Google Pixel 2 review

GSMArena team, 06 November 2017.

Google Photos for images

Google Photos offers plenty of photo features and a free photo and video backup service. While you can upload as many videos or pictures as you'd like, they'll be limited to 16MP or 1080p resolution for photos and videos, respectively. You can search for photos or videos by person, keyword, date, or location.

You can order a "Photo book" of your pictures, which is delivered directly to you in physical form. There's also a Trash bin, where photos and videos will be held for 60 days. The "free up space" button, will check your camera roll against the photos and videos already backed up to Google. Those already backed up will be purged to clear space out of the phone.

The Assistant tab is where you can look through "rediscoveries" - flashbacks through photos taken on the current day in a past year. The "Photos" tab shows a chronological timeline of photos taken on the current device and content already backed up on Google Photos from other devices.

Unlimited backup for Pixel - Google Pixel 2 review Camera Roll - Google Pixel 2 review Search - Google Pixel 2 review Photos on device - Google Pixel 2 review Assistant - Google Pixel 2 review
Unlimited backup for Pixel • Camera Roll • Search • Photos on device • Assistant

Access your on-board folders with the "Albums" tab, where you can also create new Photo Albums and share them. You can manage all your shared pictures and videos in the "Sharing" tab.

The built-in editor offers the usual filters, sliders, and tweaking of levels for photos before putting them online. It's simple enough to use and there are advanced sliders for more advanced photographers.

Image view - Google Pixel 2 review Filters - Google Pixel 2 review Levels - Google Pixel 2 review You can discard the portrait/non-portrait version of a shot - Google Pixel 2 review
Image view • Filters • Levels • You can discard the portrait/non-portrait version of a shot

Google Photos for video playback

Google Photos is the default application for video playback. It doesn't offer extra features like subtitles or a pop-out player. There's only a single option to loop the video that's currently playing. The Google Photos video player is quite basic, but you can find a variety of other video apps in the Play Store.

Video playback - Google Pixel 2 review Video playback - Google Pixel 2 review
Video playback

Google Music for audio

Google's in-house Music service has its own app. This app is the default Music player for Android and even lets you organize and store MP3s on the phone's internal storage. From the Play Music app, you can sort, search, and listen to your offline MP3s.

If you're not the MP3 kind of person, Google's Premium Music service offers plenty of ways to listen to music including radio stations by mood, activity, genre, artist, or by decade.

If you already use Google Location History, let Google Music track where you listen to what kind of music, for example, if you listen to a specific playlist at the gym, Google will show it to you before hitting the weights, along with suggestions to other music you might like at the gym.

Google Play Music: Home - Google Pixel 2 review Google Play Music: Recents - Google Pixel 2 review Google Play Music: New releases - Google Pixel 2 review Google Play Music: Library - Google Pixel 2 review Google Play Music: Library - Google Pixel 2 review
Google Play Music: Home • Recents • New releases • Library

Free users can listen to ad-supported radio stations and store up to 50,000 of their own MP3s onto Google's cloud service for free so there's no need to take up space to move around with your music.

Google Music also comes with YouTube Music, and YouTube Red (no ads on YouTube), all bundled into one service, this is what makes Google's Music service one of the most valuable. YouTube Red's availability is per-region.

Settings - Google Pixel 2 review Equalizer with presets - Google Pixel 2 review
Settings • Equalizer with presets

Pleasing audio output

Somewhat surprisingly, the Google Pixel 2 was unable to match the impressive audio output of its XL sibling. The loudness is still above average, but nowhere near the record-high levels of the larger Google flagship.

Furthermore, while the clarity with an active external amplifier was mostly excellent the stereo quality reading was sub-par. The good news is there’s next to no degradation when you plug in a pair of headphones, so in that case the Pixel 2 is doing much better than with no resistance with an active external amplifier.

Still with the Pixel 2 XL setting the bar so high, the Pixel 2 performance comes rather disappointing if not necessary bad on its own.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Google Pixel 2 +0.01, -0.04-93.393.30.00100.115-66.2
Google Pixel 2 (headphones)+0.02, -0.03-93.293.20.00200.115-64.5
Google Pixel 2 XL+0.04, -0.01-93.792.60.00290.021-79.7
Google Pixel 2 XL (headphones)+0.02, -0.01-93.592.60.0510.079-73.2
Samsung Galaxy S8++0.01, -0.03-92.192.10.00200.0086-92.5
Samsung Galaxy S8+ (headphones)+0.03, -0.03-92.592.50.00240.046-77.3
LG V30+0.02, -0.01-93.293.10.00080.0069-94.2
LG V30 (headphones)+0.03, -0.02-92.992.90.00570.051-68.1
OnePlus 5+0.03, -0.01-94.194.10.00100.0070-94.2
OnePlus 5 (headphones)+0.15, -0.08-94.094.00.00330.139-59.9
HTC U11+0.05, -0.11-94.194.10.00170.0067-94.5
HTC U11 (headphones)+0.05, -0.02-93.793.80.00180.105-53.7
Sony Xperia XZ Premium+0.01, -0.03-90.690.40.0180.027-92.6
Sony Xperia XZ Premium (headphones)+0.30, -0.20-90.590.00.00180.145-65.7

Google Pixel 2 frequency response
Google Pixel 2 frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

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...