When Google launched the Pixel and Pixel XL in October 2016, reviewers and consumers were impressed. Here was a smartphone with a great camera, innovative Pixel Launcher and a Google Assistant to rival Siri or Alexa. There was a big boom in demand for the new handsets compared to the Nexus devices they replaced and Google could be satisfied with a solid first attempt.
However, sales still fell a long way short of the market leaders and the pressure is now on Google to up the ante for its next flagship release. Apple’s iPhone 8 and the new Samsung Galaxy 8 will both be hard to top, but the Google Pixel 2 is soon set to arrive and the prospect of hot new features such as a curved screen, improved camera and powerful new chipset have got fans counting down the days like kids before Christmas.
How Many New Pixels Will There Be?
It looks as though there will be two new models. Speculation earlier this year suggested that three devices were in the works, under the codenames Taimen, Walleye and Muskie. However, the Muskie has reportedly been scrapped and Google is focused on developing the other two. As well as a Google Pixel 2, the second device is set to be a Pixel XL 2 with a potential screen size of a massive 5.99 inches after Google decided that bigger was better.
New Google Pixel 2 Display
To curve or not to curve? That seems to be the question for Google. The Samsung Galaxy S8 has an elegantly curved display and the latest rumours suggest the Pixel 2 may also come with a curved screen. However, this may be created by using curved glass around a flat OLED display to blend the edge of the chassis, with LG reportedly in the frame to make one of the phones. The smaller Pixel 2 could come with a 5.6 inch display and an 18:9 aspect ratio, making it a super-widescreen like the Galaxy S8. The resolution is expected to be 2,560 x 1,312.
New Google Pixel 2 Camera
While the camera on the original Pixel was one of its best features, the new model is set to take the photographic experience up another notch. Google has promised a 12MP rear camera with 4K video support, suggesting a large single sensor very unlike the dual camera setups on other smartphones. While this may not be in keeping with the current trend, Google has instead concentrated on ensuring the quality of images remains at the highest level and is combining the rear camera with a 7MP front-facing camera.
New Google Pixel 2 Audio and Speakers
The 3.5mm headphone socket was once such a standard smartphone feature that it appeared indispensable, but other top firms such as Apple have recently ditched the long-standing port and the Pixel 2 looks set to follow suit if a recent leak of renders from case maker Olixar is anything to go by. It also seems that the Walleye – the smaller device of the two – might feature dual front speakers. This won’t make up for the loss of the headphone jack in many people’s eyes, but the sturdy front speakers should ensure excellent sound quality.
New Google Pixel 2 Specs and Hardware
A fast-draining battery is the bane of many phone users’ existence, but improvements to the Pixel 2 should help to ease the problem. The original Pixel used a new chip – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 – but upgrades over the past year have seen other flagships make use of the Snapdragon 835. The Pixel 2 will either feature the Snapdragon 835, boosted by at least 4GB of RAM, or perhaps even the Snapdragon 836, which will reportedly offer a 10% increase in performance.
Google Pixel 2 Prices and Release Date
The Google Pixel 2 won’t come cheap. Sources suggest it will go on sale at the same value as the original Pixel or possibly even a bit more. The Pixel launched at $649 (£599), while the XL version was $769 (£719), so anyone tempted to snap one up straight away should start saving their coins. The original Pixel was released in October 2016 and every indication so far is that the follow-up will arrive one year later in October 2017.
Other Rumoured Google Pixel 2 Features
A nice camera, curved screen and increased power are all very well, but what other features could the Pixel 2 include to really make it stand out from the crowd? One intriguing rumour is that it might feature squeezable sides like the HTC U11, opening up the possibility of controlling various actions without using the touchscreen. The Pixel 2 could also be one of the most water resistant smartphones out there, while Google is sure to have worked hard on improving its Assistant so that commands are understood even more efficiently.
The Google Pixel rumours about what or what may not be included have split opinion, with the headphone socket set to go, no dual camera setup and a largely prohibitive price. However, the original Pixel was so well received that optimism should be high for the eagerly-awaited sequel. With a more powerful battery, smarter Google Assistant, slick camera offering the best image quality around and hopefully lots more exciting new features, the Google Pixel 2 should be well worth exploring when it lands later this year.