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Hands-on with the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Read what top publishers are saying about Google’s latest smartphones.


With real-time cloud computing and any number of other gee-whiz capabilities built right in, the Google Pixel 2 and the larger Google Pixel 2 XL are serious players in the smartphone space. That means easier use of Google Assistant, higher-quality photos and videos, improved battery life and improved functionality at work or on the go.

And the tech press has take note. Here are six features of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL that have impressed them above all.

Pixel 2 takes amazing photos

For the snappers, the Pixel 2’s specs will impress: a 12.2MP sensor with a strong low-light, f/1.8 lens, and optical image stabilization (OIS) to prevent blurred shots. But according to TechRadar, it’s Google’s Pixel Visual Core processor that’s “injecting even more smarts into your phone.” That means brighter HDRs—those cool multiple shots sandwiched into a single image—especially in low light, and smoother zoomed-in shots, the editors note.

Meanwhile, Dxo Mark highlights the camera’s impressive video quality, noting that “exposure is good in almost all lighting conditions” and “autofocus is very fast, smooth, and stable—including subject tracking.” Photography Blog praises the handset’s motion controls and the Pixel’s ability to decide when to grab video while snapping stills—“a great way to create motion clips when it’s most wanted.”

You won’t lose memories

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL use cloud storage, and users get unlimited photo and video storage until 2020. “[You] can upload all of their photos and videos at full resolution for free,” points out CNET. That’s excellent news if you commonly run up against your phone’s data-storage limits.

The fingerprint reader is where it should be

Google positioned the Pixel 2’s fingerprint scanner on the back of its device, which means unlocking the device is easy and intuitive. “You simply hold the phone as you would use it,” writes Business Insider. “Where you pointer finger naturally rests is where the fingerprint scanner is.”



There’s durability and endurance to spare

Thanks to a IP67 waterproof/dustproof level, Pixel 2 phones can be submerged in tub-depth water (3.3 feet) for up to 30 minutes. In its testing, Tom’s Guide says that the XL “survived drops from four and six feet onto wood with no issue,” and “an edge drop from six feet didn’t do too much damage.” The same testers saw over 12 hours of battery life out of the Google Pixel 2 XL during continuous web surfing at full display brightness, “easily” putting it on the list of longest-lasting phones that the editors have tested.

Squeeze for assistance

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL feature Active Edge technology. Squeeze the phone to immediately launch Google Assistant, a quieter alternative to the voice command “Hey, Google.” As Teamandroid.com notes, users can also “customize the squeeze feature just as you like”—via the Edge Sense Plus app—to perform other functions, from launching Mail to activating the flashlight, all while the phone remains locked.

It’s already the future

The Pixel’s Google Lens function gives users the ability to access information about their surroundings—beyond simple identification. “Google Lens can understand the context of the subject,” explains Digital Trends. “ So if you take a picture of a flower, [it] will not just identify the flower, but provide you with other helpful information, like florists in your area.” CNET calls it “an AR-like experience,” and suggests several practical applications, from pointing your Pixel at restaurants for instant reviews, snapping photos of book covers for quick purchasing options and using it in museums for further reading on art and artifacts.

Learn more about the Google Pixel 2 and the Google Pixel 2 XL, both available at Verizon, and be sure to visit our Back to School page today.


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