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Google Pixel 2: The launch date has been revealed as 4 October

 

The press has received its invites to the launch event

Coming out last year, Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL phones were the company’s first stab at pulling off a proper first-party device, designed and built by the company from scratch. However, while generally well-recieved, they didn’t really take off in the way the company had hoped.

Google will be looking to change this with its follow-up device. Details are currently scarce but rumours are starting to circulate – here’s everything we know about the Google Pixel 2.

Picture: Google Pixel

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18/09/2017: Pixel 2 launch date revealed as 4 October

The Google Pixel 2 will be officially unveiled on 4 October, it would seem, with journalists around the world receiving invites to the press event.

Although the invite doesn’t state it will definitely be the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2XL, the branding around the launch event reads “Ask more of your phone,” which to us is a pretty big giveaway. Not only have journalists received the invites, but it’s also backed by a pretty impressive billboard and online marketing campaign suggesting something big is definitely coming in the next few weeks.

The campaign is centred around users asking why their phone doesn’t perform particularly well, such as, “what’s wrong with my phone’s battery?” “why doesn’t my phone understand me?” “why is my phone always out of storage?” and “why is my smartphone so slow?” suggesting the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will attempt to address some of the many bugbears users have with their smartphones.

It’s expected that Google will also announce some accessories alongside the new flagships, including the possibility of wireless earphones to go head to head against the Apple AirPods.

There seems to be more evidence to suggest this is definitely the launch date for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL…the original Google Pixel was unveiled on 4 October 2016. Now if that’s not a big giveaway, we don’t know what is.

16/08/2017: FCC filing reveals Google Pixel 2 details

New features have emerged about the Google Pixel 2 following the publication of a FCC filing.

The documents were filed on 4 August and the phone is referred to as NM8G011A. Screenshots of the phone show it running Android 8.0.1 in the new Android O settings app.

There is also a feature referred to in the filings as “Active Edge”, which could point to a similar squeezable frame feature as found in the HTC U11. In the settings menu it says “Active Edge on, squeeze for your Assistant”.

Storage is shown as 50.66GB free with 21% used, so it’s likely to have a 64GB capacity.

It also turns out HTC will be manufacturing the device, quelling rumours that LG may be involved.

Despite this, Ubergizmo reported that although the Pixel 2 will be manufactured by HTC, Google may produce two versions of the phone, so it may end up that the devices are made by different companies.

The phone is expected to have a 5.99in, 1440p OLED screen. The XL will also reportedly feature a model with 128GB storage, running Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor. This means it could fit a lot of power in your hand at 2.45GHz on 4GB of RAM for both devices.

Image Source: FCC filing

09/08/2017: New photos show smaller rear glass panel

GSMArena has received new photos of what leaksters claim is the Google Pixel 2, exposing a more rectangular shape compared to the original Google Pixel, stereo speakers and a more curved glass screen. The device in the pictures is also adorned with stickers, indicating it’s a non-release development device used by software and accessory manufacturers to use to develop products and services before the handset’s unveiled.

However, it does show off some of the design features we’ve heard on the rumour mill of late, including a much smaller glass panel underneath the camera on the back. There are two LEDs for the camera’s flash and although some rumours suggest there will also be a laser autofocus on offer, the pictures aren’t clear enough to see whether this is a possibility.

Notes accompanying the pictures revealed that, much like the iPhone 7, there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack on the upcoming Google Pixel 2. Although the tipster didn’t reveal too much else, they did say it felt much more “sleek and elegant” in-hand than the original Pixel.

One rather disappointing design feature of the Google Pixel 2 (if these pictures are genuine) is the large bezels at the top and bottom of the device. At a time when the likes of Samsung and Apple are committed to shrinking the size of the screen surround to maximise real estate, Google seems to think it’s fine to have unused expanses on its handsets.

03/08/2017: Pictures of cases for the as-yet unreleased Google Pixel 2 show a slightly different design compared to the original Pixel, including the rather drastic change of the removal of its 3.5mm headphone jack.

Is Google following in Apple’s proprietary headphone jack footsteps? Quite possibly if the device sitting inside these cases is the device due to launch in the Autumn.

There aren’t too many other surprises below the surface though. There’s space for a USB Type C port on the bottom of the phone alongside the speaker. A fingerprint scanner takes pride of place on the back of the phone with the camera in the top left corner, and slimline bezels around the entire handset make the screen look huge.

The images were provided courtesy of accessories manufacturer Olixar. Its FlexiShield cases for the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL will be sold via retailer MobileFun, where they’ll be available for $8.99 (£6.80) or $5.99 (£4.50), depending on the colour.

26/06/2017: More rumours have surfaced for the upcoming Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones, courtesy of a XDA-Developers source “familiar with the matter that spent time with at least one of these phones”.

The Pixel 2 XL is expected to arrived with a 5.99in, 1440p OLED screen manufactured by LG, which is likely given Google’s recent investment into LG’s display unit. If true, that would add almost half an inch to the overall screen size compared to the previous generation, due to some significantly thinner bezels.

The XL will also feature a model with 128GB of storage, although other variations are expected.

The smaller Pixel 2 device will receive the fewest visual changes, featuring a similar 4.97in FHD screen found on the previous Pixel, and the same larger bezels. This means the Pixel 2 is likely to be “almost identical” to last year’s phone, but will include stereo speakers instead of a headphone jack, according to the source.

However, both phones are expected to get some beefy internal upgrades, confirming previous rumours that they would feature Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 processor. While the original Pixel range used a Snapdragon 821, clocked at its lowest possible frequency of 2.15GHz, the newer 835 will be firing on full power at 2.45GHz on 4GB of RAM for both devices.

The two-tone glass and metal finish is also said to be returning, although this time the glass window is positioned at the top and will no longer enclose the finger print scanner.

25/04/2017: Google may release three Pixel devices in 2017

Although rumours have already suggested a possible Pixel successor is in the works, new information now suggests that Google is planning on releasing three new devices, potentially all within 2017.

Code sifted from the Android Open Source Project seems to suggest that Google is working on three projects, codenamed Walleye, Muskie, and Taimen.

From earlier reports we already know that Muskie is the codename associated with the sequel to the Pixel phone, while Walleye is likely to represent the successor to the larger Pixel XL. However there seems to be very little indication as to what the third codename could relate to.

Some have speculated that Google could be working on a new tablet, or a ‘phablet’ smartphone with a display larger than the Pixel XL. This is likely given the apparent popularity of larger screened phones, demonstrated by the higher demand for the Samsung S8+ over the regular S8.

Outside of that, your guess is as good as ours. The only other tidbit we were able to glean from the code is that all three Pixel devices, whatever they are, will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset, the same found in Samsung’s Galaxy S8 range.

This is also likely given that Qualcomm has yet to announce a successor to the 835 processor, and it remains a top of the range chip.

According to past rumours, HTC will once again take care of the manufacturing side for the new Pixel devices.

20/04/2017: Google Pixel 2 could release in October

Google’s anticipated Pixel 2 smartphone could be released sometime in October 2017, according to a report from Android Headlines. The Pixel 2 XL is expected to land shortly after, though there currently isn’t enough information for proper speculation.

A similar release date was mentioned by Science World Report, citing Google’s current Pixel generation as an explanation: both the Pixel and Pixel XL were announced in October last year, and it wouldn’t be surprising if this year’s release follows suit.

Rumours also indicate the Pixel 2 and 2 XL will feature Qualcomm’s powerful Snapdragon 835 Pro SoC processor. Other noteworthy specs could include 6GB of RAM, a X16 mobile LTE modern chip, Adreno 540 GPU clocked at a minimum of 670MHz, and the Android O operating system update.

The Android Headlines report also shared a new concept image for the Pixel 2, which features thin bezels and a sleek display. If the Pixel 2 were to look anything like the image suggests, it would resemble a combination of Google’s original Pixel and the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Overall, we still know very little about Google’s next-generation Pixel devices, so we shouldn’t get too excited about anything just yet.

Read IT Pro’s review of the Google Pixel and Pixel XL.

10/04/2017: The first news of a follow-up to 2016’s excellent Google Pixel is starting to filter out, with rumours that the device’s successor could sport a curved screen.

Google is set to invest 1 trillion Korean Won (more than £700 million) in the display technology arm of LG, in order to guarantee the availability of curved OLED screens for its next device, according to South Korea’s Electronic Times.

Rumours suggest that Apple recently signed a similar agreement with Samsung, sparking rumours of a curved-screen iPhone 8, and Apple has reportedly ordered as many as 70 million panels from the manufacturer.

Curved displays look set to be this year’s trend in smartphone design; Samsung has doubled down on the size of its signature ‘Edge’ screen, and other OEMs seem to be following in its footsteps, including both Apple and Google – the company’s two main rivals.

Aside from this, other rumours indicate that the follow-up to the Pixel could include an improved camera, proper waterproofing and the latest operating system – likely Android O in this case.

The Pixel devices will be codenamed ‘walleye’ and ‘muskie’, according to documentation on the Android Open Source Project page, continuing Google’s tradition of naming its devices after fish. There’s also rumblings that Google will launch a cheaper variant with slimmed down specs in order to tempt the more budget-conscious users.

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