There’s really no such thing as a surprise smartphone reveal any more. Apple’s iPhone lineup was thoroughly spoiled long before it took the stage to unveil the iPhone X last month, and now Google has suffered the same fate with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. But nevertheless, these companies have to press on, which is exactly what Google did on Wednesday morning in San Francisco, California when it officially uncovered the Pixel 2 XL.
The biggest change from last year’s Pixel phones is the fact that the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were built by two different manufacturers. Google stuck with HTC for the Pixel 2, but brought on LG to build the Pixel 2 XL. As a result, the two phones diverge rather noticeably in terms of their design — much more so than in 2016.
While the Pixel 2 looks nearly identical to last year’s Pixel, the display of the Pixel 2 XL has rounded corners and stretches much closer to the edges of the phone. It’s not quite as bezel-less as the iPhone X or the Note 8, but it’s a noticeable improvement over the designs of the Pixel 2 and last year’s Pixel phones.
Other than the Pixel 2 XL’s 6-inch QHD+ display (a significant leap over the Pixel XL’s 5.5-inch screen), its specs fall in line with those of the Pixel 2. Both phones are equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and 4GB of RAM, and Google will offer a 64GB and 128GB model of each. Plus, they’ll both run pure Android 8.0 Oreo.
The Pixel 2 line also has several new features, including an always-on display and the ability to squeeze the phone to activate Google Assistant. Google is also bringing customizable routines to the Pixel with Assistant.
Preorders go live for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL today. The 64GB Pixel 2 XL will cost $849, while the 128GB Pixel 2 XL will retail for $949. Unlike the Pixel 2, the Pixel 2 XL comes in two colors: Just Black and Black and White.