5 things about the Google Pixel 2 XL

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Google announced a wide variety of gadgets at this year’s Google I/O conference and one of those most talked-about devices is the Google Pixel 2 XL. This time, after a long time, the Google-made smartphone is finally coming to Singapore. But before you pre-order it with SingTel, their exclusive partner in town, here are 5 things you should know about it.

Pure Blood Android

There are tonnes of smartphones running on the Android OS in the market. But when it comes to stock Android experience, none comes close to the pure version that runs on the Google Pixel 2 XL, which will ship with its latest Android Oreo (8.0) OS onboard.

In addition to that, you will definitely see a significant reduction in bloatware pre-loaded on your Pixel 2 XL. However, we suspect that since it’s being distributed by SingTel, you may still see some of their apps pre-installed in there like the SingTel Dash.

Camera

The Pixel 2 XL has a 12.2MP dual pixel rear camera with an aperture of f1.8, and an 8MP front-facing camera with an f2.4 aperture. It may seem unimpressive, but the question is why called it a dual pixel camera?

This is because within each pixel in the camera holds two other “sub-pixels.” What these “sub-pixels” do is to give you the Portrait mode that the iPhone 8 Plus and Samsung Note 8 (live focus) have. The key difference? Google managed to do this without the need of a secondary camera. It’s all done via its software.

Wrapped around the Pixel 2 XL’s camera is the optical image stabilisation. This is exceptionally important if you depend heavily on your smartphone for videos or even photo-taking if you have a shaky pair of hands.

Google Lens

Google Lens is a new technology announced by CEO Sundar Pichai during the I/O conference. The Google Lens automatically identifies objects, searches for it on the Google search engine and presents the information to you. You can activate this function by snapping a photo and click on the Google Lens icon.

You can even use it to translate foreign languages!

Squeeze for Google Assistant

Thanks to HTC and its engineers, the squeeze function that’s found on the HTC u11 is now on the Google Pixel 2 XL. The pressure sensitive sides allow users to access the Google Assistant by squeezing it. We love the idea of this, as many a time, it just feels weird to call out “Ok, Google,” in public.

No headphone jack but stereo speakers

It is true. The Pixel 2 XL does not have a 3.5mm headphone jack, and we all should really start getting used to it and embrace a wireless future. That said, they do include a dongle in their box to help you transit during this challenging phase.

However, the loss of the headphone jack also means space for other hardware to be packed into the Pixel 2 XL, like the two front-facing stereo speakers for people who watch movies on their smartphones more than on their television. As a person who watches YouTube and Netflix for a few hours a day, I say this is a great touch.

So what do you think about the Google Pixel 2 XL? Have you pre-ordered yet?

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