I’m a longtime iPhone user who got to try Google’s newest Pixel phone — here’s what I thought

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

On Wednesday morning, we got our first look at the Google Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL – Google’s latest and greatest flagship Android phones, designed in-house by the search giant’s growing hardware team.

I’ve been rocking an iPhone regularly since 2011, so I jumped at the chance to try the Google Pixel 2 in person.

Google bills the Pixel as the top-of-the-line phone that shows the true potential of Android. And I was eager to see for myself how it stacked up.

And try it I did. I got the chance to go briefly hands-on with the Google Pixel 2 after the big reveal. And while it’s hard to tell in a quick demo, I came away impressed.

Here’s the deal with the Google Pixel 2.


Here’s the flagship Google Pixel 2, which will sell starting at $649. It’s got a really, really, really nice 5-inch AMOLED screen that puts my iPhone 6s to shame. And while I didn’t get the chance to really test it, Google says the Pixel 2 camera is better than the iPhone’s or any other smartphone camera.

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

Right off the bat, you should know that no version of the Pixel 2 has a headphone jack. In that way, at least, it’s exactly like Apple’s newest iPhones.

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

It does, however, fit nicely in the hand.

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

This here is the larger Google Pixel 2 XL, with a 6-inch display. This one will go for $849. You can preorder both phones right now, for later shipping.

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

Both phones sport the same two-tone design on the back of the device, with a fingerprint sensor in the back. It certainly gives the device a little extra visual flair.

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

And speaking of visual flair, some colors of Pixel 2 have a different-colored power button. Nobody is going to mistake this for anything other than a Pixel phone.

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

It’s nice and thin…

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

…and weighs almost nothing.

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

One fun thing the Pixel 2 can do is let you squeeze it. No, wait, come back! Squeezing the phone brings up the Google Assistant, the search giant’s Siri rival. If Assistant is already on the screen, squeezing it again activates the microphone so you can talk.

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

The part that really gave me Android envy, though, is the smarts. With a new Pixel-exclusive feature called Google Lens, currently in beta, the Assistant can scan your photos and give you relevant information. Scanning this album art, for instance, brought up an option to listen to the full record on YouTube.

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

Or, if you scan a poster, it’ll pull out the email address or phone number so you can get in touch right away. It’s super neat, and Google says that at least for now, it’s only on the Pixel.

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

I’ll probably still go an iPhone after this, based on my short experience with the Pixel 2. But, more than anything else, the killer screen, the camera, and especially the AI-powered smarts made me seriously think about going Android for a few minutes. And as a long-time Apple user, that’s a huge victory in itself.

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The new lineup of iPhones.
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