My gut reaction after 20 minutes of use: Google Pixel 2 XL, much like the original Pixel, is a sleeper phone. It may not seem like a powerhouse if you only glance at raw specs and components. It doesn’t come with a pen. It doesn’t boast dual cameras. It doesn’t have a stunning liquid metal exterior.
But once you hold the Pixel 2 XL in your hand, and begin playing with the features that Google has tuned with machine learning and clever interface design, you begin to appreciate the elegant marriage of hardware and software that Google is bringing to the entire “Made By Google” family.
Sure, it’s still a super-spendy phone at $849. And as a happy Pixel XL user, I’m not sure I’d throw down so much money for an upgrade after only one year. But my first impressions are perched on my shoulder like a little cartoon devil, cajoling me, hectoring me: You know you want it. It’s calling your name. Get the damn phone.