Google's Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have 25 media volume steps, ten more than their Android-powered predecessors had last year. The change that was first noted by XDA Developers appears to be connected to the specific OS version running on the company's latest flagships and seemingly isn't supported on the stock version of Android 8.0 Oreo. As a direct result of this move, changing the media volume levels on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL with the hardware buttons will apparently be a slightly slower affair but users will at least be provided with more control over their multimedia experience.
Volume controls are one of those aspects in which vanilla versions of Android always lagged behind their modified counterparts; many original equipment manufacturers like Samsung and OnePlus have been offering a better solution for media volume management for a while now, increasing the number of volume levels users can enable in order to provide them with more choice and make their devices more suitable for highly specific situations. Google now appears to be addressing this issue to a degree, though the company apparently didn't increase the number of notification and in-call volume levels which still sit at seven and six, respectively. People who aren't keen on modifying their Android devices at a basic level by installing something like the Xposed Framework and using its many modules to completely revamp their user experience can still download a number of apps from the Google Play Store that offer more granular controls for media volume levels, though none of the ones which work without root access are able to be fully integrated into the operating system.
The Pixel 2 is set to start shipping to customers later this week, whereas the Pixel 2 XL will officially hit the market next month. Google's new devices are meant to mark the company's latest push in the consumer electronics segment, though they're still understood to be a benchmark of sorts for other OEMs and show them what the Android platform is capable of achieving under the right circumstances. Besides more granular volume controls, the Pixel 2 lineup also innovates in terms of imaging capabilities and music recognition technologies, in addition to shipping with a pressure-sensitive frame similar to the one found within the HTC U11 which essentially serves as a physical shortcut mechanism.