Google Pixel 2 vs Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8, LG V30, Xperia XZ Premium, Huawei P10 Plus, OnePlus 5, HTC U11 and Nokia 8
How do Google's newest smartphones compare against its premium Android competitors?
Google's pricing and positioning for its freshly announced Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL handsets firmly puts them in the premium category, but that's a battleground in 2017 that has plenty of Android competition. Google controls Android at an OS level, but how does its flagship hardware compare against every other Android flagship?
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Google Pixel 2 vs Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8, LG V30, Xperia XZ Premium, Huawei P10 Plus, OnePlus 5, HTC U11 and Nokia 8 : Specifications
|Handset||Google Pixel 2||Google Pixel 2 XL||LG V30||Samsung Galaxy Note 8||Samsung Galaxy S8||Samsung Galaxy S8+|
|Display size||5.0 in||6.0in||6.0in||6.3in||5.8in||6.2in|
|Resolution||1080x1920||2880 x 1440||2880x1440 pixels||2960x1440||2960×1440 pixels||2960×1440 pixels|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835/Exynos 8895||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835/Exynos 8895||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835/Exynos 8895|
|Operating system||Android 8.0||Android 8.0||Android 7.1.1||Android 7.1.1||Android 7.1.1||Android 7.1.1|
|Front camera||8MP||8MP||8MP||8MP AF, F1.7||8MP||8MP|
|Rear camera||12.2MP||12.2MP||Dual 13 MP||Dual 12MP||12MP F1.7||12MP F1.7|
|Dimensions||145.7x69.7x7.8mm||157.9x76.7x7.9mm||TBC||162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm||148.9 x 68.1 x 8 mm||159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm|
|Price||$1079/$1229||$1339/$1549||Expected around $1000||$1,499||$1,199||$1,349|
|Handset||Google Pixel 2||Google Pixel 2 XL||Sony Xperia XZ Premium||Huawei P10 Plus||OnePlus 5||HTC U11||Nokia 8|
|Display size||5.0 in||6.0in||5.5in||5.5in||5.5in||5.5in||5.3in|
|Resolution||1080x1920||2880 x 1440||3,840 x 2,160||1440x2560||1920x1080||2560x1440||2560x1440 pixels|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835||Kirin 960||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835|
|Operating system||Android 8.0||Android 8.0||Android 7.1.1||Android 7.1||Android 7.1||Android 7.1.1||Android 7.1.1|
|Rear camera||12.2MP||12.2MP||19MP||12/20MP||16MP/20MP||12MP||Dual 13MP|
|Dimensions||145.7x69.7x7.8mm||157.9x76.7x7.9mm||140.7 x156 x 77 x 7.9 mm||153.5x74.2x6.98mm||154.2x74.1x7.25mm||153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9mm||151.5 x 73.7 x 7.9 mm|
Google Pixel 2 vs Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8, LG V30, Xperia XZ Premium, Huawei P10 Plus, OnePlus 5, HTC U11 and Nokia 8: Performance
With very few exceptions (such as Samsung's option for the Exynos or Huawei's use of its own Kirin processors, also expected to feature in the upcoming Mate 10 family), Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 has owned the premium Android space in 2017. It's an excellent high-performance processor, and it's also the heart of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. What we've seen in Snapdragon 835-based handsets in benchmark terms has generally tended towards near-identical performance except where there are RAM differences, and even then only by small margins.
As such, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL should compare well against its competition, but it's unlikely to open up huge performance gaps against them. Last year's Pixel phones had the slightly better Snapdragon 821 where flagships were using the Snapdragon 820, but there's no processor edge in Google's corner this time.
Now, benchmarks aren't the entire performance story, because software optimisation also has a role to play. This is where the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL could pick up some performance ground, because they'll be the first Snapdragon 835 handsets to launch locally with Android 8.0 ("Oreo") and nothing else onboard.
Google Pixel 2 vs Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8, LG V30, Xperia XZ Premium, Huawei P10 Plus, OnePlus 5, HTC U11 and Nokia 8: Cameras
A premium smartphone isn't premium without a great camera, and here Google has quite the mountain to climb. It's not the only premium player with a single lens camera, as the HTC U11 and Sony Xperia XZ Premium both feature single lens cameras as well. Google's managed to eke out a portrait mode with some convincing-looking bokeh from its provided launch images, but dual lenses go further than just bokeh, since they open up other photographic possibilities, whether's it's genuine monochrome or zoom lenses.
At its launch, Google touted its DxOMark of 98, the highest of any tested smartphone to date, so it's heavy on the hype, but the reality is that it needs to deliver, because there are very few duds in this year's premium smartphone crop.
Google Pixel 2 vs Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8, LG V30, Xperia XZ Premium, Huawei P10 Plus, OnePlus 5, HTC U11 and Nokia 8: Pricing
The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL aren't the most expensive smartphones out there, but their pricing does put them in an interesting premium Android position. There are numerous Snapdragon 835-based handsets selling for under $1,000 locally, and it's even possible to score some of the higher priced handsets at those kinds of price points if you're happy to use a direct importer.
Google is slightly sweetening the pot with a $79 Google Home Mini with preorders, but even there, it's pricing the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 more to take on heavyweight competitors such as Apple and Samsung. That could mean that the lower-priced competitors such as the OnePlus 5, Nokia 8 or HTC U11 offer better overall value.
Google Pixel 2 vs Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8, LG V30, Xperia XZ Premium, Huawei P10 Plus, OnePlus 5, HTC U11 and Nokia 8: Early verdict
The original Pixel was an exceptional handset, and we have high hopes for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.
2017 has been a great year for premium flagship handsets, however, and that's led to a lot of price competition for every single manufacturer. If you're looking to buy the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL outright, their price points mean you could opt for pretty much any other Android flagship handset, making the choice especially difficult. Clearly if you're in that category of folks who love pure Android, the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL handsets are likely to meet your needs precisely, but if that's not you, it's vital to compare and consider your choices, which are wide in both features and price points.
Stay tuned for our full review of the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL.