Is the Google Pixel 2 XL worth it in 2019? (Review 1 year later)

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SOFTWARE

The software on the Pixel 2 XL is great. It has never let me down and to this day, it works just as good as the moment I’ve taken it out of its box, one year ago.

There are no slow downs or fps drops in games, and in general the performance has been butter smooth at all times.

If there are a few things that I still dislike to this day about the Pixel lineup, it’s the missing features which are built into the OS. The fact that you technically cannot change the volume for notifications alone is just unacceptable in 2019.

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Also, the way Google has implemented the gesture navigation is not great. It still takes up the same portion of your screen and although you can now swipe up, to go back to the recents you have to double-swipe up using the stock launcher or use the very awkward slider that I find very uncomfortable to use.

There are a lot of things I wish Google would improve on Android 10, and with the new leaks of having Dark mode in the next Android release, I have high hopes for an improved gesture navigation bar.

CAMERA

There is a single 12MP camera on the back with f/1.8 aperture and OIS, Dual Pixel Autofocus, phase detection and laser autofocus. There’s also a Dual-LED to provide more realistic colours when shooting with the flash turned on.

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The camera user interface is clean, simple and very basic. While I’m a fan of a clean user interface, I would have love to see manual modes inside the camera application – but that will not happen any time soon. However, the beauty of the simple and basic user interface is that – it just works – extremely well. I probably said that word way too often in this review, but it’s true. You simply press the shoot button and you get some amazing photos.

The sharpness and the saturation with the HDR settings enabled are pretty much always on-point, providing a consistent and a balanced look nearly all the time, in most lighting scenarios. In pitch black, you shouldn’t expect to get any great photos out of this, but even then, it can take some pretty decent photos that might be worth sharing with friends – with a lot of noise of course.

The new night mode is truly amazing and works as advertised. When I first seen this during the Pixel 3 announcement, I truly believed that the examples were photoshopped and faked. Well, it’s clearly true and amazing.

This is not a DSLR, but it’s a point-and-shoot camera that can handle all lighting scenarios, no matter if you shoot in well-lit conditions, or in low-light.

CONCLUSION

As a conclusion, I believe I can say that the Pixel 2 XL will still be an excellent device this year. For those who want an Android device that “just works” and still allows you to capture amazing photos, has excellent battery life and performance that provides butter smooth experience, I don’t think that you can go wrong with the Pixel 2 XL in 2019.

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Of course, there are a few caveats and issues to keep in mind, such as the blue shift, questionable Wi-Fi performance, the lack of Wireless charging and the ability to fast charge at higher Watts. However, I think these can be overlooked when you can often find this device at the price range of 300-500 US dollars and British pounds. For that money, you will get excellent battery life, top of the line camera quality and timely upgrades which matter for a lot of people, and its something that for example Samsung, LG and other companies cannot provide in a timely manner.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW
DESIGN
HARDWARE
SPECIFICATIONS
DISPLAY
PERFORMANCE
SOFTWARE
CAMERA
BATTERY
PRICE
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I'm Roland the Techusiast. I review tech products / services in-depth and aim to share my opinion in the most useful way for you to make smart decisions.

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