First Google Pixel 3 detail leaked — but what does it mean?

The Google Pixel smartphones have quickly established themselves among the most-anticipated handset releases of the calendar year.

Google’s answer to the iPhone is gearing up for the third-generation handsets this autumn, following the launch of the Pixel 2 in October 2017.

Now, the first evidence of the Pixel 3’s existence has been uncovered by the keen-eyed developers studying the Android Open Source Project code.

Related: Best smartphone 2018

The brief mention doesn’t give much away, other than likely confirming the name. However, it suggests the Pixel 3 might have some improved networking capabilities, compared with its predecessors.

Within the portion of the code pertaining to auto network selection, we learn that “the HAL V_1_2 only supports Pixel 3.”

What this means is unclear, but the XDA Developers blog believes the code may pertain to the addition of “continuous updates in the ‘scan network’ options in network settings.”

Like we say, it doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but it’s the first little nugget of direct information we’ve received thus far.

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Three Pixel 3 phones?

Previous rumours have suggested three new devices, codenamed Albacore, Blueline and Crosshatch are on the way.

It’s possible Google will follow Apple’s 2017 strategy by releasing a Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, along with a flagship that stands head and shoulders at the top of the range.

We’d also expect the phones to arrive packing the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, which is powering the majority of Android flagships in 2018.

Google will be looking to make the phones more appealing to the mainstream, beyond hardcore Android users. Reports have suggested the company sold under four million Pixel phones in 2017.

What are your hopes for the Pixel 3 range? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.