In this post, which will be
updated regularly, we take a closer look at the latest rumors
surrounding Google’s upcoming Pixel 2 series.
The original Pixel and Pixel XL
are both great devices and are the first handsets designed inside and
out by Google. Manufactured by HTC, the two high-end smartphones feature
terrific cameras, great build quality, and stock Android software
that’s extremely popular among a lot of users.
The Pixel and Pixel XL are definitely not perfect, having been
criticized for their their generic design, high price tag, and lack of
proper water resistance, among others. These are just a few of the
issues that we hope Google will address with the upcoming Pixel
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at all the rumors we have
heard so far regarding Google’s flagship smartphones. We’ll talk about
the Google Pixel 2 release date, design, specs, and price, to give you a
better idea of what to expect from the upcoming Pixel series.
Just keep in mind that these are just rumors for now, so do take
them with a grain of salt. Google hasn’t confirmed – or denied – any of
them and probably won’t share any specific details before the official
Google Pixel 2: How many devices will we see?
It was initially rumored that Google would, just like last year,
take the wraps off two Pixel devices. The smaller of the two is
codenamed Walleye, while the XL variant goes under the Muskie moniker.
We then heard reports that the company is also working on a third device, dubbed Taimen, which is expected to be even larger than the Pixel XL.
However, it looks like Google has changed its mind and will in
fact only release two smartphones this year. According to a report by Android Police, the tech giant has decided to cancel the Muskie device.
This means that only Walleye and Taimen will be announced, with the
former being the successor to the Pixel, while the latter will be a
larger version of the Pixel XL.
But who will be responsible for manufacturing the upcoming Pixel
generation? The first rumors claimed that Google has teamed up with HTC,
which made the Pixel and Pixel XL last year. New rumors have now popped
up online suggesting that the online search giant will actually be joining forces with LG, at least for the larger of the two devices. Of course, this hasn’t been confirmed yet, so things can still go either way.
Google Pixel 2: Release date
So far, we haven’t heard any rumors regarding the release date of
the Pixel 2 series. However, we can get a good idea of when the two
devices will be revealed by looking at the release date of their
Google normally unveils its new devices in the fall. The Pixel
and Pixel XL, for example, were announced in October and went on sale in
the same month. Things will probably be more or less the same this
year. The upcoming smartphones will likely go up for pre-order right
after their reveal, with sales officially kicking off a few weeks later.
Google Pixel 2: Specs
Just like their predecessors, Walleye (Pixel 2) and Taimen (Pixel XL 2) will offer high-end specs. According to the latest rumors,
the smaller of the two devices is expected to sport a 4.97-inch display
with Full HD resolution. It will be powered by the latest Snapdragon
835 chipset and have 4 GB of RAM. When it comes to storage, a 64 GB
version is mentioned, but we’ll likely see a larger option as well.
What’s interesting is that the Pixel 2 is said to feature two
front-facing stereo speakers, which is more than a welcome addition.
Unfortunately, it will come at the expense of the 3.5 mm headphone jack.
This means you’ll have to plug in your headphones with the help of an
adapter that will likely come included in the box. Just keep in mind
that this hasn’t been confirmed yet and it’s quite possible that the
rumor is false. Especially when considering that Google actually took a
shot at Apple for the iPhone 7’s lack of the headphone jack in last year’s Pixel commercial.
Rumors also suggest that Google will not be following in the footsteps of LG, Huawei, OnePlus,
and others in the camera department. This means that the Pixel 2 won’t
have a dual-camera setup on the back. Other than that, the rumor mill
has been pretty dry on this topic. Nevertheless, we do expect that the
Pixel 2 will be equipped with a great camera, just like its predecessor.
When reviewed, the main shooter on last year’s Pixel received the highest DxOMark rating at the time with a score of 89. Although it was later bumped down to second place, as the HTC U11 took the number one spot with a score of 90.
The Pixel XL 2 is also rumored to be water and dust resistant. It
is expected to be either IP67 or IP68 rated, meaning it will survive
being submerged in 1 to 1.5 meters of water for a period of 30 minutes.
As a refresher, the current Pixel generation is only IP53 rated, which
basically means it won’t die on you if it’s sprayed with water here and
there, but definitely isn’t suitable for anything more than that.
The larger of the two devices, the Pixel XL 2, will be similar to
its smaller brother in a lot of ways. It will be powered by the
Snapdragon 835 chipset, have 4 GB of RAM, and sport the same camera. It
will also be waterproof, but it won’t have two speakers on the front due
of a different design — more on that later. Rumors claim that it will
have 128 GB of storage, but just like with the Pixel 2, we’ll probably
see at least one more additional storage option.
The biggest difference between the two Pixel devices will
obviously be the screen size. The Pixel XL 2 is expected to sport a
5.99-inch QHD display, pushing the device into the phablet territory.
For comparison, the display found on its predecessor measures
When it comes to software, the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 will run Android O,
which will make its debut on the two devices. It might have a few
unique features on board from the start that will set the smartphones
apart from the competition. Last year, for example, Assistant was
exclusive to the Pixel series for several months, but eventually made
its way to other Android devices as well.
Google Pixel 2: Design
The design of the Pixel and Pixel XL wasn’t really received that
well among consumers. There’s no denying that Google has played it safe,
as the devices look quite generic, despite that little glass window on
If you’re not a fan of the design, we have some bad news. The Google Pixel 2 will, according to the latest rumors,
look quite similar to its predecessor, with a few minor differences.
This means you can expect to see a metal body, somewhat large bezels
with the two front-facing speakers already mentioned in the Pixel 2
specs section above, and the glass panel on the back. However, the glass
will no longer surround the fingerprint reader, which will nevertheless
still be located on the back of the device.
When it comes to the Pixel XL, things are a little bit different.
The back of the device will likely look identical to that of its
smaller brother, but the front will be quite different. Rumors suggest
that the smartphone will feature small bezels around the screen, just
like the Galaxy S8 and the LG G6.
This does make sense especially because the device is said to
feature a large 5.99-inch display. By opting for a so-called bezel-less
design, the Pixel XL will be a lot more compact when compared to other
devices with the same screen size and will be a lot easier to use as
well as carry around.
Unfortunately, we haven’t seen any images of the Pixel 2 or Pixel
XL 2 so far, but a few concepts for the latter model have popped up
online. You can check out one of them, which is based on the latest
design rumors, below.
Last year’s Google Pixel series was far from affordable. The
Pixel launched at $649 (32 GB) and $749 (128 GB), while the XL variant
retailed for $769 (32 GB) and $869 (128 GB). We actually haven’t seen a
permanent discount for the two devices yet, as both of them are still
listed at that price on the Google Store.
Although we all hope that the upcoming smartphones will be more
affordable, this likely won’t happen. Word on the street is that the
Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 will carry a premium price tag and will either
cost the same or even more than their predecessors.
At this price point, Google will have a hard time competing on the market. It is believed that the tech giant sold one million units of the Pixel series
so far, which might sound like a big number but actually isn’t really
that impressive. Samsung, for example, sold five million Galaxy S8 and
S8 Plus units after just 26 days of availability. And that’s despite
having their initial release limited to a few key markets like South
Korea and North America. Huawei is planning to sell a total of 10
million P10 and P10 Plus smartphones, while the LG G6 is also expected
to outsell the Pixel generation by a wide margin.
In order to increase sales, the best thing for Google would be to
lower prices, as that would make its upcoming smartphones a lot more
competitive on the market. As already mentioned, that likely won’t
happen, which means you’ll have to dig deep into your pocket in order to
get the Pixel 2 or Pixel XL 2.