New HTC U11 Plus is a rejected Pixel 2 XL, report claims

The brand new HTC U11 Plus smartphone was originally conceived as the Google Pixel 2 XL, according to a report on Thursday.

According to The Verge’s sources, the handset was rejected by Google ahead of the recent Pixel launches.

Instead Google went with LG for the Pixel 2 XL smartphone.

The revelation stems from the recent reappearance of the codename ‘muskie’ within Android Open Source Project (AOSP) files.

If you recall, muskie was initially rumoured as a codename for a third Pixel device to alongside the walleye and tamien devices that went on to become the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

Related: Pixel 2 XL review

XDA Developers spotted the HTC-made device within the AOSP last week and, although it’s not exactly the same as the device unveiled today, it bears many of the hallmarks of the new HTC U11 Plus.

This includes the same rear-facing fingerprint sensor that sits within the Pixel 2/2 XL phones and includes the Pixel Visual Core camera technology sitting within the new Pixel range.

Although the code reveals it was actually manufactured by HTC, the AOSP lists Google as the manufacturer, adding further weight to the suggestion this was to be a pixel device.

Same screen, bigger battery

The code suggests the original muskie was to have a 3,830mAh battery, which is larger than the Pixel 2 XL’s 3,520mAh battery, but a little smaller than the whopping 3,930mAh cell sitting within the U11 Plus.

Compared with the eventual LG-made Pixel 2 XL, the HTC U11 matches the 6-inch, 18:9, 2880 x 1440 resolution display.

However, while the U11 Plus has an LCD display, the OLED panel used in the Pixel 2 XL is the subject of complaints from critics and users alike.

Perhaps Google would have been better off opting for the HTC-made devices across the board?

Are you on board with the HTC U11 Plus? Share your initial impressions @TrustedReviews on Twitter.