Google Pixel 2 XL Review: Telephony, Text Input, Pre-installed Apps

By 01:35 Wed, 18 Aug 2021 Comments


The Pixel 2's dialer displays Favorites, Call history, Contacts, and Visual Voicemails. There's a search bar at the top to assist you find a contact, or even nearby places to call. Smart dialing is supported, as well.

Dialer: favorites • call log • contacts • voicemal

Dialer: Smart dialing • In-call classy screen • Settings • Local search


Android Messages offers plenty of functionality and customizability like conversation bubble colors on a per-contact basis. Messages supports sharing a location, snapping an MMS photo directly from the conversation window, and voice messages. Android Messages also supports RCS Messaging on compatible networks.

Conversations view • Conversation window • Stickers • Gallery

Voice notes • Location • People & Options view • Change conversation color scheme

Text Input

GBoard is the default keyboard option for Android. It offers a plethora of features and tweaks to create it your own. You can set more than one language for Multilingual typing without the need to switch back and forth between keyboards. One-handed options are also plenty.

Keyboard view • Tool bar/ menu • more keyboard menus

Multiple ways to express your message

GBoard Settings • GBoard Preferences • Setting up multilingual keyboard

You can download GBoard and/or Android Messages to your current Android device to see what it's like for yourself. Or choose from a vast selection of third-party SMS and Keyboard apps from the Play Store.

Pre-installed apps

Like Nexus devices in the past, the Google Pixel 2 XL doesn't come with bloatware, though it does come with the essentials, all from Google.

  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Camera
  • Chrome
  • Clock
  • Contacts
  • Downloads
  • Drive
  • Gmail
  • Google
  • Maps
  • Messages
  • Phone
  • Photos
  • Play Movies
  • Play Music
  • Play Store
  • Settings
  • YouTube

Gmail and more

Gmail is the default Email client for Android, it supports Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, Outlook, Hotmail, Live, as well as POP3 and IMAP protocols. That's right, the Gmail app isn't only for Gmail accounts.

Gmail menu • Adding a recent email to Gmail

Smart Storage

Smart Storage will automatically delete photos or videos that meet two criteria: photos and videos must be older than 60 days, and photos and videos must have been backed up to Google Photos. In the Storage Settings page, there is also an option to "Free up space". This will prompt you to manually delete photos/videos backed up to Google Drive. It will also offer a list of files that you can choose to delete to free up storage space.

Storage • Smart Storage • Free up space



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