The much-awaited Google Pixel 2 and its bigger sibling are set to be unveiled on October 4th. The launch event is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. PT ( 12 p.m. ET) at the SFJazz Center in San Francisco. In the last few weeks, we came across a variety of leaks and rumors about the Pixel 2. But many of them were from unreliable sources. Now The Guardian has confirmed most of the Google Pixel 2 specifications in a massive leak.
Reliable sources reveal Google Pixel 2 specifications
Citing multiple “well-placed” inside sources, The Guardian said Google was looking to take on Apple and Samsung in the premium segment with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The regular Pixel 2 will have a screen “about 5 inches in size.” It will have a metal and glass design similar to the original Pixel. The device will be available in black, blue, and white colors. The 5-inch Pixel 2 will be made by Taiwan-based HTC, part of which Google acquired last week for $1.1 billion.
The larger Pixel 2 XL will borrow design elements from the LG G6, primary because LG Electronics is responsible for manufacturing the device. The Pixel 2 XL will be available in black or white with a black glass panel. The Guardian reports that the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL images leaked a few days ago by Droid Life “were accurate.”
Talking about the Google Pixel 2 specifications, the British publication said the device would run Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 SoC. The SD835 processor powers most of the flagship smartphones currently available in the market including the Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8. Both the upcoming Pixel phones will have 4GB RAM and “either 64GB or 128GB of storage.” It is unclear whether the devices would have a microSD card slot.
The Guardian confirmed that the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will have “pressure-sensitive sides.” Last week, a teardown of the Google app APK had revealed that the pressure-sensitive frames would be called Active Edge. Users can simply squeeze the phone’s frame to activate the Google Assistant. It will be similar to the Edge Sense technology in the HTC U11.
Other Google Pixel 2 specifications include an “improved single 12-megapixel camera on the back.” It means Google has refused to join the dual camera race this year. The original Pixel phones had the best smartphone camera until the arrival of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. We can expect the Pixel 2 to have a better camera than its predecessor.
As we reported a couple of months ago, Google is ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack from the Pixel 2. The new phones will rely on a USB-C to 3.5mm jack dongle for audio output. Google is also said to be working on a set of wireless headphones code-named Bisto. However, these headphones are expected to be sold separately. Both the upcoming Pixel phones will be water-resistant, confirmed The Guardian.
Google Pixel 2 will have a starting price of $649
Despite the upgraded Google Pixel 2 specifications, the search engine giant will keep the price tag same as the last year’s models. Droid Life reported last week that the Pixel 2 would cost $649 for the 64GB model and $749 for the 128GB version. The larger Pixel 2 XL will be priced at $849 for the 64GB option and $949 for the 128GB version. It means the most expensive version of Pixel will still cost less than the iPhone X, which has a starting price of $999.
Sources also told The Guardian that the search engine giant would also unveil a smaller Google Home Mini smart speaker at the next week’s event. The Home Mini would cost about $50, and would compete against Amazon’s Echo Dot. The Home Mini will not have the same speaker quality as the regular Google Home, but will perform the same functions via Google Assistant. The company is also rumored to unveil a new Chromebook called PixelBook at the event.
Google buys part of HTC’s mobile business
A few days ago, Google announced that it had agreed to acquire part of HTC’s mobile division for $1.1 billion. It is an acqui-hire deal where Google will get about 2,000 of HTC’s employees, most of whom have worked on the Pixel phones in some capacity. The deal signals that Google is betting big on hardware. It plans to stay in the game for many years to come. The investment also gives Google a non-exclusive access to HTC’s patent portfolio.
Even though the search engine giant advertised the original Pixel as a “Made by Google” phone, it’s no secret that both the Pixel and Pixel XL had a heavy amount of HTC DNA. Teardowns revealed that the Pixel’s internal design and key components were all similar to HTC’s premium handsets. Google could have got contract manufacturing firms such as Foxconn and Pegatron to make Pixel devices, but the latest deal signals that hardware is a key focus area for the company and it wants to keen things in-house.
The Google Pixel 2 will face fierce competition from Apple’s iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X; and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8. The iPhone X is expected to be in short supply this year, which could help boost the Google Pixel 2 sales.