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Bezelless as a buzzword needs to die [#acpodcast]

In this episode, Daniel Bader and Andrew Martonik talk about how well the Pixel 2 is holding up after a month of use. It offers a fantastic overall experience and great battery life at a comparatively reasonable price. They also discuss Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro. Daniel says it comes close to greatness, but the software is its Achilles’ heel.

Other topics include: Android 8.1 Developer Preview, the ‘Pixel Visual Core’ SoC, and Google Photo Books. Andrew and Daniel remind us that as good as smartphone cameras have become, their sharpness and resolution still does not truly equal a DSLR or mirrorless camera.

  • Google Pixel 2 review: One month on
  • With the Mate 10 Pro, Huawei comes close to greatness
  • This year, I'm thankful there are no more bad phones
  • When cheap phones can do everything, what happens to flagships?
  • Android 8.1 Developer Preview released, enables Pixel Visual Core on Pixel 2
  • The Pixel 2 camera's secret weapon: A dedicated 'Pixel Visual Core' SoC
  • How to enable the Pixel Visual Core for HDR+ in third-party apps on Android 8.1
  • Google Photo Books
  • Android Central Podcast April 28, 2017: Winning the Title II
32 Comments
  • Comparatively reasonable priced... c COMPARED TO WHAT?
    Other overpriced cell PHONES??
    The 128 gig Pixel 2XL is outrageously over priced.
    It's a wanna be Apple 8 plus. Blue tint withstanding, I can deal with it and it doesn't bother me. No burn in issue to date either so enough with that talk.
    The battery life on my phone under moderate to heavy use is outstanding, no complaints. I like the screen at its original setting, no need to over saturate here the display looks awesome.
    All that said this bugger coast $1056.00 in my pocket, with no ear buds.
    People, a used beater CAR should cost 1K not a cellphone. This is Google's attempt to become Apple, charge WAY more than the product is worth, "charge it and they will buy"
    It even looks like an Apple phone more than any other made IMO.
    Yes, I own one, I really like the pure Android experience, with BB gift cards this puppy only cost me $500 and I own it outright, it's unlocked and right now it has my Verizon SIM in it, I'll keep it until the updates stop or the phone craps out. $500 is a good price for this phone, thanks to my family for making it affordable w/BB gift cards but it would please me to see NO ONE buy the damn thing, it's a THOUSAND dollars for God sake, leave it sit along with the iPhone and Samdungs that manufactures are over charging for!
  • You complain....but admit you own one......lol, you must be a millennial
  • It's not difficult to understand, from actually taking the time to read his comment, that without the BB gift cards he most likely wouldn't have bought one. And he's right with the other points be made. How about taking the time to read and comprehend before commenting next time.
  • And unfortunately, the Pixel 2XL is a big, ungainly slab. Probably a great phone, but still... Overpriced and unattractive. If I were in the market for a phone today, I'd buy the Essential - which is a great deal, now that it's been discounted. And does the bezel-less thing better than the Pixel or the iPhone X, IMO. Anyway, I'm posting here to protest the daily onslaught of "the best XYZ you can buy" articles on Android Central (today's is about Chromebooks). They should seriously title them "the most expensive XYZ you can buy" and call it a day. For some reason, they don't allow comments on those 'articles'. Perhaps the paid sponsors of them wouldn't like it...
  • Speaking of, since I can't go to that article that was posted above and comment because there's no comment section, what does everyone think about VPNSecure? Is it good? Is it worth it? Are there much better ones out there, rendering this deal not the best available? I'd appreciate some input here because that seems like a solid deal and I'm considering finally pulling the trigger on a VPN service.
  • Just make sure they're not based in a 14 eyes country. That's the most important thing you can do when considering a VPN.
  • A 14 eyes country?
  • It was explicitly the Pixel 2 that was comparatively reasonably priced and the "compared to what" phones were even named (including the 2XL).
  • I've got the 128 gig Pixel 2 XL and I love how the software, camera and battery life is working out... Add in the frequent security and OS updates.... All good stuff. I'm a big fan of hands free communication while driving - my last year's phone, from another OEM, the Assistant kept complaining about losing the connection - it didn't - it just wasn't reliable. Factory reset didn't fix it. With the 2 XL, the Assistant works very well with voice commands - to the point that I realized that's how it is supposed to work. It wasn't just the AI, it was other voice recognition applications that worked faster and better too... I'm liking this... The software experience. Now - is it worth $300 more than the baseline Pixel 2? That's going to be a very personal opinion...
  • I couldn't bring myself to order the smaller pixel 2. It just felt antiquated to look at and I do too much emailing and messaging for that small of a screen.
  • You whine and complain about it being overpriced and hoping nobody buys so they sit on shelves yet you buy one... That is some solid logic. If you really cared, even with the BB gift cards and wanted to "stick it to the OEM for being overpriced" you would have bought a mid range device. But no, so your rant is invalid... 
  • Tech bloggers like you guys made bezeless a buzzword.
  • If I here one more person say the damn iPhone X is bezzelless, I am going to puke. IT HAS BEZZLES GOING ALL THE WAY AROUND THE DAMN SCREEN. Curbing the he'll put of the edges and having them stick out 5 mm doesn't count as bezzelless. It's the emperor's clothes...if Apple says it, everyone assumes it has to be true. Idiots.
  • I'm not 100% sure if they meant both pixels or not but assuming they were just talking about the Pixel 2, it's like the cheapest flagship when compared to the LG V30, Galaxy S8, iPhone 8. Point taken about the Pixel 2 XL though. I've been going back and forth between the 2 sized and it's very tough for me to justify the extra $200 for the screen and design
  • I don't even like the 2XL design. I really want the minimal bezel design trend to die. That said, that extra battery may be enough to justify the extra cash for power users.
  • If you like viewing media, keep in mind that a tall aspect ratio phone will have a smaller viewing area in most cases. I don't have the Pixels on my data sheet, but I'll crunch the numbers when I get home.
  • And the opposite is true of written content and productivity.
  • Exactly. And even when watching 16:9 it's still bigger on a GS8 then a pixel 2. And that's ignoring 18:9 content which is only going to get more and more prevalent
  • Totally. Between gaming going more towards ultra wide and video going 18:9 this is just where it's at imo.
  • The image on the GS8 is bigger than the Pixel 2, but significantly smaller than the U11. And for productivity, narrow phones give you shorter lines of text, and fewer visible columns in spreadsheets. What you DO have is a taller display with a little extra content at the top and bottom, and if that's your preference, then fine.
  • I disagree. I was able to see more text on my 18:9 than my 16:9 one in each hand, hence the preference.
  • Make Bezels Large Again.
  • The buzzword doesnt bother me nearly as much as securely grasping onto any device with insufficient bezels. Its the flawed design that needs to go... Not so much the word. The manufacturers already know this, and thats precisely why bezel less designs are here to stay. Every drop is another $700-1000 for them.
  • THIS. And curved glass. I do love the way my Edge looks, but I hate the way I've lost the touch facility down 10% of each side of the screen. I hate seeing that I need to click something close to the curve, and having to poke at it with accuracy of a surgeon to get the right spot. Sometimes I have to reload web pages in a different mode so that I can use the buttons. When I'm doing things like editing photos, I have to slide the image off the left of the screen so that I can use the resize handles on the right, and vice versa to alter the left. It's ridiculous.
  • Its the stupid tech writers, youtubers and reviewers who gush over premium hansets and crap like that... They brainwash everyone into believing what a good design is. Now we are being force_fed glass phones, sealed batteries and water resistance.
  • Your hilarious. Tech bloggers have eff all to do with the trends your seeing. It's what the market wants right now, plain and simple. I mean think about it, if people complain that tech bloggers keep pushing the pixel 2, and the tech bloggers were to blame for the manufacturers choosing to sell small bezel phones, wouldn't you see way better pixel sales figures? Of course the phones that a lot of tech bloggers push don't sell, because they're a small drop in the bucket and the general public doesn't even know they exist.
  • "Unbox Therapy" has 9 million subscribers on YouTube. Marques Brownlee (who I blame for the bezelless revolution) has almost 6 million subscribers. Most tech channels that people watch for reviews have anywhere between a half million and 3 million people who hang on their every word. If you think they have "eff" influence you're sadly mistaken. They all talk about bezells.
    As far as "what the market wants right now". Do you think the market wants phones with poor battery life? Phones that break when you drop them? Phones with no headphone jacks? Phones with fragmented updates? Phones that cost a thousand dollars? Etc.
    Apple's business model has always been we'll tell you what you want and all the other phone manufacturers just fall in line. They adhere to the same philosophy.
    I can't wait till this bezelless crap is over with. It's like arguing that you don't like picture frames or handles on something. The phone manufacturers are so focused on stuff that 80% of phone users don't care about. People want a good reliable phone, with good battery life, that takes good pictures, has decent audio quality, a good screen and won't break when it falls out of your pocket. Not much more than that.
    Until then. Leggo my bezells!
    And P.S. everyone can stop with the "fingerprint magnet" stuff too. It's a device that is made out of polished metal and glass that you hold in your hands. It's going to get fingerprints.
  • I would rather have more screen in the same form factor. And I think it looks better. Less wasted space. I'm not sure how people hold their phones but I hold mine by its sides either in portrait or landscape. Not difficult. This is the same for me as it is on phones with large bezels.
  • You don't get more screen, though. You get the same screen you would have had, just with a minutely smaller phone that is unnecessarily difficult to handle.
  • You contradict yourself. You said your self you get a screen with a smaller body, thus, a bigger screen in a smaller form factor. I don't get this hard to hold business. Does everyone just not use the sides of their phone? Do people really run around holdings phones by the bezel?
  • Make phones has large surface area again!
  • As well as the term "frameless".
    My rearview mirror clearly has a frame however small.