The first half of the year is all but gone and we’ve seen quite an interesting number of phones come out, ranging from the LG G6, Samsung Galaxy S8, HTC U11, OnePlus 5, Xiaomi Mi 6, and Sony Xperia XZ Premium, just to name but a few.
During the second half of this year, there will also be more phones and in fact, it appears that we are yet to see the best of phones come out. Not so long ago, the Moto Z2 Force was unveiled and it will start selling in major markets very soon. While the phone does a great job when it comes to specs and features, it lacks in a few other areas, where the almost year-old Google Pixel XL even outshines it in some aspects.
Speaking of the Google Pixel XL, this magnificent phone’s successor is part of the list of phones that are set to grace the second half of this year alongside the likes of LG V30 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8. While the latter two are expected to be announced this month, the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will not be here until September or October this year, just like it happened with the 2016 models.
It might seem too far away, but you’ll be surprised at how this period can be short in the smartphone world. With this in mind, lots of details regarding the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have been flying around, giving fans a clue of what to expect when the pair of phones makes its debut in a few months’ time. Based on these rumors and leaks, we have prepared a list of 5 things that you can expect to see when the search engine giant comes up with the two phones, which are also expected to be huge (not necessarily in terms of physical size), just like the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and LG V30.
Complete design overhaul
There have been leaked images of the upcoming Google Pixel 2 XL and there’s no doubt that Google is working on some massive design changes for this 2017 phone. Apparently, the design overhaul will largely affect the XL variant while the standard model will keep the same design language as what you see on the current Pixels.
The Pixel 2 XL will feature much slimmer bezels compared to the 2016 model. As a result of the reduced bezel sizes, the phone will also come in with a much bigger display screen of 6 inches, which is an impressive 0.5 inches bigger than the current XL model. As for the Pixel 2 variant, you still get a 5-inch display screen, but this will mean the phone gets a lower price tag as well compared to the high-end model.
Despite the massive changes on the front panel, the rear panel will keep a familiar looking design, where a two-tone design will still be present. But unlike the previous model where the fingerprint scanner is located in the upper glass section, the one on the Pixel 2 XL will be placed in the lower metallic section of the phone.
No dual-lens camera
Despite the changes the smartphone camera is undergoing, the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will still give you the traditional single-lens camera setup. The aforementioned Moto Z2 Force has moved onto this trending feature and the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and LG V30 will also feature a dual-lens camera on the back, but for Google, the only expected change is a camera lens that is housed in a much bigger hole. The result of this change in camera design is still unknown, but some rumors claim that the tech giant could finally introduce optical image stabilization, a feature that has been in huge demand for years now.
Huge specs bump
This is kind of an obvious expectation given that the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are upgrades to the 2016 models. Similar to other 2017 flagships, the pair will drop the Snapdragon 820 series in favor of the new Snapdragon 835 SoC, but some sections are adamant that the Google phones could be the first to debut with the slightly upgraded Snapdragon 836, just like it happened last year when they got the Snapdragon 821 instead of the Snapdragon 820 that featured in many flagships released in 2016.
As for the RAM, the same 4GB will be retained despite the fact that the Galaxy Note 8 and LG V30 will be getting massive 6GB RAM modules. Given how good Google is when it comes to software optimizations, this 2GB RAM difference will probably not be noticeable in terms of performance. It’s also possible that the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL could jump to a base storage of 64GB while at the same time pushing this limit to a massive 256GB, which should be a welcome idea for many fans given that Google phones, traditionally, don’t come with a microSD card slot.
IP68 and pressure-sensitive edges
For years now, Samsung Galaxy S and Note series phones have remained standouts due to their IP6X-rated bodies. Last year’s Samsung Galaxy S7 and this year’s Galaxy S8 have IP68 dust and water resistance, a feature that prevents any damage in case the phone takes a dive of up to 30 minutes in water that is about 1.5 meters deep. Well, this is not something you can afford to risk with the current pair of Pixel phones.
However, word on the street is that the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL could debut with IP68-certified bodies to ensure of their dust and water resistance. Furthermore, the Pixel 2 XL could follow the HTC U11 in coming up with a pressure-sensitive frame that allows users to interact with the edges by applying different amounts of pressures on the edges.
Missing 3.5mm audio jack
Perhaps this might be disappointing to some, but it depends on which side of the table you are actually seated. If you can recall, the Google Nexus family was among the first handsets to do away with the traditional microUSB port in favor of USB-C connectivity. Today, this is becoming a thing as more OEMs are now embracing this technology. Similarly, the fact that the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL may ditch the 3.5mm audio jack should excite you rather than disappoint you because the company is making you a future-proof device.
With many OEMs moving towards this direction, it won’t be long before you start finding it hard when it comes to bumping into decent headphones that are compatible with 3.5mm audio jacks. Manufacturers of these headphones will also make the change, which will mean there will be more USB-C compatible accessories as opposed to those that can work with the traditional audio jack.
As usual with new Google phones, the upcoming pair will be the first to ship with the newest OS in town – Android O. The tech giant will be releasing the OS in a few weeks’ time, where the current Pixels and Nexus devices will be the first to receive the OTA updates.
With the new OS comes a bunch of new features and upgrades over the current Android Nougat and this should make fans even more excited about the 2nd-gen Pixel phones.
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