Google’s Nexus phones were usually priced low as a way to promote the Android brand and give developers something cool to play around with. However, the Pixel and Pixel XL signified a change in direction. Google wants to compete with the likes of Samsung and Apple, and the Pixel was an impressive first attempt. So, what’s in store for the Pixel 2? A new leak offers some plausible details.
As usual, the code names for several upcoming Google devices have leaked in recent months thanks to the public Android issue tracker. There were three fish-based code names floating around (all Google’s internal devices have fish names), which is more than the two devices we were expecting. The names were Taimen, Walleye, and Muskie. As far as anyone can tell, Muskie has been dropped, and it’s all Taimen and Walleye going forward.
The Walleye phone will be the follow up to the regular Pixel from last year. It will have a 4.97-inch display with 1080p resolution, and the physical design will be almost identical to last year’s Pixel. That means the bezels will be a little on the large side. There will be stereo speakers, which the current Pixel doesn’t have. One thing the current Pixel does have is a headphone jack, but Walleye apparently does not. Inside will allegedly be a Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage in the base model (twice that of the original Pixel).
Tamien will be taking the place of the Pixel XL, though it’s not clear if the XL branding will still be used. This phone will undergo a more radical design change with a 5.99-inch 1440p OLED panel manufactured by LG. Google recently invested in LG’s display division to secure capacity for Pixel phones, so hopefully LG’s panels can compete with Samsung’s. The discontinued Muskie was supposed to be more of a direct successor to the Pixel XL, with a 5.5-inch screen and similar body. Taimen should have narrower bezels like the LG G6 and Galaxy S8, and the glass inlay on the rear panel will be smaller than the current Pixels. Taimen will also have a Snapdragon 835 and 4GB of RAM.
The current Pixel and Pixel XL are manufactured by HTC. The OEM for 2017 Pixel hardware is uncertain, but it may be split up between two companies now. The larger Pixel is likely an LG device, and the smaller one may still be manufactured by HTC.
Google will probably announce the new Pixels this fall, a few months after Android O begins rolling out to existing Pixel and Nexus devices. The new Pixels will certainly launch with Android O.
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