- Potential image retention/screen burn-in issues
- Poor viewing angles
With the second iteration of the Pixel, Google hopes to entice more people to the Android side. It’s large size and great specs are some of the draws, but is it enough to impress reviewers. Let’s find out!
The Pixel 2 XL, as the name suggests, is a large phone measuring in a 6.2 x 3.0 x 0.3 inches and weighing around 176 grams. While not the largest phone on the market, it definitely is larger and heavier than the Galaxy S8. The weight comes from the mostly aluminum back.
Despite its large size, many were surprised with how comfortable it was to hold mostly due to the narrow width and three-dimensional curve around its edges. With that said, they still found it quite slippery and suggest using a case if you’re especially prone to dropping your phone.
Another new addition to the Pixel 2 is its IP67 water resistance. That means it can survive quick dunks in the water, though you don’t want to let it soak for too long.
If you’re hoping for a 3.5mm headphone jack, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Despite some pointed jabs at Apple for removing this port, Google has decided to do without it for the Pixel 2.
Taking up a majority of the phone is, of course, the 6-inch QHD+ 2,880 x 1,440 pOLED display. Unlike the Pixel, the Pixel 2 has a resolution of 18:9 to complement the narrower design. Despite the specs, many critics aren’t impressed with the display. They found it to be somewhat dull in terms of vibrance though they add the colors were more “naturalistic” in comparison to the more oversaturated Samsung displays.
They noticed two drawbacks the viewing angles and issues with image retention. First - the viewing angles. When they turned the display slightly side-to-side they saw a significant drop in brightness and color vibrance.
The biggest downside - one Google has addressed with a promise for software update to patch the issue and an extended warranty for two years - is image retention. This essentially is when “ghost” versions of buttons appear on top of an image - for example, your app icons might ghost on top of an empty Google Document.
While Google has said image retention and burn-in are in line with industry norms, many reviewers disagree. They state that it’s quite worse than normal especially since The Verge noticed this behavior in multiple unit, including a few minutes after unboxing one.
Performance-wise, the 4GB of RAM and Snapdragon processor combined to create a seamless experience for experts. They didn’t notice any lag or crashes even when multitasking.
Battery life also impressed them. They were able to manage a full day even with heavy usage. For light to moderate usage, they easily managed a day and a half of use.
The biggest draw of the Pixel 2 XL is its camera. The 12.2MP camera provides an impressive f/1.8 aperture lens. In essence, the wider aperture allows for better lighting in dark settings. But how does it perform? Critics were blown away by the quality of the pictures.They were impressed with the overall image quality, sharpness and color accuracy.
Thanks to the wide aperture, they were also able to get decent low light performance. Most of their pictures had very little grain and, because of higher shutter speeds, little to no blur. PC Mag states, “In auto mode, the Pixel 2 XL takes the best photos of any camera we’ve tested this year.”
Critics have a difficult time outright recommending the Pixel 2 XL due to the screen. Most suggest you check out the phone before making the purchase to ensure you will like it. In general, however, most have positive things to say about it. Tech Radar states, “It offers a whole lot of promise today and perhaps more importantly, it will continue to improve in the years to come…” CNet adds, “If the display problems don’t deter you...the phone is still otherwise great.