Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Google's Pixel 2 gets bent out of shape during torture test

Commentary: The torturers at JerryRig Everything get ahold of Google's new phone and it doesn't appear to stand up so well. Especially the back.

2 min read
Advertiser Disclosure
Advertiser Disclosure
This advertising widget is powered by Navi and contains advertisements that Navi may be paid for in different ways. You will not be charged for engaging with this advertisement. While we strive to provide a wide range of offers, this advertising widget does not include information about every product or service that may be available to you. We make reasonable efforts to ensure that information in the featured advertisements is up to date, each advertiser featured in this widget is responsible for the accuracy and availability of its offer details. It is possible that your actual offer terms from an advertiser may be different than the offer terms in this advertising widget and the advertised offers may be subject to additional terms and conditions of the advertiser which will be presented to you prior to making a purchase. All information is presented without any warranty or guarantee to you.

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


That doesn't look good.

JerryRigEverything/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It's agony releasing a new device.

No sooner is it out in the wild than someone takes a scalpel or a sharp knife and tries to wreck it.

One of the most renowned wreckers is Zack Nelson at JerryRigEverything.

So when Google's Pixel 2 phone emerged on Thursday, you knew that his executioner's take wouldn't be far behind.

The good news is that the screen -- subject to some controversy on the 2 XL -- performed as well as either the iPhone 8 or the Samsung Galaxy S8. 

There was less good news for the device. Nelson found the back of the phone scratched very easily.

Google coated the metal back of the phone with, in its words, "a premium hybrid coating," in order to make it easier to hold. 

The result, however, is that Nelson's little knife cuts chunks straight off the phone. He also criticized Google's varying descriptions of the back. As well as the "premium hybrid coating" there's also "metal unibody" and "painted exterior."

There was one more tradition to the process: the bend test. 

Here, the Pixel 2 split down the side with the very first flex of Nelson's fingers. He blames an antenna line at the weakest point of the phone. Just like with the iPhone 6.

This certainly doesn't look like the sort of phone you can safely put in the back pocket of your jeans. Nor in any jeans that fit you with consummate snugness.

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

In Nelson's tests on the iPhone 8 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, both stood up rather better to his assaults.

Ultimately, though, phones are personal items. You have to decide what suits you. 

And then you have to decide how you will use that phone and store it in order to preserve what works for you.

The Pixel 2, it seems, is a sensitive little thing.

Pixel 2 and 2 XL photos: Feast your eyes

See all photos

Technically Incorrect: Bringing you a fresh and irreverent take on tech.

Special Reports: CNET's in-depth features in one place.