Google is expected to launch three Pixel phones this year, a break from its usual launch number, and the Android Open Source Project reveals that all the phones will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset. It is not a big revelation, as this was already expected. The same chipsets are now packed inside the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+.

Google Pixel Snapdragon
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Google Pixel phones: what to expect?

Recently, German tech site WinFuture.de found a connection between the CPU model number MSM8998 (the Snapdragon 835) and the Pixel code-names in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code. It must be noted that the original Pixel and Pixel XL came with a Snapdragon 821, which was better than the Snapdragon 820 that powered the 2016 flagships.

Google is known for launching a new Android phone each year, but the number of handsets varies from time to time. The company released two models a year in the last few years. However, this year is expected to be different, as three models — code-named Walleye, Muskie, and Taimen — are rumored.

It is already known that the Walleye is a successor to the Pixel XL, while the Muskie will be a replacement for the regular Pixel phone. There is not much information on the Taimen, but based on the specifications that are known so far, it could be a new tablet or another phablet bigger than the Pixel XL, notes PhoneArena. Google code-names its smartphones after the names of fish, and Taimen is known to be the largest member of the salmonidae family. Hence, this hints that it will come with a bigger display.

The upcoming phones are expected to come with a waterproof body and a better camera equipped with large-sized megapixels to support advanced low-light photography. It is also believed that the upcoming phones will not sport a 3.5mm audio jack.

When are they coming?

Previous reports have hinted that a cheaper version of the Pixel phone called the Pixel 2B will be launched this year. However, Google’s senior vice president for hardware has said that the Pixel brand will continue to remain in the premium category. Further, Rick Osterloh reportedly hinted to Gizbot that the upcoming phones will come in or around October this year.

The Pixel and Pixel XL were announced on October 5, 2016 and went on sale on October 20. The search giant is holding its I/O conference next month, where it will likely reveal the developer preview of its upcoming OS, Android O. Since the company usually launches the final version of its latest operating system with its annual phone releases, an October launch would give enough time to developers.

There is also big suspense over which company will be manufacturing these handsets for Google this time. Though HTC is still the favorite, there are rumors that Google could contract LG Display for the screens. LG Display is probably the only curved OLED panel maker without a major outside contract, notes SlashGear. In the past, Google has partnered with LG, HTC, Huawei, Samsung and Motorola to manufacture its phones.