Everything you need to know about the Google Pixel 2

Everything you need to know about the Google Pixel 2

Why it matters to you

The Pixel was Digital Trends’ best phone of 2016, and we’re plenty excited to see what Google has in store for this year’s follow-up.

The Google Pixel was the Android smartphone to beat last year, and Google is looking to capitalize on that success. As we get closer to the expected October 4 launch of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, rumors are ramping up. It’s possible LG is building one of the phones for Google, and HTC may be behind the second, smaller counterpart.

Here is everything we know about the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

Software

Google’s new Pixel smartphones are expected to run Android 8.0 Oreo, the latest version of Google’s operating system. In fact, leaked Federal Communications Commission filings show the new Android Oreo Settings app. But the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL might have other software tricks up their sleeves.

A leaked render of the Pixel 2 XL appears to show a Google search bar below the home screen’s app dock. Also new: A completely transparent navigation bar, and a “daily briefing” widget that shows the current weather, temperature, and the next appointment in your agenda.

Another rumored feature is “Music ID,” Android Police reports. Using the Google Assistant’s “always-on” microphone technology, the Pixel’s music recognition can reportedly listen for tunes nearby, and put a Google Play Music store listing on the Pixel’s lock screen if it identifies a match.

Another might be Google Lens, a feature first demoed at Google’s 2017 I/O developer conference. It’s powered by the Google Assistant, Google’s cloud intelligence platform, and it taps AI to identify books, DVD covers, architectural landmarks, and more.

That’s not all that’s new. The Pixels might have an ambient display mode a la the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the LG V30, according to XDA. They will reportedly take advantage of the OLED screen’s low power draw to show a black-and-white clock and list of notifications on the lock screen.

Design

Last year, Google’s flagships were not the most visually exciting phones. Will that change for the sequels? It could, depending on which Pixel you are looking at.

In early October, VentureBeat’s Evan Blass leaked a front-view render of the Pixel 2 XL that corroborates earlier reports. It shows a nearly edge-to-edge screen curved on all four corners, a front camera in the upper-left corner, and two speakers — one above the screen and one below — in stereo configuration.

At the very least, the new leak lines up with an earlier render published by Android Police. It depicted the Pixel 2 XL with a camera bump and an 18:9 screen, curved corners, and a screen-to-body ratio between 80 to 85 percent, similar to the LG G6. Around the back, there’s a blend of metal and glass, and the fingerprint sensor appears to have been relocated to the metal portion.

But looks aren’t the only thing the Pixel 2 XL has going for it. It’s reportedly IP67 dust- and water-resistant, meaning it should survive in up to three feet of water for 30 minutes. And the touchscreen boasts Corning’s shatter- and scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 5.

The Pixel 2, meanwhile, is said to be shaped very similarly to last year’s model, but with a cutout to accommodate the rear camera. Gone are the chunky bezels and awkward camera silhouette. Instead, there’s a massive 18:9 display, just like the LG G6.

Images leaked by Droid Life reveal color options for both the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. The Pixel 2 will come in Kinda Blue, Just Black, and Clearly White, shown below.

The Pixel 2 XL will come in Black & White and Just Black, shown below.

A thread on Reddit pointed out a new Federal Communications Commission filing revealing new features for the Pixel 2 — one of which is squeeze functionality. Similar to the HTC U11, the squeeze feature goes by the name “Active Edge” and is included under a new “Languages, input & gestures” setting, 9to5Google notes. The squeeze gesture is reportedly set to launch the Google Assistant. That feature was further confirmed in an app teardown of the latest version of the Google app, which refers to “Active Edge” on the phone.

Perhaps the most controversial design aspect in these renders is the lack of headphone jack. This was first rumored when a report from 9to5Google, based on internal Google documentation, suggested the company will remove support for the 3.5-millimeter connector in favor of a single USB-C port. More recently, Android Authority and 9to5Google’s Stephen Hall reaffirmed Google’s decision with another tip. It is looking increasingly likely that neither of these two devices will feature headphone jacks, even though previous renders indicated the opposite.

Specs

Earlier this year, XDA Developers and Android Authority claimed to have obtained the specs of both of the upcoming Pixel phones: Walleye (the Pixel 2) and Taimen (the Pixel 2 XL).

The Pixel 2 is said to have a 5-inch, 1080p display in a chassis that is very similar to the previous model. It’ll reportedly ditch its predecessor’s 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of stereo speakers, and it’ll pack 4GB RAM, 64GB and 128GB of storage space (depending on the model), and a 2,700mAh battery.

Where the Pixel 2 looks to be a conservative upgrade, the LG-made Pixel 2 XL is shaping up to be an all-new device. It might have a 6-inch Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) OLED panel with a wide color gamut, 4GB of RAM, and between 64GB and 128GB of storage (depending on the model). The Pixel 2 XL likely won’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack, and thanks to its larger form factor, it’s said to have a bigger battery than the Pixel 2 — 3,520mAh versus 2,700mAh.

The Google Pixel was praised for a stellar camera that rivaled that of the iPhone 7 Plus, and it seems as though Google is prioritizing it again for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

Google will rebrand the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL’s rear cameras “Pixel Cameras,” according to Android Authority, to denote that they’ve been optimized by the search giant’s hardware team. The single-lens, 12.3-megapixel rear f/1.8 aperture cameras and 7- to 8-megapixel front cameras are said to have a Google-designed imaging chip and optical image stabilization, as well as software filters that include an iPhone Portrait Mode-like bokeh effect.

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL could have e-SIM slots that allow them to switch between different networks without the need to replace the SIM, and there’s been speculation Google would tap an as-of-yet-unannounced Qualcomm processor — the Snapdragon 836 — for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. But reports from Android Police and XDA Developers cast doubt on the processor rumor. .

If the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL don’t get next-gen processors, they’ll likely ship with the Snapdragon 835. Alleged Geekbench results for a Pixel 2 prototype show a Snapdragon 835 running at 1.9GHz scoring 1,804 in single-core testing and 6,248 in multicore. For reference, the Samsung Galaxy S8, which has the same processor, managed 1,762 in single-core, and 5,723 in multicore when we tested it in our review.

Release date and price

Last year, Google announced the Pixel, along with a slew of other hardware products, at an event in San Francisco on October 4. It looks like the company has chosen the same date for another announcement, likely for the second-generation Pixel. How do we know? Take a look at a photo of this billboard received by Droid Life:

google pixel 2

Considering the date is the same as last year’s Pixel announcement, and the fact the billboard says, “Ask more of your phone,” it’s highly likely the billboard is referring to the Pixel 2 announcement.

Whenever the new Pixel phones are announced, they could be expensive.

According to a leak from Droid Life, the HTC-made Pixel 2 64GB and 128GB phones will be priced at $649 and $749, respectively. You’ll have the option to finance the 64GB model for $27.04 per month and the 128GB model for $31.21 per month, both for 24 months.

The LG-made Pixel 2 XL will also be available in 64GB or 128GB storage options for $849 and $949, respectively. Google will offer financing for the XL models as well — the 64GB is said to be priced at $35.38 per month and the 128 GB is $39.54 per month, both for 24 months.

We’ll update this post as we learn more about the Pixel 2.

Update: Added leaked front-panel render of the Pixel 2 XL.

Published at Mon, 02 Oct 2017 20:11:50 +0000

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