In most cases, when a larger, or smaller, variant of a smartphone comes out, it is usually made by the same manufacturer. Google, however, is not your usual manufacturer. Just as with the Nexus, it had “outsourced” it to other companies. In the case of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, to HTC and LG, respectively. That, in theory, means that the two could behave differently from each other, even in things like JerryRigEverything’s durability tests. And, in the case of the Pixel 2 XL, that might be a good thing.
The Pixel 2 XL is the more problematic of the two second-gen Pixel phones and its list of problems doesn’t seem to get shorter. It might, however, have just caught a break, if Zack Nelson’s trinity of torture tests for the larger Pixel 2 is anything to go by.
In most cases, the two are the same and score similarly. The Gorilla Glass 5 on the front only scratches at a Mohs level 6. The aluminum back, on the other hand, scratches easily, and almost permanently, with a car key. Like any OLED display, the Pixel 2 XL’s screen turns off and gets a permanent white “ghost” mark after 10 seconds of direct fire.
The Pixel 2 XL, however, differs from the Pixel 2 in two ways. First is that even if the rear fingerprint scanner is scratched by a blade, it continues working. Unlike the Pixel 2, the scanner continues working. A bit ironic considering the LG V30, made by the same manufacturer, had the same scratched fingerprint scanner weakness as the Pixel 2, made by HTC.
Perhaps the most important part of the durability is the bend test. And, fortunately, this is where the Pixel 2 XL outshines its smaller sibling. There is no crack anywhere when bending the larger smartphone, something the Pixel 2 didn’t do well in. Needless to say, the Pixel 2 XL might be the more bug-ridden of the two, but it is also the more durable one.