The Pixel 2 contains a custom Google SoC: The "Pixel Visual Core"

The Pixel 2 XL The superior design of the two devices
James Titcomb

The Pixel 2 XL The superior design of the two devices Credit James Titcomb

Fast-forward one year and the arms race continues. It is a custom SoC, which has been designed by Google.

The camera in the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are already getting praised quite a bit in initial reviews for both devices, so knowing that it will get even better in the coming weeks is pretty exciting for owners of the new flagships.

The final image in the gallery above was taken using portrait mode on the front facing camera.

The Pixel is Google's answer to the iPhone.

The addition of optical image stablisation (OIS) on the Pixel 2 XL is no doubt one of the reasons for these crystal clear images, as if the speed of the camera. The Pixel Visual Core will reportedly be enabled in the upcoming Android Oreo 8.1 update, with future support for third-party applications also planned. Please note that while the giveaway is open internationally, Mint SIM only provides service in the U.S., and no substitutions for that part of the prize will be made.

Tell me if this sounds familiar: You want to check the time, so you pull out your phone. At the heart of the chip is an eight-core Image Processing Unit (IPU) capable of more than three trillion operations per second.

You get more resolution on the Pixel 2 as well at 2880 x 1440 pixels, compared to 1920 x 1080 pixels on the Pixel 2. How do you feel about it? What do you think about it so far?

Now on to the giveaway! There are a few downsides, though. You get the 12 megapixel sensor, but this time with an f/1.8 aperture rather than f/2.0.

Outside of the HDR+ access for developers, Google also says that they have a whole bunch of stuff lined up that'll be able to take advantage as well. (A digital zoom is essentially just a crop).

Google's tinkered with the software, to improve the results and add extra features. I really like the camera.

We'll start with the good news first. "At the end of the day, people are always using the phone". Also, a wide-angle 28-millimeter lens isn't ideal for portraits.

And, finally on design - Google have tweaked the colourways available. Apple's 56-millimeter lens, on the other hand, is ideal and cuts down on that warping. I did once manage to trigger the "Active Edge" (as the squeezing feature is called) in my pocket, but only when I was trying to and had it on the lightest setting.

Since Google makes the Pixel, the company wanted to harness its enormous search history and merge it with the camera.

The fingerprint scanner now sits amid the textured aluminium back-panel.

Perhaps Google is betting that the popularity of smart speakers has made the public less uneasy about a device that constantly listens to them. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

To make this switch happen, again, just long-press on your home screen and change your wallpaper.

Overall, the Pixel 2 has a design that's nowhere near as flashy as other Android handsets, such as Samsung's Galaxy S8. We also shot hot air balloons at the annual International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The importance of the camera in today's smartphone market cannot be overstated.

The giveaway is open until November 15, 2017, and the winner will be announced right here after the closing date.

If you're an iPhone user considering a switch, there's enough to recommend the Pixel 2.

In everyday use, there's not much to see the Pixel 2's performance as much of a step over the original Pixel. Regardless of where you buy from, the Pixel 2 costs $649.99 (64GB) or $749.99 (128GB), while the XL model goes for $849.99 (64GB) or $949.99 (128GB). Switching off the ambient display will mean less battery drain, and you can always use the double tap or lift-to-wake features instead.

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