The Google Pixel 2 is Here at the Unbox HQ
The Google Pixel XL has been my primary daily driver for the last year. I was able to try all the other Android flagships like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the LG G6 but I always ended up going back to the Pixel XL. The simplicity and purity of the device combined with the amazing cameras made it a joy to use. Fast forward to today, I finally get to unbox and try out the new Google Pixel 2!
Before we get to my initial impressions let’s quickly take a specs refresher.
Google Pixel 2 Spec Sheet
- Snapdragon 835 processor
- Adreno 540 graphics
- 4GB RAM
- 5-inch full HD AMOLED display, 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 1920 x 1080 resolution
- 64GB/128GB of internal storage
- 12-megapixel rear camera with f/1.8 aperture lens, laser AF, Dual Pixel phase detection, OIS, EIS
- 8-megapixel front camera with f/2.4 lens
- eSIM and NanoSIM with 4G LTE
- Wifi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
- Fingerprint Scanner, USB Type C, Adaptive Audio Amplifier, IP67 certification
- 2700mAh battery
- Android Oreo 8.0
Okay with that out of the way let’s jump right into it!
WHY DOES IT FEEL SO PLASTICKY?!
I’ve been eagerly waiting and anticipating this phone for so many months and truth be told I wasn’t too happy when I finally got my hands on it. The Google Pixel 2 uses a plastic-like coating to improve the grip but it just feels so darn cheap in my palm. It feels like a Php10,000 peso mid-range device in 2014 when plastic was all the rage and people were just about to get into glass and aluminum.
What upsets me is that the original Google Pixel was already okay. The aluminum finish was awesome and gave it a premium and elegant feel. I can’t wait to… uh… put the Pixel 2 in a nice case so I forget about the crappy plastic texture.
In an age where design is just as important as the actual capabilities of a smartphone, I don’t understand Google’s style philosophy with the Google Pixel 2. This device is supposed to go up against the iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, LG V30, Essential Phone, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, and the Huawei Mate 10 (Mate 10 Pro). I’ve tested all of those phones and are several miles ahead in the “looks” department.
Okay enough with the ranting and on to the good stuff.
I Don’t Get the “MUTED COLORS” Issue
The Pixel 2 was criticized for the bad display mainly due to the blue tinge when you look at it off-axis and the muted colors. The off-axis issue is primarily the problem of the Google Pixel 2 XL, the bigger brother of the Pixel 2 so I didn’t experience that one. I also don’t understand why the color reproduction is getting this phone so much bad press. To my eyes they look perfectly fine. I looked at the icons and photos indoor and outdoor and I honestly didn’t find anything wrong with it.
Anyway, to those who will have an issue with the colors, Google already confirmed they are shipping a software update that will allow users to turn on a more “saturated” color output via settings.
Squeezing this Phone is Fun
I’m one of the few Filipinos who loves talking to his phone. Yep, I’m a sucker for Google Assistant. I use it almost everyday, especially since I hooked my condo up with Smart lights, Chromecasts for the TVs, and Chromecast Audio for the speakers. My smartphone and my Google Home units function as my remote control for the house.
That said, it’s so much more fun to turn on Google Assistant! The squeeze-to-call Assistant is a great addition to the Pixel 2. It made me turn to that feature more because it was more tangible and usable versus saying “Okay Google” out loud.
Full Review Coming Soon
Okay so here’s my initial verdict. Aside from the crappy cheap build of the back (which can be addressed with a nice case but still… argh), the Google Pixel 2 still has a lot of potential. I’m keen on testing the camera (which has gotten a lot of rave reviews), the battery life, and the over-all Android 8.0 Oreo vanilla experience.
However the real reason I bought the Pixel 2 is mainly because of this:
I’m buying the ecosystem, not just the phone. The Pixel EarBuds, in particular, that does realtime translation is a game changer. I’ll take the plasticky back any day as long as I get those.
The Google Pixel 2 is now available via Widget City. Our full review will go up in a few days so make sure you guys check back every now and then for that!
Read our reviews of the top flagships today below: