The Google Pixel 2 is one of the most discussed phones of the year. This comes as no surprise, considering the success seen by the first generation Pixel lineup, which was arguably seen as one of the best phones in its 2016 class. The initial reception for this year’s rendition has been good, but it definitely isn’t roses for everyone.
Some folks are mad about the fact that it has bezels. Others are downright outraged by the lack of a headphone jack. And then there’s the crowd bummed because wireless charging isn’t included. And while each of these groups has the right to be upset, I’m still over here like, “Shut up and take my money, Google!”
First and foremost, the Pixel 2 camera is my number one reason for pre-ordering. We’ve all seen the stunning sample photos taken with the device. As a budding photographer, camera quality is a major chunk of what I need to know, in regards to making my next smartphone purchase.
But we can’t talk about the Pixel 2’s camera quality without addressing the enormous elephant in the room. If you watched the Pixel 2 announcement, you know Google is touting the device as having the “HIGHEST DxOMARK SCORE EVER!“
It’s very important to note that DxOMark scores mean absolutely nothing, in the grand scheme of things. They’re misleading at best, and borderline shady at worst. If you don’t believe me, take the word of MKBHD, the guy widely known as the best tech reviewer on the planet.
DxOMark ratings explained by Marques Brownlee
Putting Marques’s impeccable credibility aside, he makes some excellent points in this video. He gives a better explanation of DxOMark’s rating than DxOMark itself does, without having to dig deep into DxOMark’s website to get the bigger picture.
But above and beyond all of that, my decisions about the Pixel 2 camera are based solely on the already-proven excellence of the original Pixel phones and the notion that they can only get better from there.
Only time will tell how that pans out, but as far as cameras go, I have no concerns about my purchase. I couldn’t care less about whether or not it’s “the best smartphone camera ever,” just as long as it provides the capability of taking professional quality photos. That’s all I care about. Judging from the photo above, the Pixel 2 nails it.
Timely OS updates
It’s no secret that Nexus and Pixel devices immediately get the latest updates and features, as soon as they become available. As the owner of an Android-focused website, having access to the latest versions of Android is imperative to keeping up with the times and delivering relevant content to our readers.
And the guarantee from Google that the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will see updates through 2020 and Android R, essentially means I’m future-proofing content for the site for a while.
For the next three years, I’ll be able to cover all the developer builds, security updates, and major new features that come out for Android. That’s extremely important to me, and I’m sure most of you share that same sentiment.
Will I keep the Pixel 2 as my daily driver for the next three years? More than likely not. But having it around as a backup device once something new comes along will be nice, regardless. And because who knows what my next next phone will be? It’ll be nice to have that Pure Google experience laying around to fall back on.
I don’t give a damn about the missing headphone jack
The missing headphone jack means absolutely nothing to me. There, I said it. Perhaps, not as eloquently as Cliff in his rant, but I said it just the same. The headphone jack is nothing but a luxury to me. One that I won’t lose any sleep about not having. And you can argue this one until you’re blue in the face, but I’m staying out of it.
I have Bluetooth headphones. I have them out the wazoo. And yes, I know Bluetooth sound quality is degraded and not as good as a wired connection. In fact, it’ll probably be that way for a few years, yet. But it’s not bad enough for me to consider it a disadvantage.
I also own wired headphones. And with my current phone, the LG G6, I still find myself going wireless more often than not. I have both an auxiliary input and a Bluetooth connection in my car. I always use the wireless connection, as it’s just more convenient and sounds perfectly fine.
I’m sure there are audiophiles out there that will rally at my doorstep with torches and tinfoil hats for saying this, but it’s not worth arguing, for me. It’s my money, my purchase to make, and I’m 100% fine with the fact that there’s no headphone jack.
John Legere is paying me to do it
Well, John Legere himself isn’t paying me to buy a Pixel 2, but his company is. T-Mobile is giving $325 to all new customers who bring their own Pixel 2 to the Magenta network. The money comes in the form of a pre-paid credit card that can be spent on anything you want. In my case, I’ll put that money towards my Pixel 2, so I’m only paying half price. The Pixel 2 retails for $649, so you do the math.
This deal also applies to existing customers, like me. I’ve been with T-Mobile for 11 years, by the way. #TeamMagenta all the way, for what it’s worth. If you’re already a customer, you’ll need to open a new line to get the $325 rebate.
To bring you up to speed, I currently pay $70 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data. I get as much high-speed Internet access as I want, and T-Mobile won’t throttle me til after I use more than 50GB. That’s a pretty generous quota for mobile bandwidth.
On the day I pre-ordered my Pixel 2, T-Mobile had a promotional deal that gives you 2 lines of unlimited everything for $100 per month. That’s an increase of $30 a month, but I get an entirely new line.
Do I NEED a second phone line right now? Probably not. But I do in order to get that rebate, which cuts the price of my Pixel 2 purchase in half. Without dragging you through the mud, I do have family members who could benefit from me having an extra line. I was also told by the T-Mobile rep that I’m not tied into a contract on either of the two lines.
So, theoretically, I could decide to cancel that second line after I get the rebate and walk away from the deal with half of my Pixel 2 purchase paid for. If I don’t cancel, I’m paying $30 more a month for the second line with unlimited everything. I’m okay with both scenarios.
I will miss my SD card and wireless charging
I don’t want to sound like a total fanboy here, so I have to point out the flaws that affect me most. First off, an SD card slot would have been nice. It’s no surprise that there’s not one, but it would be great to be able to expand upon the 64GB of internal storage.
Of course, all Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL owners get unlimited storage for all photos taken at their original quality until 2020, so that’s a definite positive. And assuming that offer will likely get extended beyond 2020 by purchasing a new device, like say the Pixel 3 or Pixel 4, it’s nice to know that photos and videos are covered.
Outside of that, I think 64GB of storage will suit me just fine. I use Google Play Music and Netflix, predominantly. That means, aside from cached data, I’m not storing much of anything locally. It’s all apps and games, at that point.
The lack of wireless charging bums me out just a bit. I’ll be sad not to be able to use my RND wireless charging stand for a while, but it’s certainly not a deal-breaker for me. Besides, I’m sure I’ll get to use it with review units, as they make their way to the desk.
I’m glad I bought the Pixel 2, and there’s not much anyone is going to say to change that fact. If the phone isn’t for you, it isn’t for you. But for the love of bacon, please stop complaining about what the Pixel 2 is or is not. If it’s not the phone for you, buy something else. I’ll be here flashing Android P on mine, while you’re complaining about why you can’t do the same on your (insert non-Google phone).
Stay tuned, friends and family! My Pixel 2 is still scheduled for delivery on the 18th or 19th, so it’s on its way later this week. I’ll be unboxing it and giving my first impressions in a live stream over on our YouTube channel once it arrives.
See you there!