Why we Love The Google Pixel 2XL and 3XL Phones

Google sent us a Pixel 2XL in August of 2018 for us to test out and we loved it. When they said they’d like to send us the Pixel 3XL we were super excited. A quick trip to the Verizon store somewhere in Arizona did the trick and now we’re both using these phones full-time. In this story, we talk about why we’re proud to be a part of #teampixel.

Reasons we love the Google Pixel 2XL and the Google Pixel 3XL

  • The phones work effortlessly with all things Google: Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc. This should come as no real surprise since it’s a Google phone and yet we have to mention it because it makes shifting between your mobile device and your laptop that much easier.
  • The color choices of the Pixels are cool. The Pixel 3XL comes in three choices: Just Black, Clearly White and Not Pink. We have Not Pink and a case with color accents to match it! The Pixel 2XL comes in Black & White and Just Black. We have the Just Black phones as well as a case with a beach scene on it. If you’re like us, the color of the phone matters, but it’s not a deal breaker because you’re going to be putting a more personalized case on it anyway. Still, we like the options Google is offering for those who live dangerously and don’t use a case (or go with a clear one.)
  • The screens are large enough that flipping through Instagram and watching videos, not to mention reading are easy on the eyes. The colors are visually appealing (you can actually adjust the colors. Settings > Display > Colors. From there you can choose between Natural, Boosted and Adaptive.) We use the Natural setting because we think it looks the best and helps us achieve the most accuracy when editing photos. The Pixel 2XL’s screen is 6 inches and the Pixel3XL’s screen is 6.3 inches.
  • Both Pixels allow you to use your Google Assistant! Basically, you can voice activate your phone to help you complete many of life’s daily activities such as checking your calendar, sending a text, show you a recipe, play a song, etc. The options are almost endless.
  • One of the best features we have found so far on the Pixel 3XL is the Flip to Shh gesture. It allows us to have better boundaries with our technology. This feature disables notifications when the phone is face down. If you’re worried about missing something super important or you need to make sure notifications from certain people come through in this mode, no worries, you can customize the settings. We love technology as much as anyone but this feature helps us unplug during meals, time out with friends, etc.
  • The phone is great for adventures. The battery lasts all day in the field (we get more out of the battery when it is in Dark Mode) and it’s a lot easier (lighter, smaller) for us to carry on certain adventures where the weight and size of our gear is a concern. It also fits nicely into the front pocket of our running packs which means we can take photos and make lasting memories on some of our most epic runs.
  • And last, but not least, we like the way the phone feels in our hands. It’s thin, fits in our back pockets and we can hold it with one hand. We also like the placement of the fingerprint sensor. It’s on the back, top half of the phone and it makes unlocking the device super easy. We’ve found that we rarely accidentally open the phone (this in turn means we’re doing far fewer accidental “butt dials” than before!)

The Google Pixel 2XL and 3XL Cameras

  • The camera … Both phones have received a lot of positive press about the camera. And for good reason. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on the phones to test it out ourselves. The verdict? We love it. The camera on both phones is a 12.2 MP dual-pixel rear camera. Both cameras have auto-focus features, allow you to set it on a 3 or 10 second timer and have optical and electronic stabilization. In addition, they both offer HDR+ for low light photography. The portrait mode in both phones is stunning. We both about lost it when we saw the result the first time we shot on that mode.
  • A new feature just rolled out that’s called Night Sight and it allows you to take photos in super low light. It’s incredible. You get a ton more information in your photos using Night Sight. You also still have the option to shoot in low light without it.

Both photos above were taken with the Google Pixel 3XL. The one on the left is without Night Sight and the one on the right is using Night Sight. The photos were taken a few seconds apart.

  • Another thing we love about these phones is that we get unlimited storage in Google Photos for all of our pictures. It’s a really nice way for us to keep our images as well as share individual photos and albums with others. It’s sped up our workflow a bit as well since when we connect to wifi our photos automatically back up from our phone to Google Photos.
  • In addition, I’ve had a lot of fun with the Playground feature in the camera. It allows you to make your videos come to life using Playmoji’s. My favorite are the dogs. You might have seen them on my Instagram stories. I’ve shown them on the National Mall in DC, on the Metro riding the train, on my birthday cake, etc. If you put a couple different Playmoji’s into the scene they’ll interact with each other. It also works in selfie mode!
  • One other feature we think is pretty cool is Google Lens. Using Google Lens is a fast way to call a phone number, scan a QR code, visit a website, or even look up an object. I recently trained Google Lens on my Aunt’s dog and my Pixel 3XL told me it was a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and it was right!

Google Pixel 2XL and 3XL accessories

  • If you have a phone, you’re going to need a case, right? Both Google Pixel phones have a bunch of options. To see your options, head on over to the Google Store. We recently made our own case using one of our own photos! The process was really easy. You basically have to just upload a photo and then your case will get wrapped and sent to you. You can also choose from illustrations and artwork in their collection as well as make a case that looks like a map of a favorite location. I chose a photo of Half Dome in Yosemite at sunset for my photo!
  • Both phones come with a charger that is lightweight and compact. It’s a USB-C type device and delivers a fast charge. To see more of the specs on the charger, head HERE.
  • In addition to the charger that comes with the phone, we also have a Google Pixel Stand which means we can charge quickly and wirelessly. It works nicely as a nightstand and as an alarm. (The Sunrise Alarm setting is cool. What happens is that your Pixel will mimic the rising of the sun with it’s own ambient lighting just before your alarm goes off.) Another cool feature is the photo album which displays when your phone is charging. It will also scroll through your photos which can be a cool way to relive some of your memories. (Just be sure you’re okay with others who may walk by while it’s charging to see the photos in your photo album!) The Google Pixel Stand works with all Qi compatible devices. In our case, this means the Pixel 3XL but not the 2XL.

Google Pixel 2XL and 3XL Recap

For all of the reasons above, we’re stoked we are to be a part of #teampixel. Are you thinking about making the switch? We’d love to answer any questions you might have! Drop us a line or comment below, we’d love to hear from you!

Want to see some of our #teampixel photos? You can find us on Instagram at @e.mcgrady, @carolineperdue and @authenticasheville!

Published by Erin McGrady

Erin McGrady is a filmmaker, photographer, and writer exploring Asheville and beyond. My work focuses on sharing about LGBTQ safe spaces, camper van life, and the outdoors.

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