Phone re­view

The Google Pixel 2 is twice as good

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The Pixel 2 builds on the strengths of the orig­i­nal Pixel - a pure An­droid build, all-day bat­tery life and the ti­tle of the best smart­phone cam­era. This re­view is go­ing to fo­cus on two of those things that make it work for me.

Con­sider the Pixel 2 as part high end point-and­shoot cam­era and part smart­phone. Yes, the cam­era is that good. It’s just a sin­gle 12.2mp lens with an f/1.8 aper­ture but Google’s ma­chine learn­ing al­go­rithms do won­der­ful things with it, pro­duc­ing stun­ning im­ages ev­ery time. Like the say­ing goes, ‘the best cam- era is the one you have with you’, I’m now com­fort­able leav­ing my DSLR at home when I travel. In day­light, you can ex­pect colour ac­cu­rate stills with high de­tail, even if you zoom in to 50 per cent. This isn’t im­por­tant for so­cial me­dia up­dates but when you de­cide to print th­ese shots, like we did for a fea­ture story in the Dec 2017 is­sue, it’s a big deal. In low light, you’ll def­i­nitely be able to get In­sta-wor­thy shots. We had fun shoot­ing de­tails on cars with the Por­trait mode, which in­tro­duces a sur­pris­ingly well de­fined bokeh ef­fect. Sure, it feels artificial some­times but when it gets it right, it’s easy to mis­take for a shot taken with a DSLR.

End­ing a reg­u­lar work­day with 30-40 per cent bat­tery life re­main­ing is nor­mal, with 3.5-4 hours of screen time. Screen on time dips an hour or so when trav­el­ling, pos­si­bly due to the phone search­ing for sig­nal more of­ten. On a road trip, with GPS nav­i­ga­tion and Blue­tooth run­ning from 7am, I had to plug in at about 4pm. I find my­self us­ing Google As­sis­tant quite a lot when I’m be­hind the wheel, for direc­tions and even to send texts. Sure other phones of­fer ‘As­sis­tant’ but the in­te­gra­tion on the Pixel seems more fluid. At the end of the day, it’s easy to rec­om­mend the Pixel 2 on its cam­era ca­pa­bil­i­ties alone, so the fact that it of­fers a superb smart­phone ex­pe­ri­ence re­ally does seal the deal.

How well does Google’s flag­ship do in our ev­ery­day grind of photography, travel and road trips? Simran Ras­togi finds out WHEN IT GETS THE BOKEH RIGHT, IT’S EASY TO MIS­TAKE FOR A SHOT TAKEN WITH A DSLR

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