Google Pixel 2 review


(fun music) – The Pixel 2 has arrived. Google’s flagship phone of
2017 brings Android Oreo to a big new audience and ships with some features like Lens, that will make it’s camera
smarter than any other. The device hasn’t changed
much hardware wise, but there are a few new shiny
things on the software side to make good on the company’s promise of bringing Google Assistant deeper into the heart of Android. First off, let’s take a look
at the beautiful new display on the Pixel 2 XL. The new 2880 by 1440 quad HD OLED display has gotten a bit of a facelift with the chin and forehead bessels getting dialed down on the XL. It’s missing the true
edge to edge brilliance of the iPhone 10, but
you don’t have to worry about a notch either. A new hardware feature called active edge allows you to squeeze the device to call up Google Assistant. It’s a simple thing, but makes calling up the
AI helper that much easier for users that don’t want to
be shouting at their phone. Build wise, there’s a
lot to love about the new Pixel 2 XL, but it feels
pretty damn similar to what came before it. It feels just as solid as
the original Pixel did, but the new display packs more into what feels like a tighter package. The lack of a headphone
jack is a bit of a pain, but it ships with an adapter. The original Pixel’s
camera was one of the best. The updated version brings
better low-light photo taking and more effective video stabilization, along with some pro tools, like focus and exposure lock. There’s a good deal of
catch up here with iOS. Google’s AI assisted portrait mode helps users blue backgrounds to take some pretty nice looking pics. It’s nowhere near as powerful as Apple’s, and it suffers in low-light, but does well, considering
its single camera set up. Speaking of Apple, Google’s
Live Photos copycat Motion Photos is also
available on this device. It works pretty similarly, and it’s just as fun to play around with, giving you some video context
for your photo stills. One of the big points of
the camera photo set up here is how Google is approaching
bringing computer vision wits to Google Assistant, using the
camera as a way to feed it. Google Lens is just the
beta launch for Pixel 2, and is only in the photos app for now, though it’s coming to the camera soon. In practice, it can identify
albums, works of art, movies and video games. But in real life, it’s use
cases aren’t quite as clear. The payoffs for AI tools
like Assistant and Lens reside more in the platform long game, but that’s not as easy an argument for selling devices today. Overall, there really seems
to be a lot of catch up with iOS on the Pixel 2 XL. Google didn’t cut any major
corners on this device, but it also is clear they
could have pushed the limits on hardware a bit more. Google Assistant and Lens
offer some major promise for Google’s smartphone strategy, and they’re at their best on the Pixel 2, but there’s still aways to go. The Pixel 2 starts at 649 bucks, and the Pixel 2 XL stars at 849, and you can preorder both
devices starting today.

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10 thoughts on “Google Pixel 2 review

  1. 1:33 How do you determine something is "Google's Live Photos copycat, Motion Photo" as opposed to a copycat of something else, say… the HTC One (M8)'s feature from 2014? This seems possible given HTC's work on this phone. If the phone had dual rear cameras would it be a copycat of Apple's dual rear cameras? Or a copy of the LG Optimus 3D or the HTC Evo 3D both from 2011. (Weird, those two manufactured the Pixel phones.) Would it be the iPhone's Portrait mode's Bokeh effect that makes it a copy? Or would that bokeh effect be a copy of the Duo Camera's feature that also showed up on the HTC One (M8) making use of it's depth of field sensor. I can only imagine what you would say if iPhone had dual front facing speakers last year. (Hint: HTC had it years before)

    Apple has taken many interesting ideas from older phones and made them into great, stand out, phone selling ideas, no doubt. But attributing other phones usage of those idea's solely to copying Apple or "catching up with iOS" (an often ironic phrase), suggests that these ideas are Apple's to be copied when in reality it's an "Apple copied it first", "Apple copied it better", or "Apple copied it in front of more of people" type of situation.

    For most of the world, I would actually say the "another idea copied from Apple" portrayal might be acceptable, but given (MY ASSUMPTION) that TechCrunch is geared towards tech enthusiasts or people who have a semblance of knowledge of tech history, it might behoove TechCrunch to try another tack.

    Plus, the noticeably Apple-centric review will make watchers feel your opinions are biased and therefore sully the value of even your valid opinions.

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