Google announced two new Pixel phones at its event on 4 October. The two new smartphones were revealed alongside a new Google Home Mini, Google Home Max, new Daydream and a new Pixelbook.
Google Pixel 2 vs Google Pixel 2 XL: Design
- Glass and metal designs, IP67 waterproof
- Pixel 2 XL larger with all-screen front
- Both have dual front-firing speakers
The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL follow in the footsteps of their predecessors, offering premium builds to compete with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Apple iPhone.
The Pixel 2 is the smaller of the two devices, measuring 145.7 x 69.7 x 7.8mm and weighing 143g, while the Pixel 2 XL measures 157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9mm and weighs 175g. The Pixel 2 is thought to be made by HTC, incorporating a squeezable frame like the HTC U11 and the Pixel 2 XL is thought to be made by LG, though it too has a squeezable frame for access to Google Assistant.
Both devices stick with the metal and glass combo design that we saw on the 2016 Pixels but the glass section has been reduced on the new models. Both devices have a single lens rear camera within the glass section, a rear-mounted circular fingerprint sensor below the glass section within the metal body and "G" branding at the bottom too.
While offering similar designs from the rear, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are differ quite significantly from the front. The Pixel 2 features a standard 16:9 display with speaker grilles present at the top and bottom, while the Pixel 2 XL comes with a 18:9 display, meaning an almost all-screen front like other flagships we have seen this year, though still with enough bezel at the top and bottom to incorporate speaker grilles here too.
The Pixel 2 comes in three colour options comprising Kinda Blue, Just Black, and Clearly White, while the Pixel 2 XL comes in two colours comprising Black and White and Just Black. Both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are IP67 waterproof.
Google Pixel 2 vs Google Pixel 2 XL: Display
- 5-inch, Full HD display for Pixel 2, 16:9 ratio
- 6-inch, 2880 x 1440 AMOLED display for Pixel 2 XL, 18:9 ratio
- Always on display on Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
The Google Pixel 2 is comes with a 5-inch display, like the original Pixel. This display offers a 16:9 aspect ratio, as we mentioned above, and its resolution sits at 1920 x 1080, which delivers a pixel density of 441ppi, just like the 2016 model.
The Google Pixel 2 XL meanwhile, comes with a 6-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 2880 x 1440 pixels and the same 18:9 aspect ratio as the recent LG V30. Its pixel density is therefore 538ppi, meaning the Pixel 2 XL not only has a larger display than the Pixel 2 but a sharper one too.
Both devices also have an "always on" option, so can be set to show notifications or useful information even when the phone is off and both come with True Black level for deep blacks, though neither offer HDR. The Pixel 2 features 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection, while the Pixel 2 XL has 3D Corning Gorilla Glass protection.
Google Pixel 2 vs Google Pixel 2 XL: Camera
- Same 12.3MP single rear cameras on both
- Focus on features not megapixels
- Same 8MP front camera on both
The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL both come with a single rear camera with not even the larger model hopping on the dual-rear camera trend we have seen on other 2017 flagships, including both Samsung and Apple.
Both have a 12.3-megapixel sensor, offering an f/1.8 aperture and they both feature dual pixel phase detection autofocus, laser detection autofocus, optical and electronic image stabilisation, and they both offer a dual-LED flash.
The Pixel 2 has its flash module to the left of the camera lens, while the Pixel 2 XL flips this round but aside from that, both devices have the same features. The two devices also have an 8-megapixel front-facing camera with an aperture of f/2.4 with fixed focus.
Google Pixel 2 vs Google Pixel 2 XL: Hardware and specs
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 on both
- 64GB and 128GB storage options
- No 3.5mm headphone jack on either
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL offer virtually identical hardware. Both feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 platform under their hoods, coupled with 4GB of RAM and storage options come in the form of 64GB and 128GB, with no microSD support on board either.
The only place these two devices differ in terms of hardware is the battery capacity, with the Pixel 2 XL offering a slightly larger cell than the Pixel 2 at 3520mAh compared to 2700mAh. Both charge via USB Type-C and both are compatible with quick charging offering up to 7 hours charge in 15 minutes.
Both devices also ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack, though Google will offer an adapter in the box like Apple does with its iPhone. As we mentioned in the design section, the two Pixel 2 devices also come with dual front-firing speakers.
Google Pixel 2 vs Google Pixel 2 XL: Software
- Both Android Oreo
- Both feature Google Assistant
- Similar experience across both devices
The Google Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL launch on Android Oreo, which will come as a surprise to no one. They are the poster boys for the new software after all.
Both devices therefore offer all the latest Oreo features, along with a couple of extra ones added to ensure a unique software position compared to other Android devices also running on Oreo.
Google Assistant is present in its finest form across these two devices, along with a redesigned version of the Pixel launcher but perhaps more importantly in the case of this feature, these two handsets will offer a very similar user experience.
Google Pixel 2 vs Google Pixel 2 XL: Price
- See Google Pixel 2 XL on EE
- See Google Pixel 2 on EE - Pixel 2
- See Google Pixel 2 contracts on Carphone Warehouse
- See Google Pixel 2 XL contracts on Carphone Warehouse
The Google Pixel 2 starts at £629, while the Pixel 2 starts at £799.
Google Pixel 2 vs Google Pixel 2 XL: Conclusion
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL offer very similar designs from the rear, but differ from the front. The Pixel 2 XL offers a more dramatic display in terms of design with a higher resolution, sitting with other 2017 flagships, while the Pixel 2 is a more standard device.
The Pixel 2 is the smaller device however, which may be a selling point for some, and it will also be available in more colours than the Pixel 2 XL, while also offering a cheaper price tag.
Given the user experience will be largely identical, the decision between these two devices will come down to which design tickles your fancy more from the front and what budget you have.