Google's Pixel 2 series is finally official following months of rumors and anticipation, with the Alphabet-owned tech giant unveiling its latest two products on Wednesday, detailing a couple of high-end smartphones meant to take on the likes of the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone X this holiday season. While the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were presented as members of the same handset family and feature many comparable specs, there are still some notable differences between the two, starting with their overall design and moving on to other product aspects like battery size. The latter is one of the most important characteristics for many consumers shopping for a new smartphone who are keen on making sure that their handset will be able to get them through the day on a single charge and hence serve as a reliable daily driver, so it's time to take a close look at what the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL offer in terms of battery life.
The original Pixel devices were equipped with differently sized screens and batteries, and the same is the case this year; the Pixel 2 ships with a 5-inch screen and is powered by a 2,700mAh battery, whereas the Pixel 2 XL boasts a 6-inch display panel and a cell with a capacity of 3,520mAh. The smaller device hence succeeded the physical footprint and battery of its predecessor, while its larger counterpart is bigger than the 5.5-inch Pixel XL and also boasts a somewhat larger battery, with the 2016 phablet being powered by a 3,450mAh unit.
By most accounts, the Pixel 2 should offer superior battery life compared to the Pixel as the previous smartphone came equipped with the Snapdragon 821, Qualcomm's 2016 SoC which is approximately 25 percent less energy-efficient than the Snapdragon 835 found inside the Pixel 2. Seeing how the screen size remained the same across the two generations and none of the other components of the Pixel 2 should be more power-hungry compared to their 2016 counterparts, the new model should provide you with more usage on a single charge than its predecessor did. For added context, the screen-on times Pixel users were reporting varied greatly in the last 12 months and were also heavily dependent on the exact version of Android they were running but four hours was usually a minimum. Given that state of affairs, the Pixel 2 shouldn't average under four and a half hours of screen-on time and will possibly be able to offer even better battery life, depending on the exact use cases.
The Pixel 2 XL comes with a somewhat larger battery than its predecessor but also features a bigger screen, although the difference in display sizes isn't as prominent as the diagonal lengths would have you think seeing how the Pixel XL featured a 5.5-inch 16:9 screen, whereas its successor ships with a 6-inch display panel boasting a taller aspect ratio of 18:9, i.e. 2:1. In terms of actual screen size, the Pixel 2 XL actually has a display that's just slightly bigger than a 5.8-inch one with a regular widescreen aspect ratio, so while its pOLED screen should require more energy than the one found on the Pixel XL did, the difference between the two likely won't be close to 10 percent as their diagonals would have you believe. Furthermore, the aforementioned point about the Snapdragon 835 being significantly more energy-efficient than the Snapdragon 821 also applies to the Pixel 2 XL and should lead to the new device offering comparable screen-on time at a minimum. In practice, the Pixel 2 XL will likely last slightly longer on a single charge than the original smartphone did, though the difference between the two probably won't be too significant and you should still expect around four to five hours of screen-on time.
Google was advertising the quick charging capabilities of the Pixel and Pixel XL as one of their main selling points, claiming that one can get seven hours of use after just a 15-minute charging sessions, and the same holds true this year. Even if you end up making the most of your smartphone's hardware capabilities by playing graphically intensive games and performing demanding tasks that will drain it before the day is up, you should still be able to keep it on with a rather short charging session. Finally, the batteries found within the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 aren't removable and it remains to be seen how expensive their replacements will end up being. In overall, the Pixel 2 will probably last a bit longer than the Pixel 2 XL does on a single charge but both were designed to be more than capable of getting you through the day, Google claims.