tech4xmas 2017 gift ideas review: Google Pixel 2 XL phablet

The new Google Pixel 2 XL phablet in the tech4xmas 2017 gift list not just because it’s the latest, but mostly because it’s up there among the best, and whoever you’re giving this to as a X’mas present is going to be absolutely delighted. Available in Singapore from 15 November, 2017.

A post shared by John Tan (@tech4tea) on

My take:

“The Google Pixel 2 XL has one of the best cameras I’ve tried among the flagship models of other smartphone makers and it does it with a single lens!”

Made by Google, the Pixel 2 XL ships with Google organic apps installed and most significantly, the phone will be the first in the market to receive Android updates from Google.

Having tried out the phablet, it truly has a superb camera.

The rear camera has a 12.2-megapixels sensor with f/1.8 lens while the front camera has 8 megapixels and a f/2.4 lens. Measuring 6.2 x 3 inches, the phablet comes in just black or black & white.

In fact, it has the highest DxOMark of 98 for its camera performance – higher than all other smartphone cameras today – and it does it with a single lens!

Photos turned out crisp and clear even in low light.

A post shared by John Tan (@tech4tea) on

The aluminum unibody of the Google Pixel 2 XL makes it water/dust resistant IP67 standards. That means the Pixel 2 XL – like the Apple iPhone X, iPhone 8 & 8 plus – can withstand immersion in water up to one meter for 30 minutes.

It offers the popular Portrait Mode, boasting background blur if you keep the background relatively far behind the subject you’re shooting.

I managed to get background blur with the front-facing camera as well!

Left side view of the Google Pixel 2 XL, with no buttons on this side. The back has a glass upper portion and aluminum covering most of the back giving more friction for a more secure grip.

The Pixel 2 XL features a new Fused Video Stabilization, which combines both software electronic image stabilisation and hardware optical image stabilisation to improve video quality.

The stabilisation is apparent when you shoot video while walking or moving about, as I noticed minimal jerkiness from the dampening offered by the stabilisation.

The Google Pixel 2 XL runs on the latest Android 8 Oreo operating system and is driven by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, with 4GB RAM and 64GB memory.

For control freaks, Pro controls include Focus and Exposure lock, as well as Exposure Compensation.

Something exciting is the Google Lens feature that works with photos already taken and viewed in filmstip or Google Photos app.

While viewing the photo, simply tap on the Lens icon.

Right side view of the Google Pixel 2 XL, with the power button and the volume rockers.

Lens can recognise places such as landmarks and buildings, artwork in a museum, media covers such as books, movie, music albums, and video games.

It can provide information about the content recognised and can make available as text useful information such as email addresses, URLs and phone numbers that you can use in an email app, a browser or to make a call.

Google Lens requires a data connection to work though.

The Google Pixel 2 XL has a 6-inch pOLED display that features a longish 18:9 aspect ratio (like the LG V30 & Samsung Galaxy S8), with 2880×1440 Pixels at 538ppi.

Google Pixel 2 XL makes it easier to use Google Assistant – its Active Edge enables you to activate Google Assistant simply by squeezing the edge of the phone.

This feature first appeared in the HTC U11 and is very useful for heavy users of Google Assistant.

I certainly prefer it over the Bixby button on the Samsung Galaxy S8.

I just wish it can be used to activate other apps as well – but I’m sure that’ll be available in the future.

By the way, Google Assistant for Singapore now comes with Singlish – they call it Singaporean English.

The Pixel 2 XL does not come with facial/iris recognition but the fingerprint sensor works really well – and that’s good enough for me – it’s accurate and extremely fast.

The Google Pixel 2 XL was officially launched in Singapore today at its offices at Mapletree Business City. Available in Singapore from 15 November, the Google Pixel 2 XL is the newest & bestest Android flagship phablet in town.

As with other phones nowadays, the Pixel 2 XL has an Always on Display, showing the time and date as well as icons for apps with outstanding notifications.

Something unique with Pixel 2 XL is the Now Playing feature.

If there’s a song playing around you, the song title and artist of the music playing will appear on the Always on Display.

The Google Pixel 2 XL is available in Singapore exclusively through Singtel in conjunction with the telco’s postpaid price plans.

The Google Pixel 2 XL is available in Singapore exclusively through Singtel in conjunction with the telco’s postpaid price plans. Click on the table to enlarge.

Double tap on the song to go to the Assistant, where you can learn more about it, watch the video on YouTube, or save the song for later so you can listen to it again from your favorite music app.

Now Playing works off a database stored locally on the Pixel 2 XL so you don’t need any data connection for the feature to work.

The database of songs is updated weekly.

The Pixel 2 XL does not come with wireless charging. Its 3520mAh battery gave me more than a day’s usage. Fast charging gives it up to 7 hours more with 15 minutes of charging. The USB-C socket is used for earphones with USB-C connectors.

The Pixel 2 XL has killed the 35mm headphone jack – a USB-C to 35mm adaptor is included in the box but no earphones are included.

I’ll be looking for a pair of good Bluetooth wireless earphones to make things more convenient with the Pixel 2 XL, which boasts fast pairing with its Bluetooth 5.0.

The phone itself sports stereo front-facing speakers which sound rich and full to me.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply