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4 weeks ago

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are now up for pre-order in India: Here's what you need to know

24
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Flipkart is rolling out a ton of exciting offers to incentivize the Pixels.

Google's Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are now up for pre-order in India. Like the first-generation Pixels, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are exclusively sold on Flipkart online, but they'll also be heading to retail stores across the country. The Pixel 2 will be making its debut in the country on November 1, with the larger Pixel 2 XL launching on November 15. You'll also be able to pick up the updated Daydream View in the country for ₹7,999 starting November 1.

Here's what you need to know about pricing, launch-day offers, and the differences between the two phones.

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4 weeks ago

Google Pixel 2 vs. Pixel 2 XL: What's the difference?

81

What is the difference between the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL?

Google's latest phones are here, and it's clear the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are aimed at very different kinds of users. Like the original Pixel phones, Google has worked with manufacturers with very specific hardware goals in mind. This means things like the camera and processor are identical, but if you're going to choose between these two phones it is important to know what makes each one special.

Here's a quick look at how these two Pixel phones are going to grab your attention.

Train wreck up front, party in the back

You don't have to stare at these phones for terribly long to see there's a significant design difference on the front of these phones. Both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have stereo front-facing speakers, which means these phones are already going to be a little taller than your average phone in the same general size, but the Pixel 2 clearly looks different from the Pixel 2 XL from the front.

This is cool, but show me the specs!

The big bezels on the top and bottom of the Pixel 2 wrap up its 5-inch 1080p display, and there's no denying it looks a little chunky compared to the 6-inch 2880x1440 display on the Pixel 2 XL. This isn't a deal-breaker by any stretch, especially if you compare the Pixel 2 to the Nexus 5X and see how strikingly similar they are physically. Ultimately in comes down to aspect ratio. The Pixel 2 has a traditional "cinematic" aspect ratio (16:9) that makes sure video fills the screen without stretching or black bars, while the "fullscreen" aspect ratio (18:9) of the Pixel 2 XL makes the phone feel like it's nothing but display in your hand when playing games or taking photos.

There are a lot of opinions about which of these phones is doing it "right" on the front end.

The differences don't stop at the bezels, but things do get a little messy from here. The LG-made Pixel 2 XL is packing a whole lot more pixels in its larger display, but more does not necessarily mean better. Setting the two phones side by side, the colors on the larger phone appear less vibrant and almost flat in many situations. Tilting the larger phone to extreme angles reveals a blue-ish tint on the sides of the screen, and using the larger phone with the display brightness all the way down exposes some artifacts that can leave you thinking there's something wrong with the display. Perhaps most egregious of all, there's growing concern these displays are experiencing rapid burn-in when constant blacks are drawn on the display.

For a pair of phones that are as close to identical as you can get from the back, there are a lot of opinions about which of these phones is doing it "right" on the front. If you prefer larger displays and slimmer bezels, you clearly have some thoughts here. If you appreciate a quality display in every situation, you clearly have some thoughts here. Is there a wrong answer here? Not really, but when the most used part of your phone is offering a questionable experience there's plenty reason to pause and think about where your priorities really are.

Size doesn't mean power

The larger display and higher resolution on the Pixel 2 XL means it's going to consume quite a bit more power than the Pixel 2, which is to be expected. Both of these phones are running the Snapdragon 835 processor with 4GB of RAM, so the Pixel 2 XL is going to have to work a little hard to display a lot of the same things. Because it is also a larger phone, there's a larger battery inside.

The 2700mAh battery in the Pixel 2 should be more than enough to get you through a day of use, but the 3520mAh battery in the Pixel 2 XL is dramatically larger. In fact, its 220mAh greater capacity than the battery in the equally large LG V30, which is good news for anyone who needs a phone that lasts more than a standard day.

Despite this difference in battery capacity, both Pixels have an 18W USB-C PD charger in the box capable of providing up to seven hours of use with 15 minutes connected to power. The numbers on the page may be substantially different, but it's clear Google expects Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL owners to have similar battery life expectations.

Which one should you buy?

Until we learn more about the issues impacting the Pixel 2 XL display, it's a lot easier to recommend the smaller Pixel 2 as "the phone" you should consider buying right now. In fact, it's currently our pick for the Best Android Phone you can buy right now. This doesn't mean the Pixel 2 XL is a "bad" phone, and in fact if you need that larger display or bigger battery there's still a ton of things to love about the larger phone, but when it comes to a zero-compromise experience, I'd say the Pixel 2 is the best bet right now.

Where to buy the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Updated October 2017: We've updated this post with the latest differences to help you make the best choice when upgrading.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Google Store Project Fi Verizon Best Buy

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1 month ago

Should you upgrade to the Google Pixel 2 from the Nexus 5X?

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Nexus 5X and Google Pixel 2

Has the time to make the jump from Nexus to Pixel?

The Nexus 5x turns two years old this week. Developed in partnership between LG and Google, it was one of the last devices released under the Nexus brand as a cheaper option to the Nexus 6P.

The Nexus 5X offered a great value to Android enthusiasts looking for a reliable phone running stock Android. With the Pixel line, that budget option doesn't really exist anymore, but there's still a ton of similarities between the overall design of the Nexus 5X and the Google Pixel 2 making it a natural choice for those Google fans who loved the feel of the Nexus 5X.

Should you be considering an upgrade? Let's compare.

Hardware and specs

If you really love the form factor of the Nexus 5X, you'll find lots to love about the Google Pixel 2 — it's almost identical in size except you'll notice a significant upgrade in both build materials and internal specs.

Looking at them side by side, you can see that the Pixel 2 has slightly smaller bezels while maintaining the front-facing speakers. It's a design that some may scoff at when you compare it to other 2017 flagships like the [Galaxy S8], LG V30, and even the Pixel 2 XL, which has significantly smaller but it does let you hold the phone in landscape mode without obstructing the screen. It's ultimately a matter of personal tastes.

On the back, the camera has been shifted to the top left corner and the camera bump is also gone. There's no plastic shell to be found here, just premium aluminum and ceramic. It has quickly become an iconic look for the latest Google phones and a sign that you're rocking one of the best Android phones of the past few years.

The only hardware downgrade you could point to is the headphone jack. After throwing shade at Apple in 2016, Google has decided to do away with the headphone jack on the newest Pixel phones. In exchange, you get the latest Bluetooth 5.0 technology along with a USB-C to 3.5mm dongle included with every phone.

Here's a full specs comparison between the two devices:

Category Google Pixel 2 Nexus 5X Operating System Android 8.0 with Google UI Android 8.0 Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 RAM 4GB 2GB Display 5-inch 2880x1440
AMOLED
Gorilla Glass 5
2.5D glass, 441ppi
95% DCI-P3 color space 5.2-inch 1920x1080
FHD LCD
Gorilla Glass 3
423 ppi Rear Camera 12.2MP f/1.8
1.4μm pixels
OIS, EIS
PDAF, LDAF 12.3MP, f/2.0
1.55-micron pixels Front camera 8MP, 1.4μm pixels
f/2.4, fixed focus 5MP, 1.4μm pixels
f/2.2 Battery 2700 mAh
Non-removable 2700 mAh
Non-removable Charging USB-PD, 18W rapid Charging Rapid Charging Connectivity USB Type-C, Bluetooth 5.0 USB-C, Bluetooth 4.2 Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes Storage 64/128GB
Non-expandable 16/32
Non-expandable Dimensions 145.7 x 69.7 x 7.8 mm 147.0 x 72.6 x 7.9 mm Weight 143 g 136 g

The time is right to upgrade

Back when it was released in 2015 alongside the Nexus 6P, the Nexus 5X was the budget option starting at around $400 for the 16GB model. With the move from Nexus to Pixel, it seems that Google is now exclusively focused on creating high-end phones to compete with the other major flagships. But looking at the premium materials and spec comparison and it's pretty easy to justify the jump-up in price here. You'll once again get the best Android experience straight from the source, with all the benefits of a brand new phone.

One area in which you're sure to see better performance is battery life. A lithium-ion battery has a standard usage life of about two to three years, which means that if you haven't noticed your Nexus 5X battery performance slipping, it's likely just a matter of time. While the 5X received the Android O update, there's a number of users reporting issues after upgrading to 8.0 including some major battery drain — just another good excuse to upgrade to a new phone if you're running into issues.

You'll once again get the best Android experience straight from the source, with all the benefits of a brand new phone.

The Pixel 2 has the same sized battery as the Nexus 5X, but you should notice significantly better performance thanks in part to the Snapdragon 835 chipset along with Google's focus on improving the rapid-charging performance.

But we all know that hardware specs only count for so much — software is equally important. The Pixel 2 comes with the updated Pixel launcher and Google has confirmed that the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will receive three years of software updates and security patches (that should mean Android P, Android Q, and Android R!), meaning you'll be able to rock the latest version of on the phone you buy today well into the year 2020. If your the type who likes to commits to a phone for multiple years rather than upgrading yearly, that's great news.

By comparison, Google's support documents show that Android O will be the last major software update for the Nexus 5X, and the devices will stop receiving crucial security updates after November 2018.

Should you upgrade?

The Nexus brand catered toward hardcore Android enthusiasts, and you'll still run into folks proudly rocking the Nexus 6P or 5X because they're still good phones. The Nexus 5X was — and still is in many regards — a great phone, but if the battery or performance issues haven't already started popping up, the clock is ticking — and the timing may be right to upgrade to the Pixel 2.

If you love rocking stock Android and can afford the cost of a 2017 flagship phone, you can upgrade to the Pixel 2 with confidence knowing you're getting one of the best Android phones of 2017 and a phone that will serve you well for three years if you take care of it.

Do you think you'll upgrade?

Let us know in the comments below!

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Google Store Project Fi Verizon Best Buy

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1 month ago

Do you have a ticking sound on your Pixel 2?

32

Time to touch base.

Although not quite as serious as the Pixel 2 XL's potential screen burn-in, it's recently been discovered that the smaller Pixel 2 is exhibiting clicking and hissing sounds for a number of users.

Although the hissing is still something of a mystery, the clicking/ticking appears to be somehow related to the Pixel 2's NFC chip.

One Google representative has said that a fix for the clicking will be released within the "upcoming week", and while we wait to see whether or not this actually happens, we wanted to check in with our forum users to see if they've experienced this problem on their units.

Here's what you had to say.

*/
Cherenkov 10-24-2017 08:58 AM “

*Mods please delete if there's already a thread for this that I didn't find* So there appears to be an issue with the Pixel 2 (not the XL) wherein if NFC is on, you can hear a faint ticking sound. It sounds like a watch ticking, but not quite on time, most audible near the top speaker. Turn off NFC and it goes away. Google recommends contacting them for an RMA if your phone is doing this....

Reply
*/
jlp0209 10-24-2017 12:03 PM “

I have the same issue. Man, there are so many little issues with this phone (Pixel 2 non-XL) that when combined will probably prevent me from keeping it.

Reply
*/
mattsican 10-24-2017 05:12 PM “

yeah I don't usually use NFC but I turned it on to check and you can hear a soft ticking sound if you put it up to your ear. turned NFC off and it went away.

Reply
*/
pnicho 10-24-2017 08:56 PM “

I have this issue as well. I have the kinda blue 64 gb. I bought mine from Verizon, but I'm going to return it before the window is up and hopefully get another one from Google instead. This really sucks! I just sent my 2xl back today because it even though it was just a tad bigger than my xl, I couldn't deal with it. Now I gotta give up this pixel and wait several weeks for a new one to arrive.

Reply
*/
openwheelracing 10-25-2017 01:23 AM “

Happy to report. Mine Pixel 2 does not have any clicking sound or any sound at all with NFC on. Dead quiet.

Reply

If you already managed to get your hands on Google's latest, we'd like to know – Do you hear a clicking sound on your Pixel 2?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Google Store Project Fi Verizon Best Buy

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1 month ago

HMD Global kicks off Oreo beta program, starting with the Nokia 8

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Oreo beta is now available for the Nokia 8, other Nokia devices to follow soon.

Back in September, HMD Global's Chief Product Officer Juho Sarvikas‏ teased Oreo running on a Nokia 8, with the executive stating that the company will roll out the update once it's "perfect." Sarvikas‏ also said at the time that the company would be willing to open up a beta program for those interested in testing out beta builds, and it is doing just that now. In a recent tweet, Sarvikas‏ has announced that Oreo beta builds are now available for the Nokia 8, with other devices in its portfolio — the Nokia 3, Nokia 5, and Nokia 6 — added to the program shortly.

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1 month ago

Airtel's international roaming plans are amazing: Here's what you need to know

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Airtel international roaming

Airtel is offering very competitive international roaming packs.

Indian carriers have generally shied away from offering affordable international roaming packs for customers traveling abroad. It's not to say that there were no plans available, just that they were so costly that it made little sense to opt for one.

The only recourse, then, for most travelers was to source a local SIM after they land in their destination country. That's what I used to do every time I went to the U.S.: find a T-Mobile store, pay around $50 for one of the carrier's prepaid plans, and be on my way. T-Mobile offers a generous 10GB of LTE data along with unlimited calls and texts for 30 days, and while that's great, I lost out on access to my primary phone number.

Thankfully, all that is changing with Airtel's new international roaming plans. The carrier has overhauled its tariff structure and is now offering very competitive plans for those looking to go abroad. Having used the service in both China and Thailand, I can attest to its efficacy. It's great to be able to use your phone from the moment you land in a new country, and with plans starting from as low as ₹499, there's really no reason to look elsewhere.

Here's what you need to know about Airtel's international roaming plans.

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1 month ago

Video: Google Pixel 2 XL screen burn-in/persistence issues

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So let's talk Pixel 2 XL screen burn-in. This is the latest mini-controversy affecting the display of the larger Pixel phone. In our review we talked about some earlier complaints — color tuning, off-angle color shift, and shadow detail crushing. Bottom line: The XL doesn't have the best-looking screen out there, and its LG-made display actually looks worse than the cheaper, smaller Pixel 2, which has a Samsung AMOLED panel.

But over the past couple days we've started noticing a more troubling issue with this screen: image burn-in. This is something which affects all OLED panels eventually. As the screen is used, the individual LEDs which make up each tiny pixel on the display start to get dimmer. And if the same image is shown on the same part of the screen over long periods of time, some pixels get dimmer at a different rate. As a result, you get burn-in: a kind of "shadow" or "ghost" image of what is usually on that part of the screen.

In today's video, we'll put our Pixel 2 XL's screen to the test, and try to find out if it's really experiencing screen burn-in, or whether the less serious image persistence is to blame.

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1 month ago

Pixel 2 has OIS and Google's magic EIS, and that's a huge deal

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Everyone enjoys taking great photos, and the Pixel 2 makes that even easier.

A lot has been said about the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL's cameras. You'll be hearing a lot more, too, because it really does live up to the hype. While we're talking up apertures and HDR+, we also can't forget to mention image stabilization and the fact that Google was able to add OIS (optical image stabilization) to last year's world-class EIS (electronic image stabilization).

A quick take on what those are is in order. Don't worry, it's not hard to understand and there won't be a quiz or anything at the end. OIS uses actual movement and EIS uses calculations.

Stabilization simplified

On a camera with OIS, there is a gimbal (arms that hold a thing and let it move in any direction very easily) of sorts that holds the lens. As the camera moves, even slightly, the gimbal allows the lens to move to compensate. It moves in the other direction — if your phone moves down, the lens moves up — and the end result is a lens that holds mostly still, even if the thing the lens is attached to moves around.

OIS and EIS are both great ways to take great pictures, but putting them together is even better.

This does a much better job of keeping the image in focus and cuts back on blur created by the lens moving. It's not perfect. It can't compensate for a lot of movement, and it can create black shadows at the edges of the finished photo. But generally, OIS is a very good thing to have on a camera of any kind.

EIS is different. There are no moving parts and the camera is adjusted electronically based on data from the gyroscope and other sensors. When these sensors show that the phone moved, no lens moves to compensate. Instead, the electronics that control things like focus and shutter change their settings to compensate for movement. Of course, this is far from perfect, too. Depending on anything automatic to make the right choices every time isn't ideal, and the more the camera moves the lower the chance EIS will get things right.

On Google's Pixel phones, there's also a bit of "smarts" involved and the processing engine knows what a scene looked like before the phone moved. We first saw this with 2016's Pixel phones and the results speak for themselves. We're not exactly sure how or what Google did, and Google's not telling because it's a trade secret and all that, but EIS on the Pixel is far better than EIS on any other camera. Shooting video, which is more dependent on EIS because the "shutter" is open longer and you're usually moving the camera distances too large for OIS to compensate for, was even more amazing on the Pixel with its special EIS sauce.

Putting everything together

Because of the extra smarts built in, the Pixel's electronic stabilization was unable to work with a moving lens. The data about what the lens was seeing and all the sensor data coming in would be thrown completely out of whack once you introduce a part that moves independently from the image sensor and the gyroscope, and what the camera sees would be thrown so far off it just doesn't work. But combined with camera hardware that let a lot of light in and pixels on the sensor that could capture more of it, and Google's fancy HDR+ algorithms that adjust more than the color, photos on the Pixel or Pixel XL were great almost every time.

The issue is the times they weren't great. While the Pixel's EIS is amazing, even when you're moving the camera all sorts of ways you shouldn't be when taking a photo, one place where even Google's magic didn't help was a shaky hand.

EIS just can't keep up with rapid movements, like a shaky hand.

All of us have had a shaky hand when trying to take a photo once in a while. It's a thing that happens, and the more you try to stop it the more things shake. And for some people, shaky hands, especially when trying to hold something small like a phone, are one of life's struggles. The only way to get a photo that isn't a blurry mess when your hands shake is to use OIS. Forget about trying to compensate rapid movement through settings, you simply need to have a lens that can physically move to try and stay centered.

Sometimes we forget that not everyone is able to something simple like holding a phone without shaking. Thankfully, Google has found a way to include OIS along with their fabulous EIS and HDR+ on a phone with even better camera hardware. We can enjoy the best of both worlds!

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Google Store Project Fi Verizon Best Buy

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1 month ago

HTC teases official render of U11 Plus

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The phone will include a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, glass back, and a single camera.

The year is quickly coming to a close, and although most major flagships have been announced at this point, there are still a couple that we're eagerly awaiting – one of which is the HTC U11 Plus. The regular U11 that came out earlier this year proved itself to be a surprisingly great phone, and the Plus model is expected to keep what we liked about the original while adding a few nice touches.

HTC already announced on Twitter that it'll be holding a press event on November 2 to announce a new device in its U lineup (presumably the U11 Plus), and the company has just sent out another teaser that gives us our first official look at the phone.

The image that HTC released doesn't reveal a lot, but it does confirm the CAD renders of the U11 Plus that previously surfaced. HTC's teaser confirms that the U11 Plus will retain the same glass back as the U11, will move the fingerprint scanner to the back, and will ship with a single rear camera.

Although not yet confirmed, other things we're expecting from the U11 Plus are considerably smaller bezels, display with an 18:9 form factor and QuadHD+ resolution, 6GB of RAM, 4,000 mAh battery, and likely no headphone jack.

Pricing and availability won't be unveiled until November 2, so be sure to stay tuned to see how HTC decides to send off 2017.

HTC U11

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1 month ago

Google shipped a Pixel 2 that failed its quality control inspection

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C'mon, Google...

Between screen burn-in and mysterious hissing/clicking sounds, Google can't seem to catch a break with its Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The two phones that were supposed to be the best Android handsets of the year have quickly found themselves amidst a heap of controversy and debate, and unfortunately for Google, the hits keep on coming.

On the "Pixel 2 Display Megathread" on r/GooglePixel, 9to5Google noted that one user reported their Pixel 2 128 GB model had shipped to them with a note in the box saying that it had failed its quality control inspection.

Dpezet (the Redditor that received the defective Pixel 2) uploaded a picture of his phone, and sure enough, there's a note from QC saying that it shouldn't ship due to cosmetic damage. Dpezet did note that he couldn't see any scratches or imperfections, but even so, the phone still failed an inspection and should never have shipped.

This isn't a travesty, but it sure doesn't make Google look good.

Google has since reached out and will be replacing the Pixel 2 for a new model along with a $10 Google Play credit, and while it is nice of them to throw something in along with the free return, it still seems like a pretty weak apology for shipping a phone that shouldn't have ever arrived on a customer's doorstep.

So, who's to blame here?

HTC is technically manufacturing the smaller Pixel 2, but Google makes it very clear through its marketing and advertising that these are phones "made by Google." Some are on the side that HTC is to blame, whereas others believe that Google should be held accountable.

One reported fluke like this on its own isn't that big of a deal, but when stacked up next to the other many complaints that the Pixel 2 and 2 XL are facing, it sure doesn't help Google's image right now.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Google Store Project Fi Verizon Best Buy

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1 month ago

Best Google Pixel 2 XL Cases

What are the best cases for the Google Pixel 2 XL?

The Google Pixel 2 XL is a beautifully designed phone — especially if you snagged the panda/Stormtrooper Black and White edition. But as much as you'll want to show it off, you're also going to want to protect a phone that cost you close to $1000.

We've rounded up the best case options specifically for the Pixel 2 XL.

Google Live Cases

Just like the smaller Pixel 2, Google offers its customizable Google Live Cases for the Pixel 2 XL with a personal photo or a wide range of styles curated by Google.

Maybe you'll decide on a gorgeous satellite photo from Google Earth which also pairs with a matching live wallpaper for a cohesive look around your device. Looking to add a bit more of an artistic flair to your case? Check out the Artworks Live Case and find something that matches your style.

Google has curated a great selection of cases that feature artwork, photos from space, and naturally beautiful images that are really quite stunning. Prices range from $40 to $50 depending on whether you choose a minimalist shell or a more rugged dual-layer case. Create and customize your own case via the Google Store.

See at Google Store

Google Fabric Cases

If you prefer your phone case to have some texture for grip, you're probably going to love the Google Fabric Case. It features the same fabric finish look found on other recent Google products such as the Google Home Mini.

Designed in-house by Google, you can be sure of the build quality and fit for your Pixel 2 XL. These cases offer a premium microfiber liner to ensure your device stays scuff-free and your choice of four color combinations for $40.

See at Google Store

Incipio Esquire Series

Like the concept of the Google Fabric Case but don't like the idea of spending $50 for it? You'll definitely want to check out the Incipio Esquire series case.

This case is made of an impact-resistant TPU frame that will keep your phone protected, but the real eye-catching feature here is the ultra-soft fabric finish on the exterior of the case. There is a nice-sized cutout around the fingerprint sensor and camera on the back but it's otherwise a very sleek and minimalist design.

You can get yours straight from Incipio or from Amazon for just $35.

See at Amazon

Spigen Thin Fit

It can be an issue finding a case for larger phones like the Google Pixel 2 XL that doesn't add too much bulk to your phone. The Spigen Thin Fit case is about as minimalist as phone cases get.

Available in black, this case will match the look of the Pixel 2 XL and features precise cutouts around the fingerprint scanner and camera on the back. It's thin enough to keep the Active Edge compatibility fully intact and yet still features Spigen's Air Cushion technology in the corners for added drop protection.

Keep your Pixel 2 XL safe from scuffs and scratches without sacrificing the slim design with the Thin Fit case for just $12.

See at Amazon

Ringke Fusion

Looking for a reliable clear case for the Pixel 2 XL at a very reasonable price? Check out the Ringke Fusion case.

Starting at just $9 for a crystal clear version, these cases offer two layers of protection for your phone — a rugged and shock-resistant TPU bumper combined with a ridged PC panel covering the back. There's a protective lip around the front to save the display glass from harm, and there are precise cutouts around the fingerprint sensor, camera, and USB-C charging port.

Get the clear version if you want to preserve the original look of the Pixel 2 XL, or opt to spend $11 on the Rose Gold or Smoke Black versions.

See at Amazon

Caseology Vault Series

Caseology has a couple different cases available for the Pixel 2 XL. We recommend the Vault Series ($13) because it's got a classic design. Made of flexible TPU, it features a sleek finish along the back and textured grip around the edges. It's available in black and should look great whether you went with the Just Black or Black and White Pixel 2 XL.

If you're looking for something a bit more substantial, check out the Parallax Series ($16) which offers a slim, two-piece design to keep your Pixel well-protected. It's also available in some really cool color combinations. Or consider the Legion Series ($17), which offers a more rugged matte shell around the back of the case.

See at Amazon

How will you keep your phone protected?

Are you going to be picking up a case for your Pixel 2 XL? Let us know if you're getting one off our list or opting for a different option in the comments below!

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Google Store Project Fi Verizon Best Buy

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1 month ago

Some buyers experiencing clicking and hissing sounds on their Pixel 2

77

Have some hissing with your burn-in.

The Pixel 2 XL has been under fire ever since its release for its display, and while we wait for Google to announce what it'll be doing following this controversy, the smaller Pixel 2 is now experiencing issues of its own. Rather than having screen burn-in after just days of use, some units of the Pixel 2 are exhibiting clicking and high-pitched hissing sounds as reported in Google's Pixel User Community.

One particular thread shows that over a hundred different users are afflicted with this problem, and while the Pixel 2 seems to be the main device that's affected, Android Police's Artem Russakovskii has the same problem on his Pixel 2 XL.

Google's currently advising users to start the RMA process if they have this issue.

Some users report that the hissing/clicking only occurs when the display is turned on, with another stating that there's constant beeps and clicks when on a phone call. The noise doesn't appear to be noticeable unless the Pixel 2 is right next to your ear, but even so, it's something that Google needs to fix.

Google is encouraging people to begin an RMA for their device if they're affected by hiss-gate, but in the meantime, turning off NFC appears to stop the clicking sound. Unfortunately, there's currently no way to temporarily stop the hissing.

One representative from Google said that a fix would be released in the "upcoming week", but until we get an official statement from Google itself, we wouldn't advise holding your breath for that – especially since it's still unclear as to whether this is a software or hardware issue.

I haven't noticed any hissing or clicking on my Pixel 2 XL, but if you've noticed any such issues on your Pixel 2, let us know in the comments below.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Google Store Project Fi Verizon Best Buy

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1 month ago

Google Pixel 2 vs. Pixel camera comparison: Fine-tuning a winner

10
Google Pixel 2 vs. Google Pixel

Let's see how Google improved upon one of the best cameras of 2016.

Google's first Pixel phones, released in 2016, were surprise stunners in the camera department. A year on, Google has doubled down on its desire to take great photos by introducing super-advanced post-processing techniques — oh, and it upgraded the hardware at the same time.

Yes the Pixel 2 (and 2 XL) has a great camera. That much was shown in our Pixel 2 review and all over social media the week it launched. But how much better is it than last year's Pixel, which up until a few weeks prior to the Pixel 2's launch was still considered one of the best cameras available?

We've taken both the Pixel and Pixel 2 cameras out for a spin in different situations to get a feel for how they compare head-to-head today.

Daylight

Google Pixel 2 camera sampleGoogle Pixel camera sample

Pixel 2 (left) / Pixel (right) — click to view larger.

Google Pixel 2 camera sampleGoogle Pixel camera sample

Google Pixel 2 camera sampleGoogle Pixel camera sample

Google Pixel 2 camera sampleGoogle Pixel camera sample

Google Pixel 2 camera sampleGoogle Pixel camera sample

Google Pixel 2 camera sampleGoogle Pixel camera sample

Google Pixel 2 camera sampleGoogle Pixel camera sample

As you can easily see, both of these phones take excellent photos in relatively good lighting conditions. What I didn't necessarily expect is to have the results be so close together — a year on, the 2016 Pixel really holds its own. There isn't anything the Pixel 2 does worse than its predecessor, and everything it does better is very subtle.

The new phone has all of the same characteristics as its predecessor, with some fine tuning for even better photos.

Color representation is still relatively accurate with a little bit of extra kick, and the Pixel 2 seems to bring out a little more saturation in the colors, and just a bit more light out of scenes that needed HDR to brighten dark areas — this leads to challenging scenes being captured more consistently across the photo as a whole. When you zoom in on the photos you notice the Pixel 2 is much better with sharp edges and fine detail in textures, without over-processing and creating more issues — though it's wroth noting this really is only noticeable when you start to finely scrutinize things.

One other interesting thing to note is that the Pixel 2 has completely eliminated the exaggerated lens flare "issue" that was pointed out on the original Pixels. You now get typical light artifacts and banding when shooting directly toward a bright light, rather than the bothersome purple rings and halos the original Pixels often produced.

Being that Portrait Mode is exclusive to the Pixel 2, it isn't part of this comparison directly. But it is worth mentioning that it's a neat feature to have on the newer phone and it works surprisingly well. It just isn't such a big deal that it'd make an upgrade from last year's Pixel to the new Pixel 2 worth it.

Low light

Google Pixel 2 camera sampleGoogle Google Pixel camera sample

Pixel 2 (left) / Pixel (right) — click to view larger.

Google Pixel 2 camera sampleGoogle Google Pixel camera sample

Google Pixel 2 camera sampleGoogle Google Pixel camera sample

Google Pixel 2 camera sampleGoogle Google Pixel camera sample

Google Pixel 2 camera sampleGoogle Google Pixel camera sample

At a glance, things are once again in a dead heat between these two when taking low-light photos. Viewing photos side by side at typical sizes you'd be hard pressed to pick which one came from which phone, and that's a great sign for the original Pixel. The new Pixel 2 tends to take slightly cooler photos, and getting the white balance a bit better seemed to help with color reproduction in some scenes. This wasn't the case universally, though.

Both phones take near-identical low light shots, but the Pixel 2 offers better colors and fine detail in dark areas.

Once again when you start to zoom in you'll find where the Pixel 2 has made improvements in fine detail and lines. You get far more detail in textures in dark areas, whereas on the original Pixel things would kind of be blotched together and smoothed out. The same goes for detail in areas with high ISO grain, where the Pixel 2 does a better job defining sharp lines and detail even though it keeps a very similar amount of grain.

The OIS, wider aperture, and overall faster capture time on the Pixel 2 all add up to a more consistent shooting experience in low-light situations, but as you can see from the samples above, the end result isn't much ahead of the 2016 Pixel. That's not a knock on the Pixel 2, honestly — last year's phone was just that fantastic in low-light photography.

Bottom line

Google Pixel 2 vs. Google Pixel

With how much of an amazing standout performer last year's Pixel was, it's not surprising that it continues to take fantastic photos a year on from its release. But still, Google has only done better with the 2017 version.

The Pixel 2 has made improvements in capturing fine lines, detail, and colors, all while keeping the same core characteristics from its predecessor. The new phone isn't dramatically better, but it does take better photos overall and that didn't come at the cost of a trade-off in any area — that's what we always like to see. Outside of just photo quality, the Pixel 2 brings an improvement in capture and HDR+ processing time, which has typically been a weak point of Google's camera app.

Now we wait to see what the Pixel Visual Core brings to the table for the Pixel 2.

These conclusions are, of course, prior to Google turning on the "Pixel Visual Core" in the new Pixel 2 (coming in Android 8.1), which should add even more speed and capability to the camera. We don't yet know how much of a quality improvement we'll see, but having the processing handled by a powerful dedicated image processor will definitely be a boost to the Pixel 2's photography overall.

If you still have an original Pixel and are thinking about an upgrade, you can rest assured that your first-gen phone's camera is still strong compared to Google's latest. And anyone looking to buy a Pixel 2 today can know that they're getting a wonderful camera as well.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Google Store Project Fi Verizon Best Buy

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1 month ago

The Galaxy Note 8 might be a better buy over Google's Pixel 2 XL

101

Pixel 2 XL vs. Galaxy Note 8

The Pixel 2 XL's "Display-gate" is no secret at this point, and it's resulted in a lot of unhappy customers. We're still waiting on an official response from Google other than the fact that it's "actively investigating" the situation at hand, and while we'd advise everyone to do the same, we also understand why some buyers may already be looking at alternatives to the hole that the Pixel 2 XL has left in their hearts.

We've seen a lot of big phones this year, and for a lot of people, Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 is looking more and more like a solid alternative to the Pixel 2 XL with each day that passes.

The Galaxy Note 8 and Pixel 2 XL each share their own set of strengths and weaknesses, but for some of our forum users, Samsung's option is the better purchase.

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polbit 10-23-2017 08:08 AM “

I have to be honest, the consistent screen issues have gotten to me. I can ignore the blue tint, the sRGB colors, but the latest reports of burn-in, I just don't want to deal with it anymore. I will most likely exchange it, and the only other viable alternative is Note 8. For people that switched from N8, can you tell me why? I purposefully didn't put the question up in Note 8 forum, as I...

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EnemiesInTheEnd 10-23-2017 01:32 PM “

The Note 8 is a phenomenal phone. I haven't had to charge my Note 8 since yesterday. Tests have also shown that the Note 8 is virtually just as fast as the Pixel 2/XL. I haven't noticed any lag and the only time I have seen stuttering is while the web content is loading and one time due to a weird advertisement in an app. Otherwise, the phone is very fast (by ANY standard) and rarely ever lags....

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quietlybrilliant 10-23-2017 02:58 PM “

Just to add one thing about the Note 8, the *quality* of the screen (not the aspect ratio, see above) is unbelievable. It's so satisfying to look at and pleasant on the eyes, I find myself reading or watching things on it for very long stretches of time when my much larger laptop screen is right in front of me going unused. It's that damn good. Really in a different league from any other screen...

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Despite the Pixel 2 XL's issues, not everyone is ready to jump on board the Samsung train quite yet.

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Stang68 10-23-2017 08:22 AM “

I understand why you're doing it, but to me they're not comparable. It all comes down to software. I prefer the Nexus/Pixel/Google experience and always will. No matter how much you try to make a Samsung phone like a Pixel, it will still always be built on TouchWiz. Plus, software updates lag months and months behind on Samsungs. Google is the best when it comes to giving new features to the...

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djepperson1 10-23-2017 08:24 AM “

I switched from a note 8 to ordering the pixel 2 xl. The note 8 was a good phone I just couldn't get used the inconsistent software one minute it would be blazing fast then lag from no where. I know people will say that it's the fast phone which for a Samsung it is. But my secondary phone is one plus 5 which i never have had a slow down or a stutter. Hardware wise the note 8 is gorgeous.

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If you're currently debating between which large phone to get, we want to know – After all of the recent controversy, will you be buying a Google Pixel 2 XL or Samsung Galaxy Note 8?

Join the conversation in the forums!

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1 month ago

Nokia 6 review: A great phone with one major drawback

19
Nokia 6 review

The Nokia 6 has plenty to offer, but an underpowered chipset ultimately ruins the overall experience.

Nokia announced its return to the smartphone segment earlier this year, albeit in a new avatar: instead of manufacturing phones directly, it licensed its name exclusively to HMD Global, a Finnish company made up of ex-Nokia staffers. HMD Global would take care of the design of the phones, and the devices themselves would be built by Foxconn.

Under the new partnership, HMD Global rolled out three devices aimed at the budget segment: Nokia 3, Nokia 5, and the Nokia 6. The company also launched its flagship phone, the Nokia 8 late last month. We'll talk a lot about the Nokia 8 in a few weeks, but for now, we're going to take a look at the Nokia 6, Nokia's best showing yet in the budget segment.

HMD Global's decision to focus on the budget segment wasn't without merit. After all, the entry-level Lumia 520 dominated Nokia's sales charts for several years, and the company's focus on emerging markets like China and India allowed it to build a loyal user base in both countries. That's the target audience for the Nokia 6: customers from the Windows Phone days that have been clamoring for a device with Nokia's hallmark design running Android. The Nokia 6 delivers on that promise, but the device isn't without its drawbacks.

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