How much can Google change in a year?
The second generation of Google’s smartphone is here, Pixel 2. At first glance, there mightn't look to be that much to shout about, compared to last year’s model. But it’s the bits on the inside that make this phone a real step up. This is why Google Pixel 2 should be your next smartphone...
Design and display
Pixel 2 is a bit slimmer that the original (8.5mm compared to 7.8mm), and the newly matt-textured edges are a little more squared off - giving you more grip and making it feel really sturdy. Around the back, the smooth, plastic portion that used to house the fingerprint scanner and camera has shrunk, and is now only home to the larger lens and flash (more on the camera below).
The screen still measures 5-inches and has Full HD resolution. It’s super bright, providing perfect clarity in everything you do, and the updated animated wallpapers are a nice touch. The default, when you turn Pixel 2 on, is an aerial shot of a beach in Lagos, featuring waves gently lapping at the shore.
In a pretty controversial move, Google has decided to bin the 3.5mm headphone port. So, if you want to listen to music, you’ll either have to invest in some wireless headphones, or buy an adaptor that plugs into the USB Type-C port.
Google is selling Google Pixel Buds, which are wireless earphones that connect to Pixel 2 through Bluetooth. Their party trick lets you hear live translations in your ear when using the Translate app. So, you could effectively hold a full conversation with someone, while you both speak different languages.
Of course, Google Assistant is on board to help with all your queries and commands. And you can now summon it by squeezing the phone. During set up, you decide how firm you want the squeeze to be, to avoid any accidental activation when fishing it out of your pocket.
One of 2016 Pixel’s greatest features was its camera, earning accolades across the board. But Pixel 2 steps things up a gear. The aperture is now larger (was f/2.0, now f/1.8), which means more light can get inside the lens, for brighter, more accurate photos.
There’s also Portrait Mode, which adds a deep blur to the background of your photos. This has been done by lots of other smartphone manufactures over the past few years, but Google does it particular well. Check out the results below, which requires absolutely no editing or tuning - #NoFilter
Google Lens is set to be big news when it arrives in its full form later this year, letting you identify all sorts of different things through the camera. Some of the examples Google has offered include the AI’s ability to identify different species of flower, or how it’ll be able to extract important numbers or written information from letters or papers. Read more about Google Lens in our roundup of the 2017 Google I/O conference.
On the front of the smartphone you’ll find an 8MP front-facing lens. This is exactly the same as last year’s model, but still very impressive, able to record video in 1080p.
Under the hood
On the inside, there have been loads of updates. The processor has been bumped up from a Snapdragon 821 to a Snapdragon 835, and it’s now octa-core for a quicker experience. You can tell there’s a lot of power even when simply moving around the homescreen, with absolutely no lag time, and super smooth scrolling through menus.
There’s a 2,700mAh battery, which is a smidge smaller than last year’s, which was 2,770mAh, but you still shouldn’t have any problem going from dawn ‘til dusk on a single charge. And with the very latest in USB Type-C fast charging tech, you can inject seven hours of power from a mere 15 charge.
Interested? Order Google Pixel 2 today from Carphone Warehouse, available in three, very Google colours – kinda blue, just black, and clearly white.