For better or worse, a lot of attention has been on the Pixel 2 XL since launching late last year. The device garnered rave reviews, but was also the center of controversy after people complained about its poorly calibrated display. Google later responded with an update that addressed the issue.
Amidst the minefield of opinions, and a barrage of attention on Apple’s iPhone X, Google’s other device, the Pixel 2, was suddenly forgotten. It’s undeserved, really, because the handset is among the best Android handsets you can buy right now.
Keep in mind that you get everything the Pixel 2 XL offers, save for the edge-to-edge display. Otherwise, you don’t compromise on speed, RAM, or camera quality. You just have to deal with a smaller 5-inch display and a smaller battery.
But those bezels! you shout. I know, they’re rather large. It makes for a design that’s not entirely current compared to the Galaxy S8, Pixel 2 XL, and LG V30. But let’s be clear: An edge-to-edge display doesn’t make a marked difference in every day usage. At least not enough to ignore the Pixel 2 completely.
I just don’t get the hate regarding the Pixel 2’s design. The chassis is solid and the aluminum offers a nice finish that’s easy to grasp. It doesn’t feel fragile, either, unlike the all-glass devices we’ve seen flood the market. The size is also perfect for one-handed use, and you get front-facing stereo speakers, just like its larger brother.
What I love most about the Pixel 2 is how reliable and fast it feels. Against the OnePlus 5T and Galaxy Note 8, the Pixel 2 can capably hold its own. And the software experience, which offers Google Assistant with a quick squeeze, is simply exquisite. Getting Android directly from Google is easily one of the device’s biggest strengths.
It’s clean, fast, and up-to-date. Not many devices are running Android 8.1 Oreo—certainly not the Galaxy S8, despite the handset coming up on its one-year anniversary. For what it’s worth, Google has promised three years of Pixel 2 security patches and OS updates from the phone’s release date. Support like that is hard to come by in a market that changes so rapidly.
The Pixel 2’s biggest downfall is that it isn’t flashy. The stealthy black model is muted and unassuming; it doesn’t grab your attention like a Galaxy S8. There’s very little wonderment when gazing upon Google’s small flagship. But don’t let that stop you from checking one out.
If I had to pick just one Android device to buy right now, it would be the Pixel 2 without question. Its affordable price, great software and class-leading camera is more than reason enough to pick one up.