Preparations for the Google Pixel 2 unveiling seem to be in full swing. The phone is said to be unveiled in the first week of October, meaning it is less than a month away. The rumor mill has done a terrific job revealing the phone’s features and specifications. Nothing is officially confirmed, but the leaks and rumors have left little to the imagination. Now Google itself has made the Pixel 2 Data Transfer Tool available on the Play Store, indicating that the launch is imminent.
Pixel 2 Data Transfer Tool not compatible with current Pixel phones
The original Pixel smartphones came with a Data Transfer Tool that made it easier to switch from the iOS and other Android handsets to Pixel. The Pixel 2 Data Transfer Tool included a screenshot of a device that looks a lot like the rumored design of Pixel XL 2. However, Google has since replaced that screenshot with another that shows Nexus devices.
The first screenshot showed the Pixel XL 2 with dual front speakers. The device has rounded screen corners similar to the LG G6. It has incredibly slim bezels on the sides. The button arrangement on the right side appears to be similar to the current Pixel phones. 9To5Google reports that the Data Transfer Tool (version 1.0.164103543) is already installed on the original Pixel and Pixel XL. However, Google doesn’t allow you to access the listing via the Play Store app.
You can access the Pixel 2 Data Transfer Tool via the web. The app is not compatible with the current Pixel smartphones. It appears to be a system app for the next-gen Pixel phones. In the description area, Google says: “This system app will be automatically installed on your phone. Please don’t install this app.” The Pixel 2 Data Transfer Tool changelog reads, “Updated usb migration for our great users.” The changelog summary is merely copied from an older Data Transfer Tool listing.
The Pixel 2 Data Transfer Tool will install automatically, or come pre-installed, on compatible devices.
Google to offer wireless headphones similar to AirPods
Separately, fresh reports indicate that Google is planning to launch its own Apple AirPods-like wireless headphones to go with the Pixel 2 handsets. As we reported back in July, the Pixel 2 will get rid of the 3.5mm audio jack. That’s quite surprising considering Google had openly criticized Apple for dropping the headphone jack from the iPhone 7. The removal of the audio jack could mean better water-resistance for the Pixel 2.
Recently, folks at 9To5Google found evidence of wireless earphones code-named “Bisto” in Google’s app for Android. There will be dedicated buttons on the headphones to activate Google Assistant without touching the smartphone. The headphones will have another button as well to let you hear and reply to notifications, all via Google Assistant. It’s not yet known whether Google will include them in the Pixel 2 box or sell them separately.
Android Police has found more traces of the wireless Bisto earphones in the Google app v7.11. Users will be able to see the battery levels of the headphones via an app when they connect them to the handset. It confirms that the new headphones will be wireless and run on batteries. In short, Google is following Apple in ditching the audio jack and offering wireless headphones.
A big problem with wireless earphones is that most of them rely on older Bluetooth codecs such as AAC and SBC. They are highly compressed, which affects the listening experience. In Android Oreo, the search engine giant has added support for newer, high-quality Bluetooth codecs such as aptX, LDAC, and aptX HD. It means all the smartphones running Android Oreo will support high-quality Bluetooth codecs and offer a better listening experience.
Pixel 2 specifications leaked
The Google Pixel 2 is rumored to come with a 4.97-inch OLED display, though its bigger sibling is said to pack a 5.99-inch screen. The new Pixel phones will be available in 64GB and 128GB of internal storage options. They will have front-facing stereo speakers, and will come with an IP68 rating for water- and dust-resistance. Since Google is ditching the headphone jack, it will include a USB-C to 3.5mm dongle in the Pixel 2 box.
HTC will be assembling the smaller Pixel 2, while LG has bagged the contract to make the Pixel XL 2. The Pixel devices are known for their camera quality. It will be interesting to see how Google improves the camera on Pixel 2, though a few reports claim the company will stick to the single camera lens rather than including a dual camera. The Pixel 2 camera is rumored to have electronic image stabilization (EIS) rather than optical image stabilization (OIS).
The phone will be powered by 4GB RAM, even though most of the Android vendors including Samsung, Huawei, and OnePlus have bumped up RAM on their flagship devices to 6GB and 8GB. Contrary to previous rumors, the new Pixel phones will be powered by the same Snapdragon 835 chipset that runs the Galaxy S8, Galaxy Note 8, OnePlus 5, and LG V30. Earlier, there were speculations that the Pixel 2 would run a newer Snapdragon 836 SoC.
Other features coming to the Pixel 2 include an Always-On display and a “squeezable frame.” Evidence for the Always-On display was recently found in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code. We have already seen the squeezable frame on the HTC U11. Since HTC is manufacturing the smaller Pixel 2, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the “squeezable frame” coming to the Pixel 2.
Google Pixel 2 to launch next month
According to VentureBeat contributor Evan Blass, the Pixel 2 unveiling event will take place on October 5. The original Pixel was announced on October 4th last year. The Pixel 2 should go on sale in October itself. Google will ensure that the phone is available in time for the holiday shopping season. The company is also expected to announce a new Chromebook Pixel and a Google Home Mini at the next month’s event.
Just a few days ago, a job listing appeared on LinkedIn for Google Pixel 2 customer support. It was originally posted on Dice by WalkWater Technologies. According to the listing, the pay is $15 per hour, and the job location is San Jose, California. The contract position is for one year “to begin with.” Google requires the applicants to have a prior knowledge of all its services.
The Pixel 2 would launch at a time when there will be multiple premium smartphones vying for consumers’ attention. Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone 8 is set to go on sale later this month, as is Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 and LG’s V30. Only time will tell if Pixel 2 will be able to give them a good fight.