Overview & Price

The Google Pixel 2 is probably the smartest phone we have ever used, in this review we go over the Google Pixel 2 display, performance, battery life, and showcasing the best Google Pixel 2 contract deals in the UK.

We give you all of the information you need to make an informed purchase decision, as well as showcasing the best deals in the UK for the Google Pixel 2.

It costs around £629 to buy outright here in the UK and the value for money for this thing is insane.

Although the phone has a pretty boring design and a huge bezel on the front it still looks clean, the Pixel 2 is googles second attempt at creating an Android version of the iPhone 8 and is a real competitor for the Samsung Galaxy S9.

Google has not typically gone for cramming as many features in as possible with this phone, and instead decided to give users the cleanest and best Android experience possible.

The Google Pixel 2 battery life is also great, lasting you easily through a full day of intense use, but more on that later.

The smaller of the pixel devices are made by HTC, although there is not much trace of this in their phones, the Google Pixel 2 actually feels very unique and unlike any smartphone, I have personally used before.

Check out the best Google Pixel 2 contract deals in the UK..

Design & Display

Although the phone is constructed with aluminium, it still has a stone-like finish on the back.

This makes it easier to grip and feels like it would be very hard for it to slip out of your hand. It does not stick to the table and feels like it won’t scratch too easy aswell.

Now because of the Google Pixel 2 design, it means that the phone does not have wireless charging as this can not work through metal.

google pixel 2 best deals

Image: Mark Solarski

The phone has stereo front facing speakers, USBC with fast charging at the bottom, one of the fastest fingerprint readers I have ever seen on the back and in the middle of this phone which is really convenient when unlocking the phone.

The phone does not have a headphone jack and there is also no headphones included in the box which kind of sucks and considering one year after they made fun of it they release a phone without a headphone jack.

The Google Pixel 2 display is a 5.0-inch AMOLED, this gives you a great viewing experience when it comes to binge watching Netflix and Youtube.

Colours are bright and vibrant and we found ourselves comfortably watching the big bang theory for a couple of hours on the device.

You may be wondering is the Google Pixel 2 waterproof? Well yes, the phone is IP67 water and dust resistant which means it will survive 1 metre of water for 30 minutes which takes the stress off using it in the rain.

Performance

Google has added a squeeze feature to the phone which means it is pressure sensitive on the side so you can now squeeze to activate google assist.

This is great as it is a lot faster than saying “Hey Google, check the weather for me” and allows users to have a faster experience with google assist.

The software used is Android 8.0 Oreo, which is optimised for this phone and allows the Google Pixel 2 performance to be top of the range.

Google is not trying to have all of the bells and whistles like you might find in a Samsung or LG skin over the top of Android and we feel this gives a different type of user experience.

There is a redesigned settings app which is cleaner and easier to navigate, the multi-window is a lot faster to get into as it is just long pressing the multitasking button now and that surfaces all of the compatible apps.

Picture and picture mode which works with the built-in youtube app is very clean, you hit home and it minimises youtube so that you can keep doing other stuff in the background.

This comes in very handy when listening to music. Another change is that notifications also have different sizes at the top, the bigger the notification the more important it is.

There is a new feature which Google added which is called NowPlaying, this feature allows you to turn it on and if there is a song playing in the background, the phone will pick it up and tell you the name of that song and give you a link to buy it or listen to it on Spotify or Youtube which we think is fantastic.

Just think of when you’re in the club and a banger comes on you can instantly identify it and save it for later, this feature also works in airplane mode and does not require sending any information to the cloud.

Google lens is also built on the phone now and is basically a search based on image recognition, which is fantastic for identifying landmarks or a pretty flower that you walk past in the park.

The Google Pixel 2 battery life is fantastic, it can give you up to 8 hours of screen on time, and of course, charges very fast with the fast charging USB.

google pixel 2 best deals

The Google Pixel 2 display has had a lot of bad press recently, and the XL even more so, it  has a 6 inch 2880 x 1440 P OLED display.

We found this to be very good, with it being an OLED display the blacks are deep and colours get super punchy too.

The main 2 observable issues on the Pixel 2 XL is firstly the blue shift and muted colours, one is hardware and one is software.

The blue shift is when you tilt the display of axis you will start to see all of the colours shift towards blue from the top to bottom.

A lot of the time you will not be using the phone off axis and the phone will be square on so it will not affect you too much as it did not with me when reviewing this phone.

The muted colour situation is because of Google deciding to use Oreo and this makes the colours look duller and more toned down than we are typically used to.

However the whole point in this phone was to make colours and pictures look less saturated and this is why they have included a vivid colour mode in the settings for users to use if they do not like there default colour settings.

Camera

Undoubtedly the best part of this phone, is the Google Pixel 2 camera! The pixel 2 and XL are both equipped with a new 12MP f/1.8 optically stabilised camera sensor, both the smaller and larger variant of this phone have the exact same camera package which is very smart.

This phone is by far the best photo capturing smartphone out there to date, it is literally insane.

The sharpness and contrast of the camera in this phone is great, the colour accuracy, dynamic range, autofocus and everything that makes a camera good is excellent in the Google Pixel 2 camera.

There is only one lens on the back of the phone, which you would think is strange as the iPhone needs two lenses to do portrait mode.

Well this phone uses a sensor with what is called split pixels, which allows Google software to measure the difference in depth using a difference in microns between split pixels instead of having two separate cameras.

So they can do all of that mapping for portrait mode with just one camera and a lot of times it does it better than two which is seriously smart.

When you take a portrait picture, give it a second to process the image and then all of a sudden you get that perfect picture without any blur, you can pick between portrait being on or off.

The video on the Pixel 2 is also really great, apart from one small thing which is the microphone is not working so good when recording, but the sharpness, dynamic range and stabilisation on the phone is fantastic.

Battery Life

The Google Pixel 2 battery life is pretty impressive, you can expect the phone to last a full day comfortably.

Although the battery is slightly smaller at 2700mAh, it has a number of ways to save power.

The screen of the phone is 1080p and this allows for the battery to save alot of juice especially when not operating at full brightness.

Android 8.0 Oreo also has battery saving options which can help keep the phone lasting for longer periods.

Battery life on the Google Pixel 2 will not cause any serious issues for an everyday user and although it does support fast charging, the battery life does drain rather quickly. But you can expect to get 30% charge from 15 minutes thanks to its USB PD technology and charges extremely quickly.

Summary

All in all this phone is a great all rounder with some absolutely amazing features, we really do think the Google Pixel 2 is worth the dosh.

If you are into taking great photos and recording video then this phone is definitely the one for you.

We have loved using this phone and the Google assist feature is great and really convenient for when you need to find something out quickly.

At the end of the day, these are very, very smart phones and that’s how phones should be and this is what Google is all about.

We hope you have enjoyed our Google Pixel 2 review, and we have listen the best Google Pixel 2 contract deals at the top of the post.

Full Spec Below:

Launch: 2017, October

Body:

  • Dimension: 145.7 x 69.7 x 7.8mm (5.74 x 2.74 x 0.31 in)
  • Weight: 143g (5.04oz)
  • Build: Front glass, aluminium body, partial glass back
  • Sim: Nano-sim card & eSIM
  • IP67 dust/water resistant (up to 1m for 30 mins)

Display:

  • Type: AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colours
  • Size: 5.0 inches, 68.9cm² (-67.9% screen to body ratio)
  • Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels, 16:9 ratio (-441 ppi density)
  • Multitouch: Yes
  • Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass 5

Platform:

  •  OS: Android 8.0
  • Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835
  • CPU: Octa-core (4×2.35 GHz Kryo & 4×1.9 GHz Kryo)
  • GPU: Adreno 540

Memory:

  • Card slot: No
  • Internal: 64/128GB, 4GB RAM

Camera:

  • Primary: 12.2MP (f1.8, 27mm, 1/2.6″), OIS, dual pixel PDAF & laser AF, dual-LED flash
  • Features: Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama
  • Video: 2160p@30fps, 1080@30/60/120fps, 720p@240fps
  • Secondary: 8MP (f/2.4, 27mm, 1/3.2″) 1080p

Sound:

  • Alert Types: Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
  • Loudspeaker: Yes, with stereo speakers
  • 3.5mm Jack: NO
  • Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic + Type-C to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter

Comms:

  • WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot
  • Bluetooth: 5.o, A2DP, LE, aptX HD
  • GPS: Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO
  • NFC: Yes
  • Radio: No
  • USB: 3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector (PowerDelivery 2.0)

Features:

  • Sensors: Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
  • Messaging: SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
  • Browser: HTML5
  • More: Fast battery charging, MP4/H.264 player, MP3/WAV/eAAC+player, Photo/video editor, Document editor

Battery:

  • Non-removeable Li-Ion 2700 mAh battery

Misc:

  • Colors: Kinda Blue, Just Black, Clearly White
  • Price: As seen in blog post above

Tests:

  • Performance: Basemark OS: 3387 / Basemark OS 2.0: 4131 / Basemark X: 38794
  • Display: Contrast ration: Infinite (nominal), 4.023 (sunlight)
  • Camera: Photo / Video
  • Loudspeaker: Voice 70dB / Noise 77dB / Ring 81dB
  • Audio Quality: Noise -93.3dB / Crosstalk -66.2dB
  • Battery life: Endurance rating 75h