The Google Pixel 2 will be one of the more important hardware releases of 2017, particularly as the mega-corporation will probably release three models of the smartphone range. These are most likely to be branded as the Pixel 2, Pixel XL 2, and Pixel XXL 2, although the names of these devices are certainly not set, at least publicly.

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

Google uncertainty

It is also not absolutely certain that we will see three Google Pixel 2 releases in the calendar year, as the approach of Apple will likely significantly impact on Google’s decision-making. It is generally believed that the Californian corporation will release three versions of its iconic iPhone range for the first time when the iPhone 8 is unveiled.

And Google is highly likely to follow suit, with the Pixel XL 2 set for release in October of this year, following the schedule for the original Pixel handset, which hit the stores on October 20, 2016. Of course, Google cannot literally copy Apple, as the design and production schedule for the smartphone will make this impossible, but a company of the size of Google will probably be able to monitor what Apple intends to achieve with the iPhone 8.

While there have been rumors that the iPhone 8 could be delayed in 2017, it is still pretty likely that Apple will unveil the tenth generation of the smartphone range in September. This has been the month of choice for recent iPhone devices, and there is no doubt that Apple would choose to repeat this once more in an ideal world.

OLED challenges

However, problems with sourcing the OLED panels that are expected to be included in the next-generation iPhone 8 could result in the smartphone’s release date being pushed back. There have even been suggestions that Apple could abandon its plans to release the iPhone 8 in 2017 completely, with upgraded iPhone 7S variants appearing instead.

But with the manufacturer wishing to acknowledge the landmark tenth anniversary of the iPhone range, it seems pretty certain that Apple will release the much vaunted iPhone 8 alongside two iPhone 7S models. The iPhone is usually the defining device of any hardware year, and with Apple expected to include some revolutionary new features in this latest iteration, this is certain to be the case once more with the iPhone 8.

Thus, if Google is to establish itself as a major player in the smartphone marketplace, arguably something that it has failed to do thus far, it must deliver an outstanding Pixel 2 release. Information from the Android Open Source Project has already revealed that there are three Google Pixel devices planned for the forthcoming months, and these have already been codenamed as Walleye, Muskie and Taimen.

Processor

Specs for the Pixel XL 2 have already appeared on GFXBench, meaning that we already have a good idea what to expect from this next generation handset. Firstly, the XL 2 will be based on the Snapdragon 835 chipset already included in the Galaxy S8. This is clocked at 2.35GHz, with Adreno 540 graphics also included. This should make the Google Pixel 2 a pretty powerful performer, especially considering that the price tag of the device is likely to be more affordable than the premium iPhone 8.

Memory

GFXBench lists the RAM memory of the Pixel 2 at 4GB, which is likely to be greater than that of the smartphone version of the iPhone 8. It is probable that Apple will include 4GB in at least one model of the iPhone 8 iteration, while the smartphone-sized device will probably have 3GB of RAM as standard.

Storage

It is also noted that the Google Pixel 2 will benefit from 128GB of storage, which is somewhat less than the 256GB expected for the iPhone 8. it is extremely unlikely that the Google Pixel 2 will feature a micro SD slot, meaning that purchasers of the devices will be stuck with 128GB as a maximum. Whether this can be deemed satisfactory given the storage requirements of modern applications and media is debatable, and Apple certainly makes this storage a priority in its device range.

Display

It is expected that the Google Pixel XL 2 will include a larger 5.6-inch display, with a unique resolution of 2,560 x 1,312 pixels. This is not technically quad HD, but it can be regarded as being very much in this ballpark. This probably means that the display of the Pixel XL 2 will be smaller than that of the iPhone 8, but it is not known what resolution Apple will include in his flagship smartphone.

Meanwhile, the Google Pixel 2 will probably have a smaller screen than the Pixel XL 2, although it may be slightly increased from previous generations. With Samsung having included an outstanding display resolution in the Galaxy S8, possibly ramping this up further to 4K resolution with the Galaxy Note 8, and quad HD becoming standard in the industry, there will be pressure on Apple to deliver a similar screen resolution for the iPhone 8. 4K has also been popularized by the video games industry.

Google Pixel 2 Price

It is highly probable that the Google Pixel 2 will retail at a more affordable price tag than the iPhone 8, particularly as it has been strongly rumored that the next generation Apple smartphone will retail in excess of $1,000.

Google cannot really afford to release devices at this price point, and it is largely expected that the Google Pixel 2 be priced similarly to the previous generation. This means that even the Pixel XL 2 will only cost $769, while the smaller Google Pixel 2 is likely to retail at around $650.

With Apple and Samsung being so dominant in the upper echelon of the market, Google must essentially establish a mid-range niche for its products if it is to become a significant player in mobile technology.