Google Pixel 2 review

GSMArena team, 06 November 2017.

5.0-inch AMOLED isn't blue when looked at from the side

The Pixel 2 is equipped with a 5-inch FullHD display, just like the original Pixel from last year. Unlike the Pixel 2 XL and its LG-made screen, the small Pixel 2 uses a Samsung AMOLED panel.

Google Pixel 2 review

The Pixel 2 is about as bright as last year's model and the Galaxy S8. Unlike the Samsung phone, however, the Pixel 2 doesn't get a boost in Auto mode - the 430-ish nits are as high as it would go. This being an AMOLED display, it's got infinite contrast - the blacks are truly black.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Google Pixel 0 445
Google Pixel 2 XL 0 482
Google Pixel 2 0 428
Apple iPhone 8 (True Tone) 0.397 554 1395
Apple iPhone 8 (Standard) 0.399 566 1419
Apple iPhone 8 (Max Auto) 0.468 640 1368
Apple iPhone X 0 679
Samsung Galaxy S8 0 440
Samsung Galaxy S8 Max auto 0 618
Huawei P10 0.416 592 1423
Sony Xperia XZ1 0.409 575 1406
Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact 0.515 640 1243
HTC U11 0.308 483 1568
HTC U11 (Max Auto) 0.373 583 1563

Out in the sunlight the Pixel 2 is clearly legible, but we've seen better from Samsung's own. Actually, the 2 XL posts a higher number in our test. That said, the Pixel 2's sunlight contrast is virtually the same as the LG V30's and higher than pretty much any non-OLED display (the Nokia 8 being responsible for the 'pretty much').

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Samsung Galaxy S8
    4.768
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    4.658
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Motorola Moto Z2 Play
    4.459
  • Oppo R11
    4.454
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Nokia 8
    4.239
  • Google Pixel 2 XL
    4.234
  • OnePlus 3T
    4.232
  • Google Pixel XL
    4.164
  • ZTE Axon 7
    4.154
  • Samsung Galaxy Note8
    4.148
  • Meizu Pro 7 Plus
    4.147
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro (normal)
    4.096
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Google Pixel 2
    4.023
  • LG V30
    4.022
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • Apple iPhone 7
    3.964
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 8 (True Tone)
    3.957
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    3.935
  • Lenovo Moto Z
    3.931
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • OnePlus 5
    3.914
  • Samsung Galaxy C5
    3.911
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    3.818
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)
    3.812
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
    3.804
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • LG V20 Max auto
    3.798
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    3.798
  • Sony Xperia XZ
    3.795
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Xiaomi Mi 6
    3.767
  • Sony Xperia XZ1
    3.765
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
    3.729
  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus (True Tone)
    3.725
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)
    3.688
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Huawei Mate 9
    3.68
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
    3.597
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    3.588
  • LG G6
    3.556
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Motorola Moto Z Play
    3.526
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • nubia Z11
    3.466
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    3.456
  • HTC U Ultra
    3.453
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Huawei P10
    3.379
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    3.378
  • Oppo R9s
    3.352
  • Honor 8 Pro
    3.341
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Lenovo P2
    3.316
  • Honor 9
    3.289
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s
    3.276
  • Nokia 5
    3.261
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    3.244
  • Nokia 6 (Global version)
    3.238
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 2
    3.228
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Oppo F3 Plus
    3.218
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    3.206
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2
    3.19
  • ZTE Nubia Z17
    3.159
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • HTC U11
    3.089
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Sony Xperia XA1
    3.012
  • Sony Xperia L1
    2.994
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • Huawei P10 Lite
    2.974
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.95
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4
    2.92
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2.913
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime
    2.893
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    2.884
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium (sRGB)
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Nokia 3
    2.871
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Lenovo Moto M
    2.813
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • Meizu MX6
    2.751
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Huawei Mate 10 (normal)
    2.742
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    2.714
  • Meizu M5
    2.71
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    2.689
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    2.679
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix
    2.658
  • Doogee Mix
    2.642
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4a
    2.635
  • Xiaomi Mi 5X (Standard)
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    2.582
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus (max auto)
    2.582
  • Meizu M5s
    2.58
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL
    2.563
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Xiaomi Mi Max 2
    2.561
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    2.544
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Huawei nova
    2.467
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Meizu m3 max
    2.447
  • Xiaomi Mi 5X (Auto)
    2.417
  • HTC 10 evo
    2.407
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Oppo F3
    2.376
  • vivo V5 Plus
    2.371
  • Meizu m1 note
    2.362
  • Huawei nova plus
    2.329
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Meizu M5 Note
    2.189
  • Huawei Honor 6
    2.169
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (X20)
    2.145
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Xiaomi Mi 4S
    2.095
  • Acer Liquid X2
    2.084
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • vivo V5
    2.059
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1.996
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Meizu m3 note
    1.923
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

A lot has been said and written about this year's Pixels and the screen has turned out to be a rather sore point. We're glad to report that the Pixel 2 doesn't have any of the display issues observed on its XL sibling.

Google Pixel 2 review

We measured an average DeltaE of 1.9, which means its color output is incredibly accurate. The Pixel 2 is as color accurate as the iPhone X and the Galaxy S8 in its Basic mode. Compare that to the Pixel 2 XL's average DeltaE of 3.8.

Then, this color accuracy doesn't come at the expense of color liveliness. Regardless whether you've got Vivid mode on or not, the display colors here are not as dull and muted as on the Pixel 2 XL.

And finally, it's worth noting that the Pixel 2 doesn't suffer from the blue color shift the XL exhibits when viewed at an angle.

Connectivity

The Pixel 2 shares its connectivity package with its XL brother, quite expectedly. That includes Cat. 15 LTE (800/75 Mbps) [3x DL CA, 4x4 MIMO, 256-QAM DL and 64-QAM UL depending on carrier support], 5 bands of 3G (1/2/4/5/8), and Quad-band 2G.

The Pixel 2 supports Sprint and Verizon's CDMA networks in the US and all other GSM carriers in the US and ROW. Both Pixel smartphones are also eSIM compatible for use on Google's Project Fi network in the US. For all other carriers, a nanoSIM slot is in order. There is no microSD card slot in the card tray.

The Google Pixel 2 also uses Bluetooth 5.0 + LE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and 2x2 MIMO. NFC connectivity offers mobile payments through your payment app of choice and communication with other NFC devices, tags, etc. GPS and GLONASS positioning systems are supported.

There's a new feature for Wi-Fi as part of Android 8.0. Wi-Fi scanning (usually used when Wi-Fi is switched off to help with location accuracy) is used to detect nearby Wi-Fi networks and will automatically turn on Wi-Fi and connect to a saved network when one is detected nearby. We're not entirely sure how this is much different from leaving Wi-Fi on all the time, but okay.

Wi-Fi network automatically turned on/off - Google Pixel 2 review
Wi-Fi network automatically turned on/off

Google has removed the headphone jack for this generation of Pixel smartphones in favor of routing audio to the USB-C port. A dongle is included - yay. The port adheres to the USB 3.1 Gen. 1 spec for transfer speeds up to 5Gbps.

Instant Tethering is a relatively new feature that works with other Nexus or Pixel devices including the incoming Pixel Book. A Nexus tablet on the same Gmail account as the Pixel 2 can prompt you to connect to the phone's cellular connection by automatically turning on its Hotspot and tethering to the network. This requires both devices to have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi switched on.

Google Pixel 2 battery life

The Pixel 2 packs a 2,700mAh battery - not a strikingly large number, but it is a 5-incher we're talking about after all. The iPhone X has about as much juice inside (2,716mAh), while the Galaxy S8 relies on a larger 3,000mAh power pack.

The Pixel 2 is quite efficient with its battery usage, at least with the display on, our testing shows. It can loop videos for 11 full hours, and can do an hour more with Wi-Fi web browsing. It's less impressive when it comes to 3G related tasks - the 15+ hours of voice calls are merely okay, and standby longevity isn't spectacular. Even so, overall endurance ended up fine - the 75 hour rating is one thing, but in practice you'd be enjoying the rather good battery life you'd get when actually using the phone.

Google Pixel 2

The Pixel 2 comes with a Power Delivery 2.0 charger in the box. The unit takes the Pixel 2 from flat to 100% in 1:50h, while a 30-minute charge from 0% gets it to 43%.

Our endurance rating denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Google Pixel 2 for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We've established this usage pattern so our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Reader comments

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

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...

  • Google Hater

This phone makes me want to swear. The lack of a headphone jack isn’t too bad but the built-in quality is so poor that I’d rather listen to dial up on earrape for 24 hours. The camera is not even mediocre, and yet it’s the best part on this 2001 qual...