Google Pixel 2 – A Long Term User Review

on October the 2nd Google unveiled two
new smartphones the pixel 2 and the pixel 2 xl these were two of the
most highly anticipated devices for 2017 Google was actually kind enough to
invite me to get some hands-on time with both a pixel 2 and the 2 XLl and I
was genuinely impressed with what they were able to offer I actually ended up
pre-ordering the pixel to excel and was really looking forward to sharing my
experience with you guys but that excitement level started declining after
the huge controversy regarding the display issues that some users were
experiencing namely the terrible blue shift in colors when viewing the phone
at a slight angle along with burnin issues and the list just kept going on I
then cancel my pre-order which I still don't regret because I realized that my
phone wasn't really worth the price given the concerns that it had but
instead I decided to give its younger brother the pixel to a chance and you
know what if you're looking for a smartphone with the best camera you know
cleaner software experience and a relatively compact form factor with
really good battery life I think the pixel 2 should be on the top
of your list so in this video I'll be talking about my experience using the
pixel 2 for the past few weeks and of course I'll be talking about the design
the build and some of the things that I still just mmm can't believe will did
but yeah we'll just move on to the video but first a quick message from our
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below let's get pricing and specs out of the
way the pixel 2 retails for 650 dollars and that gets you a 5-inch 1080p AMOLED
display snapdragon 835 CPU 4 gigabytes of RAM 64 gigabytes of storage that
unfortunately isn't expandable but there is a 128 gigabyte variant for an extra
$100 there are three color options to choose from just black clearly white and
kind of blue yeah that's what Google decided to label them as anyways the one
thing that took me a while to get over with was the design of the pixel 2 it's
not bad by any means but it just doesn't fit in with the rest of the competitors
within the same price range on one hand you have the Galaxy s8 featuring that
beautiful edge to edge display with then there is the recently announced oneplus 5t with that gorgeous design that promises to bring the best of Android to
the forefront for just $500 the pixel 2 in my opinion shares a similar design
language to the Nexus 6p with its larger bezels the dual front-facing speakers
and the fingerprint reader located at the back which by the way is really fast
and unlocking the device the build quality certainly feels a lot superior
to the 6p the pixel 2 features a metal unibody
construction and the body is covered in this premium hybrid coating material
that feels softer to the touch and I like that it's a lot better than glass
backs that have encountered on some other smartphones but this material
choice meant that Google had to compromise on an important feature that
some users cherish and that's wireless charging and the lack of a headphone
jack was a deal-breaker to me obviously because I use wired headphones all the
time it is unfortunate but for users who have already adapted the wireless route
shouldn't find this daunting now you could take advantage of the USB-C adapter
that's included in the box but that can easily be misplaced so be prepared for
that unlike last year's pixel and pixel XL google has finally decided to add
ip67 water and dust resistant rating to the pixel – so you're not losing out on
a key feature that competitors have started implementing on their flash
chips this phone comes with a 5-inch 1080p AMOLED display and unlike
competitors that have started implementing 18×9 aspect ratio
screens this phone sticks with the traditional 16×9 ratio which can't
be taken as a negative factor since most content these days are only available in
that aspect ratio I definitely enjoyed my time watching YouTube videos and a
few TV shows on Netflix and on top of that you've got those dual front-facing
speakers that sound amazing seriously they're the best that I've come across
on a 2017 flagship I definitely enjoyed my time listening to music here let's
take a quick listen now coming back to the display it's only
1080p but that shouldn't throw you off since it's perfect for the size and you
might not notice the smaller screen to body ratio if you're coming from
something like the 6b or an iPhone 7 but if you're considering switching from a
galaxy s8 or an LG G6 you're certainly going to notice the difference and it
might take some time to get used to now given that this phone uses an AMOLED
panel the colors were surprisingly less vibrant to the eye when I first started
using it until recently Google rolled out an update for both a pixel 2 and the
2 XL that enables users to boost the saturation of the colors personally I
never took advantage of that preset since I was more comfortable with the
natural color profile either way watching content on this display was
great given its fantastic black levels and
good contrast color shift was barely noticeable unless you tilt the phone 90
degrees but that's a common problem with every OLED display out there ok let's
switch gears and talk about the software because Google is taking a completely
different approach unlike other brands by combining AI with software and
hardware to create this seamless experience the pixel 2 comes with the
latest operating system from Google currently it's rocking 8.0 Oreo and it's
continually receiving updates I've been a huge fan of stock Android ever since
the Nexus series there are no bloatware applications pre-installed no custom
skins which really contributes to the performance of the device the UI is
clean simple and easier to understand so if you're considering switching from an
iPhone the pixel to should be at the top of your list
Google assistant has also matured over time and it's a lot smarter too having
experienced Samsung's bixby on the galaxy s8 and the note 8 I'm a lot more
comfortable using the assistants simply because I've heavily invested into the
Google ecosystem a quick example would be home automation and how
Google talks to those devices for instance I can trigger the assistant by
simply squeezing the device and ask it to turn on the heater and set it at a
certain temperature or I can ask it to turn on my studio lights and the list
just keeps going on depending on the amount of smart devices you have
connected at home the cherry on top of this is a new squeeze feature that I
just mentioned that triggers the assistant and I've taken advantage of
that a lot of times to control my home devices now it can be accidentally
triggered but the user has the option to adjust the sensitivity of the squeeze or
turn it off completely either way the assistant is there when
you need it and it's one step shorter than having to hold a home button or
yell out okay Google and I'm sure the must have triggered some of your
smartphones so thank you another cool feature that I found on the pixel 2 and
the 2 XL is the ability to identify songs that's playing the background it
uses machine learning to identify the song along with the artist and it
instantly displays that info on the lock screen and it works just as it should
it's a subtle feature but I'm sure a lot of people would appreciate what Google
has done here quick note on performance this thing flies through a multitasking
I've noticed that apps were quicker to respond with touch gestures and I think
part of that had to do with the Snapdragon 835 pushing a 1080p display
rather than a qHD panel and there are other Hardware optimizations that Google
has built in to complete that user experience battery life was fantastic on
the pixel too it only features a twenty seven hundred million power module which
might seem a lot smaller when compared to the Galaxy S8 or the LG G6
but I was easily able to power through a couple of days with just a single charge
again this shouldn't be surprising since there are no bloatware applications
installed and the 1080p AMOLED display doesn't require too much power to drive
casual usage can get you roughly five-and-a-half hours of screen on time
but if you are a heavy user expect around four and a half to five hours of
SOT which is still great given the excellent standby time do note that my
usage normally consists of checking Twitter Instagram messaging responding
to emails catching up on a few YouTube videos and that's about it but that
could vary from one user to the next okay so the last thing that I have to
talk about is the camera it's seriously the best in the business guys what
you're looking at is a 12 point two megapixel sensor with an F 1.8 aperture
that's capable of shooting 4k video at 30 frames per second 1080p up to
120 frames per second and 720p up to 240 frames per second the sensor also
features electronic and optical image stabilization which should theoretically
result in better low-light shots as well as smoother video I left all the
settings in auto mode with HDR turned on for the best possible results and as you
can see they're just stunning to look at there's fantastic dynamic range and the
sensor does a really good job exposing the highlights but at the same time
maintaining the detail in the shadows as well Google has also implemented
portrait mode that blurs the background to make the subject stand out and here's
the most interesting part unlike other smartphones that utilize two separate
cameras to emulate that portrait effect Google uses advanced depth mapping
technology to trace out the subject and isolate the background and it works
really well especially in low light the front facing camera can also take
portrait pictures and the results once again we're jaw-dropping here are a few
more samples so this is the video test from the pixel
to smartphone I'm actually just starting to walk to see how the image
stabilization works in 4k I mean looking at it from my smartphone it looks pretty
good I mean it does a really good job it's pretty stable it's not too shaky
which is great so I think you could use this too
maybe you should do some vlogging if you'd like there's great range details
as the present there's a moving car and yeah I mean
overall it looks pretty good super cool all right so I think it's about time to
wrap up my thoughts on the Google pixel 2 I really enjoyed my time using this
device the design was something that took me a while to get used to
especially you know coming from the Galaxy Sade and the LG G6 but the
positive side towards these bezels is the implementation of dual front-facing
speakers and they sound amazing the lack of a headphone jack is a deal-breaker to
me personally but it's what it is we I guess we have to just live with it but
if you desperately need a headphone jack you should probably avoid this phone and
you know look towards something like the oneplus 5t I think what makes a pixel to
stand out from the competition is the software experience Google has done a
terrific job combining AI with hardware and software to give users this seamless
experience the UI is cleaner it's great there are no bloatware applications it's
easier to understand and of course it's fast it helps a lot with performance but
most importantly the squeeze feature is great you can just squeeze the phone to
activate Google assistant and if we have smart devices connected to your place
you can control it seamlessly with just a few steps and that's amazing it's a
lot superior than bixby that's for sure and the last thing that I have to talk
about is the camera it's the best in the business the results really do speak for
themselves and I'd love to hear your thoughts on that in the comments what
really surprised me was the portrait mode on the sensor it just Google does a
fantastic job just analyzing the edges around the subject and it isolates the
background there are no weird artifacts whatsoever I mean it's a hit or miss
sometimes depending on harsh conditions but most of the time you're really gonna
get an awesome image when you decide to use the portrait mode if you're hardcore
into mobile photography the pixel 2 is certainly for you and finally let's talk
about pricing because it's $650 this is an expensive smartphone especially when
compared to the oneplus 5t that retails for $500 but when you put this up against
the Galaxy Note 8 that's $1000 or the galaxy s8 plus that's even a lot more
expensive than the pixel 2 what really makes a smart phone shine over the rest
of competition is the camera the battery life the software experience you are the
first in line to receive updates so you don't have to worry about that in the
long run so I'd love to hear your thoughts on the
Google pixel 2 what do you guys think about this device would you consider
this over something like the pixel XL or even the oneplus 5t let me know in the
comments down below i'm Eber with Hardware Canucks thank you
so much for watching make sure to subscribe for more similar content and
we'll see you in the next one

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