The Google Pixel 2 is here, and we’re certainly impressed. The latest flagship has one of the best cameras we’ve ever tested on a smartphone, with a speedy processor to boot. It does, however, leave some things to be desired, falling short of the iPhone-esque revolution we’d been praying for.
Hope is not lost, particularly with the release of the Google Pixel 3 around the corner. If Google wants the Pixel 3 to topple the iPhone 9, or the iPhone XI it’ll need to fix a few things with the Pixel 2. With that in mind, here are the extra features, fixes and specs we’d like to see Google bring to the Pixel 3.
1. A cheaper price
Many moons ago, Google made excellent, affordable smartphones. Take the Nexus series, whose solid build, good quality and great value made such handsets an attractive choice. The Pixel deviated from this considerably, with Google plugging the high-end at the expense of its more affordable, albeit less impressive, counterpart. Right now the Pixel 2 can be picked up SIM-free for £629 for the 64GB model, and £729 for the 128GB model. If Google wants to disrupt Apple and Samsung’s smartphone designs, it’ll need to reduce the cost of the Pixel 3 when it comes to market.
2. Bring back the jack
Google were quick to slam Apple’s controversial removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack, but regrettably followed suit with the Google Pixel 2. Users now need to make use of a USB Type-C to 3.5mm adapter, or invest in some Bluetooth headphones. It’s not exactly an enticing prospect. For Google to get the edge over Apple, it needs to revive the headphone jack for the Pixel 3.
3. Cutting edge specifications
The Pixel 2 ended up installed with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, at the expense of getting the 836 chipset. That’s not a terrible thing – the 835 powers most of the best smartphones released this year – but if Google wants to stand out from the crowd, it would be helpful if it was bettering its rivals, rather than just matching them.
4. Better battery life
With the screen calibrated to 170cd/m² brightness and Flight mode switched on, the Pixel 2 lasted 14hrs 17mins in our battery test. Sure that’s four hours longer than the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, but it’s slightly behind last year’s Pixel. Battery life is a hugely important factor nowadays, and the Pixel 3’s should at least be the same as the Pixel 2’s.
5. A more interesting design
The Pixel 2 is sleek, yes. But there’s nothing particularly revolutionary nor even memorable about it. Rivals such as the Samsung S8, which sports an incredible bezel-less display, or the iPhone 8, which at least looks stunning, are leagues ahead of the Google Pixel 2, which is comparatively nondescript. It’ll be good to see an introduce a bold design language – like they did with the Pixel 2 XL (although hopefully without its terrible screen).
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