Google Pixel 2 XL Review — Return to the Android throne?

Design & Build Quality

A few of the criticisms of the first generation device was that it looked too much like the iPhone, was bland in design, and wasted tons of space with the top and bottom bezels. Well, Google has listened and come up with a new design that pretty much gets rid of all non-functional bezels.

You get super slim side bezels, and thin top/bottom ones too, paired together with a rocking pair of stereo speakers that totally justify the extra real estate used as compared to the Galaxy S8 or Note 8.

The rest of the device is pretty similar to the first generation device. You get your power button and volume rocker on the right-hand side, two-tone glass/metal back, and the circular fingerprint sensor on the metal part. Unfortunately, the second generation Pixel XL has followed industry trendsetters Apple and removed the 3.5mm audio jack, despite having taken a not-subtle-at-all dig at them last year. Audio is now delivered through the USB C port at the bottom of the device.

It’s pretty easy to handle in the hand, being almost the same size as the original Pixel XL despite having a taller screen thanks to the wonders of slim bezels. Nevertheless, being a fairly heavy phone, it is somewhat easy to accidentally throw it across the room when trying to pull it out of your pocket quickly. The metal may also be seen slippery by some, so it’s advisable to encase it in a cover if you’re concerned about dinging it.

You also get IP67 water and dustproofing, similar to the iPhone 8, 8+, and X. This means that you can dunk your phone in 1m deep water for up to 30 min with no adverse effects — not that you should tempt fate by attempting to take it on a snorkeling trip.

All in all, the design is a huge step above from the first one, and finally exudes some kind of a design language — even if it’s not entirely clear what it is — as compared to the first generation XL, a device which people around me mistake for an iPhone constantly. No longer boring or having a poor use of bezels, the 2 XL is a winner in this department in my book.

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