Yep – there will be a Google Pixel 2 in 2017
Update: According to the latest rumours there will be THREE Pixel branded devices in 2017 and ALL of them will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor.
The word comes via Android Review, which reports that Android Open Source Project code was spotted which strongly implies this to be the case. Allegedly ‘code commits’ were picked up which not only show the Snapdragon 835 is involved, but also shows a new third codename.
Previously spotted codenames “Muskie” (Pixel 2017) and “Walleye” (Pixel XL 2017) have shown up again, but the third new codename to appear is “Taimen”. Literally nothing is known about what kind of device the Taimen might be, but speculation is rife. Some suggestions include a new Nexus 6-sized phablet, bigger even than the Pixel XL, or a Pixel C tablet successor.
Taimen has now been spotted in Geekbench running Android O and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with a clock-speed of 1.9GHz and 4GB of RAM. Still no indication of what type of device it is though, or indeed, any other specs which might help make a clearer picture of things.
Pixel 3 (2018) Already In Development With LG?
On a slightly different note, rumours have already emerged of a possible Pixel 3 handset in-development by LG. The word comes via Korean publication Chosun which claims LG is “expected” to be involved with 2018’s run of Pixel branded hardware. PhoneArena reports having spoken to LG on the subject, with the firm branding it “pure speculation”.
Our thought is that this really could go either way. On the one hand, with the Pixel 2 series not even out the gate yet – and frankly not expected until the latter half of the year, given 2016’s Pixel launch date – it’s difficult to imagine the Pixel 3 plans are very concrete at this stage. But, on the other, as we know from the last few cycles of rumours for Apple, Samsung, and indeed several other OEMs, planning does seem to start very far in advance of new releases, like, before a successor is even out, its subsequent successor is already on the drawing board. That would certainly fit here.
And LG does make quite a compelling candidate, having worked on the Google Nexus 5 and Google Nexus 5X in the past; two of Google’s more popular Nexus phones. It doesn’t get any less believable for the firm’s denials either, given that it has made similar denials about alleged involvement in Nexus products in the past, only to turn out to be very much involved indeed! So yes, it’s standard MO for LG to play coy when it’s suggested the firm is in cahoots with Google on a new product. We pretty much expect them to go “who? moi?” at this stage.
The Google Pixel and Pixel XL launched in 2016 and were, for the most part, very divisive handsets. People either loved or hated them. I fell into the former category and I even went as far as saying the Google Pixel XL was the best Android phone released in 2016.
That was my opinion, of course, after living with the Pixel XL for a month and while many might not agree with me, a lot of people will because Google’s Pixel lineup of phones weren’t just great looking handsets, they were also solid performers.
The camera was brilliant, the battery life superb. I loved the software, pure Android, and I do actually regularly use Assistant for a variety of tasks on a day to day basis.
Google even sold quite a respectable number of Pixel phones too.
The big G has now confirmed that there WILL be a series of successor model Pixel handsets in 2017, as expected. Whether these handsets will be called the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 remains to be seen, after all, Google used to name its Nexus series primarily based on the display size (Nexus 5, for example) and would then put a year in brackets afterwards for repeated iterations of the same size device.
All of these naming conventions are somewhat clumsy, however, it would be great if Google could come up with a neater, tidier naming scheme for the Pixel series.
Google Pixel 2: Definitely Room For Improvement
The Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL were solid phones and all-round performers. But they weren’t perfect and there are definitely a bunch of areas where Google can improve things.
The original Google Pixel was extremely polarising; some people loved it, others despised it. As a current Pixel XL user, I fall into the former category, however, there are plenty of things I would change about the handset. Like, LOADS of things.
The original Pixel phones, for a first attempt, were extremely solid phones, though, with excellent specs and overall performance. The camera aboard them was also exceptional as well, which was a huge USP for many.
I am confident Google’s 2017 Pixel phones will be suitably more impressive, though, as The Big G now has plenty of feedback to work on. Adding in things like wireless charging, water proofing and making the design a little more eye-catching will all almost certainly feature in the mix.
The first is design; Google can do a lot in this area, so expect some big(ish) changes to the way Pixel phones look and feel in 2017. The original phones were very conventional and, in some ways, rather dull.
I’d expect this to be the first thing Google tackles when planning the sequel.
Samsung has pretty much lit the mobile space on fire with its eye-catching Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. Both handsets are exceptionally well designed phones that will almost certainly prove to be the biggest selling and most popular Android phones of 2017.
I also think the release of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 will also take some of the sheen off Apple’s incoming iPhone 8. It too will feature an all-display front and no Home button. Only problem here is that Samsung has beat Apple to market with this by around six months.
Will Apple fans care? Maybe not. But if I was rocking an iPhone 6s now and thinking about upgrading, I would definitely be looking at the Galaxy S8 rather than waiting six months to find out whether Apple has actually changed the design of its flagship phone.
I think Google could do A LOT with the design of its Pixel phone. I’d like to see the an all-display front and, perhaps, some curved OLED action. I know it’s copying Samsung but who cares? If it looks good, it looks good.
The current Pixel phones do not have a home key on the front, so making the handsets more display heavy (basically, reducing the bezels dramatically) shouldn’t be too much of a big deal. This small tweak would make a huge difference to the phone’s aesthetics, as there is a lot of wasted space above and below the display on the current models.
Curved OLED displays? They’re all the rage these days and, according to 9to5Google, they could be coming to the next-generation Google Pixel phones.
Citing Electronic Times, the report claims that Google is investing around $880 million in LG’s display division. This is a shrewd move on Google’s part because not only will it ensure it has its pick of OLED panels when the time comes to update its Pixel phones, but it will also likely make a rather large ROI with Apple switching to OLED panels from 2017 onwards.
Samsung currently dominates the OLED display space, but LG – with a little help from Google – is clearly eyeing up some potential new business via Apple who’s iPhone will push demand for OLED panels WAY above current levels.
Samsung provided the current-generation Pixel phone’s AMOLED displays. However, Google is looking at taking things a step further in 2017 with the release of its Google Pixel 2.
The next thing that springs to mind is water-resistance; neither Pixel handset featured this and, to be honest, in 2016/17 that isn’t really acceptable. Even Apple’s iPhones are now water-proof.
I’d like to see Google include microSD support as well, there’s so many great SD card options around these days, though this doesn’t seem particularly likely given the company’s track record.
Wireless charging would also be nice, as well as some improvements to the handset’s audio capabilities – the speakers were crap on the Pixel and Pixel XL and I’d love something like a HD DAC included inside the sequel, just like HTC did on the HTC 10.
No Headphone Jack Aboard Google Pixel 2? Say It Ain’t So!
According to a report from 9to5Google, which is usually pretty well connected regarding such matters, the Pixel 2 series could follow the iPhone and other handsets in ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack. It’s allegedly stated in an “internal Google document” that the traditional headphone port is being dropped.
Assuming this is accurate, it’s also not being presented as something that is merely under consideration, but rather a solid plan already in place. The report says, “the language used presents the removal of the jack as a matter of fact.”
It’s also not clear what the motivation for the removal is, in theory it could be to do with waterproofing, which the existing Pixel phones famously skipped due to time constraints, however, other devices have been waterproofed with nanocoatings and have kept their headphone jacks.
Another possibility is in order to make a device that is ultra-thin, thinner than a 3.5mm jack would allow, or alternatively some new and innovatively shaped form factor – perhaps even a folding OLED phone?
There Will Be TWO Pixel Devices In 2017
Yep – Google’s doing two Pixel releases in 2017. But the second model will run alongside the follow-up to this year’s Pixel and Pixel XL and will likely be priced cheaper.
This “new” model sounds a lot like a Nexus phone; it will be cheaper, with lower-grade specs. This handset is apparently referred to as the Pixel 2B internally at Google.
How this phone will work is unclear at present; it could be targeted at emerging markets as a replacement for Google’s Android One initiative or, what we’re hoping for, is that it is something similar to Nexus phones of old.
Google’s Rick Osterloh has said that Pixel will remain premium, however, so it is looking increasingly likely that this Pixel 2B phone will be targeted towards emerging markets like India and Brazil where demand for high performance, mid-range Android phones is huge.
What would you like to see from Google with the Pixel 2? Let me know in the comments below.[“Source-ndtv”]