Reaction to the first Google Pixel was very good – at least among those people who managed to get one – and Google has gone on the record to say a follow-up is due this year.
You would expect Google’s engineers to be getting better at this as they go along – the rumour is the original Pixel was pretty rushed – so we’re eagerly looking forward to seeing what’s in store. All the indications are it’ll be the flagship Android phone to beat in 2017, although, we’re getting a lot of mixed messages and conflicting information.
So what do we know about the Pixel 2.0, Google’s difficult second album, and what can we speculate about?
Release Date: October or November 2017
Price: We’re guessing between £600 and £850
Key features: Two (possibly three) phones, water resistance, bezel-less screen, no headphone jack, BoomSound audio, EdgeSense – al la HTC U11
As far as dates are concerned, nothing is set in stone yet. Rick Osterloh, Google’s Senior Vice President of Hardware, has stated there will be a Pixel 2 in 2017, but hasn’t provided any further details.
Looking into past releases: the original Google Pixel and Pixel XL were launched in October last year, so, common sense would dictate, we’ll see the Pixel 2 announced at a similar time this year.
We’ll keep you posted on this one.
The original Pixel was pretty expensive, starting at £599, and rising to £819 for the top-spec Google Pixel XL.
Unfortuntely, folks, tech doesn’t get cheaper, so you can expect similar, or slightly inflated prices compared to last year.
Most flagship smartphones released in 2017 have been using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, and it’s mightily fast, but it looks like Google might go one better, with the Snapdragon 836.
Pixel 2 would be the first phone to use the new Qualcomm chip, reportedly offering a 10-percent performance increase over the previous generation.
This is similar to the original Pixel, which, because it was released later in the year, made use of the 821 over the 820 found in other flagships.
Elsewhere, we can expect with 4GB RAM, 64 or 128GB storage, and no microSD expansion.
No news on battery size just yet.
There has been a lot of confusion around screen sizes, with some people suggesting Google will be announcing three phones, and some suggesting two. It’s now looking more likely that the latter is more likely.
Different sources have suggested we’ll see a Pixel 2 with a 4.97-inch screen, a Pixel 2 XL with a 5.99-inch display, and another model, with a 5.6-inch screen.
These will be OLED panels from LG, with a 18:9 aspect ratio (similar to the LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8) and a 2560×1312 resolution.
It looks like the 5.6-inch model may have been dropped, and looking at the leak below, it appears there won’t be a dual camera on board.
If leaks are to be believed the Pixel 2 will be an evolution of last years model.
VentureBeat has shared these leaked images:
The glass/perspex section on the rear is still present, but it’s thinner.
We were expecting bezel-less displays – it’s difficult to tell how large the screen is from this image, or where the bezels end.
There’s a large speaker above the screen, and the fingerprint sensor is still on the rear of the device.
We expect this year’s device will be waterproof, after it was missed from last year’s handset.
This is where things get really interesting, because last year the Pixel was very competent, but not really that special.
This year, it sounds like Google will be borrowing some of the HTC U11’s innovations, namely, Edge Sense an BoomSound.
BoomSound will be great for anyone that likes listening to music out loud but doesn’t have a Bluetooth speaker, while Edge Sense is the squeezable edges which act as a function button – it’s a cool, useful feature.
While on audio – there are mixed reports around the Pixel’s headphone jack. The most recent rumour suggests the Pixel 2 won’t feature this legacy tech.
On the software front, you can bet that Google Assistant will be on board – and it should be even cleverer by the time October rolls around. On top of that, the newest Pixels will come sporting Android O, which is already available
Don’t forget the virtual reality angle either. There might not be a new headset in 2017, but the new Pixels will definitely be built to be compatible with it, and any spec bumps will be made with VR in mind.