Smaller is best – Pixel 2

Recently I proclaimed that the forthcoming Iphone X is the best value for a smartphone today, despite it’s high price. Mainly because of it’s 4 or more years software support period from Apple. But now that the next generation of Google phones have landed, does that still hold true? – maybe.

First off the 1000.00 iPhone X is really 1080.00 with tax and of course it’s all glass now, so a good case is necessary and a screen protector and a fast charge cable (since that’s a feature of the phone but the power supply included doesn’t do that). Or you could get a wireless charge mat which is wayyyy more than any non Apple version and and and. Basically it’s a 1200.00 phone, really, plus headphones and 200 for support and and and #newrimsinstead

Meanwhile the latest from Google starts at “just” 650 and 850 – which turns out to be 690 and 900, tax included. Although they do come with fast chargers, they scrapped the headphone jack, an adapter is included.

While many people would forgo a case and screen protector, I would highly recommend them. Especially if you buy one from Verizon. Turns out they have no way to replace the screen and it’s 200.00 at some random guys house in the valley. Something I found out when my current Pixel XL broke after 2 weeks, in a small drop flat onto the back, in a case. Something none of my previous Google devices would have even noticed, let alone render the display useless.

Since both of the new devices are feature wise nearly identical, the question is do you want to buy a device with a 6 inch screen or save 200 and get a 5 inch screen, right?

No, hands on the new XL is complete shit – Unlike the IX it’s not a larger screen in a smaller body, it’s the same size and the screen is lacking ,the whole design actually sucks. It’s not on par with any current flagship and an in-store test of the screen, the display size was a mere .2 inches bigger when replaying YouTube and the resolution caused apps like Instagram to display critical language in pencil thin lettering. Plus it feels cheap and poorly executed, making LG’s other flagship the V30 seem 10x better – unlike the previous device, so IMO don’t waste the money.

The Pixel 2 (right size) is a step up.

To put it simply, it’s like the Iphone 5 and 5c had a love child. It feels well built and looks quality, like a “real” shot over Apples bow in terms of quality.

Yes it has bezels, 2 of them actually. But those bezels are well designed and feature two forward facing speakers, which work brilliantly and the screen is OLED which works very well, though not as nice as the larger phone with quad HD, but who cares – The 14 inch display on my Asus Chromebook is much better to watch videos and only cost 250.00 – a superior value + headphone jack.

But that camera tho

As you may have heard a million times the neck beards at DXO have rated the new Cameras on the Pixels a 98, the best ever for a smartphone….How the best phones aren’t a 100 by default is a mystery, likely solved when next years devices rate 117 out of 100? I dunno. Still, the best Apple could manage is an 89, a B+ even with a second lens.

Suffice it to say the 12 Megapixel single lense is remarkable…sorry I meant 12.2 – POINT TWO IN YOUR FACE IPHONE!!!! The images are stunning. Even a simple thing like shooting the displays in the Verizon store (where demos are now on display) were so much better than last years Pixels it seems unreal. Low light shooting is supposed to be much improved and seeing things go from amber to white in low light, backed up by the superior clarity with this new model, makes it a winner. The other half of that is of course the software.

THERE IS NO STOCK ANDROID

One of the selling point of Googles phones was that they ran stock Android and they would be updated first and for longer, but that’s a lie. The new phones, like the previous Pixels have special Android. Not simply hardware specific, but software specific as well. Whether it’s the launcher, customer support features or camera modes – no other Android device will have. This is the special version of Android, which I will have to wait for until sometime after the devices are launched to reach my “old” Pixel. Apple has stock OS on every phone they offer BTW 😉

One of those custom touches is a feature that splits each pixel the camera capture into 2. Allowing for a wider depth of field, greater low light performance, animations and modes like portrait, that blur the background of a subject. Which it “knows” thanks to AI. The same AI that’s “always on” – Listening for it’s beckon call to search or to name that tune. It still can’t call for help though 🙁 – “OK Google I am taking flaming arrows call 911” #fail. The selfie cam is more bomb now too BTW, it’s 8mp and does the portrait mode too.

There is also a feature which allows you to squeeze the phone for search (and nothing else) – Still can’t help you with the flaming arrows though 🙁

You can say “Ok google – call the police” and it will do that, maybe – Voice has been getting kinda shitty and prone to crash more often – IE it takes me 4x to ask for directions quite often now and results for “gas station” often result in ads for supermarket ads anyway…yea inside of the maps app. That is the first choice for voice search “gasoline” – a grocery store 😐

Google did announce that new devices will get 3 years of updates now instead of 2, building half a bridge to Apples 4 or more policy.

There is also a battery that’s the same size as last year but sucks now because the “better” screen and processor will pile onto a glitchy Android 8 to drain your phone in like 4 hours or less, I am sure. #lowdrainbluetoothwilldrainmore + #facebookappstillbatteryvampire

The processor is the same as all the other top level phones this year, like the rad ones from China that cost half as much…:( Who really cares though, Angry Pigs still plays the same as 4 years ago.

There is two new colors that are the same as last year, Cocaine and Death Metal – with Verizon grabbing the only cool color, referred to as “kinda SHTF Tactical Grey Man blue” aka matches my Oakley hat and MTB shoes #fuckverizonbloatwarestill

I don’t want to end on a sour note, the regular size Pixel is a good phone (only because of exclusive software) in a market full of awesome phones. Like the Galaxy 8 which is much cheaper now, but has bloatware and 6 months of updates included and/or until the 9 is launched. That also has some useless assistant called Ask Jeeves or something as relevant. I didn’t bother to look it up, but I think it’s either a small dog or running the Kentucky Derby next year.

There is trade in program that’s going to knock 400 off one of my phones and if I take it to T-Mobile I can get another 350 in free service credits, making it free if I used T-Mobile – but I use Metro PCS becuase #actualunlimited and Googles own Project Fi which actually saves me 300 a year or more so #draw

Also there is a cool case option that allows you to attach a bunch of lenses for not that much (if you had an Apple phone you could also get one that has a double the life battery mod too #FML) still it allows me to use the new Pixel as a fairly serious shooter with 64GB included storage and unlimited-ish (until Google changes there mind in 5 minutes) full size storage in Google Photos. And the case is cool looking (cheaper than Google own basic b versions too)

Did I mention that I am buying 2 of them?

So that’s my recommendation if you need a new phone for this year. Next year you can probably resell it for most of what you paid too, so keep it in a case 🙂

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