CNET First Look
Pixel 2 and 2 XL pack top-notch camerasWith a stellar camera and the inquisitive Google Lens, the Pixel 2 is an excellent competitor to the commonplace iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phones.
[MUSIC] Google's new phone the PIXEL 2 and the PIXEL 2 XL are a bit of a contradiction. In some ways the fit right into the latest phone crazes. But in other ways they back the trend. And yet still, at the end of the day, all the hardware and specs you think are important in making a premium phone aren't even what the Pixel 2's are about. It's important to note here that the main differences between the two phones are mostly size and screen related and neither of them are more advanced than the other. The Pixel is smaller with a five inch display and the Pixel 2 XL has a sharper six inch screen. [MUSIC] It also has a bigger battery to accommodate the larger display. Moving on, like the apple iPhone and Motorola model phones, the pixel 2 doesn't have headphones jacks. If you don't already use wireless headphones this can get pretty annoying to have to carry around a dangle all the time. Second the pixel 2 has squeezable size similar to the HTC U11 Just give it a quick squeeze and Google voice assistant launches. Finally the phone falls in line with it's competitors by being water resistant. They can be submerged in about three feet of water for up to 30 minutes. So you don't have to worry about an accidental diving. At the same time the pixel two and pixel two excel go against whatever everyone is doing to. In a time where thin bezels are in, the Pixel 2, especially, has thick bezels. This is likely due to the dual audio speakers moving to the front. But it makes the phone look a little less slick and a little more dated compared to its competitor. More importantly, though, unlike a lot of premium phones these days, the Pixel 2s don't have dual cameras Google says it doesn't really need it and the phone still packs a great camera and the reality is it's true. The pixel two has a fantastic camera [MUSIC] [MUSIC] I tested the phones out at the Oakland Zoo, and my photos came out great. The phone's portrait mode feature uses a combo of algorithm training and a special depth mapping image sensor to create dramatic, [UNKNOWN] style images with blurred backgrounds. Google also added optical image Stabilization for steadier photos and video recording. The results are pretty impressive. [MUSIC] Like the original Pixel last year, the Pixel 2 is still excellent at handling low light photography. And Google added an HDR plus enhance tool that processes more exposures, so your trickiest photos come out evenly lit. [MUSIC] There are also fun jiffy motion photos you can take that's similar to the iPhone's live photo. But other than the camera, the Pixel 2's main draw is it's software, and the fact that it's so deeply integrated with Google's ecosystem and vast search database. Okay Google, What do fruit bats eat? Assistant works with a whole new slew of Google devices, like the Pixel buds, which has an in ear translation feature that's exclusive to Pixel Two. You'll also get prompt OS updates from Google and there's Google Lens. Lens works a lot like Samsung's Bixby Vision app, calling up information about objects in the world around you. If you wanted to know more about an album, for instance, just take its picture and Lens will identify and show you more information about it. It works on art, landmarks, books, and our business cards to autopopulate a context card It also sometimes, though not always accurately, work on other sorts of things too. But you have to make sure the image is clear and pretty recognizable for Lens to register it. Yes, and in this case, it's a type of tortoise. Lenses available in a Pixel2 first in a photos app and then later in a system. But, it'll roll out to other Android devices afterwards. With premium phones gaining more parity with one another and competition as fierce as it is, the Pixel2 and Pixel2XL rely on Google's brand cache, ecosystem and software services to differentiate themselves. In the end, Google pulled off another solid phone. And with the help of it's fantastic camera, the Pixels 2 is the best choice for anyone looking for something other than Apple and Samsung main stream. [MUSIC]