Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL Handsets Keep Google Competitive in Mobile Market

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Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL Handsets Keep Google Competitive in Mobile Market

Google is demonstrating again that it is a major force in the mobile hardware market with the introduction of updated versions of its house-brand Android smartphones, the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. These handsets aren't designed with the most advanced style points, so they don't have any pretensions of knocking the Apple iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy models off their lofty pedestals. But they have enough of the latest mobile technology, such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, to stay highly competitive with the best Apple and Samsung have to offer. They also have what Google is calling the "Active Edge" feature, which activates handset functions when users squeeze the sides of the devices. All in all, the Pixel 2s look like winners. Take a look at this slide show to learn more about the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

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Google Sticks With Two Pixel Models

On Oct. 4, Google introduced two new Pixel 2 models, not three as some rumors had suggested before the announcement. The Google Pixel 2 is the cheaper of the pair and comes with a 5-inch display. The larger Google Pixel 2 has a 6-inch screen and higher price tag. Both smartphones are available unlocked or locked to Verizon’s network.

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Pixel 2 Has a 5-inch Full HD AMOLED Display

The Google Pixel 2 has a 5-inch Full HD AMOLED display and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. It runs Android Oreo and has a 12.2-megapixel rear-facing camera that uses “dual-pixel” technology to mimic a dual-lens design, as well as an always-on display that can provide contextual information. It comes in 64GB and 128GB variants.

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Pixel 2 XL's 6-inch Display Is Its Defining Feature

The Google Pixel 2 XL isn’t all that different from the company’s smaller alternative. The Pixel 2 XL has an edge-to-edge pOLED 6-inch screen and comes with quad-HD resolution. The Pixel 2 XL similarly runs on the Snapdragon 835, comes with up to 128GB of storage, and runs Oreo. It also has the same camera as the Pixel 2.

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The Physical Home Button Is Gone

Google made some interesting design choices with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Chief among them is the metal unibody design with the fingerprint sensor on the back. Additionally, the physical home button is gone, thanks to narrow bezels. Both handsets are water-resistant. The handsets also have a colored button on the side that Google said adds some “fun” to the design.

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These Handsets Come With Fast-Charging, Long-Lasting Batteries

The Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL don’t have wireless charging capability. Rather, they charge via USB-C. Google says the batteries should last all day long for each device and will regain seven hours of battery life after just 15 minutes of charging.

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They Run With Android Oreo, of Course

Both models run Android Oreo, so users can take advantage of all the features in the latest version of Google's mobile operating system, including improved control over apps to ensure the device is running at peak performance and a new multitasking mode.

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Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning Are Baked In

Google built artificial intelligence and machine learning into the Google Pixel 2s. Those features are best illustrated in Google Assistant, its virtual assistant that can understand natural language and respond accordingly. The handsets also have a visual search feature that will provide information about whatever users point their smartphone cameras at. Google Assistant can be activated quickly by squeezing the smartphone’s sides.

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Google Calls the Pixel 2 Cameras ‘Industry Leading’

Google said during its event that its Pixel 2 camera is the best in the market. According to the Pixel 2 product homepage, the handsets have the “highest rated smartphone camera.” The cameras feature HDR+, which allows them to capture high-quality photos in low light. Google says that in portrait mode the cameras can capture images on par with a high-end digital-SLR camera, while image stabilization keeps videos steady.

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Both Handsets Are Compatible With Daydream VR

Both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are Daydream-compatible, which means they’re optimized for use with Google’s Daydream View virtual-reality headset, Google said. It also noted the Pixel 2s can handle augmented reality, which could be a boon for developers building apps that overlay virtual elements on the real world.

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Both Models Are Available for Pre-Orders

Both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are available now to pre-order. Google is selling the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL both unlocked and on Verizon’s network, and in 64GB and 128GB models. The Pixel 2 starts at $649, while the Pixel 2 XL starts at $849. Those who don’t want to pre-order the smartphones can wait until general availability starts Oct. 17.

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Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL Smartphones Expected to Roll Out at Oct 4 Event

Google is expected to debut its Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones at an Oct. 4 event. Google may discuss its other technologies as well, including Google Home and a new Chromebooks.
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