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As iPhone X launches, Google says Pixel 2 does more

Commentary: A new ad from Google, timed to coincide with iPhone X frenzy, suggests the Pixel 2 is a more complete phone.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


He has better things to do with his hands than hold a phone.

Google/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

You can't just sit there.

If you have a phone to sell, especially a new one, you have to at least try and capture some attention. Even though it seems that Apple's iPhone X is the only phone in Mediatown right now.

On Sunday, Samsung chose to celebrate the iPhone X launch with an ad mocking the last 10 years of the iPhone.

Google waited until Monday to release a new ad that had a little more decorum, suggesting its Pixel 2 phone was simply more phone than any other.

The ad is a quite magical portrayal of just how lazy humanity has become.

People seem to want their phones to do everything for them. And, with a phone that has superior AI at its core, the Pixel 2 seems well positioned to fulfill our pretensions to an absolutely sloth-like future. 

Here we have attractive young humans desperately wanting their phone to tell them if they need an umbrella. Because looking through a window is just so 20th century.

Then there are those who can't be bothered to press a button to take a selfie. They just want to order their phone to do it for them.

Talking of orders, the Pixel can also order you a sandwich. This allows you to simply not move at all.

Naturally, the ad pauses halfway through to make an Apple joke -- the standard Android one about the alleged lack of infinite photo storage on an iPhone. 

The whole effect is very fetching. 

However, Google hasn't yet mastered the logistical issues that come with launching a new phone.

In my own visits to both a Verizon store and a Best Buy, I didn't find salespeople even wanting me to be excited by the Pixel 2. At Best Buy, there was only one Pixel 2 I could even look at and that was in a locked cupboard.

Moreover, there have been some very basic snafus. Sending customers Pixel 2's that didn't have an operating system, for example. Then there were the screen burn-in issues suffered by the Pixel 2 XL, which caused by colleague Lynn La to amend her review in a slightly less enthusiastic direction. (Apple has also admitted its iPhone X may have screen-burn problems)

Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Still, the company says it's committed to hardware and must do what it can to make it seem desirable. Hardware is extremely difficult. Why, according to Samsung, Apple hasn't managed to get it right once in 10 years.

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