Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

The Verge’s Preview of Google’s New Pixel 2 Phones

Dieter Bohn of the Verge got an early look at Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones, officially announced today:

The speakers on both phones got plenty loud without too much distortion. I’m sure it was a priority to get those speakers in there, but I’m also sure I would rather have smaller bezels. The overall audio story on Pixel 2 is a big deal: it does away with the headphone jack, but it also supports a bunch of new audio codecs over Bluetooth 5. I can also tell you that the Pixel 2 is a thousand percent better at recognizing when I say “OK Google” than last year’s phone.

That’s the sole mention of the headphone port in Bohn’s preview. That’s weird, because less than a year ago, Bohn agreed with Nilay Patel’s sentiment that removing the headphone port was “user-hostile”. Even two months ago, Bohn was “going to continue to be a curmudgeon about” the removal of 3.5mm headphone port on today’s smartphones.

By the way, both Google and Apple include 3.5mm adaptors in the box. If you want to buy an extra one, Apple will charge you $9 for their Lightning-to-3.5mm adaptor, but Google will charge a whopping $20 for a USB-C-to-3.5mm adaptor. Just throwing that out there.

Bohn again:

That’s not to say there aren’t impressive design elements to point out. There are no visible antenna lines anywhere on the XL’s aluminum unibody. Even though the 6-inch screen on the XL might not technically count as edge-to-edge, it still fits a much larger screen in a body that’s just a little bigger than last year’s Pixel XL, which had a 5.5-inch screen. On both, you’ll see that there is no camera bump beyond a slight raised ridge around the lens.

But there is a camera bump, right? Either there is or there isn’t, and the photo in this article indicates that it’s virtually the same treatment as that on my iPhone 6S — a treatment that Bohn previously described as a “camera bump” and “aesthetically aggravating”.

Rather than go with dual lenses and a camera bump like Apple, […]

There is a camera bump. I get it: nobody likes camera bumps. Depending on who you ask, they’re either a symptom of an obsession with smartphone thinness, or a tolerable — if not ideal — compromise. But Bohn can’t make the bump go away by denying its existence, and I’m not sure what to make of his attempts to do so.