So Google introduced us to the new family of Made By Google products and despite the many leaks previous, Google were able to show off a few surprises.
Im just going to share my thoughts on one of the newly announced products and thats the Pixel2 XL.
Design, Right off the bat I’m really really impressed, my one criticism of the original Pixel XL was that it could be underwhelming to look at but Google have addressed this with a much improved edge like design, although its not quite edge to edge like the latest S8 range or LG V30 its hugely improved. The handset still sports the glass and aluminium two tone rear signature design which is now IP67 rated and has an new coating which kind of resembles plastic but its definitely aluminium underneath.
One other notable thing when looking at the front 2.5d Gorilla glass 5 pOLED screen is that above and below it is two from firing stereo speakers……..finally.
Performance so far continues the breathtaking buttery smoothness of its predecessor and this is aided by the 4GB of ram and snapdragon 835 chipset, meaning this handset glides through anything you throw at it without so much of a hiccup or stutter.
Google Assistant has a few new tricks, not only has it contextually improved via machine learning to give you a more human conversational element it also has a brand new Google Lens aspect which is able to identify what you look at via the camera, and provide you information or action around its result. There is also a new way to action “OK GOOGLE” and thats by squeezing the sides of the phone…….yep you heard correct, its called Active edge and right now its not re-mappable to do anything else but it would be pretty sweet if that could be enabled later.
Camera has always been a big focus for google and since last year the competition has only increased. Recently DXO ranked the iPhone 8 Plus and the Note 8 top of the pile with 94 but Google has ripped back that title with a whopping 98. Now personally DXO rankings I take with a pinch of salt and my advise is not to take them as gospel, like with anything thats there opinion based on a test they created…..so its not one size fits all. What is worth noting is that high end smartphone cameras all perform superb these days, so preference plays a big part image result. A couple of really impressive new elements are portrait mode on the front and the rear, both producing amazing shots and video recording is now support with not just EIS but OIS also. Overall the Pixel 2 XL takes phenomenal images and once again Google have nailed that post processing creating clean crisp results.
Now Playing is a new lock screen feature that will activate when you are in the vicinity of music and the device will then identify the artist and track. From here you can click on the info and then you have the option to play from music source ie play or Spotify, watch the video from youtube or Vevo, or even see more info on the artist. I really like this feature as music identification is not something that been lacking from Google assistant.
Early impressions suggest that overall Google have once again produced a really impressive smartphone. I will be doing a full review once I get a retail unit but for now this could be the android phone to beat.
Let me know what you think, comments below.