Whats It Like Using The UnReleased Pixel 2 XL In Scotland?


Scotland, and the rest of the UK + Ireland, have a uniquely different need in phone hardware and software compared to people living in other places such as America. For instance, when was the last time you saw someone walk around Glasgow saying “OK GOOGLE”…You’d look a tit.  Phone cases are practically a must in the cold air and the ever slippier metal phone chassis make it evermore unmanageable without one. Plus, pretty much any picture you take will be in lowlight conditions.  Having spent a week with this new phone there are already a few different things I like and dislike about the phone.

Features I Liked

I loved the design of the new phone as even though I’d need a case because of that small bezel design really makes the display look futuristic. This was especially true when viewing Google’s new wallpapers which are now live pictures. There are 15 different live wallpapers to choose from. My favourite being the classic, waves coming ashore, as well as the earth wallpaper which shows your location and whether you are in darkness or not as the world turns around slowly in real time.

The new camera feature which takes an image and gives you information is also very useful. I personally found it useful taking pictures of business cards and being able to simply click instead of copying the information manually which saves a lot of time.

I’m glad they stuck with the same placement for the finger sensor (on the back middle) as they had last year instead of being in a difficult to reach position (Samsung). It also means on the cold rainy mornings, it will still let you in even when the rains coming down around you as it’s on the back of the phone and doesn’t interrupt the sensor.

The fact the phone is water resistant is also a great feature as it means it will be safe when dropping it in a puddle, giving it to a wee bearn (kid) or being pushed into a pond fully clothed cause yer mates are D*ck’s.

Now, I did actually find the assistant to be useful in many ways. Such as waking up and just saying “Ok Google, what the time” to easily hear how late I am from my own phone. Also being able to squeeze the phone for the google assistant to wake up makes for a much quicker action which means I did feel myself use it more.

I also love the idea that every picture you take can be uploaded to the Google cloud at no extra cost as it means there is no real need for expandable storage as well as solving the issue of finding photos from phones long ago.

As well as this, when playing music, the album art appears on the lock screen which I loved as I could quickly see what song it was and it just looked great.

My Dislikes were

Though I really enjoyed this phone overall, there were somethings I found annoying.

The fact there is no headphone jack is really disappointing. I know they include an adapter in the box but it would be useful to have it. For example, would you really remember to take it in the car if you’re on the AUX? No. Apple and Google have both taken this step to redesign the way we use music with our phones and be able to leave room for more technology, however, I still personally believe that we are at least 5 years away from people just using Bluetooth headphones.

Another annoyance is the fact there are no headphones in the box. Unlike Apple, Google decided not to include any earbuds which make you believe they are pushing the new pixel earbuds at extra cost.

Overal, I really enjoyed my time with the phone and will definitely consider switching to it as my main phone. The Pixel XL 2 comes out today (15 November 2017) and will ship by the end of the month.

Special thanks to Google for letting us take a look early!