Until now everything about Google GOOGL -1.30%’s upcoming Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones has looked brilliant and new renders confirm this. The problem is they also deliver two pieces of bad news…
Making it worse for Pixel fans is the information comes from Steve Hemmerstoffer, aka @OneLeaks, historically one of the most accurate leakers around. Hemmerstoffer has revealed detailed 3D renders of both the 5-inch Pixel 2 and massive 6-inch Pixel 2 XL, but they show two problems which will have users scratching their heads.
In what is perhaps the biggest shock, Hemmerstoffer’s models show Google will copy Apple and remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. This would leave the smartphones with just a single USB Type-C port and owners would be required to use adapters (barely any Type-C headphones exist) or go wireless.
In addition to being inconvenient the switch, if correct, makes no sense because only last year Google took satisfaction in its marketing the Pixel by gloating that it has a 3.5mm jack:
Google joined #TeamPremium last year after replacing its Nexus phones with the Pixel and Pixel XL. Despite not being able to produce enough of them and some hardware issues, the Pixel has quickly become the symbol of what a pure Google phone should be.
The phone’s not quite on Samsung’s Galaxy level yet — not until it sells hundreds of millions of units — but if it keeps getting better, it could get there in a few years.
Given how great the Pixel is (dull design aside), we’re pretty pumped for the Pixel 2. Here’s what we’re expecting to see come this fall.
What it might look like
Physical parts — bodies, molds, camera modules, screens, etc. — haven’t leaked out yet, but leakers with proven track records have created renders based on all of the things they’ve heard. These pics should give you a sense of what the Pixel 2 might look like.
Google designed the Pixels, but HTC manufactured them. This time around, Google’s still crafting them, but LG’s reportedly been tapped to build the phones.
Will it be powerful?
Oh, you bet your ass it will be. The Pixel 2 is Google’s flagship phone. It will have top-of-the-line specs, comparable or better than the Galaxy S8.
Word on the street is the phone might come with Qualcomm’s powerful Snapdragon 835 chip and 4GB of RAM — a combo that’s found in pretty much every 2017 flagship Android phone. If not the 835, then maybe a newer, slightly faster Snapdragon 836 chip. The Pixel has a Snapdragon 821 chip, which was an improved version of the 820 chip most 2016 flagship Android phones used, so it’s not impossible.
We’ve no idea how much storage the Pixel 2 will have, what its battery life will be, or if there will be a memory card slot.
How many models and what’s the screen size?
So far we’ve only heard about a 6-inch model with an 18:9 AMOLED display that may stretch edge-to-edge, but there could be a smaller model that’s closer to 5 inches. The resolution on the 6-inch model is said to be 2,880 x 1,440 — same as the LG G6.
XDA Developers has also heard the Pixel 2 might have an ambient always-on display, which means it would be able to display things like notifications, a clock, or calendar on the screen while it’s in standby, just like on the Galaxy S8.
It’ll run An
Google’s phones always launch with the latest version of Android and we expect the Pixel 2 to be no different. Whatever Android O ends up being called, the changes are largely under the hood.
O will bring better battery life, tidier notifications, picture-in-picture, and more features that won’t be immediately noticeable.
When will it launch?
The Pixel’s too new to have a release cycle history to go off. The Pixel wa,s announced on Oct. 4, 2016 and it launched on Oct. 20. If Google sticks with an annual release — Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of hardware at Google suggests as much — the Pixel should come out sometime in October, too. It’d be just in time for the holidays.
How much will it cost?
The Pixel starts at $650 and the Pixel XL at $770, each with 32GB of storage. We’d love to see the Pixel 2 start with roughly the same pricing, but don’t be surprised if prices go up a bit if the phone has more storage and an edge-to-edge display.