Google Kills the Pixel 2

Google’s second-generation pixel flagship smartphone is no longer available for sale. Both the Pixel 2 and 2XL have been removed from the Google store and trying to visit the Pixel 2 page directly redirects to the Pixel 3 listing. However, some third-party retailers such as Best Buy are selling their remaining stock at discounted prices. Verizon, Pixel 2’s exclusive US carrier, discontinued the sale of the smaller device in October but the 2XL is still retailing at full price.

The company is no stranger to such a move, it ended the sale of the original pixel at around the same time last year, 18 months after it launched. It is a strategy that stands in contrast to Apple, which keeps on selling its devices years after release. Google seems to be shifting all its focus to the Pixel 3 and 3 XL which was launched in October last year.

Google Gets Competitive

The Pixel 2 and 2 XL were launched in October 2017 and the bigger of the two is arguably Google’s most competitive smartphone to date. Despite a great camera, fast updates and a great android build, the company faced controversy for the display of the larger phones. Users of the phone when it first shipped decried its dull colors to which Google said they had aimed for color fidelity over vibrancy. The company did, however, release a software update that gave users the option to increase saturation.

The Manufacturing

Google outsourced the manufacture of the handsets with HTC building the Pixel 2 and LG handling the larger one. Samsung provided the 5-inch OLED used in the Pixel 2 in the traditional 16:9 ratio. LG had just started its production of mobile OLED again but the initial iteration of panels used in the 2 XL led to the issues experienced by the device. The 6-inch displays had an 18:9 ratio.

The just discontinued Pixels are still some of the best phones for photography despite the major improvement in camera technology in newer devices. The single 12MP camera in both versions capture incredible images thanks to Google’s HDR+ processing. Starting prices at launch were $649 for the Pixel 2 which made it the most expensive entry-level smartphone and $850 for the 2 XL. The third generation lineup starts at a staggering $800.

Despite the end of sales, the Pixel 2s will still receive Android updates and security patches. It’s presently one of a few handsets that can run the first beta of Android Q and will probably run betas of Android R in 2020.

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