Smartphone Battle

The Great “Smartphone Battle” is underway as Google Challenges iPhone

After a somewhat lackluster introduction of iPhone 8 Google has announced two new entries into the smartphone space. Known as the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, these handsets will set you back $649 and $849, while iPhone 8 starts at $699.

Googles phones have a good change of standing out from their competition, the Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy note and of course the iPhone.

Smartphone Choices

Google is offering 2 choices.  The XL is a larger model but the features are very similar.  The design is very similar to the original Pixel but with more hardware offerings.  One big change is the new edge-to-edge display on the XL.

In addition, the new Pixel 2’s are water resistant – according to Google for up to 3 feet of water and up to 30 minutes.

One missing feature – the headphone jack.  I wish Google hadn’t taken this route – from experience of iPhone and Motorola having to use the same jack to charge and listen to music is difficult.

Smartphone Hardware Upgrades

Both of the new Pixel Phones come with 12.3 MP cameras featuring low light performance, optical image stabilization and motion photos.

A unique new feature is that of Google Lens to capture meta information from images (like text or other identifiable info).

Google cameras, not just on the original Pixel but on their Nexus line, were always a bit behind the curve.  It will be interesting to see how this upgrade compares to the dual lens cameras now included on both iPhone and Samsung’s offerings.

The Pixel 2 offers a 5 inch 1920 x 1080 resolution AMOLED panel.  The XL has a 6 inch edge-to-edge 2800 x1400 resolution P-OLED with swooping curves at it’s edges.

Smartphone Operating Systems

Like iPhone’s upgrade to iOS, the new Pixel 2’s feature Android Oreo – the newest version of the Android operating system.  These will be the first Smartphones to market with Oreo which adds several new functions like application badges, a picture-in-picture mode and a number of other enhancements.

In addition, by adding the Google Headset Pixel 2 will offer real-time language translation in 40 different languages.  The phone also has Google Daydream for Virtual Reality.

Unwanted Smartphone Apps

One big feature of the Pixel 2 (and other phones directly from Google) is they don’t include all the unwanted apps.  This has been an issue from companies like Samsung, LG, HTC and the mobile carriers who preload these applications and make it impossible to uninstall them.  You can disable them but they still take memory and are present on the device.

William (Bill) Sikkens has been a technology expert for KXL on the Morning Show with Steve and Rebecca since 2014. With an expertise in I.T., cyber security and software design he has had more than 20 years’ experience with advanced technology. Sikkens conceptualizes and designs custom applications for many professional industries from health care to banking and has the ability to explain the details in a way all can understand.

Got a technology question or comment for Bill? Follow him on Twitter @sikkensw

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