Google Pixel 2 vs. Pixel: Should you upgrade?

It's that time of year again. We get to the new Pixel 2, a phone that we want to spend our money on, even if we have a really good phone in our pockets already.

The 2016 Pixel is still a damn good phone. Let's get that out of the way first thing. Unless yours is broken, you don't need to buy something new. We all know this every time a new phone is released or our current model is replaced by one with a higher number, but it's OK to do something (or buy something) because you want to, not because you need to. With that in mind, let's talk about how they match up against each other so all of us can decide what we're going to do.

Pixel 2 vs. Pixel: specs comparison

What's changed

At first glance, the Pixel and Pixel 2 look very much the same. You have a 5-inch "FHD" (marketing speak for 1080p) OLED display with great big bezels on the top and bottom, on-screen navigation buttons, and an aluminum back with the top third cut off and replaced by glass. Even the logo and fingerprint sensor are the same and in the same spot. But that's where the similarity ends.

For starters, the Pixel 2 puts a speaker in both of those bezels. For folks who wanted quasi-stereo front-facing speakers, the Pixel 2 now has you covered. We're not yet sure how good they will sound, but the Pixel 2 should be louder and more clear than its predecessor, which is what a lot of people wanted. Unfortunately, another change is that the Pixel 2 doesn't have a headphone jack, which not nearly as many people wanted. Google, we applaud your courage in removing the 3.5 mm headphone jack.

The Pixel 2 headphone adapter costs $20{.cta .large}

Another new trick from the Pixel 2 is Active Edge. In early 2017 HTC showed off a squeezable phone, where the act of tightening your grip acted as a type of switch or button and could launch an app or service. Google adds this in the Pixel 2 lineup, and we saw how you can launch Assistant just by gripping the phone tighter.

Since the original Pixel doesn't have the hardware mechanisms in place, this feature isn't coming to the 2016 model. Some think it's a gimmick, others simply love it, but either way, it's a big convenience feature the OG Pixel isn't going to have.

The new Snapdragon is a big deal

The biggest differences are things you can't see. The Pixel 2 uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 which is not only faster but offers improved wireless support for the next generation. It's also more power efficient than the Snapdragon 821 in the original Pixel, which is how CPU evolution works. Having a higher clock speed can hurt that efficiency, but you have to assume that Google was smart and the phone's 2,700 mAh (which is 70 mAh smaller than the 2016 version) will be adequate for most users and last the day.

The Snapdragon 821 is a great SoC. The Snapdragon 835 is a better one.

Another area where the better CPU might matter is in Daydream. You're not going to tax the 821 that's inside the original by just doing "phone stuff." You need to open intensive 3D games or put it inside a Daydream headset. And it was possible to push the original Pixel so hard while using it for Daydream that it got too hot and had to throttle the CPU, leading to a pretty poor experience in VR unless you stopped and let it cool down.

This ties in well with the next difference, which is multimedia. The Snapdragon 835 offers better multimedia input abilities through the camera as well as better output support for what you see on the screen. The new Spectra 180 ISP supports things like HDR 4K recording at 30fps while hardware accelerated features like face detection are running. The Adreno 540 GPU supports 4K 60fps output on both the internal display and an external display, at the same time. The multimedia package even has DX12 support in case you wanted to play FIFA 18 when Microsoft releases their ARM Windows 10 machines. Google isn't supporting all of these features, but do know that there were some very healthy upgrades here.

Check out the Pixel 2 specs

Finally, the Snapdragon 835 outclasses the 821 when it comes to LTE network technology. The 835 has a CAT 16 modem, with 3x20 MHz carrier aggregation and 256-QAM on the download. In simpler terms, while it's not a gigabit device, it can reach speeds of 800Mbps.

Of course, your network has to be ready and none of them are outside of a few select testing areas. The Snapdragon 835 is the first SoC that theoretically offers faster LTE speeds than it does Wi-Fi (802.11 ad WI-Fi with speeds of 867 Mbps). This means you will get the fastest speeds possible from your network even though it's not Gigabit ready.

Again, we're not saying the 2016 Pixel's Snapdragon 821 was bad. Outside of thermal issues when wrapped up in a hot felt VR headset, there are very few people complaining about performance. But it's silly to ignore the boost in power and efficiency that comes with the newer Snapdragon 835.

What stays the same

The Pixel 2 was running a "special" version of Android Oreo when Google showed it to everyone at the launch event. That means there will be a new version of Android, at least for the Pixel 2 family. It's still technically Android 8.0, but it has some meaningful differences to the version that shipped on the Pixels and Nexus phones earlier this year.

Most of the Google Experience will also come to the original 2016 Pixel.

What we are sure of is that Google was clear about a good many of the software features coming to the original. You'll have Google Lens, a smarter Google Assistant, and will be ready for Daydream 2 if you keep your "old" Pixel. We imagine that tweaked launcher with the new Google bar on the bottom is also coming (love it or hate it) but we're not sure about the new camera features like portrait mode and foodmojis. That just might need the newer Snapdragon.

You'll also still get fast updates direct from Google on your 2016 Pixel until it reaches its end-of-life. But we've not heard anything about Google tacking another year onto the update promise to match the Pixel 2 and its 3-year guarantee.

When it comes to the software and all the things you can do with it, your 2016 Pixel will give you just about the same experience as the Pixel 2. This is just how Google does things and something we've seen since the Nexus program. It's a smart move because it keeps people who may not want to buy a new phone every year happy with the brand.

One other big difference

Google has promised a full three years of OS support for the Pixel 2. While three years has been the standard for security-related updates for a while, this means you will get the next three years worth of Android updates, too. Chances are that means Android P, Android Q, and Android R.

This is a really the biggest upgrade. Outside of Apple who contracts its own in-house design for all the internal parts of an iPhone, no other company making smartphones does this. Three years worth of full software upgrades means your phone will have all the features Google develops between the day you buy it and the day the battery is so bad that it needs to be replaced.

Many of us switch phones every year so this isn't as important. But in the grand scheme of things, this is the Pixel 2's killer feature.

So should you upgrade?

Usually, this section comes with a disclaimer about your needs and a long list of reasons for both options. Not this time.

If you can live without a headphone jack or really want to have two front speakers, and have the money to spend, upgrade to the Pixel 2. The good news is that if you don't have the money to spend or aren't in love with the new changes, your 2016 Pixel is going to be fine for another 12 months even if it's no longer "the best."

When you have to think before you buy the newer model, the company making them is doing it right.

The Snapdragon 835 is tempting, especially the new connectivity upgrades. Carriers are pushing out the next generation network faster than anyone thought, and if it comes to your area in 2018 you'll be able to take advantage of fatter pipes and faster speeds in a more significant way. The better quality network will be nice for anyone using a recent phone, but the latest today is ready for more of what happens tomorrow. If you're into Daydream you really should be looking at the Pixel 2 XL, but the smaller Pixel 2 will still be a better experience than the original. And there's no telling what developers will release through 2018 that can take advantage of the beefier 835. We've seen that happen before.

Finally, if you plan to keep your phone for three years, the Pixel 2's new longer support promise makes it a must.

It's a tough decision for people who aren't worried about changing every year to make sure they have the latest and best. And that's a good thing.

See at Verizon (opens in new tab)

What about you?

Are you upgrading to the Pixel 2 from the original, or any other phone? Jump into the comments and tell us all why (or why not). Both decisions are good ones, and it's always interesting to hear all sides when it comes to who is buying and why. The feedback just might change your mind, or make you even happier about your decision.

Where to buy the Pixel 2

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • I'm actually starting to dig the small one. Kind of a retro thing I guess.
  • Same. 18:9 is fun but it's annoying to reach the top of the phone. Using my phone less and less for games makes the bigger screen a little less enticing.
  • Do the Pixels have any One Handed Mode built in?
  • No, keyboard that is about it.
  • Damn, I went from having zero interest in the Pixel 2 but the Black n White XL is right up my street. Now they've added Always On Display and dual speakers which are really important to me as well as portrait mode on the camera. One Handed Mode is a biggy too but I guess I can compromise somewhere. I had the LG G6 with 18:9 screen and no one handed mode and it did become a bit of a pain in the butt
  • On the G6, there is that button that you can add that appears at the bottom that will pull down your notification shade. Makes life easier.
    ...I have it on mine, and just now realized I never used it beyond the first week. huh..
  • Don't forget you can swipe down on the fingerprint scanner for the shade.
  • Nope, I haven't seen that as an option at all.
  • Hopefully they add it at a later date with an update. The LG V30 is practically the same phone physically as the Pixel 2 XL and it has One Handed Mode activated by swiping across the on screen navigation buttons. It's definitely handy with the new tall/skinny phone ratios
  • No dedicated one-handed mode but you can swipe the fingerprint sensor to access the notification/quick settings bar which is the most used feature from the top of the screen. At least I use it quite a lot on my Pixel XL.
  • Plus watching videos is not ideal on the larger phone because all of that beautiful screen won't be used. Good for web browsing sometimes. Might get the smaller one myself. Don't mind the bezels on my Pixel. Flip side is that TMO and Google's deal give me an end cost of $174 after rebates/refunds for the Pixel 2 XL. I love putting this phone in my pocket and forgetting about it, the larger phones not so much. If I go smaller, it is a free upgrade.
  • Yeah I miss my old Nexus 5, the pixel 2 seems like a throwback to that.
  • I am going from a 32gb Nexus 6 on Google Fi to a 128gb Pixel 2 XL. I think I will be quite pleased! I was ALWAYS rotating apps/media on my 32gb, now I will have just a little bit more breathing room!
  • Jesus. You are in for such a surprise. I went from the 6p to the pixel XL and it was so much better! Congrats!
  • I'm going from a Nexus the 2 xl. I am so pumped up for it to come. It's been my baby for some time. I've finally found a reason to upgrade. My wife's 6P has been making me jealous for some time! have been the most resilient and durable POS phone. RIP and love you forever!
  • I pulled the trigger on the pixel 2 xl 64gb black to replace my Nexus 6p I'll miss the Nexus line but cheers to the Future
  • My real issue now is do I sell my Galaxy S8 to buy it... In my head I feel like it's not worth it, but in my heart I feel like it's necessary lol
  • i am in that same mess man
  • Just out of curiosity what are the things that might lean you towards the S8? Personally the two biggest things are that the S8 remembers what volume I had last on different Bluetooth devices and all the awesome screenshot options as well as the pin to top. Otherwise I don't use as the extra software features as much as I thought. And the tall aspect ratio is nice for having a lot on the screen but also annoying to reach the top..
  • Bigger & better display, bezeless design, headphone jack and a cheaper price are some things which makes me buy the S8 instead of the pixel 2
  • None of them. For some weird reason, I'm more excited about Sony's Xperia XZ1 Compact.
  • I looked at the XZ! Compact - but that 720p display!
  • It's a 4.6" display, I don't think it is so bad for the size of the screen.
  • When I look at the iPhone displays, which are 720p, I can really tell they are not full HD - the fonts are just not crisp, and that's important to me. If the display looks OK to you then there is no problem.
  • Ah okay, I see. You know what works for you of course. The regular sized iPhone is much bigger than the Compact. If you have seen an SE or 5S, just picture that taller and a little wider. Your best bet would be if you can check one out in person somewhere.
  • Wouldn't say it's much bigger looking at this YouTube video.
  • By looks yes, but by actual dimensions and in hand feel is totally different.
  • Get you a note8 player best in business display trust me it's a savage beast
  • He's looking at one of the smallest phones available, and you tell him to get the biggest?
  • Nah, not weird. That phone and the smaller Pixel are unique in today's time of big Android ones.
  • If i had any other phone from 2016 i would definitely upgrade to the Pixel 2, but every time i use my Pixel i can't imagine using anything else, so I'll be waiting until next year. I am worried that they'll ditch the bezels next year and i kind of like having somewhere to hold my phone.
  • I feel you. I am so pleased with the Pixel XL, I haven't felt this way in about 4 years of phone ownership. I am upgrading though because I shouldn't have gotten the 32GB version.
  • That would be the only thing that would get me to upgrade from my Pixel XL at this point - lack of storage. I went for the 128GB version, and it's magnificent. I love the Pixel XL, and whilst the slightly bigger 18:9 screen would be nice, I don't really need it right now.
  • Same same. This is the first time in years that I don't need to upgrade. I still love my Pixel, and it's going just as strong as the date I got it a year ago. I will look at the Pixel 3 a year from now.
  • I hear you. Compulsive me ordered the Pixel 2 yesterday morning. Rational me canceled the order yesterday afternoon. I love my Pixel.
  • I will be waiting, as well. Very happy with my Really Blue XL, and I'll get most of the software changes on it. I kept my Nexus 5 for over three years and plan to keep this until the security updates stop, unless there's something really compelling about the Pixel 3. Otherwise I'm likely to wait for the 4.
  • I'm perfectly happy with my current Pixel XL, smooth as butter. All the essentials in one package that actually works as advertised. Thanks Google :)
  • I upgraded. Going to like having front facing speakers again. I sold my Really Blue Pixel, bought a cheap refurbished one that I will trade in. In the end I'll pay maybe $200 to upgrade.
  • You should update this post if that goes as planned. Doesn't seem like Google is discriminating between hardware condition as long as it works
  • On my trade in email it says "if the devices value matches the estimate, we'll credit you the value of the phone. if the device's value is lower, we'll credit you the value of the phone if you selected to accept a change in value." Though i do not recall that being a checkbox in the trade in prompts.
  • You have won this game!
  • What kind did you upgrade to? And ditto what libra89 said! *thumbs up*
  • The Pixel 2 regular, black. I wanted the Kinda Blue but with it saying "verizon" i wasn't chancing it.
  • this is what i was thinking was misleading to so i chatted with them. it'll still be unlocked, it just comes with a verizon sim pre-installed. remove it and put in your own sim from any US carrier and it will work.
  • Wouldn't it still be required to pay for their plan though to get the phone? And, there's still that whole unlocked bootloader thing. Those are basically the two things that's holding me from getting it through them. Edit: I mentioned the bootloader because it seems like people that bought the first gen Pixel/Pixel XL thru Verizon can't unlock the bootloader. There's a long ongoing thread on XDA talking about that.
  • The bootloader is a valid concern. But buying the Verizon version from Google Store didn't make me verify existing Verizon line or add new Verizon lines.
  • Cost me 19$ out of pocket to upgrade to 128 Pixel 2 XL from 128 Pixel XL. Pay it off on Verizon. It should be 434$ if you got it last year on release day. I sold it for 415$ so $19 out of pocket!!
  • Very nice! You have also won!
  • Wait how if you have an extra fee and where did you sell it for the best price?
  • I would also like to know where you sold it, did you sell it on ebay?
  • I wouldn't sell something as expensive as this on ebay. they take 10% fee. use they take a flat $15. (FYI: i sell on ebay all the time.)
  • This isn't counting the actual cost of the new Pixel 2 XL. Costs you $19 + new phone. lol.
  • True, but I was making a payment on the Pixel XL also. Trade in through Google.
  • As for me, I have placed an order so I probably will, especially with that trade-in value that Google has going for Pixels. I'm interested in this and the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact. If the XZ1 Compact works out, I'm out of the Pixel game. If not, I'll stay in it possibly.
  • Im def gonna wait until next year..i want to upgrade but ill just wait ..
  • I'm waiting to see the new camera stuff in action. I really like my 2016 Pixel and have it set up just the way I like it. Plus, I don't have to buy new headphones or worry about dongles. We'll see after I try one.
  • The camera is a big deal for me too. I have small kids and having the highest quality photos I can is important. I'm mostly worried that the build quality won't be as good as the original. Which seems stupid. But that keeps me waiting until the full reviews come out. When is that, by the way?
  • Come on, setting up a new phone is half the fun.
  • I ditched wired headphones 2 years ago. I will wait for the Pixel 3 to upgrade. This original Pixel is still solid.
  • I'm on the fence. I want to go from the original Pixel XL to a smaller Pixel 2. I'm on Fi and they're offering a $400 trade in to upgrade AND a Home Mini which I was going to buy anyway. There's literally no reason to NOT upgrade except I'm worried I'm going to like it less than my Pixel XL. Help, JERRY!!!
  • You into Daydream? If so, don't move from an XL to a regular. The resolution. Is 1080p going to be enough for you? You can tell a difference $400 sounds like a lot of money, but remember how much you paid for it. Consider how much it will cost you after you remember spending 700 or 800 dollars less than a year ago. A Home Mini is only $50. Don't let it be a factor in any decision.
  • Great advice. I got the XL for the QHD because I wanted the best Daydream experience. But I don't use it enough for it to carry significant weight. I'm thinking I should borrow back my old Nexus 5X from my wife and see if the resolution will bother me. A 5 in. screen with QHD is much like a small AndroidWear with an NFC: Too much to hope for.
  • I’d you can, maybe try Best Buy or somewhere to look at a newer 1080p panel. The one on the 5x isn’t that great.
  • I upgraded from my 1st gen XL to the regular size Pixel 2 for 4 reasons: 1. Better speakers (which it should have already had) 2. Much better water resistance (which it should have already had) 3.OIS (which it should have already had) 4. One handed ease of use Looking forward to its arrival on the 25th/26th.
  • This captures a lot of my thinking. Are you worried at all about the lower resolution screen. My XL is just SUCH a joy to look at.
  • Not worried a bit. 1080P on a 5” screen is more than just fine. Last year, when the 1st generation came out, I test drove both the XL and the regular size one. I kept the XL because it gave me a little better battery life, and I do mean a little, not leaps and bounds, by any means. As the months have gone on into a year, the best choice I could have made has become more apparent to me: I should have kept the smaller one to begin with.
  • I'm surprised there is no one handed mode...which most phone manufacturers have had/added for a while now. Google always seems to leave out some little annoying detail.
  • But it's leaving out these things that keeps the software lean and fast.
  • So you buy a gigantic phone but then gimp the experience with a one-handed mode? Why not just buy a smaller phone?
  • I mean, if I am understanding the OG Pixel's upgrade path correctly it should still have one major OS update in store. I see little reason to upgrade though I will probably be ready to upgrade once the Pixel XL 3 hits. This phone is still faster and smoother than any phone I have used previously and outside of a design that was outdated when it launched and no water resistance it is still the perfect phone for me.
  • My Nexus 5X has just got O, so I think I will keep this another year and maybe look at a Pixel 2 or 3 next year. I don't think O has brought much to the table over N at the moment although I am one of those who likes to be on the latest OS.
  • I upgraded, but will be sad about losing the headphone jack. Travelling in particular will be a pain in the ass since those new 787 planes will be around for 30 years and probably will still require me to have headphones with a headphone jack. Also sucks to lose the unlimited full resolution storage that we got with the original PIxel. Now I lose the original images in 2020, so about 2 years from now. BTW. Pixel 1 already did have 3x CA, so the only new feature is QAM-256 and 4x4 MIMO.
  • "Also sucks to lose the unlimited full resolution storage that we got with the original PIxel. Now I lose the original images in 2020, so about 2 years from now." This was confusing, but I am pretty sure any photos you upload before 2020 will still be full resolution, it is just that any you upload after 2020 date will count against your data pool.
  • That's the problem with cloud storage, Google can change their policy at any time. I think both Amazon and Microsoft changed how much storage they have you to their cloud services.
  • Super happy with my 2 day battery Z Play with moderate use or guaranteed 1 day no matter what is done on it. it's hard to settle with anything less than that. my only problem with it is the size. Moto Active Display is hard to abandon as well, so I can only hope they release a 4.7-5in phone with big battery next year.
  • I think any phones you upload with Pixel 2 get stored in both Full resolution and "High" resolution. After 2020, the Full resolution photos get deleted unless you pay. The Pixel 1 photos probably stay Full resolution forever, unless there's something in the contract that changes terms.
  • "Google, we applaud your courage in removing the 3.5 mm headphone jack."
    Had to hurt typing that sentence, even if you were being ironic.
  • Nexus 6p here. I'm waiting until next year. If I needed to buy I would get the Pixel 2 XL. My phone works so not getting anything this round.
  • I just bought mine. I used to have the Pixel 2016 and was the best thing i could ask for. I lived abroad for 6 months without knowledge of the language and my Pixel saved me. Two weeks ago i got robbed and the bastards took my Pixel, since then ive been surviving with my office phone, an Iphone SE, which i really dislike. So its time to enjoy again with the Pixel 2
  • Ooh you will enjoy the Pixel 2 very well. I have the iPhone SE as well, but in regards to cameras, the Pixel is in a class of its own.
  • Just got the pixel XL from an RMA of my Nexus 6P and I am happy as ever! Not upgrading till the pixel 3
  • Have bought a Nexus or Pixel every year since the Nexus 4. No reason to change now! Ordered the Pixel 2 XL, Black, 128 GB!
  • If you have a 32GB pixel, then maybe. Otherwise, no. There are only 3 things that would entice me over the OG pixel; Min 64GB storage
    OIS in camera
    3 years of OS updates Other than that, performance isn't going to be a night and day difference. You'd have to hold the phones side by side to notice any real difference. Really, the OG pixel still has 2 years of updates to look forward to. 1 year of OS, and one more year of security updates, which is arguably the most important part.
  • The big announcements yesterday finally got me to update. After seeing the $849 price of the 6-inch Pixel 2 XL, I decided on the Moto Android One X4. $265 after trade-in. This'll last me 3 years.
  • Went for the Trade in deal from Project Fi. Refurb Pixel XL 32GB for $400. Just bought it August 1st for $450. New Pixel 2 XL. Maybe a mistake but what the hell. Back to Device Protection from Fi. 3 years upgrades. Bigger Screen. 64GB. Unlimited Photo Storage. And Snapdragon 835. Hope it has better Bluetooth.
  • I'm still very happy with my Pixel XL though I should have gone for 128GB storage. I'm in the UK so we don't have the trade in option, or at least not yet. If we did I would very likely upgrade to the Pixel 2 XL.
  • Did they fix the crappy reception problems from the original? We have two and they are by far the worst phones reception wise.
  • One MAJOR downfall you forgot to mention was Google Photos Backup's. The new Pixel 2 line will only do unlimited full resolution backups till 2020 (3years) after that it'll step it down to a compressed format. The OG Pixel will still do unlimited backups for life. Granted the battery will need to be replaced in 3 years and most will upgrade to the Pixel ## by then but still something that should be mentioned.
  • I plan to move from Pixel to Pixel XL 2. Pixel battery life is one of the worst I had. Previously I used iPhone and Samsung/LG. Both had wonderful battery life. Pixel would hardly last a day. With the new Snapdragon 835 processor, Google claims better battery life on Pixel 2. I won't trust them anymore on that. I have seen people get much, much better battery life pn Pixel XL. I can safely presume, Pixel XL2 will do the same.
  • Something is wrong with your phone then I would think. The Pixel battery lasts quite awhile under normal use.
  • Keeping my Pixel for another year. Unless the camera proves to be much better.
  • I am keeping mine for another year or 2. like mine.
  • It's not better, not sure if anything improves with enabling of that imaging chip...
  • I'm actually considering the Pixel XL, but, after reading this, I wonder, would I be better off paying the premium for the Pixel2? The pixel 2XL in my country is $1300. Numpty money in my books for a mobile. Like others, the smaller size of the Pixel2 is also appealing to me for single handed operation.
  • Not worth it all all. A friend of mine got a Pixel 2 and compared to my Pixel you will not be able to tell a difference in performance. There are a few minor differences like the portrait mode and camera panning performance but it is really negligible for the cost. Not to mention the OG has a headphone jack which is worth more than the improvements in the Pixel 2. If you are coming from two generations or more back I would recommend it but definitely not coming from a phone released last year. The black Pixel 2 looks a lot nicer. The black is actually black and not a milky grayish color like the original Pixel.
  • I have both and I agree. Same phone, same performance, almost the same camera (Pixel 1 is actually better sometimes), minus 3.5mm jack that I actually use everyday. Dual speakers, back of the phone is nicer, and maybe battery is a bit better (compared 1 XL to regular 2) But when you take price in consideration it makes no sense to upgrade. And as far as 2XL, well you get larger screen and better battery but screen quality is not on par with 1XL so you win some and you lose some again and all that for $850+tax
  • I'd disagree with you both there. Last night I hit the best battery life I've gotten out of any smartphone I've had. I had 19hrs 27mins off the charger, with 19% remaining, and 6hrs 1min of SOT. The best I could ever get with the original Pixel was 14-16hrs with around 10-15% remaining and 4hrs SOT. That right there is a good enough reason for me. Then add on dual front facing speaker, waterproofing, and improved camera and it was lock for me. As for the headphone jack, I was one of the ones fighting this a lot over the past year. But someone made a good point the other day. USB-C audio is uniform from device to device, where headphone jack output is not. For example, the Nexus 6p had very weak audio output through the headphone jack, where the Turbo 2 had almost a full volt. But with USB-C audio output, the only difference is the dongle or headphones you use, the device itself won't affect audio performance. So if you find a good pair of USB-C headphones (or have a good pair of wired ones and use the dongle) the performance should be the same across all devices. Like I said I was fighting this as much as the next guy, but they're not going to bring the headphone jack back. So if that's the only reason to not buy a phone, I'd let it go. It won't be long and LG and Samsung will drop them as well.
  • A few things here: 2XL does have a better battery but the screen is worse, and since I charge the phone at night, it doesnt matter for me if it lasts 20+ or 15--17 hours etc. its all the same to me, I would rather have better display. On Pixel 1XL I get about 4-5 hours of SOT, sure can get 6 on 2XL.....but thats for $900+ bucks for that extra hour. The lack of 3.5mm jack doesnt bother me, what does is that I cant charge the phone now. I listen to music or watch news etc when I fall asleep and my phone is charging, I cant do that on Pixel 2 or have to pay extra $45 bucks for 3.5mm/charging dongle. Waterproofing.....I dont drop phones in water, shower and rain even Pixel 1 can withstand without issues. Camera, I compared P1 to P2 and P1 pictures look better to me. The pixel size and image sensor on P1 are bigger this washes out most Pixel 2 benefits. Video is better on P2, but I never use that feature.
    I have both for now decided to use 1XL, will see what happens when they enable imaging chip on P2, maybe I'll switch if it improves camera
  • You do realize I'm talking about the Pixel 2, not the the 2 XL. And the article isn't about the XL model either, it's about the 5" Pixel 2. The time off the charger should matter because, regardless of whether you charge it at night or not, if it doesn't last long off the charger, you'll have to charge it during the day. And if you're a heavy user, higher SOT will make a big difference. The fact that it gets 2 hours better screen on time than the original 5" Pixel, with a smaller battery no less is pretty amazing. And since this isn't about the XL model, it's not $900+, it's $650 or $750 depending on storage size. I can't argue that there aren't drawbacks dropping the headphone jack, but as I stated, there are benefits as well. And you can listen to news or watch videos with Bluetooth headphones. I was against switching to them initially as well, but BT headphones have gotten better since I last looked at them. It may be able to handle those water scenarios you mentioned, but if it doesn't, there will be no warranty on the P1 because it isn't rated for it. Older Motorola phones could probably handle the scenarios you mentioned due to the nano coating they used, but they didn't warranty them for water damage. On the pictures I've taken, the P2 is ahead of the P1. Yes the pixel size and image sensor is larger on the P1, but they're also utilizing dual pixels and changed the aperture to 1.8. Some of the issues you're bringing up have more to do with the XL model rather than the smaller model (display, price). This article is about the smaller Pixel vs the smaller Pixel 2. There was another article last week about the differences between the XL and the 2 XL. Your arguments would he more relevant there.
  • I have Pixel 1 XL and Pixel 2 regular. I think I am a heavy user and I dont think there was a day when I needed to charge my phone during a day, I would have to drain Pixel XL on purpose for that. I haven't really compared the battery on those two yet. I've been taking phone calls inside a shower since I purchased Pixel and there are no signs of water damage. As far as the camera, well not sure what to say here.....I really wanted to like and keep Pixel 2, but most pictures I took came out roughly the same. For some reason I noticed that most pictures taken with Pixel 2 are blurry when you zoom in, while Pixel 1 came out sharper. I have a link with samples if interested
  • Then why did you bring the 2 XL into the discussion? Your first reply to me referenced the 2 XL several times, which is why I assumed that's what you had. Comparing a Pixel XL vs a Pixel 2 isn't a fair comparison either. For one thing, that's a 3450mAh battery in the XL vs a 2700mAh battery in the P2. I was comparing two like phones, the two regular Pixels from each year. And there is a notable difference in battery life between the two. If anything, I think it speaks a lot to the P2 regular that it can get near the same battery life as last year's XL with a battery that's 22% smaller. It doesn't matter if it can work in the shower or rain, but if something happens and there is water damage, it won't be covered on last year's models where it will be on this year's. And it's not like I use phones near water a lot, but $hit happens. It's a little more piece of mind. I don't know what to tell you either. I've taken quite a few photos with the P2, and I haven't had a blurry one yet. It does better in low light than my P1 did, and zooming all the way in on my images in the gallery, I see a lot less noise on photos taken with the P2 than I had on the P1.
  • In that album, what's the order? Is the Pixel 1 the first image or second?
  • Click info or details for each photo. I don't think there is order
  • Looking at the info, I do notice that in most cases, the ISO is higher on the XL than on the P2. Besides that, I don't know what to tell you. My pics from the P2 have been sharper and had less noise those I've taken on the P1. I notice that it seems to be hit or miss on yours. Sometimes they're the same in terms of sharpness and other times the XL is better. But the general consensus in the forums is the P2 is better. For all we know it could be a slight misalignment of the lens and sensor causing the issue. But I don't seem to be having the issues you are. There was one guy who feels that last year's models were better, but he was referring to Lens Blur on last year's vs Portrait Mode on this year's. What he didn't like was that Portrait was automatic, where Lens Blur was more of a manual mode, letting you manually select what is and isn't blurred. But I found that Lens Blur took a lot more effort and ended up being the same or slightly worse.
  • Yes, XL ISO seems to be higher and yet photos either look the same or better on XL with less noise and a bit more sharpness. I am actually not sure whats going on with XL ISO. I just uploaded another night shot, they look exactly the same but Pixel 2 iso is 535 while Pixel 1XL is 3464
  • I would contact Google about that. That seems odd that the ISO would be that different, that's almost 6 times higher. In most of the images you had the ISO was different but IIRC at most it was like 400 vs 800.
  • My battery life compared to the og pixel is significantly less. I have 1 less of sot. I get maybe 2 and a half hours. This is with intense usage like gaming and videos, but my og pixel outperformed it. Maybe I have a lemon? Without gaming,I get 3 hours of sot. I’m so disappointed. :(
  • I want an original pixel, regular or XL. I have a Moto z and I love the stock and quickness and smoothness of it, but this no headphone jack stuff is plain stupid to me. I use Bluetooth headphones all the time, still want a headphone jack. My personal opinion, dongle life sucks. Alot.
  • I had the pixel XL for a month free from Google for 6p exchange & it was great. Now have black & white pixel 2 phone I've ever had, and I've had a bunch. Love it!!!
  • I’m wanting to buy the pixel xl 2 but my personal line is on at&t and my work line is on Verizon can I make payments with Verizon and put my at&t SIM card in and it work sorry for the question but I can’t find the answer.
  • Yes you can, all Verizon phones are SIM unlocked due to legal requirements.
  • H
  • OG Pixel XL owner right here. After reading this article I am now swayed more towards the standard Pixel 2. I like the smaller form factor and that Kinda Blue colour is awesome! Reminds me of the Ice 5X I had. I've had the S8 and yes the display is that good, but this new 18:9 trend and less bezels wears thin after a while. Each to there own but I will be heading into Carphone Warehouse tomorrow to pick up a Pixel 2 in Kinda Blue! 👌
  • Absolutely do it! I went XL to the Pixel 2. With the increase in size of the 2xl it just didn't feel right. The pixel 2 reminded me of the 5x that I loved.
  • I know that the answer really is "it depends," but I think a harder stance can be taken in this type of "should you upgrade" article. Barring some ridiculous flaw in the new product, the answer always will be "it depends." One way to approach this type of article is to make sure it answers two questions: 1) what would the author do? and 2) what would the author recommend his average family member do? (And by average family member, I don't mean the family's tech neophyte; I just mean people who typically don't read AC regularly or upgrade their phone every year.) Given the brouhaha around its screen, I think the "should you upgrade" question is a little more provocative for the Pixel 2XL. But by all accounts, the Pixel 2 seems like a typical, iterative update to the original--much like the iPhone 8 is over the iPhone 7. Better chipset, better display, better camera, better speakers--all are to be expected. The headphone jack has been removed and the squeeze-to-launch Assistant feature has been added. Hardware-wise, the camera and related sensors probably are the most compelling feature given that they enable capabilities such as Portrait Mode (bokeh). If you're into that, then the camera and iterative updates combined might be worth it for you. Otherwise, if you're looking for a more pronounced upgrade in capabilities, you probably should hold off until you have a more compelling reason, i.e. something happens to your current phone or a new, more interesting phone is released. If you're the type that likes to rock the latest and greatest or just likes regularly having a new gadget to mess with, then you likely ignore the recommendations of these articles anyway. :)
  • I just did. Black Friday special! 1/2 off. Flicked via the BlackBerry keyboard on my Pixel