Fall is coming to an end, meaning fresh new Google hardware; specifically, a brand new Google Pixel smartphone running none other than Google’s latest Android operating system.
Google recently confirmed that it is having an event on October 4th, which is exactly one year from when the company announced its first flagship smartphone, the Pixel and the Pixel XL. While nothing but the event is confirmed, we have seen some credible leaks and rumors that should give us an idea as to what Google’s next Pixel smartphones will consist of.
Google is expected to release two new devices, a successor to the Google Pixel and a successor to the Google Pixel XL. And it looks like the Pixel 2 will be produced by HTC while its larger brother will be produced or manufactured by LG.
The smaller device, which is the Pixel 2, is expected to sport a 4.97-inch display with a Full HD resolution and 4GB of RAM. It will run Android’s latest operating system, that being Android 8.0.1, and it will be running it out of the box so you don’t need to update it when you purchase the device and receive it on your doorstep and it will come with this Active Edge feature, which should let you perform certain tasks, such as opening up applications just by squeezing the sides of the smartphone. It’s kind of reminiscent to HTC U11’s Edge Sense feature. Infamous smartphone leaker, Evan Blass, claims it will pack a new Snapdragon 836 chipset and not the 835 chipset, which is the processor we see in pretty much every flagship Android smartphone these days. But that chipset has yet to be announced and should debut alongside the new Pixel smartphones. It should deliver a marginal performance games but it might give the Pixel a slight edge over the competition in the performance department.
Google is rumored to be bringing back the front-firing stereo speakers with the Pixel 2 but it will come at a cost of a 3.5mm headphone jack. The Pixel 2 isn’t rumored to have a dual-camera set-up on the back of the smartphone but it should have a great camera. The original Pixel camera, which I have right here in my back pocket, still has one of the best smartphone camera sensors on the market today. If you remember when it was launched last year, it actually received the highest DXO mark rating at the time, with a score of 89.
One feature that I really missed with the original Pixel XL was waterproofing. And it looks like the Pixel XL 2 will feature either an IP67 or IP68 water and dust resistance rating, meaning you can completely submerge the phone in water and it should be okay. I have yet to really report about waterproofing on the smaller Pixel 2 but it’s certainly a possibility.
The Pixel XL 2 should feature all of the same performance-related specifications as the Pixel 2. The biggest difference will be with the display size. So the Pixel XL 2 is expected to sport a 6-inch QHD AMOLED display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and pretty thin bezels. Not quite as thin as the Galaxy S8 or Note 8 or even the iPhone X but certainly thinner than the original Pixel XL. And it’s rumored to support a squeezable frame. It might have an Always On ambient display mode.
The build of the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 will consist of aluminum and glass so there’s really no big surprises there, except the glass rear that was on the upper half of the Pixel will be slimmed down and will not surround the rear-facing fingerprint scanner. If you’re looking for an edge-to-edge display in the Pixel 2, you’ll probably be disappointed as there’s still going to be relatively chunky top and bottom bezels but at least there’s front-facing stereo speakers. That’s a pretty big perk, right? I will say the Pixel XL 2 will be the device with thinner bezels. So if you want thinner bezels, you might want to opt in for the larger Pixel XL 2.
The new Pixel phones should be similarly priced to the older Pixel phones so they will not be budget-friendly. The Pixel launched at $649 for the 32GB while the XL retailed and launched for about $769 for the 32GB variant so that’s probably what we’re going to expect to see with the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2.
Once again, Google is holding a launch event for these devices on Oct. 4th so mark your calendar.