Google Pixel 2 vs Pixel 2 XL: Is there a difference?

Pixel 2 vs Pixel 2 XL: What’s the difference?

Google has finally taken the wraps off the successor to the Pixel and Pixel XL. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are the next-generation flagship phones from Google, updating the majority of aspects of the phones.

But what’s the difference between the two phones Google has just announced? Let’s compare them and see.

Pixel 2 vs Pixel 2 XL design: Do they look different?

Last year’s duo of Pixel phones came in two form-factors: a 5-inch model and a 5.5-inch one. Screen size aside, though, they both looked very similar.

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The Pixels were chunky phones, with a big bezel and an odd two-tone rear with a very scratchy glass panel surrounding the circular fingerprint scanner and camera.

This time, however, Google is differentiating the two devices a lot more. The regular Pixel 2 is the more familiar device, still rocking that big chin and forehead around the display. It still has a 5-inch screen too, but it’s not as small as it could be.

It’s a bit sleeker all over when compared to the old Pixel, but it could still be considered slightly old-fashioned when compared to, say, the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Flip the Pixel 2 over and the two-tone back panel remains. The fingerprint scanner now sits below the glass, though, and generally things look a little bit more tidy.

Where things get really interesting is with the Pixel 2 XL. Instead of following the design of its smaller brother, the XL model feels a whole lot more modern. Like the S8, LG V30 and iPhone X, the Pixel XL 2 has a full-screen front with rounded corners and minimal bezel.

This bezel reduction has meant the Pixel XL 2’s screen is now 6 inches with an 18:9 aspect ratio. It looks a lot like the LG V30, which is believed to be the phone this device has been modelled on.

It’s a lot more similar to the Pixel 2 on the back, though. Colours for the two models will vary, with the XL getting a slick-looking black and white model and the Pixel 2 getting a pastel blue option.

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Pixel 2 vs Pixel 2 XL specs: Which has more power?

Even though these two phones look different from the front, there isn’t a whole lot different when you delve under the skin.

Both come packing Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 mobile platform, 4GB RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of onboard storage. As usual with Google phones, there’s no expandable storage.

They’re also both set to feature front-facing speakers, USB-C connectivity and a new Android launcher that will place the search bar below the app icons for the first time. There’s also a new dynamic widget that will show you weather and upcoming appointments.

Another feature shared by both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is the 12-megapixel camera. Google talked up the snapper a lot during its event, so let’s hope it’ll improve upon last year’s fantastic effort. The big addition this year is OIS, plus a wider f/1.7 aperture. 

It’s interesting that Google has decided not to plump for a dual-camera system, even though it’s a feature seen commonly on high-end devices now. Google has added a number of faux-bokeh effects into the camera app, though, so hopefully these will offset the lack of a secondary lens.

One big difference you’ll notice is the resolution of the screens. The smaller 5-inch Pixel 2 keeps the same 1080p OLED panel as before, but the Pixel 2 XL ups that to QHD+ resolution to match the new aspect ratio. It’ll also be an OLED display, just like that on the upcoming iPhone X, though likely made by Google rather than Samsung. In our opinion, Samsung’s AMOLED panels are superior to LG’s OLEDs, but both offer strong saturation and near-perfect blacks. Both phones support the wide DCI-P3 colour gamut too, but there was no mention of HDR. 

Pixel 2 vs Pixel 2 XL price: Which offers better value?

Like last year’s phones, these new Pixel devices sit in the ‘premium’ section of smartphones. Unlike the older Nexus line, in this case Google isn’t offering impressive spec at below average prices.

The Pixel 2 starts at $649/£629 for a 64GB model rising to a whopping $949/£929 if you want the 128GB Google Pixel 2 XL. The 64GB Pixel 2 XL will cost $849.

Google clearly sees these as the devices to compete with Samsung and Apple and it has priced them accordingly.

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Which Pixel would you choose? Let us know on Twitter @trustedreviews