UPDATE 06-16-2017: The latest Google Pixel 2 specs indicate that this will be an extremely powerful device when it is released. With 5.6 and 6.1-inch quad HD displays being linked with the smartphone, there is no doubt that the visual performance of the handset should be excellent.

64 and 128GB storage options are expected, although there will be no micro SD slot included for expansion. Meanwhile, Google could push the boat out and fit the Pixel 2 with 6GB of RAM, but at least 4GB is anticipated.

Either a Snapdragon 835 or 836 processor will be fitted in the device, which is likely to be running the latest Android 8.0 O version, rumored to be codenamed Oreo. Meanwhile, the camera in the device will be particularly impressive, with a 12.3-megapixel dual-camera and 7-megapixel selfie capturing snapper.

Google Pixel 2
Image Credit: Concept Creator / YouTube video (screenshot)

3,000 and 3,500 mAh battery options will be available with Fast Charging, while IP68 dust and water resistance up to 5 feet will be included. USB Type-C, dual-speakers and the dissolution of the 3.5mm headphone jack are all also predicted.

It certainly seems that the Google Pixel 2 specs will be rather impressive and lead to a powerful smartphone release.

Release date and price

The original Google Pixel was released on October 20, 2016, and a similar schedule is expected for 2017. There are question marks over whether the Google Pixel XL 2 will appear at all, but the release date for whichever devices do hit the stores should be rather similar to 2016.

Despite the premium nature of this handset, the Google Pixel 2 price is set to be rather affordable. Reports have suggested that the price tag of the device may be only slightly more expensive than the Google Pixel release from last year. With this in mind, a $679 price tag has been linked with the smartphone version in particular. If and when the Google Pixel XL 2 does emerge, a $799 recommended retail price can be anticipated.

The pricing of the Google Pixel 2 must be considered competitive considering that the iPhone 8 is expected to retail in excess of $1,000.

An intriguing new rumor regarding the Google Pixel 2 is that the mega-corporation has hired one of the most important Apple engineers. Manu Gulati is described as a micro-architect, and he previously worked for the Californian corporation on chip development, seemingly now leaving Apple after working with them for eight years.

Google recruitment

Gulati’s LinkedIn profile now indicates that this talented individual is working with Google, under the title of lead SoC architect. It seems certain that the former Apple expert is overseeing chip development at the corporation, which can be considered a significant departure for Google.

Previous Google releases have always relied on third-party chipsets, with Pixel devices having been built on Qualcomm technology previously. But this could be about to change with the forthcoming Google Pixel 2, with the search engine giant seemingly keen to begin the process of manufacturing its own components.

In addition to the news related to Gulati, it is also notable that Google has posted numerous job listings for SoC-related posts. It seems clear that the Pixel 2 manufacturer is ramping up its attempts to attract some serious talent to its fold.

Job listings include a mobile SoC architect, a mobile SoC CPU architect, and a mobile SoC memory architect; key positions if Google is to manufacture its own chipsets. But the job descriptions also provide us with significant insight into Google’s plans for its smartphone series.

Phrases such as “architect the memory sub-system of a high-end mobile SoC” and “help define the architecture of future generations of phone and tablet SoCs”, indicates that Google is eyeing the possibility of developing proprietary chips in the foreseeable future. This is probably unlikely to appear in the Google Pixel 2 generation, but as this has only just been noticed, it is not entirely clear how long Google has been working on this eventuality.

Indeed, it was reported as early as 2015 that Google was considering developing his own chips in order to compete with Apple. Thus, it is not inconceivable that the Google Pixel 2 could feature proprietary chips later this year.

Apple influence

Meanwhile, reports suggest that Google is being influenced by Apple elsewhere in the manufacturing and development process for the Pixel 2. With Apple set to ramp up the waterproofing capabilities of the iPhone range to IP68 in 2017 and also include wireless charging for the first time, it seems that Google is ready to follow suit.

Indeed, reports have been suggested that even the iPhone 7S series will include this functionality, meaning that all major smartphone manufacturers will be inclined to deliver something similar. Google has also followed Apple policy with regard to micro SD functionality, with the Pixel smartphones yet to embrace this technology. This is unlikely to change in the Google Pixel 2 generation, even though revolutionary features such as dual-camera technology and a quad HD wraparound screen are expected.

UPDATE 06-14-2017: Interesting news on the Google Pixel 2 this week particularly focused on the seeming demise of one model in the series. According to Android Police, Samsung has abandoned plans to produce a sequel to the mid-sized Pixel XL. This would be somewhat surprising, even though the publication cites several apparent sources.

“Based on information from three separate sources, we are now confident that Google has shelved plans to release one of its upcoming Pixel phones. The device, codenamed ‘muskie’, was intended to succeed the Pixel XL,” Android Police suggests. The previous efforts of the site suggest that this rumor must be taken seriously, so it is certainly worthwhile paying attention to whether Samsung announces any news on the Pixel XL 2.

Abandoned handset

If Google does decide to abandon this device, it is perhaps a reflection of the market climate. Larger devices are becoming ever more popular, and the Google Pixel 2 would probably have featured a 5.5-inch display. This probably puts it somewhere in between delivering the convenience of a smartphone, and the sort of screen size that consumers expect from a phablet in the contemporary marketplace.

The information regarding the Pixel XL 2 emerged from bug tracking software utilized by the mega-corporation. Google has been testing three devices codenamed “Walleye,” “Muskie,” and “Taimen,” but Muskie has seemingly been conspicuous by its absence in recent tests. It was this find that triggered suggestions that Google has shelved the Pixel XL 2, although there are, of course, other possible explanations as well.

Regardless of the validity of this information, it seems that Google is making overtures to some of the other big players in the smartphone industry. LG has become a significant name in mobile technology over the last few years, and it seems that Google is planning to invest 1 trillion won ($876 million) into LG Display with the intention of developing its mobile phone division.

LG investment

The Korean press reports that Google intends to gain access to a stable supply of OLED panels for future Pixel releases. This possibly contradicts the previous suggestion that the Pixel XL 2 has been shelved, but on the other hand actually acquiring OLED panels is rather challenging. This could

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