Google has announced the new Pixels at an event on 4 October, with the two new smartphones succeeding the Pixel and Pixel XL.
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL vs Pixel and Pixel XL: Design
- All have glass and metal designs, Pixel 2 and 2 XL slightly bigger but slimmer
- Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL add IP67 waterproofing
- Pixel 2 XL has all-screen front, both have dual front-facing speakers
The Google Pixel and Pixel XL have the same design, differing only in physical size when it comes to appearance. The Pixel measures 143.8 x 69.5 x 7.3-8.5mm, while the Pixel XL measures 154.7 x 75.7 x 7.3-8.5mm.
Both are built from a combination of glass and metal, with the top third of their rear featuring a glass panel that houses a circular fingerprint sensor and the camera lens, while the bottom two thirds is metal with "G" branding and an antenna strip.
From the front, the two devices have a screen with bezels at the top and bottom, though no physical buttons. Neither the Pixel or Pixel XL are waterproof, though both come with USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone jack and a bottom firing speaker.
The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL meanwhile, follow a similar design to their predecessors from the back, but the glass panel on the rear is smaller with the camera lens remaining within it but the fingerprint sensor moving into the metal part of the rear.
The "G" branding remains, though the antenna lines have disappeared for a cleaner finish. As with the Pixel and Pixel XL, physical size is different, with the Pixel 2 measuring 145.7 x 69.7 x 7.8mm and weighing 143g and the Pixel 2 XL measuring 157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9mm and weighing 175g, but the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL also differ from the front too.
The Pixel 2 XL offers an all-screen front with super slim bezels at the top and bottom, while the Pixel 2 offers a standard screen like its predecessors wth larger bezels, though both devices have dual-firing front speakers within their bezels.
Waterproofing is on board both devices in the form of IP67, as is USB Type-C and they both come with squeezable frames for launching Google Assistant. They also both ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack.
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL vs Pixel and Pixel XL: Display
- Pixel and Pixel 2 both have 5-inch, Full HD displays, 441ppi
- Pixel 2 XL has 6-inch, Quad HD+, 18:9 ratio display, 538ppi
- AMOLED panels on all four devices
The Google Pixel has a 5-inch display with a Full HD resolution, offering a pixel density of 441ppi, while the Google Pixel XL has a 5.5-inch display with a Quad HD resolution for a pixel density of 534ppi.
Both displays sport a 16:9 aspect ratio and both feature 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection. They are also both AMOLED panels, meaning rich and vibrant colours.
The Google Pixel 2 comes with a 5-inch display like the original Pixel. It too has a Full HD resolution, meaning the same pixel density and it also users an AMOLED panel with an 16:9 aspect ratio. It does add True Black Level technology however so blacks should be blacker.
The Google Pixel 2 XL however, comes with a 6-inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, meaning reduced bezels at the top and bottom of the screen. The Pixel 2 XL adopts the 2880 x 1440 resolution of the LG V30, which places its pixel density at a similar 538ppi to its processor but with a larger display.
Both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL also come with an Always-On display, allowing them to show notifications and information, even when the main display is off.
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL vs Pixel and Pixel XL: Cameras
- Single lens rear cameras on all four devices
- No difference between standard and large models
- Extra features on Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL rather than megapixel bump
The Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL both come with the same camera capabilities and they both deliver excellent results. There is a single 12.3-megapixel sensor on the rear with 1.55µm pixels, an aperture of f/2.0 and both phase detection autofocus and laser detection autofocus.
On the front of the two devices, you will find an 8-megapixel sensor with 1.4µm pixels, an aperture of f/2.4 and fixed focus.
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL feature similar camera specifications as their predecessors, with both models offering a single lens 12.2-megapixel rear camera with dual pixel PDAF and LDAF, along with an 8-megapixel front-facing camera.
The rear camera has 1.4µm pixels however and a wider f/1.8 aperture, while the front camera has the same-sized pixels and the same aperture as the previous models.
Google has focused on adding new features to the new models rather than make the new devices all about megapixels. For example, as you may have noticed, the two devices opt for a single lens rear camera, despite the trend for dual-cameras, though they still offer Portrait Mode like the iPhone 8 Plus, using software-induced bokeh blur rather than hardware.
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL vs Pixel and Pixel XL: Hardware
- Larger starting storage capacity on Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
- More advanced processor on Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
- No microSD expansion on any Pixel model
The Google Pixel and Pixel XL both come with the same hardware, with no variation between little and large, except for the battery capacity. The two devices run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 platform, supported by 4GB of RAM and they are available in 32GB and 128GB storage options, neither of which offer microSD expansion.
The Pixel comes with a 2770mAh battery, while the Pixel XL has a 3450mAh battery, but both are compatible with quick charging, offering up to seven hours use from 15 minutes of charging.
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL both run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with 4GB of RAM. Storage options are 64GB and 128GB and again, no microSD support is present on either.
As with last year's models, the Pixel 2 has a slightly smaller battery capacity to the larger model at 2700mAh compared to 3520mAh, meaning similar capacities to their respective predecessors. USB Type-C is responsible for charging and quick charging is supported once again with the same seven hours in 15 minutes.
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL vs Pixel and Pixel XL: Software
- Android Oreo on all devices
- Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL offer a couple of additional features
- Google Assistant on all
The Google Pixel and Pixel XL both launched on Android 7 Nougat with various exclusive features including Google Assistant, Pixel launched and the Pixel camera. They have since been updated to Android Oreo.
The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL meanwhile both launch on Android 8 Oreo, and they too offer some of their own features, such as launching Google Assistant from squeezing their frames, along with a redesigned Pixel launcher.
Although there are a couple of extra features on the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, you can expect a very familiar user experience to the previous Pixel and Pixel XL devices.
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL vs Pixel and Pixel XL: Price
- Pixel and Pixel 2 start at same price
- Pixel 2 XL more expensive by nearly $100
The Google Pixel starts from $649 and moves up to $749 for the larger capacity model, while the Google Pixel XL starts from $769 and moves up to $869 for the 128GB model.
The Google Pixel 2 starts from $649/£629, though this is for 64GB rather than the 32GB of storage offered on the original Pixel. The 128GB model costs the same as the original Pixel at $749.
The Pixel 2 XL starts at $849/£799 however, making it more expensive than the Pixel XL, with prices hitting $949/£899 for the 128GB model.
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL vs Pixel and Pixel XL: Conclusion
The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL improve on their predecessors, as many would expect from flagship successors. The Pixel 2 XL sees the bigger changes, with an all-screen front, changing the design more than the Pixel 2 does from the Pixel.
Waterproofing comes to the new models, along with a bump in processing capabilities and no doubt there will be some camera improvements too, even if the megapixels are the same as the Pixel and Pixel XL and the two previous devices already deliver great results.
If you're wondering whether to upgrade from the Pixel XL to the Pixel 2 XL, you'll not only get the bump in specs, but the design change too. If you're looking to upgrade from the Pixel to the Pixel 2, you won't notice a huge difference in design, but you should do on the performance side of things. It's your call whether that's enough to take the leap.