Technology

Google Pixel 2 Launch Date Nears, New Trade-In Program Emerges

As the Google Pixel 2 launch draws closer, news on the forthcoming smartphone is beginning to multiply. Mainstream media is now reporting on the forthcoming mobile range, with the unveiling date of the next generation Google handset now seemingly set in stone.

Google Pixel 2 launch
Image: DroidLife

Trade-in scheme

And the Google Store has now released details of its trade-in program for the next gen release. Some sources have been a little disappointed by the amount of credit offered, but for the record the figures are as follows:

  • Galaxy Note 5: $61-150
  • Galaxy S8+: $66-$345
  • Galaxy S8: $59.60-$305
  • Galaxy S7 edge: $40.40-$175
  • Galaxy S7: $52-$150
  • iPhone 6: $35-$143
  • iPhone 7 Plus: $68-$388
  • iPhone SE: $30-$143
  • LG G6: $35.20-230
  • Nexus 6P: $113-165
  • Nexus 5X: $82.50-$115
  • Nexus 6: $35-$80

October release

Google is now widely expected to unveil both the Pixel 2 and and Pixel 2 XL, alongside a smaller Google Home Mini smart speaker on October 4. This will undoubtedly be a significant event in the mobile niche, as Google attempts to establish itself as a major player in smartphone technology. While the original Pixel was praised and generally afforded an enthusiastic reception, Google still trails in the wake of such heavyweights as Apple and Samsung in this niche.

While the Google Pixel 2 launch will not generate as much publicity as the recent iPhone X and iPhone 8, it will still be a significant landmark in the smartphone industry. Google is believed to be working on some major new technology to show off in its next generation handsets, and this will undoubtedly generate a certain amount of media buzz when the new devices are uneviled.

The Google Pixel 2 launch is due to take place at an event branded as Made by Google, which will be held in San Francisco. The Californian city has become a major hub of the mobile industry, with Apple also choosing to hold unveiling events in the city.

Leaked images

Leaked images published by Droid Life have already provided a significant insight into the design of the Google Pixel 2, with certain specs also emerging as part of this newly public information. HTC will be involved in the manufacturing of the main Google Pixel 2 model, while the developer will make blue, black or white coloring available.

LG will manufacture the larger Pixel 2 XL, which is set to the the more exciting of the two devices. This handset will encompass a larger 6-inch display, while some sources have suggested that it will be practically bezel-less; very much following the trends of the industry. This wraparound screen which make the Pixel 2 XL the must have device, but the smartphone version promises to be an affordable variant for those who baulk at the price of the iPhone X.

Four separate sources have corroborated the images released by Droid Life, which obviously suggests that we already know a great deal about the smartphone, ahead of the Google Pixel 2 launch. And there has also been information released on the pricing and specs of the device.

Mid-priced unit

The former of these issues can perhaps be considered a little surprising. Google has been forced to position the Pixel range has a mid-priced unit, in order to separate the handset from the premium players in the market. If there is one thing that counts against the iPhone series in particular it is the hefty price tag associated with the iconic smartphone, with the $1,000 entry-level price for the iPhone X undoubtedly a barrier for some consumers of modest means.

However, although Google has priced the Pixel series at a more affordable level to catch some of the residual customers turned off by the Apple pricing policy, the Google Pixel 2 launch is set to reveal a smartphone veering into the premium niche. The bargain basement Pixel 2 is still significantly cheaper than the iPhone 8 or iPhone X, with its $649 price tag meaning that it can still be considered an affordable unit. However, this price may still seem steep considering the relative lack of improvements expected to be included in the smartphone.

With the price for the most expensive Pixel 2 XL handset – which delivers 128GB of storage – reaching $949, the Google Pixel 2 launch will reveal a smartphone series that is definitely getting into iPhone price territory. One would have to question the wisdom of this move, as Apple is able to shift the iPhone X at the $1,000 price point as it is an iconic brand that is instantly recognizable with unrivalled street cred. Can the Pixel 2 really make these claims?

Design parameters

The Pixel 2 launch could also be dogged by the reception of its design parameters. Observers have already described the exterior of the Pixel 2 as virtually unchanged from previous iterations, which may seem rather unambitious considering the $80-100 heftier price tag. While Apple was able to show off an iPhone X that looked radically different to predecessors, Google many not have this luxury with the Pixel 2 series.

Having said that, financing deals will be available for both smartphones, with the anticipated cost for the most expensive model of the Pixel 2 XL expected to be around $40 per month. The cheapest Pixel 2 device will be made available for just over $27 per month, meaning that this smartphone series should cater for the budgets of most consumers.

Pixel 2 specs

Specs for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are also quite promising. Although there were rumors that the Snapdragon 836 might be included, it now seems likely that both devices will be driven by the older 835 that was included in the Galaxy S8. But this isn’t too much of a blow, as this Samsung offering was slick enough in processing speed.

Furthermore, Google will include 4GB of RAM in both devices when the Pixel 2 launch takes place. Both smartphones will also have pressure-sensitive sides; described as Active Edge. This system takes it cue from the HTC U11, and thus its inclusion is perfectly natural considering the involvement of HTC in the smartphone series.

Google will also remove the headphone socket from the Pixel 2, in common with Apple’s decision in this department. Wireless earphones may be bundled with the device as a result of this policy. Google is also believed to have improved the camera included in the Pixel 2 range, with both devices benefiting from an improved single 12-megapixel camera on the back using similar computational photography techniques. However, don’t expect dual lenses.

The Google Pixel 2 launch promises to be an intriguing unveiling of a major smartphone contender, with the event now just a couple of weeks away.