Google's Upcoming Flagship Phone: The Pixel 2
The Pixel was Google's first internally designed handset, which happened to get a lot of things right. It had an amazing camera, it was the first device to showcase the Android Nougat, and had amazing performance with one of the best battery life you would ever see on a mobile phone. I personally liked its looks very much.
The Pixel was however, plagued by a hefty price and had some component trade-offs compared to its high-end Android rivals.
It was like an iPhone for the Android ecosystem.
Apple's devices usually get significant improvements and refinements on its subsequent sequels, and so I expect the same with Google's iPhone-esque take on Android. Well, the time when we get to see the Google Pixel 2 is surely not far away. So let's see all there is about the Google Pixel 2 out yet including leaks, reports and rumours!
Well, when is the Google Pixel coming?
Although Google doesn't want to let us know about their upcoming devices, there are several clues to spot it. The Android Open Source Project collaboration page is the perfect place and it has recently thrown up two code names: "Walleye" and "Muskie". Those are both fish which match with Google's choice of pre-release code names for the Pixel and Pixel XL- Marlin and Sailfish.
What Design will be featured in the Google Pixel 2
The build quality of Pixel 2 is again expected to be top-of-the-line, with glass and metal body and rounded edges. But rumors say the Pixel 2 would have a curved screen similar to Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. It is also rumored to be better water resistant this time.
Last year the Pixel was launched without any waterproofing. Google advertised it as "splashproof", whereas its rivals Apple and Samsung both had waterproofing on their flagships, the iPhone 7 and the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge respectively. Basically while iPhone 7 is IP67 rated and the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S8 are IP68 rated, the Google Pixel was IP53 rated; in other words the Pixel had little to none water resistance.
Water-resistance has now become the norm for every flagship smartphones. So this time, Google is rumored to put in better water and dust proofing on the Pixel 2.
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Google Pixel 2 Display
Last year, Google struggled to get hold of enough OLED panel for the Pixel and to ensure it doesn't happen again this time, Google has invested 1 trillion won (US $880 million) in LG's display division to make sure the supply meets the demand for the Pixel 2. The Pixel only had a Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) screen last year, and only the Pixel XL came with a QHD screen.
Considering a VR-friendly phone, the Pixel didn't had quite have the pixels to back it up. Odd, since Daydream is Google's own project. So this time, I am expecting a QHD display with a resolution of 2560×1440 pixels. There are rumors stating the Pixel 2 XL may have a 4K screen, which would be great only if Google does not increase the price by a higher margin.
Google Pixel 2 Camera
The camera in the Google Pixel is just potent enough. It is still one of the best smartphone cameras you can find today, but surprisingly, Google plans to keep pushing the tech for the next round. According to reports, although we won't see a big megapixel bump from the Pixel's 12.3 MP, the camera could have even better low light performance and it may now come with Optical Image Stabilization. As for the front-facing camera, there is no news yet.
Performance and Specs of the Google Pixel 2
Google went with the top end Qualcomm snapdragon 821 for the Pixel last year, and the trend is sure to continue with the Pixel 2 packing the latest Snapdragon 835. There is however, no news about whether the CPU would be slightly under-clocked this time too like the Pixel in order to increase battery life.
There are also rumors that the Pixel 2 XL would pack in 6 GB of RAM while the Pixel 2 would be the same at 4 GB. Performance is also expected to be buttery - smooth and blazing-fast , much like the Pixel.
Battery Life of the Google Pixel 2
The battery life was one of the major reason why the Pixel was such a hit, earning serious recommendation from reviewers around the world. The Pixel XL, with 3450 mAH battery, was easily getting 5+ hours of screen-on time. Google had underclocked it's CPU to save power by a large margin, without sacrificing performance.
Google is rumored to take this to the next level with 3500 mAH and 4000mAH batteries on the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL, and Google may underclock the CPU this time also. As such I expect a big bump in battery life which would easily pass 7+ hours of screen-on time.
OS and Assistant in the Pixel 2
Every year, Google used to come up with a new Nexus device to showcase the latest version of Android. But after discontinuing it, the Pixel started pulling the reigns, and being the first to showcase Android 7.0 Nougat to the masses.
Google is certainly expected to carry the tradition with the launch of the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL, showcasing the latest and greatest Android 8.0 or Android O. The Google Assistant was one of the main selling points of the device, but while it was certainly impressive, it didn't quite feel like the 2.0 upgrade to Google Now that it was shown as.
I expect the Assistant to improve by a greater margin this time, by picking up the "OK Google" voice command more consistently, and it should be able to understand what we are asking for every time, even in loud environments because when it fails, I wish I hadn't called out for it at all.
Some other Reports regarding Google's Pixel 2
1. A more enticing starting price can be expected for the Google Pixel 2, as the Pixel cost way too much, even greater than an entry-level iPhone 7, at $819 for the Pixel XL. The Nexus 6P cost $500 when it hit the shelves. More on that in the latter price section.
2. Both Pixels currently offer 32GB or 128GB of internal storage, with no expandable card slot, but with the Pixel 2, we may get to see the base storage get bumped up to 64 GB because 4K video would easily chew up through 32 GB of space in no time. A MicroSD expansion slot would be highly preferred, as it is the norm on every Android smartphone now. Google could also increase the maximum storage to 256GB.
3. Although being a fan of the Google Pixel's design, there are a few problems with the metal. It seemed to easily get dented and scratched, with the smallest of falls. The corners and sides get dinged even without dropping it much. Considering its high starting price, Google may improve its components and build a tougher device.
4. Speakers on the Google Pixel were plain bad, with the sound having a dull and monotonous tone. The positioning of the speaker was also awkward, as you can easily cover it with your hands, holding it into landscape mode, or while gaming and watching movies. As such I expect the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will come out with front-firing and decent quality speakers.
5. Some other reports claim that the Google Pixel 2 will not have the headphone jack. But I don't support that claim since Google had strongly impressioned about it on the Pixel while advertising about it.
Price of the Google Pixel 2
The price of the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is expected to be hefty, with the Pixel 2 expected to cost around $599 for the 32 GB and $699 for the 128 GB model and the Pixel 2 XL is expected to cost around $719 for the 32 GB and $819 for the 128 GB model.
That's all that is out yet regarding the Google Pixel 2. If you happen to have any other leaks or rumours, don't forget to share it! And now I want to turn over the mic to you. What do you think is the most important feature that Google should add in its Pixel 2? I would love to hear it if you put it down in the comments!