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Google Pixel 2 review:

Google's flagship followup is all about the camera

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The Good Google's Pixel 2 has a superb camera with OIS and excellent low-light shooting. It's water-resistant and Google Lens calls up a trove of information to help you explore your surroundings.

The Bad The phone's battery doesn't keep pace with the Pixel's competitors and its Portrait Mode isn't as smooth on dual-camera phones. Its design feels dated and it doesn't have wireless charging or a headphone jack.

The Bottom Line Buy the Pixel 2 for the best camera on any Android phone and fast Google updates, but skip it if you can't live without a headphone jack or a standout design.

CNET Editors' Rating

8.6 Overall
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 9.0
  • Camera 9.0
  • Battery 8.0

Last year's inaugural Pixel was such a slam dunk, I expected this year's Google Pixel 2 -- and larger Pixel 2 XL --  to carry Google's phone even further.

In the most important ways, it has. The Pixel 2 has the best camera quality of any Android phone, and updates like water resistance and a best-in-class processor make it a top pick. The Android Oreo software will get regular updates, and Google's Lens feature taps into Google's vast search database so you can immediately learn more about the world around you.

In other ways, the Pixel 2 bucks big trends, foregoing the dual cameras seen in most of its competitors. Bokeh-effect pictures don't look quite as elegant as those on the Apple iPhone 8 Plus ($980.00 at Amazon.com) and the Pixel 2's battery is so-so compared to its top-tier rivals. The Pixel also doesn't flaunt super-thin bezels, so it looks less sexy than the Samsung Galaxy S8 ($729.11 at Amazon.com) and Note 8. And lastly, I really do miss that headphone jack.

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