In the meantime, you have heard of the problems with Google Pixel 2 XL. His display sucks. Google made a mistake in using a LG p-OLED panel on its new flagship compared to Samsung's superior OLED. The viewing angles are poor, the color performance is mediocre and the owners can suffer burns just a few weeks after purchase.
But the problems with the Pixel 2 XL have completely overshadowed a great alternative on the market right now: the Pixel 2. Yes, it's smaller and yes, it doesn't have its larger brother's sprawling display. But the Pixel 2 takes all the good parts of the Pixel 2 XL and packs them in an ergonomic frame, while leaving the terrible screen behind. It is this phone that you should buy, not the Pixel 2 XL.
The display is really good
The main concern of the Pixel 2 XL is its crappy LG p-OLED display. Google Pixel 2, which opts for a 5.0-inch Samsung 1920 x 1080 AMOLED instead, has no such concerns. It's smaller and has a lower resolution, but there's no doubt about it: this panel looks much better.
The main problem with the Pixel 2 XL's display is terrible viewing angles, which translate into a noticeable shade or shift of blue when you look at it off-center. The AMOLED panel from Samsung for the Pixel 2 is manufactured differently so that no blue tint occurs, which leads to significantly better viewing angles. In fact, the viewing angles on Pixel 2 are great.
The different design and construction of the Pixel 2 AMOLED reduces some of the other problems that arise with the Pixel 2 XL's p-OLED. There is no grain at low brightness levels and the display appears much smoother, especially when displaying white. Samsung's OLED technology also appears to be significantly less susceptible to burn-in. Great news for those who have wanted to use this phone for years.
Saturation (left) and color temperature (right) performance of the Pixel 2 in standard mode
You shouldn't worry about color performance either. Google tried to achieve sRGB accuracy with the Pixel 2 XL and for some reason it didn't quite make it. Blues with low luminance were a big problem, as was the color temperature and the overall range. With the Pixel 2, however, Google came much closer to the goal, so the display looks great.
The main difference to color performance is the temperature of the Pixel 2 display. Instead of falling well below the ideal 6500K mark for mid-level gray tones, which gives the screen a noticeable yellow tinge, the Pixel 2 hovers just over 6500K for almost the entire gray area. The result is a white, more accurate tone that just looks better.
In addition, there is no problem with low luminance blues, and the screen achieves its gamut targets as advertised. When natural mode is enabled, you get very close to sRGB accuracy, while when Boost mode is activated, you get the 10% saturation boost announced by Google, which causes the colors to burst a little more. The Pixel 2 XL doesn't even achieve full sRGB coverage when Boosted mode is activated. So there is no doubt that the Pixel 2 offers a much better viewing experience.
Same camera, performance, functions and software as the Pixel 2 XL
The best parts of the Pixel 2 XL are still in the Pixel 2. It's a smaller handset, but there is no compromise on camera, performance, features, or software. Every fantastic aspect is shared by both phones, and the Pixel 2 has the superior display for booting.
If you read our review of the Pixel 2 XL, you know that the camera is absolutely fantastic. Google's processing and automatic HDR is on a different level and helps deliver some of the best photos we've ever taken with a smartphone. Thanks to the optical image stabilization, the Pixel 2 is amazing in low light conditions and the new portrait mode can achieve impressive additional depth of field effects without an additional sensor. The Pixel 2 therefore takes the best selfies of all phones.
The Pixel 2 does not save on high-end hardware either: The phone is operated with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, the standard for Android flagship phones in 2017, as well as 4 GB RAM and 64 or 128 GB storage. Yes, the same configuration as the Pixel 2 XL. You won't be surprised to learn that the Pixel 2 supports up to Category 15 LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi AC with 2×2 MIMO and NFC.
And if you are looking for differences in software, there are none. Both run Android 8.0 Oreo with some custom Google enhancements. Both phones will be supported for the next three years with quick updates for new versions of Android, a developer program for early access to these updates, and monthly security patches. It is currently the best software experience on any Android phone.
The battery life is great
Aside from the display, the other major hardware change is battery size. The Pixel 2 is a smaller phone, so it has a smaller battery: 2,700 mAh compared to 3,520 mAh in the Pixel 2 XL. While displays in smaller phones are smaller and less power-hungry, we find in most of the handsets we tested that larger devices have better battery life. What is the situation with the Pixel 2?
In our tests, the battery life of the Pixel 2 is on average comparable to that of the Pixel 2 XL. Pixel 2 did a little better in PCMark and a little worse when surfing the Internet and playing video. And the good news here is that the Pixel 2 XL has fantastic battery life, which also makes the Pixel 2's battery life outstanding.
Compared to some of its biggest competitors, the Pixel 2 lasts significantly longer than the HTC U11, LG G6 and Huawei P10, about 9 percent longer than the OnePlus 5 and about the same brand as the Galaxy S8 + and Xiaomi Mi 6.
Regardless of how you look at it, the Pixel 2 offers great battery life due to its size, and it takes an hour less to fully charge.
It is cheaper
The best aspect of the Pixel 2 for some people will be its price. The Pixel 2 costs $ 649 for the 64GB model or $ 749 for the 128GB model. It is full $ 200 cheaper than the Pixel 2 XL, which starts at an expensive $ 849. Pixel 2's prices are much more in line with those of other top-end flagship phones, and we think $ 649 is a fair price. $ 849 for the Pixel 2 XL? That feels a little too much for a bigger, worse display.
Now the Pixel 2 is not a perfect handset. The bezels surrounding the display are huge for a phone in 2017 and the build quality is still generally quite good, but it does not match the quality of the Pixel 2 XL. But honestly, although we all prefer a sexy phone with a smaller frame, after a week with Pixel 2, just forget that it's a problem.
So if you're in the market for a fantastic Android phone, you should ignore the more expensive Pixel 2 XL with its mediocre display. Save $ 200 instead and grab a Pixel 2 instead. It has all the great camera, performance, and software features of the Pixel 2 XL, as well as an excellent display and comparable battery life. Don't forget the Pixel 2 amid the controversy surrounding the Pixel 2 XL: it's the better buy. It is the "Pure Android" phone you should buy.
Editor's note: Verizon is currently offering a 50% discount on Pixel 2 with a qualified trade-in.