Google Pixel 2 Unboxing and First Impressions. That Display though!
Hey, guys, this is Karthik with another video and you are looking at a brand new Google Pixel 2 XL.
Pixel 2 is Google’s latest flagship phone and by the time the phone arrived at my doorsteps the internet was filled with news about several issues plaguing the new Pixel 2.
In this video, we will do a quick unboxing and take a look at some of the new features.
Inside the box, we have some instructions and I don’t get why some of the flagships don’t include a sim removal tool. But I’m glad Pixel includes one. Further inside the box, we have the USB to USB-C adapter, by the way, I really love these. Between the Pixel and Pixel 2, I have like 3 of them now I use it with my Mac. Also, we have a 3.5mm to USB-C headphone jack since the Pixel 2 does not come with the headphone jack thanks to Apple. And to my surprise Pixel does not include a headphone. Think about it, this is a $950 phone if you get the 128GB version. We have a USB-C to USB-C Charging cable and a fast charging brick.
Let's go ahead and turn it on and wow there it is. I didn’t it’s going to be this obvious. You know after reading all the online reports about the blue shift I really didn’t want to believe what I read and but look at this in person this is some serious tint and even the slight variation in the viewing angle results in the shift.
Pixel 2 XL is made by LG and honest very first impression after holding the phone in my bare hands is it doesn’t exactly feel like a $949 phone.
The XL version comes in 2 storage capacity while the 64GB version costs $849 the 128GB version is $949. I personally don’t prefer the smaller Pixel 2 so we are not going to look at that phone in this video.
It comes with a 6” 18:9 pOLED display with a QHD resolution of 2880x1440. The device is slightly thinner than the original pixel with 0.3 inches depth and it is little taller than the older Pixel at 6.2 inches tall and 3 inches wide. The 1440 x 2880 resolution display is at 537 PPI.
We have the 8 core Snapdragon 835 CPU with 4 cores running at 1.90GHz clock speed and other 4 cores running at 2.46 GHz. And we have the Adreno 540 GPU.
We get 4 Gigs of RAM with 64GB or 128GB storage option.
Pixel 2 is now water resistant and both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL earned an IP67 rating though it doesn’t guarantee to waterproof.
As you guys may know IP in the IP67 stands for Ingress Protection, while 6 means the phone is completely dust-proof. And the 7 means it can be fully submerged in water as deep as 1 meter for a period of up to 30 minutes. The charger and other accessories are not water resistant.
The power button and the volume rocker are on the same side which I hate with a passion and you just have the SIM card tray on the other side. There is no headphone jack so we only have one USB-C port at the bottom for charging, file transfer and audio output. There is no micro SD-Card slot so no removable storage.
Also now you can squeeze the phone to initiate google assistant and initially I didn’t think much of it but after using it for few times I think this is better than saying “OK Google” and wait for it to initiate which takes some time.
I like the always on display on this dark pOLED screen though, unlike the Samsung Galaxy phones you can’t really interact with the always on display.
We have a 3520Ma non-removable battery that features rapid charging and Google says you can get up to 7 hours of battery life with just 15 mins of charging and this claim does come with a disclaimer you see on the screen. Wireless charging
I like how they didn’t completely remove the bezel and actually used that space to put these awesome front firing speakers. But these speakers are not as loud or as clear as the speakers on the new iPhone 8 Plus. But sounds much better than the Galaxy S8 Plus I tested.
The fingerprint reader is moved a little lower to the center so it is now easy to reach and feels like it’s in the right place.
The fingerprint scanner feels extremely faster and just like the older Pixel I love the fingerprint scanner in the Pixel 2.
Some of you may like how the soft powder finishes aluminum back but to me, this whole thing feels plastic and flimsy but I things it’s going to grow on me. I really like how the top panel is little muted in terms of how it is dialed down compared to the older Pixel.
The older Pixel had no camera bump but the new Pixel 2 does have a camera bump. The rear-facing camera has a wide f1.8 aperture for once low light shots and we have 12.2MP optical and electronic image stabilization. And the front camera can shoot at 8MP with f2.4 aperture. The rear-facing camera has dual pixel face detection autofocus while the front facing camera has fixed focus.
The rear-facing camera can shoot 4K @ 30 fps, 1080p @ 120 FPS and 720p @ 240fps. Google along with Amazon, Microsoft, and other companies is not in the HEVC bandwagon and they are working on a different video codec for high-resolution high frame rate video. So you won’t see 4k @ 60 FPS any time soon.
Pixel 2 also supports Bluetooth 5.0.
I couldn’t really put my finger on it but there is something weird about the bezel and how the frame and the OLED panel sits on the bezel feels weird and does not feel like the phone at all. Maybe it’s just my personal preference but it does not look or feel premium.
Pixel 2 XL has a 6-inch QUAD HD 18:9 pOLED Display and it’s a little taller than the traditional HD resolution. As I was preparing to make this video Google sent out an official statement addressing the blue tint, dull color and image burn-in issue with their display. The first thing that came to my mind after reading the statement was this meme. Seriously there is something going on with LG made pOLED panels since the HTC made Pixels didn’t seem to suffer from these issues thought the Pixel is much smaller.
In any case, I was shocked by the statement equating their choice of sRGB gamut to natural color reproduction. Wider color gamut means more natural color. Apple iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S8 have a 100% accurate DCI P3 wide gamut panels. As you know Samsung tends to over saturate their displays while iPhone display looks more natural but still vibrant. Google Pixel 2 boats the sRGB color spectrum to maximizes its color accuracy which is rather strange because sRGB is much much narrower spectrum when compared to the DCI P3 spectrum.
sRGB bluntly means any colors that fall out of its spectrum is not displayed on the screen thus making the screen look dull. It’s simple as that and this cannot be fixed with a software update. But I really hope the problem is related to calibration issue like we saw in Samsung S8 phones.
But the display issue does not stop with just the dull colors. Unfortunately, we have this hardware issue that plagues LG’s pOLED panels, we saw this issue with the LG V30. It’s the viewing angle. Even if the screen tilted ever so slightly you see this really ugly blue shift and it’s so obvious and something you just can’t get used to like a permanent tonal shift.
Some argue this isn’t the end of the world since we primarily view our phones from straight ahead and I strongly disagree. My Pixel 2 XL phone is on that table right now and the blue shift is all over the panel. Also, imagine you are showing your phone to someone at an angle and it will have the blue shift 100% of the time. My point is that Google’s official statement should not tell the consumers to deal with it by holding the phone straight ahead right after they spent $850 to $950.
I have not experienced the image burn-in issue since it’s been only 24 hours since I started using this phone so I can’t really speak to that but with the combination of bad viewing angle, dull colors and reported burn in issue I’d at least wait for few months before getting this phone or may just skip this phone and get a Note 8 or even the Galaxy S8 Plus.
Things I love about the Pixel are it’s software and services like the stock Android, no bloatware, the revolutionary assistant, free unlimited online storage for photos and videos and stuff like that. But the hardware goes a long way if they really want to retain its consumer base. Is this the best phone from zippy and smooth it feels? Yes. The stock android on this thing is the best thing to happen in the Android world, just look how smooth and stutter-free this thing is. During my original Pixel days and with this new Pixel 2 I never saw any lag it’s probably the first Android to come closer to iOS when it comes to how smooth and cohesive everything feels. But is this the best phone from a hardware perspective, I’d say a big no. No wireless charging, the aesthetic of how the display sits on the bezel and reported display and calibration issues keep it far away from the likes of the Samsung Note 8.
It’s been my first impression of the Pixel 2 XL and I'm kind of sad to end on this note but unfortunately, this is a phone you should probably skip with all these uncertainties looming. I’ll probably keep this phone for few more days and do little bit more testing to see if the image burn-in issue surfaces but I’ll be returning this phone because there is no way this can be my daily driver.
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