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Quick verdict

After a rocky start, Google's tweaks & changes have given the px 2 XL the appeal that it needed. It's not the best design lớn encase the 18:9 display format, as it's quite large with big bezels, but at its heart this is a powerful pure apk handset with a great camera. Sure, the third-gen px 3 series outsmarts this handset, but buying a generation old is a great way to lớn grab a bargain without too many concessions.Read full verdict

For Solid build with IP67 waterproofing Good battery for all-day performance Great camera performance in most conditions (now with Night Sight) Display's saturated mode gives the look we wanted at launch
Against design doesn't make best use of space (large bezel) No 3.5mm tai nghe socket Camera white balance inconsistencies No microSD thẻ slot default screen display not the most exciting

(conwayhistory.org) - The Google px 2 XL replaced one of our favourite phones in the original Pixel. But, at launch, the pixel 2 was perhaps an overambitious device – more so than the not-too-dissimilar px 3 models which launched in late 2018 – switching khổng lồ an 18:9 display và looking to lớn refine the bodywork of the original phones.

But somewhere along this road Google hit a bump with display quality, which caused all kinds of hiccups at the time of launch. With that behind it, however, here"s how Google has been ironing out the kinks and now, with android Pie 9.0 loaded, the px 2 XL is a serious phone khổng lồ consider – if you"re looking for a cheaper alternative to the more recent third-generation px options anyway.

What"s new for the Google pixel 2 XL?

18:9 aspect ratio displayBlack or Black và White coloursAluminium body, IP67 protection157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9mm; 175g

Google has retained a kiến thiết quirk in the px 2 XL: it"s got that split two-finish rear, as we saw on the original mã sản phẩm (and as continues in the third-gen line too). It"s reduced on this mã sản phẩm – which, by the way, is manufactured by LG – leaving only a small section at the rear đứng đầu that"s glass, with the rest of the body metal.


The front is all glass, with the surface curving at the edges to lớn flow into the aluminium bodywork. The fit & finish is great, displaying great quality in all directions và coming in two colours: black or black and white. The black version is a little more stealthy, while the black-and-white version is adorned with an orange nguồn button. Little details matter và this gives the thiết kế a lift.

This px phone isIP67 rated, giving it the water-proofing which it needs to lớn sit in this flagship position. The original version wasn"t and that was the biggest criticism of the phone. The metal work is also coated for a surface that has some grip: this doesn"t feel lượt thích the metal body of the iPhone, it feels distinctly different.

However, the first thing you might notice about the pixel 2 XL is that it"s a bit larger than it ought khổng lồ be. It"s only slightly smaller than theiPhone 8 Plus, so despite the shift in display aspect – it"s 18:9 now, with the aim of giving you a big screen without a big body– the px 2 XL doesn"t really achieve that aim. People are expecting smaller phones these days.


One of the things the pixel design allows for is front-facing stereo speakers. The performance from those speakers is good, perhapseven better since most more recent flagship phones have gone down the route of a single bottom-firing speaker. The pixel XL 2 sounds better than the Huawei P30 Pro, for example.

Other things to lưu ý in this px is the 3.5mm headphone socket is absent - again, being very of the moment as far as flagships are concerned - so it"s USB Type-C for audio (or the dongle in the boxto use your old headphones).

The fingerprint scanner remains on the rear in a sensible place, which we found it perfectly fast khổng lồ unlock the phone. It also offers a swipe shortcut to quickly pull down the notifications area.

Pixel 2 XL display: A false start, now corrected

6-inch OLED, 2880 x 1440 px resolution (538ppi), 18:9 aspect ratioOffers three colour settings

The display is worth a few more words than normal. As we"ve already detailed, the pixel 2 XL moves khổng lồ a new display aspect compared lớn the original, bringing it in line with other modern flagships.

It is, we suspect, the same panel that"s used in the LG V30, given that it"s referred khổng lồ as P-OLED (which LG tends khổng lồ use as Samsung dominates the AMOLED nomenclature) & the exact same kích cỡ and resolution. But when the pixel 2 XL initially launched, it looked totally different.


We all expect an OLED display to give nice deep blacks but also vibrancy and pop. But the px 2 XL lacked when it launched, which drew a lot of criticism. Google clarified the position, saying that the pixel 2 XL has been tuned lớn look more natural and tư vấn a wider colour gamut. In that "natural" state, this display looks pretty flat & lifeless compared lớn any number of existing devices.

There is a strange dichotomy to this Google display: while things like your Instagram feed won"t have the sheen that all other topsmartphones offer, the px 2 XL"s display works really well in particular conditions. Watching Star Trek Discovery on Netflix, for example, the px 2 XL looked many times better than the LG V30; by contrast, LG"s phone looked red in shadows & noisy in lower light scenes, despite LG claiming that it would be showing the HDR version.

A fix for the muted display was released, however, adding a new "saturated" option. While some supported Google"s original position of "natural", we found it lacklustre. Fortunately, the release of that additional display option pulls the phone back into the enjoyment zone for us. With that mode engaged, the px 2 XL is more comparable khổng lồ other flagship phones.


Some people have complained about "burn-in" on early devices, too, although we"ve not seen this on the second và third pixel 2 XL devices that we have. Others also criticised off-axis colour shift, but this was never as big a deal as the display tuning itself.

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Hardware và battery performance

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 4GB RAM64GB or 128GB storage3520mAh battery

With the display behind us, it"s easy khổng lồ say that the px 2 XL is every bit the powerhouse. It was released at the tail-end of 2017 so, yes, some more recent 2018 devices offer more RAM or other processor smarts that put them a touch ahead - since then we"ve had Qualcomm"s Snapdragon 845 & 855, with the 855 Plus platform imminent (July 2019) - but the difference is small for most tasks. We still use the 2 XL to lớn play South Park: Phone Destroyer & it runs just fine.


Importantly the px 2 XL runs fast and smoothly. We would extend this further & say that Google"s pure game android software means that the pixel 2 XL often runs smoother over long periods than, say, some Samsung devices.

It"s here that you"ll notice a benefit over the older pixel device too: the second-gen mã sản phẩm will handle some more demanding tasks with ease. For example, you won"t get asked if you want khổng lồ turn down the graphical textures in Total War Battles Kingdom, because the phone can handle it. If you"re looking for yet more in terms of processing skills then the pixel 3 XL is an even more savvy option, but it"s largely in the camera department where you"ll witness faster processing to some modes with the even more up-to-date device.

Google points to lớn the hardware race in smartphones, preferring khổng lồ say that AI is part of the future for making phones better and that it will be machine learning that enhances experiences, not entirely the chip core hardware. It depends, of course, whether it"s the Google AI experience you want. Where that"ll go, well, we"ll have to wait and see.
Turning to lớn the battery and the 3520mAh cell in the pixel 2 XL provides good day-long performance. As with most of these large format devices, it"s fairly easy khổng lồ get through a day with some left in the tank. Fast-charging is in place khổng lồ bring that battery back into contention, using that USB Type-C on the base.

Software performance và AI

Android 9.0 PieGoogle Assistant & AI

The Google pixel 2 XL was the first phone to feature android 9.0 Pie. This added gesture controls (not on by default when updating), a multi-tasking screen, digital wellbeing features, and more. Watch the clip below for a breakdown of the đứng đầu features.

Pie essentially evolves what was present in apk Oreo 8.0 when the px 2 XL first launched. And that already added great things lượt thích the pixel Launcher, which changed the relationship between the trang chủ screen, Google app và search. The tìm kiếm bar at the bottom of the home screen gives live tìm kiếm results both for your contacts & Google searches, as well as offering up common apps that you use, including slices of content from within apps (such as a commonly messaged friend on WhatsApp) appearing within the apps drawer.

What"s most important is that pure game android is slick, fast refinement. Apk sticks khổng lồ its own services in Google Play (music, movies & apps) và supports functions lượt thích Cast, leaving a lot of the wider expansion to AI, through Google Assistant.

Google Assistant is perhaps Google"s most aggressive foray into other devices and platforms, because you"ll have lots of options khổng lồ control other trang chủ devices. That functionality from Google trang chủ flows into game android devices, meaning you can control things likeNest heating or Hue lightingwith your voice.


One hardware addition on the pixel 2 XL is the ability to lớn squeeze the frame khổng lồ launch Google Assistant, rather than saying "Ok Google", or long pressing the trang chủ button. It"s a gesture adopted from the smartphone htc U11. Perhaps more useful is the ability khổng lồ squeeze to lớn silence a call. That said, it"s not a feature we ever use, so we can see why this hasn"t taken off as a feature in many phones since.

First-class camera performance

Rear: 12.2-megapixels, 1.4µm, f/1.8, OISFront: 8-megapixels, 1.4µm, f/2.4Night Sight mode via software updatee

The original pixel was best known for its camera và there"s a great khuyến mãi of consistency in what Google offers in the pixel 2 too.

It"s still a single rear camera setup– not dual, triple or quad lượt thích some others out there – và thecamera phầm mềm remains very much as it was at launch, but does địa chỉ cửa hàng in some extras.

There"s now motion photos which look to lớn be the equivalentof Apple"s Live Photos that launched a few years ago (we"re still not sure it has its place, but you can get some amusing or interesting results nonetheless). There"s also a Portrait mode, for capturing that blurred background look.


The rear camera is 12-megapixels which behaves much as the previous px camera. It"s generally very good at taking photos, and we think that the colour balance of those photos is now much easier lớn confirm following the addition of the display"s "saturated mode", whereas the "natural" setting doesn"t give a true reflection of what you"ll see when you share your pictures.

The front camera gives great selfies, although we"ve found it"s generally warmer in its results than the rear camera. The photo of yourself will be slightly more blushed than the portrait you"ve just taken of your loved one, but we"ve found it generally produces better selfies than the iPhone X, which can make you look a little fuller in the face.

This highlights another consideration with the pixel 2 XL camera: the rear camera can struggle with trắng balance at times. Trắng balance was something that the px XL struggled with before & it seems it"s not quite right here. We particularly noticed this in our camera test against the Huawei P20 Pro a while back and, with the px still in hand, find this colour consistency issue hasn"t gone away since.