For Android fans there8217;s little that8217;s as exciting as the launch of a new Pixel handset. With Nexus now dead and buried, Pixel is more ambitious, seeing Google throw everything into its own phones.
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Here is everything rumoured so far about the new Google Pixel devices, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Keen-eyed developers have pinpointed an April 2018 mention of 8220;Pixel 38221; within the Android source code, and Evan Blass has added his own take on the new phones, so we8217;re sure the launch name will be Pixel 3.
Besides the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, and second-gen Pixel Buds, a reliable source tells me 8212; with high confidence 8212; that Google8217;s fall hardware event will also introduce a Pixel-branded watch. Have a great summer!
Google8217;s Pixel phones traditionally arrive in the latter half of the year, normally around October. In the past this was synced with a new version of Android 8211; in this case it8217;s Android P 8211; although with Oreo the software appeared a few weeks before the new phones.
There has been a report to suggest we might see a mid-range Pixel appear in the summer of 2018, but the two premium devices are destined for October 8211; as Evan Blass says, in a 8220;fall8221; hardware event from Google.
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were announced on 4 October 2017, with pre-orders starting immediately afterwards. They began to hit shelves on 17 October so we would expect to see the new Pixel devices announced within the same timeframe.
- Google will almost certainly design and manufacture
- Solid build quality likely
- Water resistance probable
HTC was responsible for the Pixel and Pixel 2, while LG designed the larger Pixel XL devices in the past. Subsequently, Google acquired a lot of HTC8217;s smartphone talent, suggesting more will be done in house. The $1.1 billion deal concluded in January 2018 means Google now has the team to design its own Pixel smartphones.
However, a report from Bloomberg suggests that Google it going to be looking to Foxconn for the actual manufacture. Foxconn also manufactures the iPhone, so it perhaps shouldn8217;t come as a surprise.
There8217;s no suggestion of the dimensions of this new phone yet, but we8217;ve seen the first credible leak showing what the design might be, thanks to a couple of images shared to XDA forums.
It looks as though Google is sticking to the same design as the current Pixel 2, with a metal body meeting a top glass section. From the rear, at least, there don8217;t appear to be too many changes 8211; and that weird logo 8211; yes, it8217;s appeared on Google prototypes before. Note that the leaked device appears to be the Pixel 3 XL and we8217;ve less information on the smaller Pixel 3.
However, leaked display components corroborate with the leaked front design, suggesting a shift to a notched design for the Pixel 3 XL: if the display stays the same size on the diagonal, the handset would be smaller than the old model. But there8217;s still some chin to the phones, as it looks like dual front speakers are going to stay in place.
Geskin has a good track record with leaks, but it8217;s also backed up with a hardware leak, presumably from somewhere in the hardware supply chain. One may be based on the other, of course, but with these two displays side-by-side, we have a good idea of what each will offer.
There8217;s currently no indication of the size of these displays, but it looks as though the Pixel 3 is shifting from 16:9 to 18:9 (or 18.5:9). According to these leaks, both devices will have a similar display aspect (18:9 or 18:9.5 perhaps), but with the Pixel 3 XL getting a notch. This will allow it to have a greater screen to body ratio, meaning that the handset size doesn8217;t swell too much.
We already know that Android will be accommodating notched displays in Android P. In terms of sizes we8217;re just guessing, but we8217;d say something like 5.5-inches for the Pixel 3 and 6.1-inches for the Pixel 3 XL.
There has also been a suggestion that those two openings on the front a dual front cameras, although we8217;d treat this with caution: there are a lot of other sensors that would need an opening on the front, so we8217;re not certain what hardware it might reveal.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 likely
- Increase in RAM and storage possible
- No headphone jack
The Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL all featured the latest respective Qualcomm platform at the time of their launch so we8217;d expect Google to put the Snapdragon 845 platform within the new Pixel 3.
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL both feature 4GB of RAM and they both come in 64GB and 128GB storage options, neither of which offer microSD support for storage expansion. With many of 20188217;s flagship smartphones offering 6GB or even 8GB of RAM and internal storage options up to 256GB, we wouldn8217;t be surprised to see the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL offer at least an increase in RAM.
There have been no hardware leaks as yet for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, but if Google8217;s 2017 devices are anything to go by, the smaller new Pixel will likely have a slightly smaller battery capacity compared to the larger new Pixel. The Pixel 2 has a 2700mAh cell, while the Pixel 2 XL has a 3520mAh battery so we8217;d expect at least similar for the 2018 handsets.
The 3.5mm headphone jack was ditched for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL so we don8217;t expect to see it make a comeback for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, with USB Type-C being the go-to port for all charging and audio needs. Both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have dual front firing speakers and we suspect the new models will too, based on leaked display parts.
- Best USB Type-C headphones
- Single camera system probable
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL offer excellent camera performance, but you miss out on some of the novelty features offered by the dual camera systems on other devices, such as optical zoom. Google may stick to its guns with its single camera offering on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, like Sony did with the latest Xperia XZ2, especially since it is able to offer a Portrait Mode depth effect without a second camera.
So far there8217;s little to suggest any changes and the leaked Pixel 3 XL appears to have a single camera on the rear. However, it might be that Google has been looking at dual camera options and considering the possibilities, according to a tip shared by Stephen Hall of 9to5Google on Twitter.
Tip we received that I wouldn8217;t tweet unless I thought it had a smidgen of credibility: There are apparently Pixel 3 prototypes with dual rear cameras as well, although it seems (based on leak and @markgurman report) that single rear is the direction Google chose.
One thing we can be certain of when it comes to the next Pixel devices, whether that be one, two or three of them, they will run on pure, vanilla Android. No bloatware, no unnecessary extras, just Android, with Pixel extras.
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL run on Android Oreo, but the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL will launch on Android P 8211; if you have an older Pixel (or one of a select bunch of other Android devices) you can get Android P right now.
The first real indicators are that the Pixel will be changing the display aspects and introducing a notch on the Pixel 3 XL. The leaked display parts, followed by what looks like a prototype handset suggest we8217;re onto something real here.