The Google Pixel 2 is coming in 2017, and a few leaks have started trickling through already. Here’s what we want to see in Google’s flagship, including specs, features, camera, Android 8 and more.
Latest Google Pixel 2 news and leaks
(Update: June 26, 2017): A new blog post from XDA Developers details a number of spec details for two Google Pixel phones said to be launching later this year. Read on to find out more.
The Google Pixel hit the shelves late last year, so it’s still too early for serious leaks about a sequel to one of our favourite phones of 2016. One of the biggest rumour so far revolves around one of our most requested Pixel 2 features, and it seems the upcoming flagship will survive a dunk in the bath.
There’s also some predictable bits that have come out regarding the phone. 9to5Google claims it’ll have a better camera, a price bump and possibly a lower-priced version too.
In any case, Google has at least confirmed that the phone will be coming later this year. Speaking to Android Pit, Rick Osterloh, who heads up Google’s hardware division, admitted the Pixel series wasn’t just an experiment, saying: “There is an annual rhythm in the industry. So, you can count on us to follow it. You can count on a successor this year, even if you don’t hear a date from me now.”
So what on earth is going on? Read on for more.
Google Pixel 2: What we (think) we know
We’ve been hearing for a long while that Google’s next smartphones are coming later this year, and are being developed under the codenames ‘Walleye’ and ‘Taimen’. A third – ‘Muskie’ – was also tipped to be in development, but was reportedly scrapped. These two handsets are expected to be the successors to 2016’s Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL, and will probably run on the new Android O software.
Android hub XDA Developers recently published a new blog post that details a number of specifications about both Walleye and Taimen. The post reads: “XDA Developers has obtained information about both upcoming Google devices…from a source familiar with the matter that spent time with at least one of these phones. We are confident in the validity of the details presented…given the source’s track record.”
It’s entirely possible that the details may change closer to the launch date, although the post suggests that this is “unlikely”.
Here’s what’s rumoured.
For Taimen, this report suggests that the phone will feature a sizeable 5.99-inch display with a high-resolution 1440p OLED panel – that’s going to be built by LG, apparently.
The phone is also tipped to feature a smaller bezel, and that there will be a 128GB (with 4GB of RAM) model available, with the concession that there may be other storage variants offered too.
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As far as design goes, the back is said to be two-tone glass and metal, similar to what we saw last year. The device is also expected to feature a single camera with dual LED flash, rather than the dual camera that some had been expecting.
The Walleye device is said to be smaller than Taimen, boasting a comparatively dinky 4.97-inch display with a Full HD 1080p resolution.
The design is prescribed as being “almost identical” to last year’s Google Pixel, including the large(-ish) bezels. Google is said to be planning to drop the headphone jack, but include stereo speakers.
This phone is also tipped to carry the Snapdragon 835 chip, paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
Despite the leak, it’s worth taking all rumours with due caution, as we won’t know the truth of the matter until Google makes an official announcement.
When does the Google Pixel 2 come out?
Google tends to release its flagship phone in the Autumn, shortly after Apple unveils the iPhone. We’d peg the Google Pixel 2 with an October/November launch, with pre-orders going live immediately following the announcement.
How much will the Google Pixel 2 cost?
Google Pixel: £599 (32GB) | £699 (128GB)
Google Pixel XL: £719 (32GB) | £819 (128GB)
We would expect the Google Pixel 2 to hit the price-points as above – we hope lower – though possibly with higher storage at lower prices.
Google Pixel 2: What we want
The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are great, but we think there are obvious areas for improvement. Here are five keys upgrades we’d love to see in the Google Pixel 2.
1. A more enticing starting price
We were spoiled with the Nexus series. High-end specs for a rock-bottom price was always too good to be true, and now that Google is taking phones seriously it’s a different story.
Whereas the Nexus 6P hit shelves for less than £500, the Pixel XL runs up to £819 if you want a beefy amount of internal storage. It’s an iPhone-matching price that we’re just not sure Google is quite justified in charging yet.
We’d love if the Pixel 2 came in at a lower price, but maybe that’s asking too much just after Brexit.
2. Improved base storage, or a microSD slot
Both Pixels currently offer either 32GB or 128GB of internal storage, but we’d like to see that base jump to 64GB.
Like 16GB before it, 32GB is fast becoming redundant as 4K video files get bigger and mobile games become more ambitious. 32GB can easily be filled up with a few Spotify playlists and a holiday’s worth of snaps.
Things aren’t helped by the lack of expandable storage, which is pretty much the norm on every other Android phone. 64GB seems a much fairer starting point, and Google could always offer up an iPhone 7 matching 256GB model for the media hoarders out there.
3. A more durable body
Unlike many, we’re fans of the Google Pixel’s design. It’s not the thinnest nor the lightest, but it’s well built and manageable even if you plump for the larger model. We have noticed though that the metal used seems very to scratch and dent very easily. Even without dropping our Pixel XL, the corners and sides have got increasingly dinged.
Considering its likely high starting price, it seems only right that Google should improve its components and give us a much tougher device.
4. Water resistance is a must
The Google Pixel matches, and in most cases supersedes, flagships from Sony, Apple and Samsung in many areas but it’s still lacking something.
A high IP rating (either IP67 or IP68) means you can dunk your phone in about a metre of water without any actual damage, and it’s a feature the Google Pixel 2 simply must have to compete with the Samsung Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7 (or iPhone 7S/iPhone 8).
5. Better audio throughout
One of the Pixels few shortcoming are its downward facing and rather tinny speakers. Often a forgotten feature on phones – normally to save space – we love good speakers and DACs on phones.
The HTC U11 has great audio, and it does make a big difference especially on media centric phones with large screens. Considering the current Pixel has a thick bezel running around the display, there should be enough room to jam in some decent front-firing speakers. Oh, and keep the headphone jack. Cheers, Google.
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What do you want to see in Google Pixel 2? Let us know in the comments below