Google appears to have discontinued the Pixel 2 series as both models are no longer available for purchase from the official Play Store, XDA-Developers discovered this week. Although Google continues to list all three Pixel smartphone generations on the website, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are the only ones to retain the "Buy now" button.
That's not to say that the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have reached end-of-life because the duo should still receive firmware updates for about one and a half more years, given that Google promised to support the series for a total of three. The duo was also included in the Android Q Beta 1 so both models are expected to make the jump to the newer Android OS version later this year.
As to the question of why the Pixel 2 has been retired, the answer is simply "time." The Pixel 2 was released in October 2017 and it's only natural for Google to stop manufacturing the devices after a while since it's been succeeded by the Pixel 3 last year, and especially since the Pixel 4 is expected to make an official appearance later this year. After the future Pixel models will hit the shelves, it will be the Pixel 3's turn to retire, possibly around the same time next year.
The Pixel 2 rocky start and smooth sailing thereafter
There has been some criticism surrounding the Pixel 2 displays at launch – particularly the pOLED panel employed by the XL model – with some people raising concerns about burn-in issues and poor visibility when viewing the panels from an angle. Arguably, some of these problems were blown out of proportion by reviewers and consumers, with a bit of a feedback loop having been created between the two sides.
One other major reason for complaining was the lack of a standard 3.5-millimeter headphone jack. This feature existed on the original Pixel smartphones but Google did away with it a year later, and the feature never made a comeback since. But with more OEMs now launching budget-conscious wireless earbud solutions for smartphone users, the lack of a standard headphone jack has become less of an issue as time went by.
The Pixel 2 series was the subject of somewhat mixed reviews given all of the above, but nevertheless, it still impressed the public in several areas including the camera software and superior performance. Camera and lens benchmarking website DxOMark gave the Pixel 2 series a score of 98 points and the phones topped the charts for months.
Several other issues that have marred the device at launch have already been fixed with the release of new software updates and the arrival of Android 8.1 Oreo months after the hardware's market debut. The devices also continued to improve with new software features ported over from the newer Pixel 3 models and should continue to get better with the launch of Android Q.
As of this writing, the Pixel 2 series is Google's last to not have a display notch. Sure, the newer Pixel 3 doesn't either, but its larger sibling – the Pixel 3 XL – does. The OEM is expected to launch the Pixel 4 series later this year but only time will tell how much of the Pixel 2's DNA will remain.