Google Pixel 2 review
The best overall smartphone camera
Our Google Pixel 2 review reveals the phone with the best overall smartphone camera, as assessed by DxOMark. There are a whole host of other features, such as squeezable actions, so the scene is set for one of the most interesting mobile phone reviews.
The Google Pixel 2 has an Always-on display and this lets you see if there are notifications, without even touching the phone. You can also authorise the Always-on display to listen in the background and then automatically show the artist and song title of any music that is played aloud.
|Google mobile phone reviews|
The Google Pixel 2 has a 5” AMOLED screen with a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, equating to 441 pixels per inch. The Pixel 2 does not have the full screen design and to experience this you should purchase the Google Pixel 2 XL instead.
Pixel 2 design
The feel of quality is instantly recognisable with the cool feel of the aluminium unibody. The Pixel 2 is available in three colour choices of Just Black, Clearly White and Kinda Blue. In all cases, there is a wide strip of contrasted colour running across the top 20% of the back cover.
The quality aluminium body meets a front made from toughened 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 5. This Google phone can also stand up to a splash or two with its IP67 certified water resistance. The Pixel 2 is thinner (7.8mm) and lighter (143g) compared to the Pixel 2 XL.
Performance is top notch as expected. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 2.35GHz octa-core processor with 4GB RAM drives the experience. Sound is also at its best and is pumped out through high definition front-firing stereo speakers.
Just like Apple did away with the 3.5mm audio jack, the Pixel 2 drops this in favour of a USB Type-C digital headphone jack. However, you can still use analogue earphones or headphones by using the 3.5mm adapter, included in the box.
Phone Set Up
Biometric security & transferring content
The Google Pixel 2 offers security and privacy through its Pixel Imprint sensor. The fingerprint sensor is positioned on the back and this is far enough away from the camera lens, that there is no risk of accidentally putting fingerprint smudges across the lens.
It is pretty easy to transfer content over from an old smartphone and this can be done in 10 minutes or less. There are two memory options available allowing you to purchase the following variants:
- Google Pixel 2 64GB Just Black
- Google Pixel 2 64GB Clearly White
- Google Pixel 2 64GB Kinda Blue
- Google Pixel 2 128GB Just Black
- Google Pixel 2 128GB Clearly White
Buyers advice: There is roughly a £10 per month difference between the two memory options here and over a two year term, this certainly adds up. For most smartphone owners, photos and videos take up the largest chunk of memory. However, Google is offering to store all your photos and videos in the cloud with Google Photos. This will be at original quality until 2021, making the 64GB Pixel 2 a more attractive deal.
The Google Pixel 2 introduces us to the squeezable Active Edge. Squeezing the phone activates the Google Assistant, which is more helpful than ever before. You can ask the Google Assistant to turn on do not disturb or bluetooth, send a text or begin navigation.
An imminent software update will also allow the Active Edge and Google Assistant to take a series of actions with daily routines. A daily routine could be triggered with a voice command such as good night. Here the Google Assistant could automatically mute notifications and turn on the morning alarm.
The Android 8.0 Oreo operating system powers the Pixel 2 and Google has promised that there will be a minimum of three years of OS updates This should include Android P and Android Q.
The most noticeable visual difference with Android Oreo is Notification Dots. These allow you to quickly see what’s new with an app, with the option to swipe away the notifications.
Other Oreo innovations includes picture-in-picture apps, autofill logins and twice the boot speed. The Pixel 2 also has a security chip and Google Play Protect. These protect the phone against hardware and malware attacks, keeping data and apps safe.
Pixel 2 owners can also try out the Google Lens app. With this you can search for information about what you can see, from landmarks, books, films, artwork and albums.
Camera & Video
Best overall smartphone camera
The 12.2MP camera has received the best overall smartphone camera score by DxOMark. Unlike the iPhone 8 Plus there is no dual lens, but the Pixel 2 can still create DSLR-quality portrait photos with blurred backgrounds, through either the main camera or the 8MP selfie camera.
|iPhone 8 Plus deals|
Dual-pixel phase detection and laser autofocus ensure that focus is attained instantly and is extremely accurate. With the Pixel 2 camera, you can also capture photos with HDR+ and record 4K video with both optical and electrical image stabilisation.
Another new addition to the camera app is Motion Photos. Motion Photos capture a three second video clip of the action just before and just after you press the shutter button.