Google Pixel 2 vs First-Generation Pixel: Should you Upgrade?

Only a couple of days after the October 4 event, it has become common knowledge that the Google Pixel 2 not only features a smarter Google Assistant but also a better camera than its predecessors.

Google Pixel 2 Vs First Generation Pixel 4

However, is that all Google has introduced in the newer Pixel 2 phone? Let us assure you that that’s not all. It has quite a few handful of features that make it a more than worthy successor.

Here, we have curated some of the major differences between the first generation Pixel and the brand new Pixel 2.

Also See: What’s Cool and Not So Cool About the Google Pixel Buds

Spec Comparison

PixelPixel 2
ProcessorQuad-core 64-bit 2.15GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 821Octa-core 64-bit 2.35GHz + 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Storage32 GB (up to 128 GB)64 GB (up to 128 GB)
Rear Camera12.3MP, f/2.012.2MP, f/1.8
Front Camera8MP HD8MP HD
Special Features1.55µm pixel size1.4µm pixel size
Android VersionAndroid NougatAndroid Oreo


When we talk about a phone upgrade, in most cases, it’s automatically assumed that the processor makes it to the upgrade list. On the same note, the Pixel 2 has switched over to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 from last year’s Snapdragon 821.

Google Pixel 2 Vs First Generation Pixel 14 1024X576

The Snapdragon 835 is not only faster but also provides better battery efficiency, thanks to the 10-nm design process. If we talk numbers, the Snapdragon 835 is 27% faster and consumes 40% less energy.

Also, it supports the newer Bluetooth version along with faster LTE speeds, multimedia output, and a better display.

Moreover, the crazy AR stickers for food emojis are a courtesy of the Snapdragon 835.


Portrait mode is the ‘it‘ thing this year and the Google Pixel 2 has embraced this feature in a clever way. While most of the phones such as the Galaxy Note8 and Apple iPhone X achieves the effect with dual lenses, Google has pulled off this stunt with a single lens and some behind-the-scenes software tweaks.

Pixel 2 Camera 1

The behind-the-software tweak is, in general, a depth map that is created from images that are minutely spaced. Although the Bokeh effect of the Pixel 2 is a tad less impressive than the one in iPhone X or the Note8, at the end of the day, it’s a feature that wasn’t present on the first Pixel phone. So, cheers to Pixel 2!

With an overall score of 98 points on DxOMark, Google has created a phenomenal camera experience. When you compare it to the 2016’s Pixel, it’s obvious that Google has upped the camera game by several notches.

If you go by the DxOMark scorecard alone, it’s an additional 9 points from last year’s 89.

Design & Display

Design wise, the Pixel 2 has mimicked its predecessor in some ways. For one, it sports the similar glass-and-aluminum design, complete with rounded corners and the placement of the fingerprint sensor or the cameras.

Pixel 2 Display

Also, the two-tone rear cover makes a comeback in the Pixel 2. A significant change can be seen with the introduction of squeezable edges aka the Active Edge, thicker top bezels and a big chin, and a slight camera bump. The difference?

Google has ditched the headphone jack in the Pixel 2.

You might have already heard about this that the Google has gone ahead and ditched the headphone jack. Apart from that, you’ll also get a colored power button.

Google Pixel 2 Vs First Generation Pixel 11 1024X576

On the display end, the Pixel 2 sports a 5-inch P-OLED display with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (441 ppi).

Audio Experience

A major highlight of the Pixel 2 is the front-facing speakers. These speakers — reason for the thick chin — are meant to offer a much better audio experience than the Pixel 1.

Google Pixel 2 Vs First Generation Pixel 1

Aforesaid, another change which Google has brought about is in the headphone department. Following Apple’s trend, the Pixel 2 also comes without a headphone jack. Go wireless!


Google + Android + New Phone = ?

If you combine the above, it automatically screams of snappy software. Yes, the Pixel 2 sports Android Oreo with some new elements such as Google Lens, a new home screen layout, a smarter Google Assistant, food emojis, music detection, and the Always-on Display.

Google Pixel 2 Vs First Generation Pixel 8 1024X576

Another impressive feature is the promise of Android software support for three years. So, you can rest assured that you might get to taste the flavors till Android R.

Google Pixel 2 Vs First Generation Pixel 5

On the contrary, the original Pixel was guaranteed only two years worth of updates.

Biometrics and Battery

When it comes to these departments, both the phones carry the same specs. Both the Pixel and Pixel 2 have the same fingerprint sensor and a slightly smaller battery unit of 2,700mAh.

Google Pixel 2 Vs First Generation Pixel 6
The USB Power Delivery standard in the Pixel 2 (also in the older Pixel) can charge your device to stay awake for a period of seven hours with just fifteen minutes of charging.

Google Assistant and Bluetooth

If you had watched the Google Event on October 4, you could literally see the Google Assistant on every device that was either refreshed or launched. So, when it comes to the Pixel 2, it ought to have a better Google Assistant.

Google Pixel 2 Vs First Generation Pixel 7

With the Assistant accessible through a mere squeeze, it’ll undoubtedly become something more than a substitute for search and find. Plus, throw in a Google Home Mini or the cool Pixel Buds, and you have a complete bundle to unleash its full potential.

Another major upgrade is the inclusion of Bluetooth 5.0 for faster transfers and longer range.

Also Read: Bluetooth 5.0 is Here: What You Need to Know

Will You Upgrade?

So, these were some of the major differences between the first generation Pixel and the new Pixel 2. Apart from the above, the new phone has a shining IP67 certification as opposed to the IP53 in the older version. Also, the Corning Gorilla glass makes an upgrade from version 4 to version 5.

The question of the hour is – will you upgrade? If you ask me, I’d rather stick to my present phone and wait for a year before taking the leap. After all, they did say claim that the first generation Pixel was durable, right?

See Next: Google Smart Gadgets Pave the Way for an Exciting 2018

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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