My friend Goo
If you wanted to buy your way to ‘elite nerd’ status not so long ago then one of Google’s Nexus phones was the way to go. Since they weren’t sold on the high street you were guaranteed to own a phone none of your mates had. Plus, there was the privilege of being able to drop the phrase ‘stock Android’ into conversations as though it was akin to the Holy Grail and a winning lottery ticket combined.
The problem with all of this? Loads of people who owned a Nexus were totally insufferable. A rebranding exercise was due, and it has culminated with the Pixel 2 XL: a phone for normal folks and pedantic geeks.
You see, what makes this bumper-sized blower so great is not the fact that it runs the latest version of Android sans unnecessary apps and widgets. No, it’s that you get loads more besides that one admittedly cracking trick. Chiefly, that means the finest camera we’ve ever seen in a smartphone and a design that’s a huge step up from last year’s model – especially for the poor accident-prone souls who found dropping the Pixel phone on its glass back would wreck its camera in one crack.
As such, the Pixel 2 XL doesn’t feel like a gimmick or a picture of how phones could work in the future – which its predecessor could arguably have been accused of. The sequel to the Pixel is great right now, whether or not you worship at the altar of the Big G.
It doesn’t do microsd, but up to 128GB storage should prove ample for most media hoarders. Not having that card slot also helps with the IP67 water-resistance. Desperate to know what song is on in the pub? The Pixel 2 XL keeps tabs on the music around you in disarmingly accurate fashion. Its ’90s pop knowledge is impeccable.