3 Big Reasons to Get the Pixel 2 XL Over the Pixel 2

The $200 price difference between the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is nothing to sneeze at, but I’m telling you right now to splurge on Google’s larger phone. You will not regret it.

Yes, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are very similar on paper. They boast the same great rear 12-megapixel and front 8-MP cameras and the amazing new Google Lens feature, which automatically recognizes objects in your images and delivers more info via Google Assistant. Inside, you'll find the same Snapdragon 835 processor along with 4GB of RAM; you also get the same 64GB and 128GB storage options. And both the Pixel and Pixel 2 XL let you summon the Google Assistant with a quick squeeze of the bottom of the phone.

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But I didn’t want to squeeze the regular Pixel after holding it for just a few minutes. I just wanted to toss it in my bag. The Pixel 2 XL, however, is a phone I would gladly ise every day. Here’s why.

1. It’s a lot sexier

Just look at them. The bezels surrounding the Pixel 2’s 5-inch screen are ridiculously large. I measured them, and we’re talking about the difference between 0.6 inches for the Pixel 2 and 0.35 to 0.4 inches for the Pixel 2 XL.

No offense to Google, but the front of the Pixel 2 looks downright dated next to the Pixel 2 XL, whose narrower 18:9 aspect ratio makes it more akin to the sleeker Galaxy S8+.

2. Bigger, sharper screen

The 6-inch screen on the Pixel 2 XL is simply bigger than the 5-inch Pixel 2. It reminds me of the difference between the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 and 5.5 iPhone 8 Plus. Not only did I enjoy watching videos and playing games more on the Pixel 2 XL, I also found it much easier to type on its bigger screen.

You get more resolution on the Pixel 2 as well at 2880 x 1440 pixels, compared to 1920 x 1080 pixels on the Pixel 2. So with Google’s bigger phablet, you’ll be able to better appreciate the photos you take and video you capture, and movies you watch over Wi-Fi (you usually get 720p over LTE because of carrier restrictions).

3. Longer battery life

Last but not least, the Pixel 2 XL’s bigger 3,520 mAh battery delivered longer battery life than the Pixel 2’s 2,700 mAh pack. Google’s bigger phablet lasted 12 hours and 9 minutes, versus 11:07 for the Pixel 2. Both of these runtimes smash the 9:40 category average, but I’d rather take the extra hour of juice from the Pixel 2 XL.

What about the premium?

Google Pixel 2 XL

If you’re paying full price for the Pixel 2 XL up front, the $849 is going to sting, compared to the lower $649 for the Pixel 2. But most of us are not going to buy it that way. Whether you go through Google or through Verizon, you’ll pay just $8 more monthly. It’s the difference between $27 for the Pixel 2 and $35 for the Pixel 2 XL.

I’d gladly pay more to enjoy a much better looking design, a more immersive viewing experience and extra juice.

Image Credits: Tom's Guide

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.