The much-awaited Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL are finally launched. In a house packed event yesterday, Google showcased the successor of Google Pixel Phones along with few other path-breaking products. With the anticipated strong sales of Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, Google is expecting to grab a sizable share of the premium smartphone market, which is primarily dominated by Apple and Samsung.
Instead of reinventing the whole device once again, Google has decided to bank on the pragmatic design and promising camera of Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The idea apparently is to square off against Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Apple iPhone X and LG V30.
The 5-inch Pixel 2 and 6-inch Pixel 2 XL has got more powerful Snapdragon 835 chipset under the hood. However, many other components’ specification, i.e battery, RAM, WiFi, haven’t gone through any major upgrades. Interestingly, Google has ditched headphone jack to make Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL thinner than its predecessors.
Amongst all upgrades and non-upgrades, Google has ditched the most anticipated feature in the new Google Pixel 2 XL – despite the fact that all competitors are gung-ho about it.
Google Pixel 2 XL: Absence of Dual Camera
Google has decided not to join the ongoing click competition among all the leading smartphone majors. Unlike many big size flagship smartphones, Google Pixel 2 XL still offer the single-lens camera.
Many analysts believe that the absence of dual-camera in rear or front could be a setback for Google. At the time when camera quality is a big deal for users who are ready to invest a handsome amount on a smartphone, a non-dual-camera smartphone price tagged with $849 onwards may fail to lure prospective buyers. Arch rivals Apple and Samsung are offering a dual camera smartphone with a marginal price difference of $150 and $70, respectively.
In contrast to the notion, Google feels that single lens camera in Pixel 2 XL is the best and is capable of capturing stunning photographs and videos. The enhanced Portrait Mode feature, earlier introduced as Lens Blur in Pixel Phones, works as good as other phones that sports dual-cameras.
Google claims to achieve Portrait Mode with the single lens by leveraging on something that it knows the best – algorithm. The highly tweaked combination of facial algorithm and the depth-mapping image sensor is capable of producing images with blur background for a short depth-of-field effect.
Besides, Google has tied up a lot of technology with its single lens camera to produce images and videos that could challenge those taken from dual-lens smartphones from other rivals in the market. In addition to Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) for photos and videos, the new PIxel 2 and PIxel 2 XL camera uses data from the gyroscope and apeeks at the video frame ahead of stabilized video footage. This feature allows Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL users to capture stabilized footage of moving objects or person, i.e. if a person is tumbling down a sand dune.
Also, the camera is claimed to be optimised and calibrated to support AR and comes with AR sticker. Google has also added the feature of capturing Motion Pictures which offers to record a short 1.5 seconds video along with still images. It’s quite similar to the Live feature being offered by Apple in iPhones.
The real innovation comes out from a perfect blend of hardware and software. From the bundled features with Camera, it’s clear that Google is trying to capitalize on the software more than camera hardware alone. Google doesn’t see much merit in boasting up a device loaded with powerful hardware but missing softwares that can unravel the true potential of hardware components.
Despite all said and done, it is little too early to say that Google Pixel 2 XL is the best camera smartphones. We must wait for few more days until the top device reviewers come out with their final verdicts. We shall study as many notable reviews as possible and come out with another piece of deep dive analysis.