- Everybody is quick to say this is the best Android phone, but it isn't. Just because it's from Google and is the newest, that doesn't make it the best. To me, the best Android phone is the Essential. It's the only Android phone that looks and feels like a hero device. I've been switching between a Nexus, the original Pixel and the Essential for the last several months and nothing compares to the fit & finish and overall experience of the Essential. Like most generations of iphones, the Essential stands on it's own as a beautiful device and the thought putting a case on it would be sacrilege. The new Pixel 2 is only incrementally better than the original and just as boring. All top end Android phones look the same these days - running basically the same processors with the same memory in about the same size with about the same camera. In an Android world of sameness, only the Essential stands on it's own as a premium and beautiful device
- Reviews of mobile phones read more like camera reviews these days. When everything looks the same and has the same components, all we're left to do is talk about how great the camera is and how many filters it comes with and how they achieve those effects. With that said, a great camera is critical and it's the most important feature for me, but all high end phones take great pictures these days. Who has the best filter for portraits is less important to me than the overall phone experience.
- Reviewers are gushing about incremental software updates or "deeper" integration of google services into the experience, but really nobody is going to care, understand, or buy the phone for that. We can complain about the "bloatware" that Samsung loads on their phones, but it hasn't stopped people from buying them. People buy Samsung phones because they look and feel great to hold and to use. People are attracted to products that put design first. iphone proves that every year.
- This is an ugly phone. It's so ugly that Google won't even show you it's front in any of it's marketing channels. Their video and digital Ads all show you the backside of the phone. It's like watching a movie where you can only see the back of everybody's head. Looking at the front reveals a plain, utilitarian face with bevels that look like they belong on a phone from 2015. It even makes the dated looking iphone 8 look good.
Bottom line - the Pixel 2 is a great Android phone that looks, feels and performs like most top end Android phones. It's utilitarian and if you value function over form, you can't go wrong.
If you want a phone that is more of a status symbol that represents a triumph in design, construction, or overall experience, check out the Essential or one of the Galaxy phones by Samsung.
photo credit: Android Central