Google announced its new Pixel 2 XL smartphone on October 4 during its event in San Francisco.
The Pixel 2 XL’s 6-inch screen is quadHD, meaning it has a sharp 1440p resolution. It also has an 18:9 aspect ratio, which means the screen is taller than normal smartphone screens. It’s a similar aspect ratio as the Galaxy S8 and LG G6 smartphones.
The display is what Google calls “POLED,” which makes for gorgeous colors and contrast. And Google tuned the display for a wide color gamut for richer colors, and it included a polarizer so you can see the screen with sunglasses.
Google also added the always-on features for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, so you can see notifications, the time, or basic information without having to wake the phone.
The headphone jack has been removed, and Google added a second loudspeaker for stereo sound. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will come included with a USB-C headphone jack adapter if you want to keep using your wired headphones.
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL’s cameras have also been improved over the original models, which were already one of the best cameras you could find on a smartphone. The cameras are 12 megapixels with optical image stabilization (OIS) to reduce blur from shaky hands and HDR for better shots in mixed lighting.
Google also added its own Portrait Mode that blurs the background and makes the subject stand out. Unlike other smartphones with a similar feature that use two cameras, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL do this with one camera. Portrait Mode also works with the front-facing camera for selfies.
For video, the new Pixel 2 smartphones use OIS and electronic image stabilization (EIS) for ultra-smooth videos.
Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL users will get free unlimited Google Photo storage for videos and photos in their original, uncompressed size and resolution.
The Pixel 2 XL will come in all black, or a combination of black and white. The power button is also red and is purely aesthetic.
As expected, you’ll be able to use Google’s smart AI voice-activated assistant, called Google Assistant, to perform a number of tasks. It’ll also allow you to use Google Lens to gather information about things through the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL’s camera.
Google has added a new “active edge” feature that lets you squeeze the edges of the phone to bring up Google Assistant. We’ve seen this feature before on the HTC U11.
The Pixel 2 phones are also IP67 water-resistant, an improvement over the original models that were not water resistant. The new devices will also feature fast charging, with up to seven hours of charge from 15 minutes of charging.
You’ll also be able to us augmented reality (AR) using the new Pixel 2’x cameras that are calibrated for AR. You can use it to see what furniture you’re interested in buying will look like in your home, or play AR games.
The Pixel 2 XL’s price tag is $849, and will be available for pre-order starting on Wednesday in Australia, Canada, Germany, India, the UK, and the US. Google is also throwing in the $50 Google Home Mini with every purchase of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL in Australia, Canada, Germany, the UK, and the US. The new Pixel phones will begin shipping on the 19th.
Both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL share exactly the same features, save for the higher resolution screen on the Pixel 2 XL.
This story is developing with Pixel 2 XL specs and features. Check back here for updates.