Everything you need to know about the Pixel 2
Update: We’ve refreshed this article with new information on the battery, photo storage and more.
The Google Pixel 2 is the second smartphone under the ‘made by Google’ label, and on paper it’s better in every way – almost.
It’s the smaller version of the Pixel 2 XL, and with the backing of the company’s far-reaching search and Assistant capabilities, Google says it’s smarter and simpler.
- Read our hands-on Google Pixel 2 review
It’s also more powerful, with an improved camera and new features. Not everything has necessarily changed for the better though, as for example the 3.5mm headphone port has been ditched.
There’s a lot to take on board, but we’ve covered everything you need to know. Read on for full details of every aspect of the Pixel 2.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Google’s new flagship smartphone
- How much will it cost? Starts at $649 / £629 (AU$840)
- When will it release? Pre-orders are now open, hits stores October 19
Today’s best Google Pixel 2 deals
Google Pixel 2 price and release date
- Starts at $649 / £629 for 64GB model
- Pre-orders are open, arrives in stores on October 19
Google’s October 4 launch event segued into an immediate pre-order phase for the Google Pixel 2 phone in countries like the US, UK, Australia and Canada.
While you can get the phone unlocked in the US through Google, there are pre-orders through Verizon, too.
The actual Google Pixel 2 release date is on Thursday, October 19. That’s when the first shipments of the new phone will begin.
The Google Pixel 2 price starts at $649 or £629 for 64GB version. It’ll cost more for the 128GB option, at $749 and £729.
For a limited time only, you’ll also get a free Google Home Mini with your purchase of the new Pixel 2 if you’re in the US, UK, Australia, Canada or Germany.
Google Pixel 2 display
- 5-inch, full HD OLED display
- Always-on display shows a variety of information
The Google Pixel 2 has a 5-inch, 1080p OLED display, which comes in at 441 pixels per inch. That’s pretty standard, but the new feature here is the always-on display.
The always-on display can show you the time, date, email and text message notifications and reminders on screen without you having to touch or wake the Pixel 2.
If you’re playing music, the Pixel 2 can also detect the song and display the tune that’s playing on the always-on display as well. This doesn’t even need an internet connection to recognize the tune, as it uses an on-device database of music.
Google Pixel 2 design
- No headphone jack
- Fastest fingerprint scanner of any phone
- Dual front-facing speakers
The Google Pixel 2 has a metal body with a chunk of glass at the top of the rear of the phone, where the camera and flash is located.
That means you’ll either have to use a set of Bluetooth headphones, USB-C connected headphones or a clunky adapter if you want to use a traditional pair.
Round the back the new Pixel 2 has a centralized fingerprint scanner, which Google claims is the fastest one on any phone.
It’s also IP67 dust and water resistant, which means it will survive a dip in the bath and a trip to the beach without struggling with the conditions.
On the front there’s a slightly slimmer bezel on either side of the screen vs the original Google Pixel, but there’s still a very obvious chunk above and below the display, as it opts for a more iPhone 8/Sony Xperia XZ1 layout rather than the all-screen Galaxy S8 and LG G6.
This does mean, however, you get front facing speakers, which should provide a better audio experience. We don’t see this feature on enough phones.
The Google Pixel 2 will be available in three colors, Just Black, Clearly White and Kinda Blue.
Google Pixel 2 power
- Snapdragon 835 chipset and 4GB of RAM
That’s paired with 4GB of RAM, which combined means you’ll be able to throw pretty much anything at the Pixel 2 and it should run it without issue.
We will, of course, be putting that to the test in our in-depth Google Pixel 2 review in the coming weeks.
You also get the choice of either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage, although the price between them is rather vast.
Google Pixel 2 camera
- 12MP rear camera with 98 DxOMark (highest for any phone)
- OIS and EIS for video recording
The Google Pixel 2 camera has a 98 DxO score (with the original Pixel getting 89), which is the highest score of any smartphone camera. It has a 12MP rear camera with OIS (optical image stabilization), combined with HDR smarts.
Yep – that’s right… it’s only a single lens on the rear of the phone.
Portrait mode doesn’t just work on the rear camera, with the front facing camera also offering the feature.
For video recording, the Pixel 2 uses both OIS and EIS, giving you smoother, clearer footage. If you’re more into selfies, you’ll get an 8MP front-facing camera.
If you buy the Pixel 2 you’ll also get unlimited photo and video cloud storage at full resolution until 2021. After that date any new uploads will be limited to 16MP photos and 1080p videos, but your existing files won’t be compressed.
Google Pixel 2 battery
- All day battery life
- 7 hours use from a 15 minute charge
Google claims that the Pixel 2 will give you an all-day battery life and fast charging that can give you up to seven hours of use from just 15 minutes of top up time.
The actual size of the battery is 2,700mAh, and we’ll be putting it to the test during our in-depth review process to see if it can really last a day.
Disappointingly there’s no wireless charging support, so you’re out of luck if you were hoping for this feature on the Pixel 2.
Google Pixel 2 operating system
- Runs stock Android 8.0 Oreo out the box
No surprise here, as the Google Pixel 2 runs the stock version of Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box.
It’s the latest version of Google’s operating system and the Pixel 2 (and Pixel 2 XL) will be used to highlight the benefits of a pure Android experience.
You’ll also benefit from Google Assistant, providing a wide range of voice-enabled functions and features.
As the Pixel 2 has been built by HTC for Google, it also features the squeeze sensor we saw in the HTC U11. You can use this to launch Google Assistant at any point, with a smart squeeze detection meaning you shouldn’t accidentally activate Assistant when you’re just holding the handset