Everyone is talking about the iPhone X and Apple’s big launch event next week while Google slowly creeps closer to the launch of the next generation of Pixel devices. Now, new information from 9to5Google seems to indicate that the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will have some exciting new features. While everyone is looking in Apple’s direction, Google is gearing up for a very impressive launch of their own.
First, it appears that the Google Pixel 2 will have an always on display. This means that the device will always be displaying information important to the user like notifications. For those of you already beginning to sweat as you think about the wasted battery life: don’t worry. It sounds like you will be able to disable this feature within the settings to gain some extra battery life. However, I am interested to see how the feature performs in the real world. Hopefully Google has optimized it well enough that the effect on the battery is minimal. We will have to wait for some hands on reviews before making judgement about the always on display in the Google Pixel 2.
In addition, rumors are suggesting that the Pixel 2 will also have water resistance. With an IP68 water and dust resistance rating, the Google Pixel 2 should be completely dust resistant and resistant to water up to 1.5m for 30 minutes. That’s pretty impressive. If I had a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL I likely wouldn’t go out of my way to test that rating but it’s good peace of mind to have. For comparison sake, the Galaxy S8 also got a rating of IP68.
The post from 9to5Google also mentions that the 3.5mm headphone port is pretty much confirmed to be dead at this point. That should be disappointing news for some. I’m most interested in seeing the mental gymnastics that Google does to justify this change when they were taking shots at Apple for doing the same thing just one year ago. The rumor is that Google will have Google Assistant-powered wireless headphones available – similar to Apple’s AirPods. Plus, there will also be a USB Type-C to 3.5mm dongle packed inside the box with the Pixel 2. However, if you aren’t interested in wireless headphones or living the dongle life then you might be out of luck.
We also saw certification information yesterday for the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. These certification documents confirmed what we had long suspected. HTC is manufacturing the Pixel 2 while LG is building the Pixel 2 XL for Google. This backs up earlier rumors that the two new Google devices will have many of the same features as the HTC U11 and LG V30. For example, the Pixel 2 will have a squeezable frame while the Pixel 2 XL should have a new bezel-less design – similar to what we see in many other flagships these days.
Storage also looks like it will get a bump when the Pixel 2 is launched. The 32GB option is being removed and the base storage configuration will now be 64GB with a 128GB option also available. This is a great change in the age of devices that don’t offer SD card support. It remains to be seen whether the bump in storage will affect pricing or not. All smartphone prices seem to be increasing this year so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Google follow suit.
We’re likely in store for more and more Pixel 2 leaks throughout September. After the iPhone X is revealed, all eyes will turn to Google for their answer to Apple and Samsung. I expect a lot more information to start coming out of the rumor mills in the next few weeks. What do you think about the news that the Google Pixel 2 features will include an always on display and water resistance? New features are always great to have but the loss of basic features like a headphone port may leave a bad taste in the mouth of some buyers.
As with all rumor articles, all of these features aren’t official until confirmed by Google. I’m still holding out hope that the 3.5mm headphone port is alive and well although that hope is fading fast. What do you think about the latest Google Pixel 2 features? What’s on your wishlist to make this a must-buy?