Do we have a good one for you today – the Google 2 XL is compared to the Google Pixel 2. Yes, we know that the Pixel 2 XL is larger and offers smaller bezels and a more modern design, but is it worth the extra money for someone that is looking for an everyday device. With so many specifications the same, you have to ask yourself if the Pixel 2 is just as good as an everyday smartphone – but in a smaller package. While these two devices do share many of the same internal parts and specs, the overall look and feel of is quite different. Let’s take a look to see just what these two handsets have in common and then we will take a closer look at each one of them.
The Pixel 2 XL and Pixel 2 have many things in common. For starters, they both use an OLED display, with Always-On for notifications, and both protect their displays with Gorilla Glass 5. Both use the Snapdragon 835 processor for blazing fast speed and efficiency and the Adreno 540 GPU for outstanding graphics. These two devices have 4GB of DDR4 RAM and a base of 64GB of internal storage or the option to purchase a 128GB model. Neither model has room for expanding the internal memory. Both use the identical single 12MP primary camera and both use an 8MP front-facing camera (FFC). Both have a non-removable battery, stereo speakers, Bluetooth v5.0, a Type-C USB port, a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, Active Edge technology, Google Lens, IP67 dust and water resistance, and Google Assistant. The two devices are running Android 8.0 Oreo, unlocked for all major US carriers, and both are a Verizon exclusive.
Please take a careful look at the detailed specifications comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great Android flagships stack up against each other on paper. After that, we will look at each handset in more detail and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on overall specs and the execution of design and functions.
Google Pixel 2 XL
Google’s switch from Nexus to Pixel was a huge step in the right direction. The Pixel 2 XL is a top-of-the line device that can hold its own with almost any Samsung, LG, and even Apple phone on the market. With bleeding edge technology, the larger display, and Google’s newest Android 8.0 Oreo, it is the pinnacle of Google physical design and software. Google added an Active Edge and Google Lens options and an improved Google Assistant. Arguably, its biggest failings are lack of memory expansion and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Some might also argue the price of $849 is too much for what you get, but that is a decision that only you can make.
Google adapted to the new 2017 trend of offering small bezels and the new 18:9 display ratio – but only on the Pixel 2 XL. It uses a 6-inch P-OLED QHD display with a resolution of 2880 x 1440 pixels, making its density about 538 pixels-per-inch (PPI). The 18:9 ratio is a better format for watching movies or using two, square, multitasking windows. Both devices use the Always-On notification process that saves battery life and adds convenience for the user.
Like most other flagships this year, the Pixel 2 XL – and the Pixel 2 – use the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor with one quad-core clocked at 1.9GHz and another quad-core clocked at 2.35GHz. This is paired up the Adreno 540 GPU for outstanding graphics whether you are watching a graphic intense movie or video game. The Pixel 2 XL comes with 4GB of DDR4 RAM and a base of 64GB of non-expandable internal memory. For an additional $100, you can purchase the 128GB model.
When Google switched over to the Pixel line, they really concentrated on inserting a top of the line camera that quickly shot to the number one spot on DxOMark’s listing. The Pixel 2 models add a few improvements to keep it at that number one spot – and they did this with a single sensor. The primary camera is 12-megapixel with an aperture of f/1.8, both PDAF and laser autofocus, EIS and OIS for stabilization, and a dual-tone LED flash. The FFC is 8-megapixel, an aperture of f/2.4, with fixed focus. The Pixel 2 XL has the larger battery at 3,520mAh – it needs it for the display – and will get you through an entire day. The device also offers fast charging when you do need a ‘refill’.
The Pixel 2 XL was impressive when we reviewed it – the main downsides are no memory expansion, no 3.5mm headphone jack, and the pricing is fairly high. We must note, however, that many of the flagships are doing away with the 3.5mm headphone jack – most believe that Bluetooth headsets are the future. The device does lack Hi-Res audio, but does provide front facing stereo speakers. You will certainly find Google Assistant here and you can summon it with the Active Edge – where you squeeze the sides of the device. But other than summoning Google Assistant or quieting an incoming phone call, Active Edge is not very useful. Google did give the new Pixel 2’s IP67 dust and water resistance and a promise of three years’ worth of updates. The Pixel 2 XL measures 157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9mm and weighs in at 175 grams. It is available in two colors – Just Black and Black & White. The Pixel 2 XL will cost about $849 with 64GB of RAM and $949 with 128GB of RAM and is available from the Google Store, Best Buy and as a carrier exclusive of Verizon who will allow you to purchase it with monthly payments.
Google Pixel 2
While the Google Pixel 2 is not quite the device that its larger brother, the Pixel 2 XL is, in the important areas of technology – processor/ GPU – it is certainly its equal. The Pixel 2 looks somewhat dated with its large bezels and smaller FHD display, but many users will find it more than satisfactory for an everyday driver. It does sport an AMOLED display and even with its Full HD resolution, holds up well with a 5-inch display. The Pixel 2 as has the Active Edge, which we are hoping through a software update, will become more useful, and you will find Google Lens available for identifying some images via the camera. You can buy them unlocked to work on any major U.S. carrier, but Verizon is once again the exclusive dealer of the Pixel 2 phones, which will allow you to purchase a Pixel 2 device on their payment plan.
A 5-inch AMOLED FHD display adorns the Pixel 2 – this 1,960 x 1,080 resolution results in 441 PPI. The Pixel 2 keeps the tried and true 16:9 aspect ratio and offers the Always-On notification system, like the Pixel 2 XL. The new Pixel 2 models use the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor clocked at 2.35GHz and an Adreno 540 GPU for graphics – the same combo used on the Pixel 2 XL. Like all Google phones, the Pixel 2 has no expandable memory – they want you to use the free Google Cloud storage. It packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and comes with a basic 64GB, although you can also order a 128GB model.
We are happy to say that the Pixel 2 sports the same 12-megapixel primary camera as the Pixel 2 XL. You get a large aperture of f/1.8, EIS and OIS, as well as PDAF and Laser autofocus, and a dual-tone flash. This all comes with some software improvements in the camera area. The FFC is the same 8-megapixel, fixed focus, and f/2.4 aperture unit found on the Pixel 2 XL. The 2,700mAh battery may seem a bit small, but it only needs to power a 5-inch FHD display, an efficient processor, and an efficient operating system, so you will easily make it through an entire day.
Back in the day, only a Google purist would consider buying a Nexus/Pixel device, but the new line of Pixel 2’s throws that thought process out the window. These Pixel devices would make just about anybody happy – from the users that demand the latest and greatest technology (Pixel 2 XL) to the user that just wants a smaller, solid device (Pixel 2). With the highest rated camera on the market to its stereo speakers, the Pixel 2 is a great everyday device. You add to that the limited Active Edge, the useful Google Lens, and Android 8.0, and you have a great little smartphone. The Pixel 2 measures 145.7 x 69.7 x 7.8mm and weighs in at 143 grams. It is available in three colors – Just Black, Clearly White, and Kinda Blue. The Pixel 2 will cost about $650 with 64GB of storage and is available for purchase from the Google Store, Best Buy and as a wireless carrier exclusive through Verizon. If you buy it from Verizon, the company will allow you to finance it over 24 months.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
I am crowning the Google Pixel 2 XL as the winner of this comparison based solely on the display - the smaller bezels, larger display, QHD resolution, and 18:9 ratio - that makes the device look more modern. But one has to ask themselves if that one feature is worth an extra $200, because once you get past the display and larger battery, these devices are basically identical.
The Pixel 2 is a very capable smartphone and a great everyday driver for most users. It has the same processor/GPU, the same memory, the same excellent camera, and all the other attributes of the Pixel 2 XL - just a smaller FHD display. Many users prefer a smaller phone to carry in their pocket, and at 5-inches, the display still has a 441 pixel density. If you fall into this category, then the Pixel 2 is the real winner.