Google Pixel 2 rumor roundup: camera, design, and other specs

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Google is continuing its preparations for the release of its next smartphone, and the latest Google Pixel 2 rumor relates to an interesting morsel of information emanating from Japan. It seems that the Japanese blog HTC Soku has discovered references to two Pixel 2 Devices within the system files of the HTC U11 handset.

HTC references

References to S2 and M2 have been discovered, which would seem to relate to the Google Pixel 2 range, as the first devices in the series were codenamed S1 and M1. These were manufactured by HTC, and somewhat based on the A9 iPhone clone, which received a lukewarm reception. This strongly implies that HTC may once again build on its own products for the forthcoming Google Pixel 2, which will not necessarily receive a warm response from consumers and smartphone fans.

Yet this Google Pixel 2 rumor does seem fairly solid, as the specs of the devices seem to tie in with this suggestion. It is also notable that this leak would seem to confirm that there will only be two Pixel 2 models released in this generation; something that has been leaked in the press recently.

Perhaps the most worrying aspect of this news is that HTC has no experience in producing the sort of wraparound, bezel-less technology that has proven so popular in the likes of the Galaxy S8 and and LG G6, and which is also linked with the forthcoming iPhone 8 and Galaxy Note 8. If Google is to seriously compete with the likes of the OnePlus 5, let alone the major players in this industry, it must surely deliver something more advanced than a clone of the U11.

Edge Sense

However, this Google Pixel 2 rumor does suggest that the Edge Sense pressure sensitive chassis included in the HTC smartphone could migrate to the Pixel 2. This technology enables different amounts of pressure to be measured and assigned to commands, somewhat similar to the Force Touch technology which is included in Apple products. Although this can be considered somewhat gimmicky, it is also a rather pleasing feature, even if it did contribute to the U11 being considered somewhat lacking in durability.

This latest Google Pixel 2 rumor would seem to put an end to the existence of the Google Pixel XL 2. It was widely reported recently that this successor to last year’s phablet had been axed, although some reports had indicated that LG may instead be working on this device. But this now seems highly unlikely with the two Google Pixel 2 handsets having been so obviously recognized.

Android Police’s David Ruddock had previously posted on Twitter that “I can independently confirm that my sources indicate LG is the manufacturer of taimen,” referring to a supposed codename for the Google Pixel XL 2. But many people in the technology niche have contradictory sources, and it seems on this occasion that Ruddock’s sources have misfired.

Pixel 3 in development?

Other publications are instead suggesting that the handset which LG is working on it can be considered a Google Pixel 3, and will not see the light of day until 2018. This has been reported by the Korean publication Chosun, which notes that it is now expected that LG will come into the Google Pixel fold at some point during next year. LG has firmly denied this in public comments, dismissing it as “pure speculation”, but there is enough talk in Korea to suggest that this particular Google Pixel 2 rumor has some basis.

However, Despite concerns over the intentions that HTC may have for this next generation smartphone series, some reports still suggest that a curved wraparound display could appear in the Google Pixel 2. Reports have noted that Google has already sought out a significant supply of OLED panels with the intention of including them in the Google Pixel 2 generation.

It is also anticipated that the Google smartphone will feature improved water-resistance, or more accurately that it will be included on a significant basis for the first time. Considering that previous iPhone releases have not been resistant to water but eventually Apple has bowed to public pressure, the Pixel range can be considered rather outdated; something that Google will surely address with the Pixel 2.

Headphone jack to go

Another report from 9to5Google suggests that the latest iteration of this series may follow the likes of the iPhone range and remove the 3.5mm headphone Jack. This Google Pixel 2 rumor will not curry favor with all users of the smartphone series, as it was definitely not a universally popular name when Apple eliminated the headphone jack from the iPhone 7.

But an internal document has already allegedly come to light which suggests that the headphone socket will be dropped permanently when the Pixel 2 emerges.

Camera improvements

Finally, another Google Pixel 2 rumor is that the rear-camera will be optimized to improve low-light shooting. Dual-cameras are now being widely included in smartphones with this aim in mind, and Google is about to follow suit with a 13-megapixel unit. It certainly seems that the mega-corporation is willing to ring the changes in an attempt to establish itself as a significant smartphone player.

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