Google improved the Pixel 2 over its predecessor, most importantly in design and camera performance, but one area that was not improved was durability. The Pixel 2 was put through JerryRigEverything’s dreaded durability test, and it came out on the other side scratched, broken and permanently damaged.
JerryRigEverything’s tests consist of a scratch, burn and bend test while analyzing if the frame and finish will hold up over time. Most phones these days have impressive durability, with the iPhone 8, Galaxy S8 and V30 passing JerryRigEverything’s test with flying colors. The Pixel 2 did not.
The first test, which was the glass scratch test, yielded familiar results. It takes in scratches at the same level every other non-Sapphire glass does. As does the paint, which can easily be chipped away to expose the metal chassis. It’s not a deal breaker—it actually feels quite nice in the hand—but it’s disappointing how easily the coating can chip away.
On the back, the fingerprint scanner didn’t fair any better. When most phones take in scratches in the fingerprint reader, it continues to work perfectly. Scratching the Pixel 2 fingerprint scanner bricks it and stops working completely.
The last nail in the coffin for the Pixel 2 was the bend test. Ever since the iPhone 6’s Bend-gate, nearly every phone maker has put great emphasis on designing a rigid frame that doesn’t bend. Google didn’t get the memo, because the Pixel 2’s frame cracks on the right side during bend tests thanks to a weak spot where an antenna band lives. Beyond the crack, the rest of the frame held up without taking more damage, but the Pixel 2’s frame had already been compromised, eliminating its IP67 water and dust resistance in the process.
Buyer be warned if you buy an Pixel 2. It is a great device with arguably the best smartphone camera and Android experience out there, but its durability leaves a lot to be desired.