A pragmatic design and a promising camera
For a majority of the 10 years smartphones have been mainstream, phone makers have been copying each other’s designs. It’s not easy to differentiate when all you really have is a slab of glass and a handful of variables like materials, camera, ports, and bezels to work with. It’s only recently that we’ve been able to suss out some genuine schools of design thought, and genuinely competing philosophies of phone design are only beginning to emerge.
That’s why the designs for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are remarkable: in its second year of making phone hardware, Google is establishing an aesthetic that isn’t just consistent, but is distinct from what both Apple and Samsung are doing. Google hardware is all about pragmatism and approachability.
Google also layers on a new iteration to the oldest of tech clichés: the integration of hardware and software. For Google, the future isn’t in the merger of hardware and software; it’s in the merger of hardware and machine learning.
The new Pixels also seem like pretty good phones.