Loving It: Google Pixel 2

A few weeks ago, I was putting away groceries and listening to a podcast. The cat really wanted to chew on a plastic bag, so he was sulking in the doorway, just waiting for me to leave one unattended. When I finished up, I picked up my phone to move to the living room.

At that very moment, the cat defied the laws of physics with his swift, impressive vertical jump up to my eye level. Caught off guard, I jumped back, my hand opening and (sob) dropping my phone onto the tile floor.

I knew it wasn’t going to be good before I even picked it up. Years of working for BlackBerry had taught me (more than once through first-hand experience) that the worst way for your phone to land is bottom-edge down. I gingerly picked up the phone to find a tiny part of the screen flickering, the rest completely black. Although I enjoyed that it looked somehow Lynchian, I needed to replace it.

That night and the following morning, I did some super-technical research–by which I mean I informally polled friends and coworkers about which phones they like. Although I got a lot of recommendations, the one that spoke to me most was the Google Pixel 2.

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I knew going in that I wanted to stick with the Android OS. Ever since I first switched over from BlackBerry, I’ve been a loyal Google person. It’s not so much that I’m anti-Apple; I just find that for me personally, Android is a lot more intuitive (please don’t come after me, Apple fan-boys-and-girls).

I originally wanted the black version, but ended up going with white once I saw it paired with the case I wanted (also made by Google… maybe I’m more of a fangirl than I thought?). I like that the texture of the case  feels like it gives you a better grip, like the phone is more secure in your hand.

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My favourite thing about the phone, hardware-wise, is that the fingerprint reader is on the back of the phone. It’s so much quicker to unlock my phone using my fingerprint when the reader is where my finger would rest anyway when I pick it up. I found with my old phone, I was always awkwardly balancing the phone in one hand (my hands are stupidly tiny) and trying to line my finger up correctly on the reader. This one is way easier to use.

The camera is a very close second. I’ve been really impressed with the level of detail in my photos–the camera really captures every strand of Maury’s glorious fur, and even has an option to include motion, so that you can basically create your own little GIFs.

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Unlike my old Samsung, the Google phones don’t have a lot of extraneous apps on them that I’ll never use, but can’t delete. That’s been my biggest complaint about my tablet: I’m running low on space, but can’t delete these dumb Samsung apps that I don’t want. It’s nice not to feel like your device memory is being held hostage by the manufacturer.

Although the phone doesn’t have a notification light, its screen is always on to display notifications. I actually prefer this to the notification light because I can quickly see what kind of a notification it is and decide whether I need to address it immediately (text from best friend) or whether I can ignore it until later (random cat fact on Slack).

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My biggest concern before purchasing was the battery life, especially given the screen feature described above. The reviews  I’d read were mixed-to-negative on battery life, although all of them said that it made it through the day and you just had to charge it at night. After a few weeks using this new phone, I’m actually pleasantly surprised by the battery life. Yes, I do have to charge it at night, but that’s been true of every phone that I’ve had since switching over from BlackBerry (can we all just admit that although they’ve fallen out of favour, old-school BBs had the best battery life in the business?). I really don’t think it’s any better or worse, battery wise, than any other phone on the market.

The only feature that I’m not sure about yet are the active edges that you can use to open the Google Assistant. Although I love Google Assistant, I don’t understand why squeezing your phone is any better or easier than just saying “OK, Google”. Plus, I can’t tell you how often I accidentally launch Google Assistant when I’m just trying to get my phone out of my pocket. I swear, my most Googled search term must be, “Ugh, I didn’t mean to do that.”

Have you tried the Google Pixel 2? Are you an Android person or an iOS person? Do you share my nostalgia for BlackBerry? Hit me up in the comments!

  1. I currently own the iPhone 6 (ancient) and since the release of the 8 and the X, my phone has been incredibly slow. I’ve been thinking about looking into Google phones because I have two friends that swear by them, plus their latest commercial is pretty enticing. I had a Samsung phone and I hated it, which made me go back to an Apple phone… Are Google and Samsung phones similar? I’m going to do some research, but I’d like to know from another person’s perspective (other than my Google loving friends), someone that’s actually used both systems.

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    1. The software is very similar (since they both use the Android OS), but I find the Google hardware to be a lot slicker. What was it that you didn’t like about the Samsung?

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      1. Battery life, the Samsung apps… I feel like my phone was always running “hot” (like physically warm to the touch) whenever I used it. Also, the phone and charger pooped out on me within a year and a half, so the lifespan of it, as well.

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      2. The Samsung apps are the WORST!!!! I’m totally with you on that. Thankfully, the Google phones don’t have all that extra crap. And so far the phone hasn’t run hot, but when I had that problem with my old Samsung, I don’t think it started until about the six-month mark. Will definitely keep you posted if I run into that.

        I think as long as you like the Android OS, you’ll probably do well with a Pixel 2. However, I know that whenever I try to use an iPhone, I feel lost, but I don’t know if it’s as hard to switch going the other way.

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      3. It wasn’t hard the first time I did, but I also had my roommate to help me whenever I felt lost with my Samsung! To me, Android is super customizable, which can be a curse or a blessing depending on how tech-savvy you are; iOS is very plain where you can change the background of your phone and the way your apps are arranged, but that’s about it. The one thing I do miss from the Samsung that I try to do with my iPhone (and fail) is the swipe-to-text feature. That was amazing!

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  2. The Transparent Hand December 12, 2017 at 10:46 PM

    Android for me. I’ve never been an Apple person (even when I did tech support for Apple notebooks, about 300 years ago). The iPhone just irritates me. My first mobile was a Google Nexus, which I rooted and still have, poor obsolete thing. Currently, I’m using a secondhand Galaxy S5, which I love (hugely expandable memory, removable battery). I haven’t rooted it, but I’ve been able to disable a bunch of stupid Bell and Samsung apps (shillware) that came installed. But I’m eying the new Google phone a bit more seriously now. Thanks for your review.

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  3. Between Google pixel and Samsung note phone’s Android is definitely pulling ahead the note 9 looks amazing and I am not sure if I should wait for the next Google phone or get that… Google Is definitely more smooth feeling but the note 4 was probably the funnest phone Ive ever had… If Google were to throw in the stylus with the same features as note on the next phone I would be in love lol

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