Pixel 2 Reviews: Iterative Update Lacks 'Wow Factor' But Still 'Best Android Phone You Can Buy'

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Two weeks after first unveiling the Pixel 2 at an event in San Francisco, reviews of Google's latest smartphone have now been published online. Many of the reviews written on the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL are positive, with multiple articles referring to the smartphones as the best Android devices on the market, as well as legitimate competitors to Apple's iPhone series. The only slight negatives appear to surround Google's decision to aim for functional, more iterative updates over flashier feature additions.

    Like most reviews posted today, The Verge was more impressed by the design and look of the Pixel 2 XL than the smaller Pixel 2, calling the latter phone "humdrum" with "big, chunky bezels" that don't compare favorably to the XL's smaller bezels and larger 6-inch screen. The site noted that each device's Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and 4GB of RAM resulted in a snappy UI, running "better overall than Samsung's or LG's" version of Android.


    The Verge described an all-day battery life that "lasts until bedtime just fine," and said that the Pixel 2 is "easily a contender for best smartphone camera" with photos that are "way sharper than the iPhone 8 and the Note 8." Although the site had qualms with the 2 XL's display quality -- calling colors "muted" -- the overall takeaway came down to being impressed by the smartphone's snappy functionality, despite a lack of "razzle dazzle."
    TechCrunch compared the second iteration of the Pixel line -- focusing its review on the Pixel 2 XL -- to an "S" generation of the iPhone, meaning that the Pixel 2 is an "evolution" of a smartphone that was already solid, but lacks a central "wow factor." Still, the site was impressed by what Google accomplished with a single-lens camera system, describing "admirable" performance in low- and mixed-light settings, and mostly positive early impressions from Google's AI-powered "Lens" feature, which automatically tags objects in pictures.


    Even though the Pixel 2 XL runs for upwards of $800, TechCrunch ultimately stated that Google's smartphone shows "what can be done without having to charge users $1,000 for a device."
    Ars Technica looked at the performance of the Pixel 2, calling Google's build of Android for the new smartphones "the most highly optimized, smoothest, and fastest build of Android I have ever seen." Although the site had similar problems with the OLED display as The Verge -- Ars called it "an ugly graniness" most detectable in dark environments -- and the "dated aesthetic" of the 5-inch Pixel 2, its final impression was that Google's new smartphone is "the best Android phone out there."

    The Pixel XL, Pixel 2 XL, and iPhone 8 Plus via Ars Technica

    Interestingly, Ars Technica also pointed out that the Pixel 2 marks Google's first foray into its own custom designed system on a chip (SoC), packed into the smartphone in addition to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. Although not active yet, the chip is said to be "dedicated exclusively to camera image processing" on the Pixel 2, and will eventually make processing photos "faster and more efficient than ever." Google calls the SoC the "Pixel Visual Core," and it includes an eight-core Image Processing Unit capable of more than three trillion operations per second.

    For more Pixel 2 reviews, check out the following sites: CNET, Business Insider, Engadget, TIME, Wired, ZDNet, CNN Tech, and Venture Beat.

    Article Link: Pixel 2 Reviews: Iterative Update Lacks 'Wow Factor' But Still 'Best Android Phone You Can Buy'
  2. igneousc macrumors regular

    May 13, 2011
    Or can't buy, because Google is terrible at making and selling these things.
  3. McTaste macrumors regular


    Jan 21, 2014
  4. drewyboy macrumors 65816

    Jan 27, 2005
    So in other words, if you have to have the shiniest thing, the Pixel line is not it. If you want one of the best cameras, it sounds like the Pixel 2 is the one to get.

    This is exactly what I'm looking for. Camera is my #1 priority for a smartphone. So far, everything I've seen is Pixel 2 handily beats iPhone 8.
  5. DNichter macrumors 604


    Apr 27, 2015
    Philadelphia, PA
    This is kind of what I figured, but I just can't get behind the design. Already outdated. Sounds like it's the best option for Android fans though so I think the Pixel line has a nice future. As they work to become more and more like Apple / iOS, it should only push Apple more.
  6. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
    None of the phones seem to WOW me any more including Apple except for the price they expect consumers to pay.
  7. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
  8. drewyboy macrumors 65816

    Jan 27, 2005
    Function over fashion any day of the week. Apple could learn a thing or two, especially on the MPB line from others.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 17, 2017 ---
    Too bad that you have to upgrade to the top of the line to have it. I applaud Google's approach. Same hardware across the line, you just pick the size of the phone you want.
  9. macs4nw macrumors 601


    My take-away of the reviewers is that as the devices get better and better, the expectations for them seem to outpace the offerings. Relatively speaking, with a solid camera, the 2XL seems decent value-for-money.
  10. BriSpe macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2010
    If this is your priority than don't look at some numbers and look at pictures taken with both devices and compare them. iPhone 8+ pictures easily beat the P2 pictures. Of course mostly it's a matter of taste but I find iPhone pics also sharper
  11. Bane-Thunder macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2014
    Looks super dated in design compared to the S8 or the iPhone X.
  12. bitfactory macrumors 6502


    Jul 22, 2002
    My how times have changed - now it's Android users paying full price for a phone that's literally half the speed of iPhones.

    Good times.
  13. NachoGrande macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2010
  14. BlargKing macrumors 6502


    Apr 17, 2014
    NewBrunswick, Canada
    Nice. I'll take function over form any day. Hopefully by the time I need a new phone they'll have the OLED display looking better.
  15. BruceEBonus macrumors 65816


    Sep 23, 2007
    Derbyshire, England
    It also has reduced it's features like Apple by removing the headphone jack and for many Samsung is the default Android maker. However Huwaei seem to be gaining ground as even the diehard Samsung fans realise that value for money must also overrule so called loyalty. It's not just Apple who have to worry about the world waking up to this and cannot keep relying on their past glory to get them through. I need a new phone. But I will wait til early November when the X cones out. The Note 8 is the superior model and is £870. If it comes down further after this I may just go for it of it drops below the £800 mark. Even though most will automatically rule ou t the X for £1000 even £800 is a lot for a mobile phone.
  16. convergent macrumors 68030


    May 6, 2008
    Seems like a decent phone, but unless Google greatly changes their market approach, it will continue to be a niche player.
  17. TimeSquareDesi macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2013
    I'm totes New Yorkian
    If only there was a way to get the best of something without having to pay a high price for it...
  18. Razeus macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    The Pixel 2 XL looks decent, but not sure what the heck they were thinking on the smaller Pixel 2. Especially at that price.
  19. DNichter macrumors 604


    Apr 27, 2015
    Philadelphia, PA
    The iPhone is both fashionable and functional. I am assuming the MBP is because of the Touch Bar? I don't see that limiting function in any way, but alright.
  20. kuwxman macrumors 6502a


    Jul 25, 2009
    Olathe, KS
    Truth. I've been on the wait list since the pre-order date and have heard nothing. Every single Nexus and now Pixel release has been a failure in terms on having available stock. You would think they would learn but nope.

    That and their exclusivity BS with Verizon. The phone can be purchased on the Play Store just fine with financing, but to REALLY sell these they need to be available in carrier's stores too.
  21. gnipgnop macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2009
    That "way sharper than iPhone 8 or Note 8" photos comment and the fact that Google has a dedicated SoC for the camera makes me wonder if the sharpness is digitally applied and not from optics.
  22. tkukoc macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2014
    Wish I Was In Space!
    Can use the same title for iPhone X... of course no one will because it's Apple.
  23. Kiro macrumors member


    Sep 15, 2015
    Germany, Leipzig
    Google fooled you well. Just compare the hardware specs of pixel 2 and pixel 2 xl. There are quite some differences for the screen (apart from the obvious schreensize).

    But like you said, the approach itself is quite humble.
  24. EightyTwenty macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2015
    I much prefer the Pixel 1.

    But I have to laugh at people complaining about the design of the XL. It looks exactly like every other flagship, including the iPhone X (minus the cat ears).

Share This Page