We’re so fixated on the Apple and Samsung throw down, we fail to notice another worthy contender to the battle of the smartphones: the Google Pixel 2 XL. It’s a 6IN smartphone powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and operates on Android 8.0 Oreo. Dust and water-resistant, fingerprint authentication remains at the back of the device for an easier unlock. Camera-wise, the Pixel 2 XL has a single rear camera (against the grain of the dual camera wave) but it’s still able to get that bokeh effect. If you’re a memory hog, this phone doesn’t have a slot for your microSD card, so you’re gonna have to rely on the 64GB model that’s also available. Oh, and there are
squeezable sides—much like the HTC U11—that launch Google Assistant. The design for the Pixel Buds is hit-and-miss. The earpieces confused me at the start and I accidentally shoved the wrong end of the buds into my earholes. And you’re supposed to adjust the fabric loops for a secure fit, but either my auricles are deformed or the loops keep slipping back to their original position. Google Assistant was a boon in most scenarios: when lost, I pressed on the right earbud and
asked for help—voila! I was able to get directions. I was more interested in the real-time translation though, but we’re still far from that idealised future where instantaneous universal translation is possible. Google Translate does not do well with nuances of language so keep
it simple. And prepare to get literal translations. But aside from that, this is a good start. It’s not perfect but it’ll do for now.