Google Pixel 2 XL joins the parade of worthy halo smartphones

Pixel Too

Following yesterday’s reveal of the new Huawei Mate 10, which followed the reveal of the Apple iPhone X, which came after the reveal of the LG V30, it’s Google’s turn today, and we’ve got a full review of the new Google Pixel 2 XL, the latest and greatest smartphone from the team in Mountain View, and it’s another worthy player. It’s getting really hard to pick a phone these days.

Anyway, the Pixel 2 XL ups Google’s cred in the smartphone game, with a big pOLED display coming in at 2880 by 1440, for a sorta odd 18:9 aspect ratio with some minimal bezels. Like its competitor the iPhone 8 and X, there’s no headphone jack, but it is packing Bluetooth 5, the latest and greatest wireless system with more range and options, so that helps. It also has that fun edge-squeeze feature for bring up Google Assistant when you don’t want to say “OK Google.”

The battery runs all day and charges via USB-C, and while the now familiar Snapdragon 835 runs the show, the Android 8 Oreo OS is the real star, giving the phone both snappy performance and a high level of security. Take a look at our full hands-on review of Google Pixel 2 XL with all the details.

More surface area for the new Surface Book 2

More hot hardware news now: Microsoft continues to develop their Windows 10 Creators update, and at a recent gathering to show it off, they also unveiled the new Surface Book 2.

Redmond’s top-tier 2-in-1 with the funky hinge now comes in a 15-inch size, with more of everything: more horsepower, more screen size, of course, and more battery power. DT Editor in Chief Jeremy Kaplan was at the rollout and says pretty much every under-the-hood aspect of the laptop-tablet hybrid is new, but it looks almost identical to the previous model, which is fine since we think it looked sharp.

The 15-inch size is new, however, and it’s the largest laptop Microsoft has produced so far.  Check out Jeremy’s thorough hands-on look at the new Surface Book 2.

ZTE doubles your screen time

Apple’s almost-all-front screen iPhone X may get all the press – even if they didn’t really get there first – but while the whole no-bezels thing may be the current rage, we gotta hand it to Chinese phone maker ZTE for taking the smart flip phone to a whole new place.

Check out the new AXON-M, a not-so thin smartphone with a very clever – and we have to say, kind of nerdy – feature: two 5.3-inch HD screens. And they’re not front-and-back like we’ve seen with some phones: no, this is kind of a super-glorified flip phone because the screens are side by side on a hinge. The Verge, where this video came from, says ZTE isn’t the first here either; Kyocera made a similar but unsuccessful phone six years ago.

But maybe the time is now for a phone “book” as it were and six years ago is an eternity in tech, so maybe ZTE is onto something here. The Axon M is indeed coming to the US through AT&T, so if one screen was never enough for you, good news: it should be here by the end of the year. Sorry, no price info just yet.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.