The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were released on October 19th with my unit arriving on the 24th. And ever since October, I’ve been using this phone as my daily driver with the exception of a few occasions where I would test other phones like the iPhone X and Galaxy Note 8 for a week or two.
Fun fact: I participated using the iPhone X as my daily driver but ultimately reverted back to the Pixel 2 XL because of just how much more productive I am with it. I can multitask and switch back and forth between apps faster. I also used the Google Assistant pretty much exclusively very heavily and it’s just easier to use when it’s natively supported on the Google phone.
My experience as a whole with the Pixel 2 XL has been positive but there have been some annoying things that have started to happen that could be widespread or could be just exclusive to my phone that I definitely do want to share with all of you. The good news is my original concerns about the phone haven’t seriously bothered me.
The display does have a noticeable blue tint when you’re looking for it but I honestly don’t notice it or care anymore. The phone gets bright enough to use in direct sunlight and dim enough to use at night. What does bother me in the display department is the motion blur, which becomes very noticeable at low brightness; which is every night for me. The thing is, every OLED panel has some motion blur when displaying black colors. It just seems especially bad on this panel.
The cloth Pixel 2 case purchased from Google is still holding up extremely well. I got the black one and it hides a lot of dirt but I don’t see any major fabric stitching issues or scrapes or scuffs even though this phone has been submerged in water a couple of times with the case on and it has been tossed around frequently. It is, unfortunately, too thick to work with any wireless chargers when I have a wireless charger adapter placed on the back of the phone. That’s kind of a bummer.
The camera still wows me every time I take it on a hike or adventure in general. The sharpness is unreal and its ability to perform in low light scenarios is unrivaled. The only other big phone to give it some serious competition is the Galaxy S9 with its dual aperture camera system. You would think I’d get used to it taking good shots but that’s just not the case. I still appreciate the camera on a semi daily basis.
Battery life is also still strong. This is the first phone in a while that I haven’t charged consistently overnight. You know, I’ll top it off or charge it up as needed via fast charging. When it’s fully charged, I can use GPS, watch YouTube videos, browse the web, update social media statuses and still, at the end of the day, have enough power to keep my anxiety at bay.
Okay, so what about the not-so-good discoveries. Well for starters, the squeeze-to-activate the Google Assistant seems to be getting slightly less consistent. But I want to think it can be updated via software because even though sometimes it won’t register at all, most of the time it registers a squeeze but the Google Assistant won’t actually wake up and start listening to a command. I have to squeeze it again or say the magic phrase or tap on the mic icon.
One of the biggest issues has to do with laggy media. After several hours of usage, my phone will eventually start lagging only when playing back videos and it doesn’t appear exclusive to any one particular app. It’s system-wide; everything from Facebook videos to individual snaps are affected. The only solution (aside from factory resetting my phone) is to restart the device and kick the can down the road a little further until the issue pops up again. I have a suspicion that it’s a rogue app or a series of apps that is causing the problem. I use this phone for our top 10 apps of the month videos so I’m always downloading and installing new apps on this phone so one of those apps could have gone wonky and started messing up some things on this device. And I know I can always do a factory reset but I just want to see if this issue is widespread or any of you Pixel 2 owners have experienced something similar.
And while I’m at it, let me know what your overall experience has been with the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL. I want to know your thoughts. Do you still like the phone? Do you wish you got a different phone? Let me know your thoughts in a comment below.
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Before I go, I do have one more issue that’s a little bit more immediate, a little bit more frustrating and it’s with the dialer app, which is an extremely important app to have for a device originally designed for calling people. Side note: why is it that everytime that a phone of mine is buggy, it’s the dialer app that has to have the issue? This sort of thing usually happens with the Samsung phone after several months but it shouldn’t happen with the Pixel or Nexus device, right?
Anyway, more often than not, when I get a phone call, it will automatically put the call on speaker and often times, the main top call speaker won’t work at all so I have to rely on the speakerphone settings. As you can imagine, this can be very inconvenient when out in public. Honestly, this might be the most frustrating thing at the moment.
With that said, the performance, as a whole, has been strong and fluid; even with the issues that I’m experiencing. I’m hesitant to switch to a different mobile operating system that limits my productivity because I can still be very productive with this device even with its issues and usually a restart will fix a lot of the issues that I’m having.
So let me know what your thoughts are. If you’re having issues with your Pixel device, let me know in a comment down below.