Google has finally introduced its second-generation smartphone, the Pixel 2, and its phablet version, the Pixel 2 XL. While the two upcoming Google devices received a warm welcome and positive reviews, there were comments about its new features (or the lack of them).

By the way, the two Google mobile devices will hit the market this coming Oct. 19th. For those who want to get in line first, pre-order is now available at Google Store: $649 for Pixel 2, $849 for Pixel 2 XL.

Google Pixel Buds

One thing very noticeable during the introduction is the fact that Google has decided to eliminate the 3.5mm earphone jack. Wannabe owners can still use a wired earphone; they can use the USB-C to 3.5mm earphone adapter which is included in the package.

Or they can purchase a wireless earphone called Pixel Buds. Yes, Pixel Buds will be sold separately in November for $159.

So how do these Pixel Buds work? According to WIRED, the right bud is integrated with touch-sensitive control. Single tap to play (or pause) music, swipe forward/backward to change volume, press and hold to get Google Assistant, make a phone call, send messages, and voice translation among other things.

The two buds are connected with a rope-like cable which can sit on the nape or around the neck. The battery will last up to five hours while the case can fully recharge Pixel Buds up to five charges, says Google. With the removal of the earphone jack and the arrival of wireless Pixel Buds, it cannot be helped but compare the two new Pixel 2 devices with Apple’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

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No dual camera

Speaking of comparing the iPhone 7, many were disappointed upon learning that two Pixel 2 devices will not have a dual camera feature. Though the second generation Google smartphone and phablet both have a single-camera feature, they both received a score of 98 from DxOMark, setting a new record for overall smartphone camera quality – a big leap from its predecessor’s score of 90.

Both the two Pixel 2 devices have a 12.2-megapixel rear camera that is capable of recording 1080p videos at 120 frames per second (FPS), 4K video at 30FPS, and 720p video at 240FPS. The camera setting features a 1/2.6-inch 12MP sensor and f/1.8 aperture, dual-pixel autofocus, optical image stabilization with HDR+ technology and a new portrait mode software solution.

In addition, Google also offers free unlimited storage for all original-quality photos and videos taken using the Pixel 2 device until the end of 2020. It is not yet revealed whether there will be fees afterward, but if you decide to upload high-quality rather than original-quality photos and videos, there’s no expiration date.