Many smartphones on the market today are the result of years of evolution. The iPhone, for example, is a notable example, from its small stocky body with a 3.5-inch display and no camera to a slim 5.5-inch behemoth with one of the best mobile cameras on the market. Another notable – and arguably more drastic example – would be the Samsung Galaxy S line of smartphones. The Galaxy Vibrant was the first Galaxy S device to hit the market in 2010. 7 years later, you could hardly tell that the two devices even came from the same manufacturer.
Despite how long smartphones have been available, new smartphones occasionally pop up now and then, like Google’s reveal of its Pixel flagship last year. Although Google had already established a presence with the Nexus line, a program where other manufacturers would collaborate with Google on a device, Pixel signaled the start of a device completely directed by Google (although another company – in last year’s case, HTC – would manufacture it). Pixel also turned out to be remarkably more premium than Nexus had ever been, created with high quality materials, top notch specs, and an incredible camera. As far as first generation devices go, Google did a solid job with Pixel. However, it’s still a first generation device; there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
As we begin to approach the first anniversary of Pixel, a surplus of leaks regarding the Pixel and Pixel XL have surfaced. The first was for the second generation Pixel XL, the larger of the two devices:
The new Pixel XL appears to make some big changes from last year’s model, most notably its smaller bezel size. The glass panel segment on the back of the device still makes an appearance, but also appears to have shrunk in size.
As for the smaller Pixel, leaks reveal a bleaker outlook. Bezel size appears to stay the same as the Pixel 2016, although the rear glass panel seems to shrink on the smaller variant as well.
Furthermore, it was recently rumored that both Pixels will forego the 3.5mm headphone jack, which is peculiar considering that the headphone jack ended up being one of the selling points for the Pixel last year after Apple unveiled a headphone jack-less iPhone 7.
If the rumors turn out to be true, it could be a dismal year for Pixel fans. Although fans of the larger Pixel would likely praise the smaller bezels, those who prefer smaller devices may feel snubbed by having larger bezels on the regular Pixel. On the other hand, the leaked renders show that a larger bezel may be there for a reason: dual front-facing speakers. Still, these same rumors made the rounds with the Nexus 5X, which sadly ended up fruitless.
And then we have the headphone jack issue, which has become a big deal over the past year, much to the dismay of many consumers. Just as I was beginning to think this was some conspiracy to revive the iPod, Apple decides to discontinue them, so I’m as confused as anybody as to why this keeps happening. Little did I know that the headphone jack was the one feature that was holding our phones back from unlocking their full potential.
Ultimately, it remains to be seen whether any of these leaks hold any truth to them. If you’re interested in the Pixel and you’re not in a rush to get a new phone, there’s nothing wrong with waiting to see what happens. Even if Pixel does turn out to lack certain valued featured, the best advice I can offer is to vote with your wallet and choose something else that does have the features you want. Considering the microSD card managed to bounce back from the brink of extinction, I would argue that it’s still possible to put this whole headphone jack debacle behind us as well.
Readers, what are your thoughts on the Pixel? Are you still hyped for its reveal, or are leaks leaving you feel apprehensive?