The Google Pixel 2 and XL 2 have been in the leaks for a while. The search giant finally launched them with several new features and some disappointments as well. It is important to note that these might be the last Pixel phones to be  manufactured by third party companies since Google acquired the HTC Pixel division to bring the work in-house. Does that mean that we will stop seeing other companies’ technologies integrated into the Pixel line? Only time will tell. This year, Pixel 2 was built by HTC and rumor has it that the Pixel XL 2 was from LG.

What’s common in both phones?

Let’s start off with the similarities; both devices come with front facing stereo speakers. They both have IP67 rating for water and dust resistance. The headphone jack is missing in both as some speculated. Oreo is the software running the show powered by a Snapdragon 835, 4GB RAM and 64GB base storage. The devices are made out of aluminum with glass on the top rear parts that host the camera. They are both unconventional dual-SIM phones, that is, they come with an eSIM( embedded SIM) that can be used to connect to Google’s Fi network as well as other carriers. At the same time, there is a standard nano-SIM slot for inserting cards the traditional way.

Some of the new software features include “Now Playing”, it is a functionality of the Google Assistant that while turned on, it actively listens to songs playing around you and instantly notifies you about them on the Always-On-Display. Double tapping on that notification takes you to a Google Assistant card that allows you to know more about the song, including links to where you can purchase it.  Due to the close relationship with HTC, both devices come with a squeezable edge feature that triggers the Google Assistant from any screen.

Google Pixel 2

I will start with the Pixel 2 and save the best for last. The Pixel 2 is the smaller one of the duo, it comes with a 5 inch AMOLED full HD display with stereo front facing speakers on the top and bottom. Round back, the device has a single 12MP camera with OIS and an f/1.8 aperture. It also has Dual Pixel technology for ultra fast auto-focus. The selfie camera utilizes an 8MP shooter that has f/2.4 aperture. Both cameras can do portrait mode and from the hands on videos, you can tell they are doing a really good job at it, despite not having fancy dual cameras. Google has proven on several occasions that they can deliver top notch photography by utilizing simple hardware specification and incorporating sophisticated software, this probably keeps the production cost low. In terms of battery, the Pixel 2 only has a 2700mAh pack with fast charge built-in.

Google Pixel XL 2

The Pixel XL 2 is the star of the show, it comes with the trendy new full screen with an aspect ratio of 18:9 and a resolution of 1,440 x 2,880px (538ppi) in a 6 inch display. It has Gorilla Glass 5 for protection in a setup they are calling “3D Arc Glass” due to the beveled edges. It packs a 3520mAh battery that supports fast charge as well. No wireless charging here due to the metallic back. All the other specs are similar to the smaller variant including the camera setup.

Pricing and availability

The Pixel XL 2 costs $850 while the smaller one will retail at $650, a hundred dollars more will get you double the storage. Both are already available for pre-order with the new Google Home Mini smart speaker thrown-in as a gift.