We performed our teardowns for the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL at the same time, so we enjoyed a side-by-side comparison. The Pixel 2 proved to be amenable to repair, and we're happy to report the same is true for the XL.
Our friend Holger from Holger Tech did us the honor of performing both teardowns. The Pixel 2 XL proved to be its own kind of animal, but some similarities existed between it and the Pixel 2.
Longer Logic Board and Back Glass Removal on the Pixel 2 XL
Nothing too crazy shows up in the Pixel 2 XL. Upon removing the front screen you’ll see that the logic board has a thin panhandle that runs down the entire left flank of the back housing. Ignore that for the moment and focus on the battery. We encountered lots of adhesive. Assume you will, too, and proceed with caution.
Once the battery comes, turn your attention back to the logic board, which will be connected to various flex cables and the fingerprint sensor behind it. Once it’s disconnected and unscrewed, lift that out and move on to the loudspeaker and charging port. After that, you’ll find the vibrate motor toward the top right, near the power and volume flex cable.
The Active Edge squeeze sensors are different than on the Pixel 2. The righthand one is noticeably longer, and has a cellular antenna clipped to its back.
Curiously, the top back glass barely put up a fight and popped right off. Inside was the earpiece speaker and NFC antenna. Removing the back glass also helped us get out the flex cable combining two microphones and the proximity sensor.
Our key takeaways from the Pixel 2 XL teardown:
- Colors: Google keeps the color variants simple for the Pixel 2 XL (all black or black/white). Rest knowing there’s only one color for the front screen and top back glass: black. The side buttons on the black/white version still include an oddball orange, though. Details count!
- Stubborn battery: Use lots of gentle persuasion to lift this sucker out.
- Power and volume flex cable on a boat: This compact flex cable is adhered to its very own plastic bracket that clings to the righthand side of the back housing.
- Parasitic cellular antenna: One of your cellular antennas clips onto the righthand Active Edge squeeze sensor flex cable.
- Charging Port & Bottom Mic 4EVER: The two are flex cable mates, so replacing one means replacing the other.
- Top back glass hidden treasure: The top back glass pries open to reveal an earpiece speaker, NFC antenna, and better access to the proximity sensor/microphone flex cable
Google Pixel 2 XL: Tools You’ll Need for Repair
- Suction cup
- Plastic pry tools
- Metal pry tools
- SIM card ejection tool
- #00 Philips-head screwdriver