allowing less than a second to unlock the display. In the scanner settings, you can add five fingerprints.
Pixel 2 XL received a standard for the flagships of 2017, filling: Snapdragon 835 and 4 GB of RAM. The power is enough to show excellent results in synthetic tests:
Measurements in games showed features of implementation. For example, Asphalt 8 provides 28 fps on average, the lower mark for 40 minutes of the game was 24 fps, which looked strange after more productive work on the Xiaomi Mi 6, but the Pixel 2 XL case did not get warm at all, the even minimal growth temperature is not noticed.
The single mode in Modern Combat 5 worked stably at the maximum settings, the frame rate was almost non-walkable and comparable to all the same Mi 6, but the heat appeared stronger, although it did not reach the state “hotly”. Less demanding games did not cause questions: it is stable and “cold”.
The shell of the smartphone works as smoothly as possible in any applications, downloaded content from the Internet and its rendering do not eat off scrolling frames in the Twitter or Facebook tapes. This is one of the fastest smartphones out of the box, in addition, judging by the experience with the past generations of devices from Google itself, performance will not work after two months of operation.
Great performance is needed not only for games but also for work of fundamentally new pieces, including artificial intelligence for photo processing. Highlighting the near and far backgrounds on the frame with the subsequent blurring of the latter – almost the only moment when you can see the second thoughtfulness of the device. However, this does not affect the rendering of the interface, just enhanced blurring does not appear immediately.
Already by last year’s Pixel, it was clear that Google seriously took up work on the cameras in smartphones. And since the company is actively developing machine learning, it was useful for post-processing images.
This allowed not the most advanced camera module in the first Pixel to create excellent photos. To the output of Pixel 2 XL, Google had time to even better train its neural networks, as well as to choose a more modern camera module. The latter received a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, aperture f / 1.8, optical stabilization, as well as phase and laser autofocus. The camera really began to shoot better, providing excellent detail and without mistaking the white balance.
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Aperture f / 1.8 allows the camera matrix to receive more light and one this was to improve the quality of the smartphone pictures in poor light conditions. But Google decided not to rely solely on the hardware, using aggressive post-processing. Because of this, night shots with Pixel 2 XL sometimes look like finished ones. And when you look at them in detail, you see a noticeable overhaul that eats up the details. But more often smartphone software really makes night shots better.
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In addition, the use of neural networks allowed Google to manage one camera to realize the portrait mode. Blurring the background of the smartphone simulates, as in models with two cameras, defining the subject of photography in the foreground and soft washing all that is behind it. But unlike smart phones with two cameras that use the second module Pixel, 2 XL manages one. At the same time during the creation of portraits, the smartphone even tries to blur less than the background that is closer to the subject of photography in order to better simulate the depth of field. And although it turns out always with weirdness, for example, the right part of the frame will be more blurred than the left one, the work of the software part in the Pixel 2 XL camera is still impressive.
Moreover, now you can do portrait shots with blur on the front camera.
As a result, Pixel 2 XL has one of the most consumer cameras, which has a minimum of settings and practically itself is engaged in post-processing of pictures, it remains only to aim the lens and press the trigger.
Last year during the presentation of Pixel Google representatives joked about Apple for rejecting the 3.5 mm headphone jack, and this year they abandoned it themselves. In Pixel 2 XL, headphones can be connected either via USB Type-C (directly or via an adapter), or via wireless Bluetooth 5.0 with support for A2DP, LE, and aptX HD. The smartphone sounds good, providing a normal volume reserve.
External speakers in Pixel 2 XL stereo, they are located at the top and bottom of the screen. They sound loud and quite voluminous but begin to croak at maximum volume.
Sound and communication
The most beautiful part of the smartphone when frontal comparison with competitors are front stereo speakers: the sound is loud, clean, directed at the user. The quality is comparable to the iPhone X, but the volume seems to be higher.
The headphone jack disappeared in the Pixel 2 XL, but there is an adapter with Type-C, which processes the signal without audible loss when compared to the previous generation and Galaxy Note8, although LG G6 does not reach the quality, especially for bass and high frequencies. The volume, however, was given with a margin.
The radio part of the smartphone works perfectly, especially the accuracy of the GPS and the compass – turn-by-turn navigation gives an error of up to three meters, and the correct direction where the user looks is restored in less than 10 seconds after leaving the subway. The voice is transmitted perfectly, the power of the antennas is not a record, but in difficult situations like an elevator or an entrance, the smartphone behaves a little more stable than last year’s flagships.
NFC is, with Android Pay in Ukraine working, all the current wireless standards are implemented – a typical flagship. You could add another infrared port, but then Xiaomi products will have nothing to brag about.
The fingerprint reader in Pixel 2 XL is installed on the back, the correct location is selected – the index finger is placed exactly in the recess. The speed of the response is high, the accuracy is generally good, but if you do not cover the contact pad completely, that is, touch the part of your finger, the smartphone will say about the inability to read the pattern, although almost all smartphones are not so sensitive. As a result, one in ten readings was erroneous.
The most important thing that should be the reason to buy Pixel 2 XL – support directly from Google. It is this smartphone that first gets updates to Android now and so will continue, at least until the next flagship, but after the speed of the release of updates will be higher than that of any device of another manufacturer.
New features OS and proprietary software, security updates, the best camera software and the most advanced HDR mode – all the features of the system are constantly improved, and with the arrival of Android 8.1, Android Visual Core (Pixel Visual) is launched. The smartphone will constantly improve for three consecutive years (for a year more than the previous “guglofony”), this is its main difference from the entire range of Android-market devices.
Part of the device’s functionality is the features of Android 8 Oreo, for example, the points on the icons (talk about notifications in the program) and the possibility to postpone for a while a push message in the blind, semi-exclusive and almost not workable in Ukraine Google Lens, and others. Evaluate them as features of the device does not make sense because of the lack of binding specifically to the Pixel 2 XL, but their availability says: if you want to see all the new things that Android offers, you need to buy a smartphone from Google.
Specifications of Google Pixel 2 XL
Also known as Google Pixel XL2
|NETWORK||Technology||GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE|
|2G bands||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900|
|CDMA 800 / 1900|
|3G bands||HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100|
|4G bands||LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 13(700), 17(700), 20(800), 25(1900), 26(850), 28(700), 29(700), 30(2300), 32(1500), 38(2600), 40(2300), 41(2500), 66(1700/2100)|
|Speed||HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A (3CA) Cat15 800/75 Mbps|
|Status||Available. Released 2017, October|
|BODY||Dimensions||157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm (6.22 x 3.02 x 0.31 in)|
|Weight||175 g (6.17 oz)|
|Build||Front glass, aluminum body, partial glass back|
|SIM||Nano-SIM card & eSIM|
|– IP67 certified – dust/water resistant (up to 1m for 30 mins)|
|DISPLAY||Type||P-OLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||6.0 inches, 92.6 cm2 (~76.4% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1440 x 2880 pixels, 18:9 ratio (~538 ppi density)|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass 5|
|– Always-on display
– 100% DCI-P3 coverage
|PLATFORM||OS||Android 8.0 (Oreo)|
|Chipset||Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835|
|CPU||Octa-core (4×2.35 GHz Kryo & 4×1.9 GHz Kryo)|
|Internal||64/128 GB, 4 GB RAM|
|CAMERA||Primary||12.2 MP (f/1.8, 27mm, 1/2.6″, 1.4µm, Dual Pixel PDAF), OIS, phase detection & laser autofocus, dual-LED flash|
|Features||Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama|
|Video||2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps, 720p@240fps|
|Secondary||8 MP (f/2.4, 25mm, 1/3.2″, 1.4µm), 1080p|
|SOUND||Alert types||Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones|
|Loudspeaker||Yes, with stereo speakers|
|– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– Type-C to 3.5 mm headphone jack adapter
|COMMS||WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO|
|USB||3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector (PowerDelivery 2.0)|
|FEATURES||Sensors||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer|
|Messaging||SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM|
|– Fast battery charging (capped at 10.5 W)
– MP4/H.264 player
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+ player
– Photo/video editor
– Document editor
|BATTERY||Non-removable Li-Ion 3520 mAh battery|
|MISC||Colors||Just Black, Black & White|
|Price||About 870 EUR|
|TESTS||Performance||Basemark OS II: 4167 / Basemark OS II 2.0: 3379
Basemark X: 39143
|Display||Contrast ratio: ∞|
|Camera||Photo / Video|
|Loudspeaker||Voice 66dB / Noise 70dB / Ring 78dB|
|Audio quality||Noise – 93.7 / Crosstalk – 79.7|
Endurance rating 88h
The battery capacity of Google Pixel 2 XL was 3520 mAh, which among the flagships can be called a normal indicator. The duration of work from one charge is comparable with competitors – a stable light day and a day and a half in normal mode.
Active use planted the device for 5 hours of active display and 20 hours in anticipation, in the process used three messengers, two mailboxes (about 100 letters per day), a dozen applications, 20 minutes of games in casual projects, half an hour of video on YouTube and about 15 minutes of cumulative camera work.
The smartphone is warmed in minimum in any mode of operation, which increases the comfort from use and does not give distortions in terms of any specific scenarios. The device is capable of playing video for 10-12 hours in a row with rare notifications for notifications, but this indicator is now considered the standard for smartphones with OLED-screens.
The device comes with a decent power supply (5V 3A / 9V 2A), which provides quick charging: from 1% to 16% for 15 minutes, 37% for half an hour, the energy was completely restored in 1 hour 37 minutes. This is not a record, but the smartphone is warming in the process minimally because the extra 15-20 minutes of charging in comparison with the leaders can be forgiven.
Google Pixel 2 XL is available in versions with 64 or 128 GB of permanent memory, there are two colors: black and “panda” (black and white with an orange button). The cost starts from 30 999 UAH.
Samsung Galaxy Note8 is the most technologically advanced smartphone on the market: a long 6.3-inch display, a gorgeous camera, and a powerful filling attract attention, but if the size of 2 XL is enough, choosing becomes more difficult. Note8 wins at the expense of a brighter appearance, a slot for memory cards and a better screen. In addition, it is officially available in the Ukrainian market for 29,999 UAH.
The iPhone X is a different category of smartphone, but it’s close to Pixel 2 XL in its “best platform” philosophy. This flagship wins on the screen (the best OLED on the market), many seem more pleasant externally, and overall it feels futuristic, unlike the practical Pixel 2 XL. True, at a cost of UAH 37,999 in retail, it’s hard to say whether some of the advantages of rejecting a larger display, better autonomy and potentially more interesting, even a single camera, are worth it.
4 reasons to buy Google Pixel 2 XL:
- the most recent Android until mid-2020
- the highest smoothness of work
- great camera
2 reasons not to buy Google Pixel 2 XL:
- mediocre display
- difficulties with servicing due to lack of local service
Problems with Pixel 2 XL and how to solve them
Without any doubt, Google Pixel 2 XL is a great device. He has a top-end processor, a good camera and, of course, pure Android. This is how Google sees it. But, unfortunately, this year, Google’s smartphone has many problems. Surely, you’ve already heard about the most common – the screen problem. But there are a number of others that are found in fewer users. We have collected them all
Naturally, it is worth talking about this. This problem, to my great regret, cannot be solved by myself. First of all, you should contact Google and, if possible, return the device to them or replace it with another one. If the problem is with the software, then there are several solutions.
- Google tried to make the colors of the display as realistic as possible. But many people think that the colors are very dull. The company has already released an update, in which it added several screen setting modes. But if suddenly, this is not enough for you, you can download an application called OREO Colorizer. It can not be downloaded from Google Play, so you’ll have to search it on the Internet.
Burnout of buttons:
- You probably know that the Pixel 2 XL has software control buttons. So, many users, literally after a week of using the device, the control keys began to burn out. Usually, AMOLED screens have this problem, but it can happen a year or more. Fortunately, Google has already released an update, which made the buttons dimmer until you use them.
- If you look at the screen at an angle, it very strongly begins to go into blue shades. It’s not quite clear what’s wrong. Whether it’s a marriage of OLED matrices in general or just those screens in Google Pixel 2 XL. To my great regret, if you suddenly want to change the device to a similar one, then, for sure, it will have the same problem.
- Some users have broken pixels on smartphone screens. This problem can be solved using an application from Google Play – Dead Pixel Test and Fix. Run it and it will need to find the pixels and return them to the working state. If this does not help, it’s better to replace the device under warranty.
Problem with touch screen
Users found that sometimes the edges of the screen of the smartphone stop responding to pressing. This is the important part of the interaction with the smartphone. For example, when you open the side curtain in the settings and also use the symbols in the keyboard located to the left or right.
- This problem is related to the device software. It is not massive. Most likely, in the future, Google will find the cause of the problem and fix it with an update. The severity of the malfunction can be checked with the Touchscreen Test application. If it shows that the edges of the touchscreen are not active at all, you should replace the device.
Problems connecting via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- Switch Wi-Fi on your smartphone, and also reboot the router.
- To test your network, you can download an application from Google Play called Wi-Fi Analyzer. Using it, you can also check the load of the channels and choose a freer channel.
- Delete the already saved access point on the device, and then reconnect to it.
- Make sure that the latest firmware is installed on your router.
- Also, check the relevance of the OS on your mobile phone.
- Make sure that the MAC address of the device is not blocked on the router.
- If you can not connect to multimedia in the machine, try to remove the device, and then re-connect.
- Make sure that you have correctly connected the smartphone to the machine.
- Check the Bluetooth settings on your device.
- Try to remove the connection from the device, and then go through the authorization again.
- If suddenly, the problem becomes mass, the company will necessarily issue a special update.
Problem with the headphone adapter
One of Google’s strange solutions in the latest generation of Pixel smartphones was the decision to abandon the usual headphone jack. Considering that the company at the presentation of the first generation smartphone ridiculed Apple for this step. Yes, the smartphone comes with an adapter with USB Type-C for 3.5 mm audio output, but many have problems with it. The adapter is very hot or does not work at all.
- Most likely this problem will be solved by updating the operating system to Android 8.1 Oreo.
- Some pull out the adapter several times and then reconnect it.
- The adapter may not work when you are listening to music or watching a video. Therefore, click on the pause, and only then connect the adapter.
The Problem of Random Reboots
Some owners of Google’s second-generation smartphone began to notice that their device is rebooting. Sometimes it comes to several times a day. Fortunately, there are several solutions to solve this problem.
- The cause of accidental reboots of the smartphone can be an application. Download the device to safe mode and see if the problem has not disappeared. If not, check the latest downloaded applications. Remove them.
- If the problem does not resolve, the only way is to reset the phone settings. It is worth remembering that all your data will be deleted, so it should be done only as a last resort.
Problems that can be solved only with the help of an update
This is a list of problems that can not be solved by other alternative methods. At the moment they are not very common and appear only in a small number of users. Let’s hope that Google will soon fix them by updating the operating system.
- The screen in Google Pixel 2 XL has an aspect ratio of 18: 9. At the moment, many developers are just beginning to optimize their applications for this aspect ratio. Therefore, in many games, black bands are still visible above and below. For example, the LG V30 or Samsung Galaxy S8 has a standard feature that will stretch the application to the full screen. Unfortunately, it’s not in Google Pixel 2 XL.
- Many users have encountered problems with Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi. So the company should fix it all with an upgrade to Android 8.1 Oreo.
The sound of conversational dynamics:
- The second microphone for calls works intermittently. So sometimes a person with whom you speak does not hear you at all.
Main speaker quality:
- The sound quality of the speaker starts to deteriorate dramatically when listening to music or watching videos at maximum volume. It only helps to reduce the volume up to 75% or lower.
The instruction for Google Pixel 2 XL
- Turn off the device.
- Hold down the volume down button and the power button at the same time until the device turns on.
- You will see the word “Start”.
- Double-click the volume down and power button to enter “Recovery Mode”.
- Hold down the power button, then press and release the volume up button.
- Using the volume and power buttons to get to the “wipe data/factory reset” item.
- Click “Yes” to start.
- When the phone is on, press and hold the power button until the shutdown options appear. Press and hold the “Turn off” item until the window appears, on which press “OK”. The phone itself will reboot into safe mode.
Google Pixel 2 XL, as the flagship of the owner of the OS, shows trends in software and combines trendy for the current time elements, an elongated screen in particular. The smartphone does not lose to competitors in the filling or autonomy. The screen does not pull on the quality of a worthy representative of the flagships in 2017, but this is the only real minus device.
Advantages in the face of the latest OS and high speed, regular updates, access to the best software for the camera and front stereo speakers compensate for weak points when compared with other players. This is a great smartphone for both Android fans and just lovers of quality equipment.
The only serious stop factor is that the manufacturer will not supply Google Pixel 2 XL to Ukraine and provide service support here. But does this stop a real enthusiast who is willing to spend more than $ 1000 on a smartphone?
High cost does not scare those who really need Pixel 2 XL, and in general to talk about the cost of top-end smartphones is meaningless: they are expensive. But the consumer in this segment is definitely getting better, but in this case, the “best” becomes even better, because this is how the OS developer sees it.
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