Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL: Here's how they stack up against premium flagship smartphones

Google's emphasis on AI and ML seem to be the main features of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, but will the consumer even notice this in the photos and videos?

At the Made by Google event held in San Francisco, the brand had plenty to show with about eight new hardware products launched. Among the connected speakers, laptops and VR headsets, Google also announced the all-important successor to the Pixel smartphone called the Pixel 2.

The Google Pixel 2 in Black

The Google Pixel 2 in Black

Just like last year, the Pixel 2 arrives in two models, the standard Pixel 2 and the bigger Pixel 2 XL. Since plenty had already leaked out (including accurate press renders) through various sources in the past, the new designs were barely a surprise. But as with every Google-made smartphone in the past, hardware counts for just half of the experience, because with Google, software is king.

Google has included machine learning in almost every single app, feature and product it launched at the event. On the smartphone, Google's machine learning efforts are visible from the camera which uses a single camera sensor (instead of a dual camera system) to deliver a portrait mode with an enhanced depth of field. The same is also used to deliver a similar level of software trickery using the front-facing camera. Indeed Google is taking its software skills to the maximum with its smartphone, but how do the hardware specifications compare to the current crop of Android and iOS flagships available in the Indian market? Let's find out.

Smartphone Google Pixel 2 Google Pixel 2 XL Samsung Note 8 Nokia 8 Sony Xperia XZ1 HTC U11 Apple iPhone 8 Plus
Display Size (inch) 5 6 6.3 5.3 5.2 5.5 5.5
Resolution (pixels) 1,080 x 1,920 1,440 x 2,880 1,440 x 2,960 1,440 x 2,560 1,080 x 1,920 1,440 x 2,560 1,080 x 1,920
Pixel Density (PPI) 441 538 521 554 424 534 401
Display Type AMOLED pOLED Super AMOLED IPS LCD IPS LCD Super LCD5 LCD IPS Retina HD
Dimensions(mm) 145.7 × 69.7 × 7.8 157.9 × 76.7 × 7.9 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 151.5 x 73.7 x 7.9 148 x 73.4 x 7.4 153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9 158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5
Weight (gm) 143 175 173 160 155 169 202
Dual SIM No No Yes (Variant) Yes Yes (Variant) Yes No
SIM Type Nano-SIM Nano-SIM Nano-SIM Nano-SIM Nano-SIM Nano-SIM Nano-SIM
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835/ Exynos 8895 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 A11 Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture
CPU Cores Octa-core Octa-core Octa-core/Octa-core Octa-core Octa-core Octa-core Hexa-core 4 x effieciency cores + 2 Performance cores
CPU Clock Speed (GHz) 4x Kryo 280 @ 2.35 & 4x Kryo 280 @ 1.9 4x Kryo 280 @ 2.35 & 4x Kryo 280 @ 1.9 4x Kryo 280 @ 2.35 & 4x Kryo 280 @ 1.9 / 4x Cortex A73 @ 2.3 & 4x Cortex A53 @ 1.7 4x Kryo @ 2.45 GHz & 4x Kryo @ 1.9 GHz 4x Kryo @ 2.45 GHz and 4x Kryo @1.9 GHz 4x Kryo 280 @ 2.45 & 4x Kryo 280 @ 1.9 NA
GPU Adreno 540 Adreno 540 Adreno 540 / Mali G71MP20 Adreno 540 Adreno 540 Adreno 540 NA
RAM 4 GB 4 GB 4 GB, 6 GB 6 GB, 4 GB 4 GB 4 GB, 6 GB 3 GB
Ruggedness IP67 IP67 IP68 IP54 IP68 IP67 IP67 under IEC standard 60529
On-Board Memory 64 GB or 128 GB 64 GB or 128 GB 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB 64 GB, 128 GB 64 GB 64 GB, 128 GB 64 GB, 256 GB
Expandable Memory No No Yes, up to 256GB Yes, up to 256 GB Yes, up to 256 GB Yes, up to 256 GB No
Sensors Fingerprint, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Compass, Barometer, Active Edge, Magnetometer, Hall effect Fingerprint, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Compass, Barometer, Active Edge, Magnetometer, Hall effect Iris scanner, fingerprint, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Compass, Barometer, Heart-rate, SpO2 Fingerprint, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Compass, Heart rate Fingerprint reader (side mounted), accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, barometer, compass Fingerprint, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Compass Touch ID fingerprint sensor
Barometer
Three-axis gyro
Accelerometer
Proximity sensor
Ambient light sensor
Primary Camera 12.2 MP, f/1.8 12.2 MP, f/1.8 12MP, f/1.7 + 12MP, f/1.7 13 MP, f/2.0 + 13 MP, f/2.0 19 MP, f/2.0 12 MP, f/1.7 12 MP f/1.8 + 12 MP f/2.8
Optical Image Stabilization Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Camera Array Single Camera Single Camera Dual Camera Dual Camera Single Camera Single Camera Dual Camera
Autofocus System Laser + Dual-Pixel Phase detection Laser + Dual-Pixel Phase detection Phase detection, Laser Autofocus Phase detection, Laser Autofocus Laser and Phase detection Phase detection Autofocus with Focus Pixels
Secondary Camera 8MP, f/2.4 8MP, f/2.4 8MP, f/1.7 13 MP 13 MP f/2.0 16 MP, f/2.0 7 MP, f/2.2
Video Capture 4K 4K 4K 4K 4K@30 fps, HD@960 fps 4K@30 fps 4K@60 fps, FHD@240 fps
Flash Dual-LED Dual-LED Dual-LED Dual-LED LED flash Dual-LED Quad-LED
OS Version Android 8.0 Oreo Android 8.0 Oreo Android 7.1.1 Nougat Android 7.1 Nougat Android 8.0 Oreo Android 7.1 Nougat iOS 11
AI (Smart Assistant) Google Assistant Google Assistant Bixby Google Assistant Google Assistant Google Assistant Siri
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual, band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual, band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, Hotspot Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, Hotspot Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, hotspot, AirDrop
Bluetooth v5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD v5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD v5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX v5.0, A2DP, LE 5.0, A2DP, aptX HD, LE v5.0, A2DP, aptX v5.0
NFC Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fingerprint Scanner Yes, Rear button Yes, Rear button Yes, Rear button Yes, Home button Yes, Power button Yes, Home button Yes, Home button
3.5 mm jack No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
USB Type USB Type-C connector USB Type-C connector USB Type-C connector USB Type-C connector USB Type-C connector USB Type-C connector Lightning connector
USB Standard USB 2.0 USB 2.0 USB 3.1 USB 3.1 USB 3.1 USB 3.1 Lightning
Battery (mAh) 2,700 3,520 3,300 3,090 2,700 3,000 2,691
Fast charging Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Colours Kinda Blue, Just Black, Clearly White Black & White, Just Black Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Deep Sea Blue, Maple Gold Tempered Blue, Polished Blue, Steel, Polished Copper Moonlit Blue, Black, Warm Silver, Venus Pink Amazing Silver, Sapphire Blue, Brilliant Black, Ice White, Solar Red Gold, Silver, Space Gray
Prices in India Starting Rs 61,000 Starting Rs 73,000 Rs 67,900 Rs 36,999 Rs 44,990 Rs 51,990 Starting Rs 73,000

It's easy to point out from the above hardware comparison that Google's new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will bring you great hardware along with the latest software updates. The only other smartphone that comes close on the software front is the Sony Xperia XZ1 that also packs in Android 8.0 Oreo, but it too comes with a few customisations.

The Google Pixel 2XL alongside the Pixelbook.

The Google Pixel 2XL alongside the Pixelbook.

Google's emphasis on AI and machine learning seem to be the main features of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, but will the consumer even notice this in the photos and videos? Or will they just ignore Google's new smartphones in comparison to Samsung's shiny and curvy Galaxy S8, or give in to the allure of the iPhone X? For now, Google's new Pixel smartphones should appeal to previous Pixel owners and Nexus upgraders who have been waiting for something new to arrive from Google. But wait until our full review is out before you think of taking the leap as Google's new offerings don't come cheap and the pricing is on par with Apple's iPhones this year.

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