It seems like pretty much everyone makes a smartphone accessory of some kind. Most of them are terrible and don’t work. But some of them are actually awesome. Let’s cut through the junk and make a list of the best for your Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.
Cases are unquestionably the most subjective accessory from this list. Do you go for style over substance? Do you prefer protection over showing off the beautiful device? Well, manufacturers have thought about all these use cases, no pun intended.
If you have butter fingers, the FRĒ case by Lifeproof looks like it’s been engineered for the apocalypse.
Spigen’s Neo Hybrid in particular earned your praise thanks to its full-body support and protection, shock resistance, metallic bumper trim and textured TPU backplate. We are not a huge fan of the Neo Hybrid Crystal simply because we have had the plastic frames crack upon impact. Cases are supposed to protect phones, but they shouldn’t self-destruct when dropped. But with the Neo Hybrid, the quality seems to have been taken up a notch.
When it comes to skins, dbrand is one of, if not the biggest player in the skin game, and for good reason. The company makes absolutely wonderful skins for a variety of different products, and the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are no exceptions.
The company offers about two dozen different color choices for its skins, including several solid colors, leather and metal designs, as well as its famous carbon fiber option. Each skin has a slightly different texture to it, but our personal favorite is the matte texture that come with solid colors.
Battery life on the Pixel isn’t woeful – but it’s not astounding, either. A day of WhatsApp, Snapchat and Super Cat Bros will see it needing a visit to the plug by the end of the evening – which is no good if you’re on a days-long adventure.
Give your Pixel 2 the power of, well, power with this trackable pack from RAVPower. Equipped with a 20100mAh capacity, a polycarbonate chassis wrapped in rubber means it can take a hefty knock. It’s got a Quick Charge 3.0 USB-C port, too, for the fastest possible charging – and, if you leave it on the bus, you’ll be able to find it again thanks to on-board Bluetooth Tile tech.
Listen While You Charge
Having poked fun at Apple’s jackless iPhone 7 last year, Google is now doing the same and getting rid of the jack for Pixel 2. So what gives, Google?
So, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL do not come with any headphones in the box. Instead, you will find a USB-C to 3.5mm headphone adapter. Including an adapter will make it possible to use your current headphones, but ultimately what Google probably wants is for you to fork over $159 for its Pixel Buds. On the other hand, Google is selling USB-C headphones through its online store.
Needless to say, that also doesn’t come cheap. So what’s the point?
Good USB-C Headphones Will Cost You
If you’re dead set on buying wired USB-C headphones, getting some quality ones won’t be as easy as picking up a pair in the airport vending machine, and you’ll be paying $149 for the privilege of having a compatible pair of headphones from a more trusted brand.
You Need a Pair of Good Bluetooth Headphones
If you’re just not about the dongle or adapter life and just want a set of native lightning headphones, you’re in luck.
Sure, you might have some reservations on using Bluetooth headphones. You’ve got to pair them, charge them, and deal with the occasional bout of interference whenever you’re next to a traffic light or electronic pedestrian crossing sign. But they’re cheaper than ever, and some boast some pretty good audio quality for the price. One of our favorites in the office, the $69 TaoTronics TT-BH60, is inexpensive, boasts pretty good audio quality, and are more comfortable than the wired USB-C options available.
A Headphone Jack
Just because Apple says the 3.5mm jack is dead doesn’t mean you have to listen.
If you enjoy wearing headphones while your phone is charging at your desk, then a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter will be an accessory to keep an eye on. It’s nice to see a solution directly from a Google-approved brand, but it’s also whooping $45, so… I guess we can officially stop with the Apple dongle jokes.
While Google ships an adapter in the box, what if you lose it, or want another one for your car? If that happens, you may need to bite the bullet and get a new one from Geekria, Basevs, Faracent, Conmdex, and Airsfish — for less than $20. Might be a good idea to buy a spare from the get-go and keep it in a safe place.
You’ve got something on your Pixel 2 that you want to show on your TV. What’s the easiest way to get it there? A Chromecast. Or, more specifically, a Chromecast Ultra.
Stick this little black puck in the back of your box and you’ll be able to fling films, photos and more across to the screen in a jiffy. Yes, you could go for the cheaper standard Chromecast – but the Ultra is 4K-compatible and, therefore, more future-proof.
What are your favorite Pixel 2 accessories? Were you lucky enough to get your hands on one yet? Are you thinking about switching to Pixel 2?