The pixel 2 is undoubtedly one of the most iconic smartphones Google has ever made. At the time of release, the Pixel 2 took the world by storm. Its camera was ahead of its time, setting new standards in computational photography and outperforming its peers. The combination of exceptional software, top-notch hardware and a strong ecosystem made the Pixel 2 one of the best smartphones of 2017.
However, times have changed. Apple and Samsung have caught up. So how exactly does the Pixel 2 hold up in today’s market?
Note: The Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL share identical specifications, except for their displays. If you’re considering the Pixel 2 XL, this article can still serve as a reference.
The Pixel 2 features a 5-inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, delivering vivid and sharp visuals even by current standards. Its deep blacks make it perfect for content viewing.
However, the 60Hz display of the Pixel 2 can be greatly noticeable if you’re accustomed to phones with higher refresh rates. Furthermore, a 5-inch screen is considered rather small, even for compact phones. As a point of reference, the highly rated Asus Zenfone 9, known for its compact design, has a 5.9-inch screen. But the large bezels on the top and bottom do compensate for the smaller screen size.
Equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with 4GB of RAM, the Pixel 2 clearly has outdated hardware. Despite this, Android 11 surprisingly works great. The phone is still snappy and apps open without a problem. Though the UI glitches and slows down sometimes when multitasking and playing demanding games.
Speaking of games, if the primary reason for buying the Pixel 2 is gaming, then you will be disappointed. While you can play most games on it, newer demanding titles like Genshin Impact and Call of Duty Mobile don’t perform well. On the bright side, it’s great for emulating less demanding retro systems such as the N64, Sega Genesis and SNES. However, for PS2 emulation, the Snapdragon 835 lacks the necessary power for optimal performance.”
Pixel 2 design and build quality
The Pixel 2 is built with metal and glass construction, making it look and feel premium. However, its glass back makes it prone to cracks and scratches. Additionally, the device is also water-resistant, with an IP67 rating, which means it can withstand splashes, spills, and even brief submersion in water. Furthermore, on the front, the display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
The back of the device boasts a single-lensed camera and a fingerprint sensor. On the right side are the volume rocker and power button, and the bottom houses the USB-C port.
There are three available colors for the Pixel 2: Kinda Blue, Clearly White and Just Black. There’s also a limited edition black and white color, also known as the Panda edition.
The fingerprint sensor on the Pixel 2 is fast and accurate, making it easy to unlock the device. It’s also more reliable than the Pixel 7s optical in-display fingerprint sensor or Samsungs ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor, registering every input without failure.
You could also check notifications by swiping down the fingerprint sensor. This is such a convenient feature.
The Pixel 2 rocks dual front-facing speakers, offering excellent sound quality for music, videos, and games. Gaming and watching movies on the Pixel 2 is pleasant, with clear and powerful audio from the front speakers.
The Pixel 2 stood out due to its software, being among the first to launch with Android 8.0 Oreo, and later updated to Android 11. This gave users a seamless and optimized experience, along with access to the latest Android features.
Unfortunately, software is the Achilles heel of the Pixel 2 as Google has dropped support. Currently, the phone is obsolete and it doesn’t receive security updates. Nonetheless, you could still install a custom ROM such as this one to get the latest features. (Before installing Custom ROMS, make sure you understand the risks).
There are 2 storage options for the Pixel 2: 64GB and 128GB. Though the phone lacks a micro SD card extension, the 128GB version should be enough for most people.
The Pixel 2 is equipped with a 2700mAh battery, delivering average battery life. When brand new, it should last a full day of usage. However, if purchased used, the battery performance may not be as dependable. Take this into account when buying this phone today.
While outdated, the Pixel 2 has all the standard connectivity options, including 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and GPS. It also had a USB Type-C port, which allows for fast charging and data transfer.
The Pixel 2 camera is surprisingly good. On the rear, there’s a 12.2MP camera and on the front a 8MP selfie camera. Photos taken by the Pixel 2 are very detailed in bright environments and HDR is good. You can also take photos at night with Night mode, which is a feature that the iPhone SE doesn’t have.
Also, the camera app on the Pixel 2 is simple and intuitive, making it easy to take photos and videos. It has a variety of shooting modes, such as panorama, portrait, slow-motion etc
Fun fact: The Pixel 2 features a Sony IMX362 sensor which performs similarly to the IMX362, which is the sensor that Google has been using for years up to the Pixel 5.
The squeeze feature
The Pixel 2’s squeeze feature, often overlooked, was highly useful. This gesture, which activates Google Assistant by squeezing the phone, allows users to quickly access information, set reminders, and control smart home devices without touching the screen. Customization options in the Google Assistant settings allow users to adjust squeeze sensitivity and specify triggered actions.
Price and availability
Discontinued by Google, the Pixel 2 can only be bought from third-party sellers. Here’s a link to an Amazon listing.
Pixel 2 owners have reported issues like random reboots and camera failure, though not all phones are affected. This is worth mentioning nonetheless.
Here’s a link to an article talking about this.
- Display: 5-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, 16:9 ratio (~441 ppi density)
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (10 nm)
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB or 128GB (non-expandable)
- Rear camera: 12.2-megapixel with optical and electronic image stabilizationization
- Front camera: 8-megapixel
- Battery: 2700mAh with fast charging support
- Operating System: Android 11
- Connectivity: 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, USB Type-C
- Other features: Fingerprint sensor, water-resistant (IP67 rating), front-facing stereo speakers
- Dimensions: 145.7 x 69.7 x 7.8 mm
- Weight: 143 g
- Great speakers
- OLED display
- Fast charging
- Good camera
- Small display
- Outdated hardware
- No software support
- No microSD expansion
Should you get the Pixel 2?
No, the Pixel 2 is past its prime. While it’s a great phone, the lack of software support and aging hardware can’t justify the price. However, if you find one for less than 100$ then why not.