Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Google Brings Its Android Vision into Sharp Focus

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Google Brings Its Android Vision into Sharp Focus

Article excerpt

The Pixel 2 XL is good-looking with many stand-out features ANDROID is the most popular mobile operating system in the world - more than 80% of all smartphones across the globe run Android software of one kind or another.

But Android's maker, Google, has a problem - there are thousands of different models of phone that run Android. And the vast majority of them are not made by Google.

That's a lot of different devices to test the software against - an impossible job, in fact.

In reality some phone makers dominate the market - Samsung in particular has a big reputation.

And around this time last year Google signalled its intention to join the mix. It decided to make its own phone and it was called Pixel.

A year on and we now have the Pixel 2, and Google is getting closer to making the perfect Android phone.

I've been testing the Pixel 2 XL (which sports a 6in screen, an inch bigger than the standard Pixel 2) for a couple of weeks ahead of its launch this week, and I like it. Very much.

It quite clearly represents what Google thinks Android should be, and as such, represents Android in its purest form.

In short, it's the most Google phone you can get.

It marries Google's vision for the software with the best hardware to make the most of both.

For a start it's a good-looking phone - quite bold with simple lines.

This is mirrored in the software, which confirms the general suspicion that Google is getting quite good at design. It's all very clean and simple.

We know that Android is a mature and capable operating system, but what this phone brings is deeper integration with some stand-out hardware features.

A phone these days is largely judged by the quality of its camera, and the Pixel 2 XL is a big winner on that score. In fact Google claims the Pixel 2's camera is the best you can find in a smartphone.

I'm not sure how you measure that, but I can certainly tell you that the Pixel 2's camera is capable of some inexplicable magic.

Despite only sporting the single lens, it can spit out some superb 'portrait' images with beautifully blurred backgrounds.

And the image stabilisation on captured video is just incredible - smoothing out camera shake and the kind of jerks and jolts wandering about with a camera while filming can produce. …

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