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Google unveils Pixel 2 Pixel XL 2 smartphones

Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones were launched last night – as expected following a series of leaks. 

The flagship ‘phones look pretty similar to their predecessors, which didn’t exactly take the market by storm.

Not surprisingly, Google emphasised Google Assistant at the launch rather than the smartphones’ aesthetics.

The two devices also offer a squeezy ‘Active Edge’ functionality – similar to that seen on the HTC U11 – to provide a gimmicky way to quickly launch Google’s AI assistant. 

Google Lens, a feature first announced at I/O, will also make its debut on the two new Pixels. Using Assistant, Lens can detect what is in the real world around you and provide relevant search results.

Specs-wise, both the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 pack a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 64GB and 128GB storage options and, as recent rumours had suggested, an Apple Watch-esque e-SIM slot that will enable phones to connect to different networks when travelling, for example. There will be a standard nano-SIM slot onboard too. 

While Google hasn’t ditched the SIM slot altogether, Google has followed Apple with its decision to bin the 3.5mm headphone jack. Instead, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL owners will have to make do with the onboard USB-C port, or make the leap to Bluetooth headphones. 

Elsewhere, the smaller Pixel 2 packs a 5in Full HD AMOLED screen, while the Pixel XL 2 offers a beefier 6in QHD pOLED display, with considerably less bezel than its pint-sized sibling and an 18:9 aspect ratio. 

The Pixel 2 XL also has a bigger battery, weighing in at 3,520mAh compared to the Pixel 2’s 2,700mAh offering. Both support fast charging, though, with Google boasting that you can get seven hours of battery life after just 15 minutes on charge. 

On the camera front, the new phones pack 12MP rear-facing sensors, and 8MP cameras on the front. According to Google, these cameras have already bagged a DxOMark score of 98, the highest to be awarded to any smartphone yet. 

The Pixel 2 will be arriving on shelves on 17 October, while the Pixel XL 2 will land on 15 November – two weeks after Apple’s iPhone X goes on sale.

Both are available to pre-order now in the UK. Pricing for the Pixel 2 starts from £629 SIM-free, while the Pixel 2 XL is available from a mere £799. 

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