At the Pixel unveiling event last year, Google mocked the iPhone 7 for ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack. The iPhone 7 was not the first smartphone to ditch the feature, but it certainly fueled the trend. A new concept based on factory CAD renders suggests that the Google Pixel 2 headphone jack could go the iPhone 7 way. If it turns out to be true, will Google mock its own phone for ditching the headphone jack?

Google Pixel 2 Headphone Jack
Image Credit: MySmartPrice.com / @OnLeaks (screenshot)

It’s based on factory CADs

Apple faced a backlash from potential buyers for dropping the audio jack from the iPhone 7, though the move didn’t hurt the sales. The upcoming iPhone 8 is not going to bring back the headphone jack, and this time users are unlikely to protest. But how Android fans would respond to Google Pixel 2 ditching the feature is difficult to predict. The latest renders were created by MySmartPrice in collaboration with noted Twitter tipster @OnLeaks.

Steve Hemmerstoffer aka @OnLeaks is well connected within the Asian supply chain. He claims the design shown in the renders is based on factory CADs. Steve has an incredibly impressive track record when it comes to revealing the details of yet-to-launch devices. The renders show the device in a black color metal body. The fingerprint scanner sits on the back panel, away from the camera lens. You can also see the Google logo near the bottom of the rear panel.

The side bezels have become thinner than they were on the original Pixel. The top and bottom bezels have also shrunk in size. The volume rockers and the power key can be seen on the right side, while the SIM card slot is located on the left. You can see the USB Type-C port at the bottom, but there is no sign of the 3.5mm headphone jack. The company might have dropped the audio jack to accommodate the rumored stereo speakers.

There is no dual camera system on the back. Google may improve the camera through software to take on the dual cameras on the iPhone 8 and Galaxy Note 8. The photos also confirm that the Pixel 2 XL will have a more premium design than the smaller Pixel 2. The rumor mill claims Google will further differentiate the larger Pixel 2 XL from its smaller sibling with a more premium design and exclusive features. Last year’s Pixel and Pixel XL were almost identical, except for the screen size and battery size.

Will Google face a consumer backlash like Apple?

These aren’t the official renders, but they could be pretty close. Google isn’t particularly great at maintaining secrecy around its upcoming hardware products. Nexus phones’ design and features were leaked many times before Google made them official. Last year’s Pixel and Pixel XL weren’t much of a secret either.

If the render turns out to be an accurate representation of the finalized design, it will be interesting to see how Google will justify the removal of the Google Pixel 2 headphone jack. When Apple dropped the feature on iPhone 7, it went to great lengths to explain the courageous move to minimize wires. It also added a dongle in the iPhone 7 box and launched wireless AirPods.

Why ditch the Google Pixel 2 headphone jack?

There are many possible reasons why the California company would want to remove the Google Pixel 2 headphone jack. One is, of course, the stereo speakers that would offer a better audio experience. Another is that the world is increasingly becoming wireless. With the rising popularity of wireless headphones, the wired ones would soon appear old fashioned.

The most important reason for dropping the audio jack could be water-proofing. Last year’s Pixel and Pixel XL lacked water- and dust-resistance. It was one of the biggest drawbacks of a phone that targeted the premium customers. The upcoming Pixel 2 is said to come with IP68 rating for water-resistance. It means the device can survive spending 30 minutes in five feet deep water.

Google Pixel 2: What other features to expect?

Inside sources recently told XDA Developers that the Pixel 2 would sport a 4.97-inch display. Its bigger sibling would feature a 5.99-inch screen. Taiwan-based HTC will be manufacturing the smaller one while LG Electronics has bagged the contract to produce the larger Pixel 2 XL. Google will also reportedly source OLED display panels from LG Display.

A report earlier this week claimed that the Pixel 2 would be equipped with Qualcomm’s upgraded Snapdragon 836 SoC. In the second half of 2016, Qualcomm had launched Snapdragon 821, a slightly upgraded version of SD820, which was also launched in the same year. The company is said to follow the same pattern this year. The SD836 will offer better performance than SD835, thanks to a higher peak CPU and GPU clock speeds. It is not yet known whether only one or both phones would run the Snapdragon 836.

The Pixel 2 is said to feature 4GB RAM, 64GB/128GB of internal storage, and an Always-On display. It will be the first phone to run the upcoming Android O operating system, which is currently available to developers for beta testing. The code for an Always-On display was recently discovered in the Android O source code.