I managed to find a local Verizon store that had both the new Pixel phones as display units, and so I went and spent a litle hands on time with the larger of the two devices, the Pixel 2 XL. What follows is some photos and a few quick first impressions I had when handling the device.
The size of the device is good. It’s roughly the same footprint as the original Pixel XL, but a touch narrower and a touch taller. Its roughly the same size as my Pixel XL in its TPU case, which isn’t a bad thing at all. For me, anything taller than this is not really an option. I really like the soft touch treatment on the back; its light, and with those 2 things combined – I can see why people are getting a “it feels cheap” vibe. I didn’t come away with that impression at all however. The amount of viewing space you get in the same size footprint is stunning and very impressive.
Performance seemed very snappy – I usually use vertical/horizontal rotation (which is notoriously bad in Android) as my benchmark, and the 2XL was very quick. Camera launched fast as you’d expect and took solid shots. The display was nice, but I can easily see what people were saying about it seeming to “float under” the top of the screen. Its actually kind of weird at first but you get used to it quickly. The viewing angles weren’t as good as those on the Pixel 2, but nothing terrible. The front facing speakers (via a YouTube video) were fine, I didn’t crank them all the way up but sound was clear and loud enough inside the relatively busy Verizon store that I could easily hear what I was watching. No more hand cupping the bottom of your Pixel XL anymore!
The 3D curve of the display will probably be a challege for temprered glass screen protectors, which you’d probably want since the display unit I saw in the store already had a scratch on it and its been maybe a few hours since it was put out. Its thinner than the Pixel XL and felt lighter, but I don’t think it actually is. The camera ring is noticable but not a deal breaker (since at least for me mine will be in a case) – I liked the overall package and form factor, and can’t wait for our review unit to land next week. More pics are below – feel free to comment with any questions you might have about this device!