Two of the best Android phones due for release in the remainder of 2017 are the Google Pixel 2 and Galaxy Note 8. These two phablet-sized devices will undoubtedly attract a lot of consumers when they are released, and will be two of the highlights of the consumer electronics year. Those smartphone fans who have yet to pick up a device in the calendar year could be well advised to wait for one of these units, particularly if they enjoy the Android platform.
Both the Google Pixel 2 and Galaxy Note 8 will be fitted with excellent displays, providing superb visual imagery. It is being increasingly suggested that Samsung will finally embrace 4K technology with the Galaxy Note 8, fitting it with a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED curved Infinity Display, capable of displaying 3,840 x 2,160 Pixels. An 18.5:9 ratio is also anticipated.
Meanwhile, the Google Pixel 2 well benefit from a full HD screen, while the Pixel XL 2 will be fitted with a quad HD unit. This latter display will stretch to 6-inches, while the smaller version of the Pixel is expected to be armed with a 5-inch display.
Interestingly, both the Google Pixel 2 and Galaxy Note 8 will utilize the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. Although there is an 836 unit on the horizon, it will be logistically tricky for either smartphone to include this processor. The 835 version of the Snapdragon was already utilized in the Galaxy S8 earlier this year, and it should provide a powerful foundation for the Android smartphone.
The Galaxy Note 8 will reportedly have a slight edge over the Google Pixel 2 in the memory department. It is believed that the phablet from Samsung will be armed with 6GB of RAM memory, which is 50 per cent more than the 4GB anticipated for the Google Pixel 2. By comparison, the Apple iPhone 8 is expected to feature 3GB of RAM memory, while the already released Galaxy S8 utilizes 4GB in common with the Pixel 2.
S Pen upgrades
One aspect of the Galaxy Note 8 that really makes it stand out from the crowd is the inclusion of the S Pen stylus. This peripheral is indeed intended to distinguish the Note 8 from the flagship Galaxy S8 series. And in 2017 the S Pen could receive some very exciting new updates. Both an innovative speaker system and vibration functionality has been linked with this stylus, so it will be intriguing to see what Samsung includes.
Both the Google Pixel 2 and Galaxy Note 8 will be armed with outstanding cameras before the year is out. The Galaxy Note 8 is expected to feature a dual-lens rear-camera as a direct response to the Apple iPhone series. This will be a central battleground in the war between Apple and Samsung in 2017.
Meanwhile, it has been reported by Google-following media that the mega-corporation has particularly concentrated on delivering camera improvements with the Google Pixel 2. These have remained rather hushed thus far, but a dual-camera is a distinct possibility. There have also been suggestions that the Google Pixel 2 will have a particularly impressive megapixel rating, which will probably outrank the majority of smartphones available on the market.
With wraparound displays becoming so popular in the smartphone marketplace, it has been predicted that both the Google Pixel 2 and Galaxy Note 8 will be dominated by screen real estate. With this in mind, features typically expected to appear on the external portions of smartphones must instead be moved, with screen integration being an obvious solution.
Thus, it is anticipated that the fingerprint scanner in the Galaxy Note 8 will be embedded within the display. The same feature has also been linked with the Google Pixel 2, although such reports have not been as unanimous. Considering that this smartphone is more of a mid-range device, it could be that Google decides not to include this feature in order to reduce development and manufacturing costs.
USB-C and headphone jack
Both the Google Pixel 2 and Galaxy Note 8 are likely to embrace advanced USB-C connectivity, while the two handsets are also expected to retain their 3.5 mm headphone jacks. Apple has already decided to remove this physical port from the iPhone range, and other smartphone manufacturers are expected to follow suit in the future.
But both Google and Samsung will resist this temptation with these phablet releases, instead responding to the desires of consumers, many of whom have been critical of the Apple decision to remove the headphone jack from the iPhone 7.
It is also expected that both of these smartphones will offer significant waterproofing and dustproofing, with the Galaxy Note 8 almost guaranteed to achieve an IP68 rating. Media reports have also indicated that Google may achieve this certification with the Pixel 2, although some sources instead suggest that the developer may be slightly more conservative and only opt for an IP67 rating.
One area where the Google Pixel 2 and Galaxy Note 8 diverge is with regard to micro SD technology. Google has been reluctant to include this flexible and expandable system within its device releases as of yet. And this is not expected to change when the Pixel 2 is released. However, micro SD is a staple of the Samsung Galaxy range, and is once more anticipated to be included in the Galaxy Note 8.
Price and release date
Recent reports have indicated that the Galaxy Note 8 will retail at a price point in excess of $1,000. And a release date of late August / early September can be anticipated for this Android phablet.
The Google Pixel 2 will be more of a mid-price device, probably in the $650 to $700 range. We may have to wait until October for the release of this handset.