The Pixel 2 XL is officially on sale as of today. We outline all you need to know about the new Google phone and its sibling, the Pixel 2.
Read our reviews of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL for the low down on each handset.
When is the Google Pixel 2 release date?
The Pixel 2 is available to buy now (via Google, Carphone Warehouse or EE) after going on sale on 19 October.
As of today, 15 November, the Pixel 2 XL is also available to buy now (via Google, Carphone Warehouse or EE).
EE is the exclusive network partner at launch. It stocks the Pixel 2 in Just Black, Clearly White and Kinda Blue, and the Pixel 2 XL in Just Black or Black & White. Both come with either 64- or 128GB of storage.
How much does the Google Pixel 2 cost in the UK?
The Pixel 2 costs £629 with 64GB of storage, and £729 with 128GB. The Google Pixel 2 XL costs £799 with 64GB storage, and £899 for 128GB.
If you’re buying it on an EE contract in the UK the Pixel 2 is £9.99 on a £47.99/month 4GEE Max plan, which offers unlimited minutes and texts, and 8GB data.
The same plan costs £57.99 per month for the Google Pixel 2 XL.
Google Pixel 2 features and specifications
Highlights in the gorgeous new Google phones are their vibrant OLED screens with always-on displays, with the larger Pixel 2 XL offering an 18:9 FullVision display. These screens are said to be twice the resolution and offer 10 times the contrast ratio of phones that use a standard LCD.
There’s also a squeezable active edge – on both models – that instantly calls up the Google Assistant for quick access to all your phone’s most commonly used features, and an improved camera that has the highest ever recorded score for a smartphone camera by DXOMark.
It can achieve the same things as a dual-camera but with a single lens, and the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are the first phones to build in Google Lens.
Google made a point of the fact you’ll get the same features in either phone, with nothing reserved for the larger, more expensive model. That means you’ll get the same hardware too.
The key difference between the two is the 5in full-HD (1920×1080) 16:9 screen on the Pixel 2, and the 6in Quad-HD (538ppi) 18:9 display on the Pixel 2 XL. They offer a wide colour gamut, and have been optimised for VR – both Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are Daydream-ready.
A new feature is the always-on display, seen previously in flagship phones from Google and LG. Google’s version, like those, offers an at-a-glance readout of the time and date, reminders and whether you have any emails or notifications. But they also include a Shazam-style feature that can recognise any song you’re listening to – without sending your data to Google’s servers – and when you tap on this the Google Assistant will pop up and offer to find it on a music-streaming service or the web.
They share the same premium design – now waterproof, with an IP67 rating – with an all aluminium body that has a refined glass visor that transitions seamlessly into the metal body. The fingerprint scanner is said to be the fastest you’ll find in any smartphone, and falls naturally under the finger on the back. Google has also added a splash of colour on the power button.
The new Google phones do away with the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack, but you do get a USB-C adaptor in the box. Or you can use a pair of wireless headphones (Google has also announced a version of its own that build in the Google Assistant) or use the stereo speakers.
The primary camera is a 12.2Mp f/1.8 model with 1.4um pixels and OIS. While the original Pixel scored 89 in DXOMark, this new camera acheives 98 – the highest ever recorded in a smartphone camera.
Although it’s a single-lens camera, Google’s Dual Pixel sensor is able to generate a true depth map that enables the phone to create bokeh-effect (blurred background) photos just as a dual-camera might. This portrait mode works on the 8Mp selfie camera too.
Other new features include AR stickers, with Star Wars versions reportedly coming soon, and Google Lens. We first heard about the latter back at Google I/O. It’s a smart feature that works a bit like Bixby Vision, giving you more information on whatever you’re looking at. It can read email addresses, phone numbers and more.
In video the Pixel 2 supports both OIS and EIS, thanks to new ‘fuse video stabilisation’, and Pixel 2 owners will be pleased to learn Google is extending its offer of free Google Photos storage of all their full-resolution photos and video.
In terms of core hardware you get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM and either 64- or 128GB of storage. There’s also Bluetooth 5.0 and the latest wireless connectivity.
A fast-charging battery (2700mAh in the Pixel 2 and 3520mAh in the Pixel 2 XL) can last all day, but offers up to 7 hours of use from a 15-minute charge.
Despite the larger screen and bigger battery, Pixel 2 XL is only slightly wider and taller than the Pixel 2. It measures 3x6x0.3in, while the Pixel 2 is 2.7×5.7×0.3in.
The software is obviously Android 8.0 Oreo, and the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will be the first to get any OS updates. Google has moved the Google bar to the bottom of the home screen where it finds it a better fit. You can also squeeze the edge of the handset to bring up the Google Assistant.
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