Google Pixel 2 review

GSMArena team, 06 November 2017.


One pixel two, two pixel twos, large pixel two, small pixel two, pixels twos everywhere. Except in Google online stores, but that's a whole different matter. The true Pixel experience in a (slightly) smaller package and minus the display issues - this is the Google Pixel 2 in size Medium and not Extra Large.

You get the same everything with the Pixel 2 that you get with the XL - or mostly everything. That includes the top-end Qualcomm chipset, the industry-leading camera, and the stereo speakers, but leaves out the taller 18:9 display and with it some of the battery capacity.

With yesterday's 16:9 5-incher on the front guarded by sizeable chin and forehead, the Pixel 2 looks decidedly out of touch with current trends for bezellessness. A classic, you can call it. Leading them trends, however, is the camera - what others do with two, the Pixel 2 does with one - computational photography for the win.

If you've already read our Pixel 2 XL review, you're probably familiar with most of the specs, but you can always go over the following list for a refresher and a quick round of spot the difference.

Google Pixel 2 key features

  • Body: Metal body with matte Premium Hybrid Coating; "2.5D" Gorilla Glass 5 on front; IP67 water resistance
  • Display: 5.0" AMOLED, 1,080 x 1,920px resolution, 441ppi
  • Rear camera: 12.2MP, 1/2.6" sensor size with 1.4µm pixel size, f/1.8, OIS, dual LED flash and Google's HDR+ algorithm
  • Front camera: 8MP, 1/3.2" sensor size, f/2.4, 1.4µm pixel size
  • Video: 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps, 720@240fps; front camera:1080p @ 30fps
  • OS/Software: Android 8.0 Oreo with updates directly from Google
  • Chipset: 10nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 CPU - Octa-core (4x2.35 GHz Kryo & 4x1.9 GHz Kryo); Adreno 540 GPU; dedicated image processing chip to be enabled via OTA Android 8.1
  • Memory: 4GB of RAM; 64/128GB of internal storage (non-expandable)
  • Battery: 2,700 mAh Li-ion (sealed); USB-C Power Delivery 2.0 (5V @ 3A or 9V @ 2A with included 18W adapter)
  • Connectivity: nanoSIM; eSIM for Project Fi (US); Cat 15 LTE 800/75 Mbps; Bluetooth 5.0 LE, A2DP, aptx HD; Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi-Direct, DLNA; NFC; USB-C 3.1
  • Misc: Fingerprint scanner, dual stereo speakers, Always-on/Ambient display, Active Edge squeeze detection.

Main shortcomings

  • No 3.5mm headphone jack (ships with an adapter).
  • No microSD card slot.
  • Video camera records mono audio only.
  • You can't assign the Active Edge squeeze detection any other feature but Google Assistant.
  • We know you have to fit the innards somewhere, but still - bezels.

With so much being the same between the two Pixel 2s, there's no escaping the fact that they share the same weak points. You wouldn't expect Google to stick a microSD slot or a headphone jack in the small Pixel 2 and not the big one, right?

Google Pixel 2 press images - Google Pixel 2 review Google Pixel 2 press images - Google Pixel 2 review Google Pixel 2 press images - Google Pixel 2 review Google Pixel 2 press images - Google Pixel 2 review Google Pixel 2 press images - Google Pixel 2 review Google Pixel 2 press images - Google Pixel 2 review
Google Pixel 2 press images

Here, however, we'll be adding bezels to the list of shortcomings - for the reduction in display area you're not getting all that much savings in terms of actual size. Don't read that the wrong way - we like battery, and speakers, and all, it's just that the display diagonal makes a promise the physical dimensions can't keep.

One thing's for sure, though - the Pixel 2 non-XL is smaller enough to be more easily squeezable. We'll touch on that on the next page when we go over the hardware.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous
  • 31 Oct 2021
  • srr

I dont know what you are smoking but pass that to me as well :)

The pixel 2 isn't that bad. Well that's considering I get a Pixel 2 reburb. For $100. I paid $900 when it first came out but returned it because I couldn't justify the cost for a flagship with a6 month lifespan. But for$100 I'll l...

  • Józsi Vok
  • 26 Oct 2019
  • gQ}

The only thing I found awkward were the bezels. Everything else was great... IP68 is sometimes a good amount better, but I think IP67 is good enough. I overprotect my phone so much sometimes I forget it is water resistant. I feel like only a weak spr...