How the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are better than their predecessors
The Pixel 2 smartphones cost more than predecessors but they also bring a lot more to the table
Google’s second-generation Pixel smartphones will hit the stores in a few days’ time. The Pixel 2, which starts at Rs61,000, will be available from 1 November, while its bigger sibling the Pixel 2 XL, which starts at Rs73,000, will be available from 15 November.
Comparisons with Samsung Galaxy S8, HTC U11 and even the new iPhones are expected. But it is perhaps more important to understand how superior the new smartphones are from their predecessors. Prices of both first-generation Pixel and Pixel XL were slashed a few months ago. The former now starts at Rs34,999, and the latter is selling at Rs47,000 onwards. The duo still remain a viable option as they also run Android 8.0 and are likely to get all Google updates on time.
What separates the second-generation Pixels from their predecessors is their hardware and new design. We take a look at the key points of difference between them.
Pixel 2 XL vs Pixel XL
* Pixel 2 XL belongs to the new breed of smartphones which offer bigger screens and very thin bezels. In Pixel 2 XL, there are no vertical bezels around the screen and the ones above and below the screen look extremely thin. The conventional thick bezels on Pixel XL now look dated, in comparison.
* Due to thinner bezels, the Pixel 2 XL has managed to accommodate a 6-inch screen without looking any bigger than the Pixel XL. It is 157.9mm tall, 76.7mm wide and weighs 175g, while the latter has a 5.5-inch screen yet has almost similar dimensions. It stands 154.7mm tall, 75.7mm wide and weighs 168g.
*The 6-inch screen on the Pixel 2 XL has an aspect ratio of 18:9. This gives it a wider than usual screen space, as the width is exactly twice the height compared to 16:9 aspect ratio of the Pixel XL. It provides a more immersive experience while watching movies or playing games.
*The new smartphones are driven by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 octa-core chip with 4GB RAM, while the predecessor ran on Snapdragon 821 quad core chip with 4GB RAM.
Before talking about the Pixel 2, we would like to point out that almost everything inside it is similar to the bigger sibling, except for the design, size of the battery, screen size and resolution.
More differences between Pixel 2 vs Pixel; also valid for Pixel 2 XL and Pixel XL
* A major limitation of the Pixel smartphone was the lack of any sort of protection against water. Google has addressed that with the new Pixel 2 smartphones. They come with IP67 certification which makes them water proof up to a depth of 1 metre for 30 minutes.
* The other notable difference is the position of the speakers. The predecessor has a single speaker tucked at the base, while the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have stereo speakers and they are placed on the front panel. This has two advantages—speakers won’t get blocked when you are holding the phone and the audio will sound better and more immersive.
* The new smartphones are driven by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 octa-core chip with 4GB RAM, while the predecessor ran on Snapdragon 821 quad-core chip with 4GB RAM.
* Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL come with a dedicated image-processing chip called Pixel Visual Core to process resource-intensive camera tasks faster. This would put less stress on the main chip. The chip will be activated with Android 8.1 update.
* The new smartphones have no 3.5 mm audio jack. The USB Type-C doubles up as audio connector too. You can still connect your existing headphone using the 3.5mm to USB Type-C adapter which will be bundled with the device.
* The internal storage on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL has been increased too. Now even the low-priced variant offers 64GB storage, unlike the predecessors where 32GB internal storage felt quite restrictive.
* The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have the same screen size as the respective predecessors but are protected by a more robust Gorilla Glass 5, which can survive drops from a height of up to 1.6 metres. The Pixel and Pixel XL have Gorilla Glass 4 which only provided resistance against scratches.