Google has just unveiled the second generation Pixel devices, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The Pixel 2 is a 5-inch 1080p AMOLED display smartphone that has pulled an iPhone, meaning it shares quite the resemblance with their older siblings from last year, just like the iPhone has for the past four generations. The only difference on the front is that the Pixel 2 now comes with dual front-facing stereo speakers but the bezels are as prominent as ever.

The Pixel 2 XL, unlike the Pixel 2, has some notable changes from its predecessor. The Pixel 2 XL has a larger 6-inch QHD AMOLED display, an 18:9 aspect ratio like most 2017 flagships, minimal top and bottom bezels and front-facing dual stereo speakers.

Aside from the above-mentioned specs, the duo shares most of the other worthy features. The new Pixel smartphones come with “active edge” support, which is to say that users of the devices can simply squeeze the frame of the phones to perform tasks such as launching Google Assistant and silencing phone calls. We first saw this squeezable frame feature with the HTC U11.

As for the cameras, the new Pixel duo comes with a 12.3MP shooter that Google says they have reimagined smartphone photography with. Seeing that the camera on last year’s Pixel is what set it apart from the competition, Google was not taking chances with this new smartphone. The camera packs a new dual-pixel sensor which supposedly divides every pixel into two thus allowing the new Pixel smartphones to take photos with a blurred background without the need of a secondary lens. Google said that their portrait effect will work on humans and objects and will also work with the 8MP selfie shooter despite it not having a “dual-pixel sensor”.

Pixel 2 XL Portrait Mode | Image by MKBHD

There’s also always-on display support, an always-on microphone to listen for music and the “Ok Google” phrase for launching Google assistant, Google Lens support that will let users point the camera at an object, such as a book, and the phone would be able to source the internet for information about that object. Both 2017 Pixel smartphones are IP68 water and dust resistance certified, come with Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box, powered by a Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM, either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage and no 3.5mm headphone jack.

There are no fancy biometric features such as an Iris scanner or facial recognition, we just get the old, but reliable, fingerprint reader on the back of the device. If you are wondering, yes, the new Pixels still retain the glass on the back, however, it has been shrunk and no longer encases the fingerprint reader.

The Pixel 2 comes in white, black, and “kinda blue” colour options and will start at $649 while the Pixel 2 XL comes in either black or white and starts at $849.


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