Google Pixel Screen Mirroring

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pixel 2MoreGoogle’s Pixel 2 is a veritable juggernaut among Android smartphones. It’s the de-facto launch platform for the latest version of Android (Android 8.0 Oreo), and it is packed to the brim with features like custom imaging chips, touch-sensitive bezels, and an artificial intelligence-powered assistant that can pick out architectural landmarks, book covers, and even phone numbers from photos.

But last year’s Pixel — the first in Google’s lineup — was just as groundbreaking in its time. It was one of the first with Android 7.0 Nougat, and boasted a top-of-the-line processor, capable cameras, and compatibility with every major cellular carrier in the U.S.So what makes the Pixel 2 that much better than the Pixel? We compared the two to find out.Specs Pixel Pixel 2 Size 143.8 x 69.

5 x 8.5 mm (5.66 x 2.74 x 0.33 inches) 145.7 x 69.7 x 7.8 mm (5.7 x 2.7 x 0.31 inches) Weight 143 grams (5.04 ounces) 143 grams (5.04 ounces) Screen 5-inch AMOLED display 5-inch P-OLED display Resolution 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (441 ppi) 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (441 ppi) OS Android 8.0 Android 8.0 Storage 32GB, 128GB 64GB, 128GB MicroSD card slot No No NFC support Yes Yes Processor Snapdragon 821, with Adreno 540 Snapdragon 835, with Adreno 540 RAM 4GB 4GB Connectivity GSM, CDMA, HSPA, EVDO, LTE, 802.

11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi GSM, CDMA, HSPA, EVDO, LTE, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi Camera 12.3 MP rear, 8 MP HD front 12.2 MP rear, 8 MP HD front Video Up to 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 120fps, 720p at 240fps Up to 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 120fps, 720p at 240fps Bluetooth Yes, version 5.0 Yes, version 5.0 Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes Other sensors Gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, proximity sensor, barometer Gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, proximity sensor, barometer Water resistant Yes, IP53 rated Yes, IP67 rated Battery 2,770mAh Fast-charging 2,700mAh Fast-charging Charging port USB-C USB-C Marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store Colors Black, Silver, and Blue Black, Blue, and White Availability AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Apple  Google Store, Verizon Price $550 $650 DT review Hands-on review  Coming soon There is no two ways about it: The Pixel 2 packs a wallop.

It has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip, which compares favorably to the Pixel’s Snapdragon 821 — Qualcomm claims the former has a 27 percent performance advantage. We will have to wait until we get our hands on the Pixel 2 to say for sure, but on paper, it comes out safely ahead of last year’s Pixel in the raw power department.The Pixel and Pixel 2 are a little more evenly matched when it comes to memory and radios.

Both have Bluetooth 5.0, 4GB of RAM, and up to 128GB of storage. The first-gen Pixel is at a slight disadvantage in that the cheaper model has just 32GB of storage, compared to the Pixel 2’s baseline 64GB. But in most other respects, it’s a tie between the two phones.In the end, the Pixel 2’s faster processor and higher storage capacity are enough to win the specs round.Winner: Pixel 2Design, Display, and Durabilitypixel 2MoreJulian Chokkattu/Digital TrendsThe Pixel 2 takes more than a few design cues from its predecessor, but look a little closer and you will notice the differences.

While the Pixel 2’s glass-and-aluminum design mimics the original, down to the curved edges, rounded corners, thick top and bottom bezels, and two-tone rear cover. The glass inlay is smaller and the fingerprint sensor is part of the aluminum body this time around. The front camera has not budged from its top-left perch on the front panel, nor has the primary camera and flash from their respective spots on the rear.

There is nothing much different about the Pixel 2’s volume rocker, power button, and USB-C port, either.The displays are mostly the same, too. Both the Pixel and Pixel 2 have 5-inch 1080p (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) P-OLED panels with higher-than-average contrast, deeper-than-average blacks, and ultra-wide viewing angles. The Pixel 2 slightly edges out its predecessor in color reproduction thanks to a wider gamut, but a Google-led effort to optimize both screens’ touch responsiveness means it shouldn’t be any less snappy than the first-gen Pixel.

pixel 2MoreStory ContinuesJulian Chokkattu/Digital TrendsThat is where the similarities between the Pixel and Pixel 2 end, though. The Pixel 2 ditches its predecessor’s 3.5mm audio jack. It ships with a USB-C-to-3.5mm adapter, but it’s more of a band-aide solution than a fix. Embedded in the Pixel 2’s bezels are two front-facing speakers (one above the screen and one below it) in stereo configuration, arguably a worthy consolation prize for that missing 3.

5mm headphone jack.The Pixel 2 isn’t just louder than the Pixel — it’s more durable too. It’s IP67 certified, meaning it’ll come up unscathed after a 30-minute dunk in a 3.5-foot pool of water. That is compared to the original Pixel’s IP53 rating, which doesn’t guarantee it will withstand anything more than a few splashes.On top of the superior water resistance, the Pixel 2 has Corning’s shatter-resistant Gorilla Glass 5 compared to the 2016 Pixel’s Gorilla Glass 4.

There is not a massive difference between the two, but Corning claims that Gorilla Glass 5 is “highly” (80 percent) likely to survive drops up to 5.2 feet, while Gorilla Glass 4 peaks at 3.2 feet.The Pixel 2 may not look all that different than the 2016 Pixel. But appearances can be deceiving. In truth, the Pixel 2 can withstand a lot more abuse, and that’s enough to win it this round.Winner: Pixel 2Battery life and chargingView photospixel 2MoreJulian Chokkattu/Digital TrendsThe Pixel and Pixel 2 are on par when it comes to the screens and design, and the same is true of battery life.

The battery in the Pixel 2 has shrunk very slightly to 2,700mAh, compared to the 2,770 mAh battery in the original.On the Pixel, Google pegs the battery at 19 days of standby time and up to 13 hours of 4G LTE internet browsing, which equates to about a full day of moderate multitasking. The Pixel 2 has a slight leg up thanks to its power-efficient Snapdragon 835 processor, but it doesn’t work miracles — Google says the Pixel 2 will last a “day” on a charge, which could very well end up mirroring the first-gen Pixel’s stats.

On the charging side of things, the Pixel and Pixel 2 are on equal footing. They both support the USB Power Delivery standard, which means that just 15 minutes of charging with a compatible wall adapter is enough to deliver around seven hours of battery life.That is why we’re calling this round a tie. From what we know so far, neither phone has the advantage when it comes to battery life and charging.

Winner: TieCameraView photospixel 2MoreThere is yet another category where the Pixel and Pixel 2 are alike, and it’s the camera.The Pixel 2 has almost the same camera hardware as the first-gen model, on paper at least. The Pixel 2 camera is rated at 12.2 megapixels, compared to the first Pixel’s 12.3 megapixels. As for the front-facing camera, they’re both rated at 8-megapixels with an f/2.4 aperture.

The Pixel 2 has the same 1.4μm pixel size, the same dual pixel phase-detection technology, and the same laser autofocus sensor as the first-gen Pixel. It has roughly same video capabilities too — both phones’ rear cameras can shoot up to 4K at 30 frames per second, or up to 1080p at 120 fps.But the Pixel 2’s camera is improved in other ways. It has an f/1.8 aperture as opposed to the Pixel’s f/2.

0, which should translate to better low-light shots, and a Google-designed imaging chip that can apply camera filters in real time. That is in addition to a “fusion” of optical image stabilization (OIS) and electronic image stabilization (EIS), which the aforementioned imaging chip taps to counteract jerky motions while recording video.All those improvements together were enough to earn it a 98 from DxOMark, the highest score the company has ever awarded to a smartphone camera.

The Pixel 2’s other differentiating features are software-based. It boasts an improved Portrait Mode-like bokeh mode that captures pics with an in-focus foreground and out-of-focus background (a la the iPhone), and a Motion Photo feature that records a three-second clip before and after you tap the shutter button.View photospixel 2MoreThen there’s Google Lens, an AI photo analyzer than can pick out books, DVD covers, architectural landmarks, and more.

Thanks to Google-designed machine-learning chips that process more than 180 trillion floating point operations per second, Google Lens can give a description of a building in a photo, identify the artist of a painting, or even enter a Wi-Fi password automatically from a photo of the underside of a Wi-Fi router.Google says the Google Lens will eventually come to other platforms. On a technical level, there is nothing preventing Motion Photo from hitting the first-gen Pixel — both are built into the Google Camera, the camera app that ships on the Pixel and Pixel 2.

But for now, the Pixel 2 has the advantage of timed exclusivity.It is a close call when it comes to the cameras. But the Pixel 2’s superior aperture, optical image stabilization, and wealth of software features win it the round.Winner: Pixel 2SoftwareView photospixel 2MoreSoftware is where the Pixel 2 really shines. It runs Android 8.0 Oreo, same as the first-gen Pixel, which received an upgrade to the new operating system earlier this year.

Among the highlights is a revamped notification shade that lets you snooze incoming alerts. Notification Channels, a related feature, allows you to toggle categories of notifications on a per-app basis — if you have the YouTube app installed and you only want to see subscription updates from certain channels, for example, you can block notifications from other subscribers. Notification Badges mimic iOS’ unread badge counters — you’ll see dots appear above an app or folder with new notifications, and tapping or pressing the icon of an app with a dot show it as a pop-up.

That is all available on the first-gen Pixel, but not all of the Pixel 2’s software are heading to its predecessor. An upgraded Pixel Launcher (the app that powers the Pixel 2 and first-gen Pixels’ home screens) moves the prominent Google search bar to the bottom of the screen, where it’s easier to reach, and adds an optional “daily briefing” widget that shows the current weather, temperature, and upcoming calendar entries.

View photospixel 2MoreThe Pixel 2’s other software exclusives take advantage of its custom hardware. The low-power Always On Display shows a monochrome clock and notifications, even when the phone is off. Now Playing taps the Pixel 2’s three-microphone array to identify music playing nearby and put a link a relevant Google Play Music listing on the lock screen. Then there’s Google’s AR Stickers, launching in preview alongside the Pixel 2, which project digital labels onto tables, chairs, and other surfaces.

There’s nothing preventing the Pixel from getting many of the Pixel 2’s software features down the line, but one feature it won’t get is the Active Edge, which allows you to squeeze the Pixel 2 to launch Google Assistant or snap a selfie, just like Edge Sense in the HTC U11. There are enough small extras to hand the Pixel 2 the win.Winner: Pixel 2Price and availabilityGiven all that’s improved in the Pixel 2, you would be forgiven for expecting it to cost an arm and a leg.

But it comes in at the same launch price of last year’s Pixel.The Pixel 2 (in “just black,” “clearly white,” and “kinda blue” colors) is available in 64GB and 128GB storage configurations for $649 and $749 unlocked, respectively — exactly the same prices as the 2016 Pixel. Alternatively, you can opt for Google’s monthly financing, which is $27.04 per month for the 64GB model and $31.

21 per month for the 128GB model.For a limited time, Google’s throwing in the Google Home Mini for customers who pre-order. But there’s a wildcard to consider: The Google Store has the first-gen 32GB Pixel for $550 unlocked, or $100 off the original asking price.The Pixel 2, like last year’s Pixel, is compatible with every major U.S. carrier, but Google has an exclusive retail partnership with Verizon Wireless in the U.

S.Regardless of carrier, though, Google says it will support the Pixel 2 for three years — a full year more than the Pixel’s two-year guarantee.The Pixel 2 won’t begin shipping until later this year. But here os the takeaway: It’s a better phone for $100 more than its predecessor, give or take. That is a steep price to swallow, but the durability, speed, and software improvements make the upgrade more than worth it.

Winner: Pixel 2Overall winner: Pixel 2The Pixel 2 is not a massive leap from the Pixel. In many ways, it’s more of an evolution. The design is more or less the same, albeit a bit more durable. The battery life and screen haven’t improved all that much, and the excellent cameras are on a fairly even footing.But what enhancements the Pixel 2 does have are tempting. It’s more durable than the 2016 Pixel, and it’s got a faster processor and stereo speakers.

Exclusive software features like the Google Lens and an all-new Pixel Launcher, meanwhile, are icing on the cake.We will have to spend some time with the Pixel 2 before we come to a definitive conclusion, but from what we’ve seen so far, it has the first-generation Pixel beat.Capcom announces ‘Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition’ for 2018Microsoft’s Edge browser launches in preview on iOS and AndroidAvoid scratches and dents with the 11 best iPhone 8 Plus cases

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The true wireless earbud revolution, which has only recently shifted into high gear, has been dominated by Apple’s AirPods. Despite showing up late to the party, they’re less expensive and easier to use than most competitors, most of which still haven’t lived up to expectations. We hoped that Google would kickstart the party by jumping into the fray with its own true wireless buds, and offer Apple some real competition.

But when Google finally revealed its Pixel Buds, some air (no pun intended) went out of the room. Instead of offering fully wireless, independent buds in the vein of Apple’s AirPods and Bragi’s The Headphone (among many others), the Pixel Buds come tethered together with a small wire like so many “wireless” buds before them. Reliably connecting two thimble-sized gadgets through thin air (and your skull) has stumped many startups, and it seems even Google doesn’t yet have a good solution.

Still, while they don’t compare directly to the AirPods, the Pixel Buds make a valiant attempt at staking their own ground, offering intuitive tap controls and some impressive features to set them apart from the crowd, like real-time translation. In our Google Pixel Buds review, we dig deep so you can decide if the latest from big G are the wireless earbuds you need on your holiday shopping list.

Little grey box, big black buds The Pixel Buds arrive in a clean white box that reminded us of the packaging for Google’s first real hardware win, the Chromecast. Inside, a felt-covered grey box sits on a throne of Paper-Foam, that molded, soft-touch cardboard everything seems to come in these days. Beneath it you’ll find instructions in multiple languages, and a USB-C charging cable. Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends Google’s cloth case, about the size of a ring box, looks different than most we’ve seen, but it’s less elegant in design than Apple’s easy-flip capsule.

 Opening it via a tiny black flap takes nimble fingers. The Buds inside are bulbous discs connected to U-shaped earpieces, resting on magnetic cradles. They would be average sized for true wireless buds, but they’re monstrous for tethered ones. Along with our black pair, they also come in white and blue. The charging case is both an added bonus and a necessity. The case’s fuzzy exterior feels good in your hands, but the lid seems a little flimsy, as if it might be easily separated or crushed in your pocket.

Winding the snazzy, braided cable to fit inside is also something we’ve yet to get used to. Google actually provides a GIF to teach you how, but the cable always wanted to jump back out before we snapped shut the lid. A trio of LEDs inside the case reveal battery life: A single dot lights up solid green when your buds are fully charged and flashes white when pairing, while all three glow white to reveal a fully charged case.

Battery life is rated at five hours for the buds themselves and 24 hours with the case, mirroring exactly (you guessed it) Apple’s AirPods. Most tethered competitors at or even below the Pixel Buds’ $159 price range offer eight to 10 hours of playback, so the charging case is both an added bonus and a necessity. Fast charging gives you an hour of playback on a 10-minute charge. Setup While experiences may vary, we found the Pixel Buds more finicky to pair than most wireless earbuds, true or tethered.

Like Apple’s AirPods (broken record, we know), they are designed to auto-pair, but that didn’t play out as designed. For Pixel phones, you’re instructed to simply open the case to pair. When we went to pair them to the Pixel 2, though, the buds didn’t show up in the Bluetooth menu. After some futzing with the pairing button (and restarting the phone) we finally got them connected. Google Pixel Buds Compared To If you’re connecting anything but a Pixel, Google’s instructions point you to a helper site, which is a little convoluted.

At the bottom are instructions for “Reconnecting” (tapping twice on the right bud) which got us connected. Below that are instructions to hold the button inside the case for manual pairing as an alternative. Why Google didn’t simply put a Bluetooth symbol on the nearly invisible button is beyond us. Almost in Purpose-built to sit just inside your ear canal, the Pixel Buds never quite feel secure.

As Google promised, we mostly got used to the fit over time (and had zero issues with them falling out), but it was odd each time we reinserted them. The loose fit also means very little ambient noise isolation, so office chatter and plane engines leak right through. On the bright side, the adjustable braided cable is silky smooth and barely registers on your neck. Onboard controls A single tap on the right earbud will play and pause tracks, while swiping forward or backward controls volume.

Both worked perfectly, in sharp contrast to most similar designs we’ve encountered. The fact that Google’s earbuds don’t fully seat in your ears may be partly responsible: When earbuds dig into your ear canal, it’s uncomfortable to tap too hard. Interestingly, volume isn’t something we had to deal with much. That’s because the Pixel Buds are about as loud as we ever needed them at their lowest setting.

Moving up more than two notches was too loud for our ears, and each step up raised volume more than we’d like. You can adjust volume more granularly directly on the Pixel 2, but we’d prefer more control on the buds. Song skipping, standard on most such designs, isn’t an option. Google Assistant and instant translation A big draw for these earbuds is easy access to Google Assistant. Tap and hold the right earbud to start talking to Assistant, and it will respond to commands, giving you the weather or serving up directions (your phone will detect if you’re walking and give you walking directions).

You can also place calls, send text messages, and control streaming services — almost anything the Google Assistant can do on the phone is fair game with the Pixel Buds. While many wireless earbuds offer similar features for Google Assistant, Siri, or Samsung’s Bixby, Google’s Pixel Buds are smooth in operation. There’s almost zero delay between when you press and hold on the right earbud and when you can start talking, and responses are speedy.

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends Perhaps the most exciting feature works in tandem with Assistant: Instant translation via Google Translate. Tap and hold the right earbud and say “help me speak Spanish,” or one of the 40 supported languages. On your Pixel 2 smartphone, you’ll see the Google Translate app open up but with a unique interface specifically when it detects the Pixel Buds are connected.

Tap and hold the right earbud and say a phrase, and the smartphone will then speak the phrase in the language you request. You’ll need to hold the phone in front of the person you’re chatting with so they hear the translation from the speaker. Using Google Translate with the earbuds is fluid and easy, and could be great for traveling. The person you’re chatting with can then tap the icon on the screen and say a phrase in their language, and you’ll hear the translated sentence in your ear.

We practiced with one of our multi-lingual colleagues, a native Spanish speaker from Colombia, and both of us were impressed at how accurate the translation was. Our colleague even tried to mess with the app by using her region’s word for “cool,” chévere, and the app didn’t falter. The app also picked up the Mexican preference chido, with no trouble. In fact, we had to work pretty hard to dig up an error, using city-specific slang to throw it for a loop.

Even proper names, like street names, worked better than expected. It’s not really new, but using the feature with the earbuds is fluid and easy, and we could see it coming in handy while traveling. The app can still struggle at times, but it’s a huge step forward on the path to fluid conversation abroad. The Pixel Buds will play audio from any Android phone running Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher, and from iPhones running iOS 10 and higher.

To make use of the Assistant, you’ll need an Android phone that’s running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and higher. If you want the instant translation feature, you’ll have to purchase a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL smartphone for now. Audio performance We’ve already seen some early reviewers ranking the Pixel Buds among the best wireless headphones they’ve heard. To them we say: It’s time to check out some more wireless headphones.

You can get a lot from a $100-to-$150 pair of Bluetooth buds these days, including sound that far outshines what Google’s buds offer. That said, for the vast majority of users, the sound the Pixel Buds provide will be just fine. It’s not fantastic, it’s not sparkling, vibrant, present, or any other coveted buzzword audio reviewers pull from our bag of tricks to get users excited about great sound.

But it gets the job done, both for listening to music and for fielding phone calls, which come through clearly from both sides. Luckily, for those keeping score in the Android/iOS Battle Royale, the Pixel Buds don’t sound much worse (or better), than Apple’s own AirPods. They just sound different. In short, the preference between them will be based on taste. Both sets of headphones are tuned to appeal to — or at least abstain from offending — the largest number of people possible.

But, where Apple aims for a more balanced and brighter touch, Google goes low (quite literally) with a bass-forward sound signature that will appeal to ears nursed on Beats and their bass-heavy ilk. Kick and tom drums, bass guitar, and other lower register instruments make their presence known in every track, boosted well above their placement in the studio mix, without going full-on, bass-head bonkers.

The result is a sound that serves up some weight and fullness to your music, especially down low, while leaving a lot to be desired when it comes to presence and definition in the upper registers. Midrange and treble-focused percussion gets the shortest end of the stick, as snare drums and cymbals sound smeared and smoothed over at the moment of impact, almost as though every drummer has switched out their drumsticks for timpani mallets.

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends That lack of sparkle in the middle frequencies is shared elsewhere, too, obscuring presence and clarity in everything from the jangly brass of an acoustic guitar string to the whisper of a singer’s lips as she approaches the microphone for an intricate verse. The result is a warm and almost lazy sound that’s never off-putting, but rarely engaging. Warranty information Google’s Pixel Buds offer a limited one-year warranty which applies only to Pixel Buds purchased in the U.

S. or Canada. Our Take Google’s Pixel Buds are a solid first entry in the world of wireless earbuds, and for Pixel phone buyers, they provide some unique features that may be worth consideration. At $159, however, they don’t offer the kind of features and performance we expect from buds connected by a cable. Is there a better alternative? Apple’s $159 AirPods are any easy upgrade for anyone irritated by the Pixel Buds’ cord, especially if you own an iPhone.

Other solid wireless choices at or near the Pixel Buds’ price point include The Headphone from Bragi at $149 (though it doesn’t come with a charging case), and Jabra’s Elite Sport, which are fully waterproof and include fitness tracking for $200-250. For both Android and iOS users, there are a ton of great choices in the tethered wireless earbuds marketplace, many of which offer better performance and more features for less than the Pixel Buds, with the caveat that they don’t come with a charging case.

V-Moda’s Forza Metallo Wireless are a great choice for less cash, boasting killer sound, a secure fit, and sweatproofing to take on your daily workout. While not sweatproof, Shure’s similarly priced SE215 Wireless offer excellent sound, and can also be plugged in for versatile use. If working out is your main bag, you’ll want to check out Jabra’s Sport Pulse Wireless Special Edition, which offer sweatproofing and workout features like a heart-rate monitor.

How long will it last? From the braided cable to the hard-plastic shells, Google’s Pixel Buds feel well built. That said, the case’s rather flimsy lid is of some concern, especially for those who are hard on their gear. Should you buy it? Unless you’re a Pixel phone owner who travels abroad on a regular basis, we’d recommend looking elsewhere. While the Google Translate feature is cool, it’s not much better with the Pixel Buds than what you’ll get straight from your phone, and aside from extended battery life in the case, there just aren’t enough extras here to warrant the price.

We expect Google’s next version to be fully wireless, which, if they can keep all the features offered here, should make them a serious competitor. Update: Added more info about call quality.

Wilma Lawrence

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