Over the last few weeks a lot of of discussion in the smartphone world has focused on the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone X. Those two devices have made a huge splash as we reach the end of summer and look ahead to the fall holiday shopping months. However, don’t let all of that hype take your attention away from one more big launch we are expecting at the beginning of October: the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2.
Google’s new flagship devices will be the second generation of Pixel-branded smartphones and they have a lot of competition to go up against once they finally make it into retail and online stores. The iPhone X has been the belle of the ball with it’s new bezel-less design and eye-popping benchmark numbers. Of course, the Galaxy Note 8 is no slouch either. Samsung came to play ball this year after their last Galaxy Note launch literally went down in flames.
We got a sign that the Google Pixel 2 XL is closer to being released to the public. As all smartphones have to do prior to launch, the Google Pixel 2 XL FCC filings were completed. You can see some of the details on the FCC page. Don’t get too excited: the Google Pixel 2 XL FCC information doesn’t tell us a whole lot about the device itself. The only real useful information is confirmation that the device will support most major carriers including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Of course, the rumor is that you will only be able to buy the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL at Verizon stores or online directly from Google, much like last year.
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So, what are we expecting from this year’s Pixel devices? One of the biggest changes is the rumored removal of the 3.5mm headphone port. I know what you’re thinking. “But Dex… Didn’t Google take shots at Apple last year for doing the same thing?” Yes. Yes they did. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t throw stones unless you know for sure that you won’t turn into the person you are throwing stones at. Personally, I’m most excited to see the mental gymnastics Google has to do in order to justify this decision.
There will be something good to come out of the loss of the headphone port. There have been a lot of rumors about wireless headphones coming for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Best of all, these headphones will be powered by Google Assistant so you will be able to talk directly to your headphones to read text messages, draft messages, and plan your day. The code name for this project is “Bisto” and there is a very good chance we could see multiple headphones and styles this fall. This won’t be a lot of comfort for those with expensive 3.5mm headphones but you have to admit that Google Assistant powered AirPods sound pretty cool.
The Google Pixel 2 XL FCC filing confirms the model number for the Pixel 2 XL which we saw in earlier certification documents. This pretty much confirms what we have known all along: LG will be manufacturing the Pixel 2 XL. This means we will likely see some LG design flair in the Pixel 2 XL. Based on the LG V30 and LG G6, I think that means bezel-less design and, of course, a beautiful display.
Compared to the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone X, the Pixel 2 XL has done a pretty good job of avoiding huge leaks. However, now that those two devices are officially launched, I’m expecting to see the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL talk pick up over the next couple of weeks. We should get a few more leaks and rumors before the official launch event.
A lot of people will be keeping a close eye on the price of the Pixel 2 XL. With the iPhone coming in at $999 and the Galaxy Note 8 only a hair below that; a lot of people are worried that flagship smartphones have become unaffordable for the average person. Until recently, Google devices were known for their value. Now, they are priced in line with other competitors and don’t offer much of a deal when compared with other flagships. The biggest benefit of the Pixel devices over other Android flagships is timely updates.
What do you think about the Pixel 2 XL rumors? Are you getting excited for the device or will decisions like the removal of the headphone port have you looking elsewhere this fall?