Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 rumor review: Design, specs, features, price, and all we know thus far

Despite the availability issues, it's pretty safe to consider the Google Pixel and Pixel XL as two of the better top-end phones launched last year. Their most profound feature was the camera, which really set a high bar for all other flagships to jump over.

Of course, it doesn't take a genius to realize that after the good start, Google will be willing to use the gained momentum and one-up itself and the competition in 2017 with the second generation of Pixel devices. Right now, we are not exactly sure if we will get treated to 2 or 3 new handsets as we're hearing conflicting rumors regarding the exact number, but it's certain that Pixel fans will get their fix in a couple of months' time.

Naming and manufacturer

Initially, we've been hearing hearsay that Google's working on a few devices: a so-called "Walleye" to succeed the Pixel, a Pixel XL successor dubbed "Muskie", as well as a third, larger, all-new handset rolling under the "Taimen" moniker. We've been swearing by these rumors for a couple of months, but a recent one that sounds pretty plausible wants to shred them to pieces - it tries to convince us that Google has scrapped the idea of releasing a whole lot of three new devices and has reportedly opted for announcing "merely" two phones sometimes this fall. As per the rumor, Muskie has been scrapped in favor of the Taimen, which is mildly intriguing due to several reasons, all of which will be addressed below.

Now, last year's Pixel and Pixel XL were the result of a collaboration between Google and HTC, which had the responsibility of actually manufacturing the devices. Rumor has it LG has been chosen as this year's contractor for the second-gen Pixel, which is not surprising us at all – Google and LG have a long and fruitful history of collaborating on the Nexus family of devices. 

It's worth mentioning that with the Pixel lineup, Google has full creative control over its phones' design. The Pixel and Pixel XL were not based on a pre-existing design, so we probably shouldn't expect this year's Pixels to be dead ringers of the LG G6. 


So far, we merely have a vague idea what the Pixel 2 and the larger Taimen might look like. Of course, there are renders based on the usual rumors that a Google might be exploring the realm of bezel-busting handsets with an exorbitant screen-to-body ratio, but one can never know. Granted, a Pixel phone with such a design will most likely look great, especially when compared with last year's first batch of Pixel phones - admittedly, those two were not that inspiring in terms of their looks and raised a few eyebrows for all the wrong reasons.

According to some recent rumors, only the larger "Taimen" could be sporting a bezel-less design, while the smaller-sized handset is likely to retain the general looks of last year's Pixel. Sorry, bezel haters.

Now, while we have nothing concrete about the design of the Walleye, we've heard through the grapevine that the Taimen is about to feature such bezel-slimming design that will make it relevant to the contemporary industry trends.

Admittedly, it will be somewhat weird for Google to bring such a massive design overhaul to only one of its new devices, but we shouldn't rule out that possibility.

There could also be a pair of stereo front-firing speakers on the Pixels.

This was implied by one of the recently-leaked real-life images of the Pixel, though it remains uncertain if both devices will sport these or only the larger one will have the honors.

Now, supposedly, both the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 will be water-proof phones, which will be a great feature to have and put in on par with the rest of the top-shelf devices out there.


The smaller upcoming Google handset is expected to boast a 5-inch screen, whereas the larger phone is reportedly boasting a large 6-inch display. Just like the Google Pixel and the Pixel XL, El Goog's next phones are going to boast OLED displays as well. We guess it's true when they say "once you go OLED, you never go back". However, the supplier of the panels themselves could be different - last year, Google partnered with Samsung Display, but this time around, LG Display could be getting a piece of the cake. 

Google has also prepped around $880 million to invest in LG Display, which has been wooed as a possible contractor, in order to secure enough OLED display panels. If the South Korean company accepts the offer, Google could increase the size of the investment depending on the details of the contract, such as supply conditions.

The Pixel 2 XL is said to feature a 5.99-inch 1440p OLED display with a taller, bezel-less screen, while the Pixel 2 is said to have a 4.97-inch 1080p OLED screen with bigger bezels. This falls in line with what we've heard 


Remember that GFXBench screenshot we mentioned earlier? Well, aside from the display resolution and aspect ratio, it's also giving us a sneak peek at the hardware that will potentially make it inside the next Pixels. 

The 5.6-inch Taimen seems to be powered by none other than the Qualcomm 835 chipset running ablaze at 2.4GHz and paired with some 4GB of RAM for excelling multitasking purposes. However, there some hearsay that the Pixels could be the first phone to arrive with the Snapdragon 836 chipset on board. As this chipset is not official yet, such a move would make the Pixels the pioneering Snapdragon 836 devices out there.

An Adreno 540 GPU holds the promise of crushing through any game you might throw at it, and finally, we seem to have around 128GB of native storage aboard the Pixel XL 2 and 64GB/128GB of storage for the smaller Pixel. Now, these rumored specs sound awfully convenient and logical, but there's always the chance of things not turning out exactly as we expect them to do. Given that Google is unlikely to announce and release its upcoming Pixel phones until this fall, there's always the chance that a speedier chipset might find its place within the confines of the Pixel smartphones. We also heard that only the large phone could feature a 3.5mm audio jack, whereas the small one will be ditching that one, quite possibly due to limited space issues. That still holds true as of August 2017, as we're still hearing that Google might be looking to ditch the traditional audio interface on its upcoming Pixel phones.


We feel like it would be awkward to once again address that same screenshot we've been mentioning for a while now, but alas, that's exactly what we're going to do. According to it, we are about to have a 12MP snapper at the rear of the Taimen, whereas the selfie camera would likely weigh in at 7MP, which might seem like a pretty lowly resolution, but it's more than enough for social media. 

So far, we have no concrete evidence that points out the next round of Pixels could feature dual-cameras. There's always the possibility, though, but sadly we wouldn't know until the phones become official... or a grander leak comes along.


Being Google's own phones, the next-gen Pixels are unsurprisingly going to showcase the next version of Android, which is currently only known as "O", no doubt about it. Just like last year's Pixels, we have a hunch that the new phones will have a couple of exclusive software features that will set them apart from other bone-stock Android devices. For example, the Google Assistant was initially a Pixel-exclusive and only later on arrived on other Android phones.

According to some recent leaks, the next Pixels might be getting Always On display functionalities. A string in the code inside Android O Dev Preview 3 hint at the next Pixels having Always On displays.

Price & release date

October 4 - that's the date you've been looking for. Google has nonchalantly revealed this in a series of promotional posters across a bunch of US cities.

The Pixel XL 2016 was launched for prices starting at $769, so maybe that's also the starting price of its successor? Unfortunately, that's not the case, as the new handset will cost a bit more. 

According to Droid-life, the Google Pixel 2 XL will be offered for $849 (64 GB version), or $949 (128 GB version). This puts the Pixel 2 XL 128 GB right next to other ~$1,000 high-end phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the yet to be launched Apple iPhone X.

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1. Myphoneisonfire

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 05, 2016

Cant beat the iPhone 8

2. gigicoaste

Posts: 457; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

here we go again!? sometimes I have the feeling that guys like you are payed to create such discussions to bring viewers and clicks on dumb articles. What has to do an Android OS phone with an IOS phones? From my perspective, as an Android user, IPhone 1-8 are totally useless.. does this makes it bad phone?? Of course not! But you cannot compare devices with totally different OS, just becuse both are called.. phones!\ And why article is dumb? Simple, passed years PA is relying on rumors and assumptions to create traffic... it's a cliche!

6. MrHate

Posts: 318; Member since: Feb 09, 2015

Why do you think that the iPhones are totally useless?

12. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

It's easy. You don't have control over any iPhone, unless you jailbreak and void your warranty​. No real multitasking, and/or split screen on iPhone. It use to be iPhone's had more apps, and tools at their disposal. Today that has changed, and Googles play is almost 3 million apps and growing. As it stands today Android users not only have access to more apps on the play store, than any iPhone user with the app store. With Android you have more free apps, but you have more tools and utilities with Android, including emulators. You also have access to more newer technologies like VR/AR/MR with Android. But hey if all you know is iPhone and iOS, then it's understandable that you would ask that question.

13. gigicoaste

Posts: 457; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

the IOS is not what I look for a phone, too closed and the UI is not usable. Again, functionality and usability is only subjective, for some people there are useful functions which others will call it gimmick. As another example I use a lot the spen in a Note, where else I can find a pen and android os in a reliable hardware?? Nowere and this doesn't make me a fanboy for Samsung.. I guess all the guys are entering in nonsense debates are just kids..

24. Arashmahmoodi25

Posts: 132; Member since: Apr 07, 2017

The iOS is so complex compare to Android . And what I like about iPhone is it's a phone that u can rely on .And there's none Android phone that , they just have to make a stable look for Android don't change it for every phone that comes. Probably few years later some good smart one would solve this problem , I hope :)

43. GeekOFW

Posts: 59; Member since: Dec 14, 2016

I didn't understand what problem you were talking about.

48. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

My brain got cancer trying to decipher your comment. And no, iPhones are not complex...They're just restricted to make you feel like you've got to make things exclusive. That's why you see more blondes with a mirror selfie of iPhones and not them.

32. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

First of all the idiot myphoneisonfire mentions the iPhone 8. Which that particular smartphone has a 4.7" low resolution (1334x750) IPS LCD display. It has massive bezels, and a tiny battery. So if you compare it to the Pixel 2 which has a higher resolution full HD display, bigger longer lasting battery, and slightly smaller bezels than an iPhone 8. It's a no brainier the Pixel 2 is a better choice. However if you bring in the Pixel XL 2 with it's even larger bezel less display with an even higher resolution QHD display, bigger battery again. There is no comparison to the iPhone 8. Let's get real, only an iDiot would buy a low resolution iPhone 8 today with it's much smaller and lower resolution HD display in 2017 for $700. If you really must have an iPhone than go for the higher priced 8 plus version, because you get the same resolution display as the smaller Pixel 2, larger battery, and dual cameras which will be better for Apples new AR. But the iPhone 8 is a waste of money at $700 in 2017.

20. Chuck007

Posts: 1411; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

Can't say whether you're right or wrong but the phonearena discussion section have always been plagued by annoying trolls. As for the iPhone, it's pointless for anyone to mention the iPhone. Apple might be the most successful smartphone brand to date, but it's always nice to have something called - you guessed it, CHOICE. Competition drives innovation and is the way to go. To prevent a single company from sitting on wads of cash and not doing anything constructive (aka pro consumer) about it because they'd more often than not see new product lines as unnecessary risks. I thought everyone understood that by now?

37. tiz_meh

Posts: 78; Member since: Aug 11, 2017

Just an suggestion. Next time, don't bother with these trolls for a few days then you will see the diff. and believe me they will feel embarrassed too haha. I'm fan of gsmarena and still do, but recently I visit phonearena and I can recognize these troll right away. These trolls ,I don't want to put names here, clearly are made up by phonearena to get clicks and btw phonearena journalists suks.

44. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

iPhones maybe useless to you but there are millions of people around the world who feel the same for Android too. Don't forget that. Yes comparing two very different Operating systems is useless. It's all about personal preference.

7. baldilocks

Posts: 1540; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

It's hard to beat the iPhone 8 if you love a locked down, uninspiring user experience.

23. The_Innovation

Posts: 648; Member since: Jul 18, 2012

Not with the chip, never.

29. UrbanStuff

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 19, 2017

When it's price range is between $1,200-1,400, I think we can. Also when the Pixel has a way better camera than Apple phones, has Google Assistant & it being accessed by squeezing the phone (not to mention Google Assistant is way easier than Siri & also understands more accents & I believe languages than Siri), plus the phone is coming from the company you used to find this article. I think Google has the upperhand.

30. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

My Galaxy Nexus from 2011 had face unlock, and it worked better than Apple's live demonstration of the feature... Also the original Pixel easily had the best smartphone camera, expect the Pixel 2 to do even better. You could argue that Apple's camera is better as Apple makes the same claim EVERY YEAR, but then Tim Cook will eventually post another Superbowl photo on Twitter... and, well, we all know that post didn't stay up very long. Then, of course, Google develops the best apps, as I've read time and time again that the best apps on the iPhone are developed by Google, Google Maps, Photos, Assistant, Chrome, Drive, Youtube... The iPhone would fail miserably if Google ever elected to remove their support for Apple's iPhone.

42. tuminatr

Posts: 1143; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

You are right the iPhone 8 and iPhone x are the best IPhones available, however if you prefer Android the Pixel is the best android available

45. surethom

Posts: 1719; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

It's about the software majority on ios or Android stay in those devices so does not matter if iphone came with free £1000 I still cannot move to a device that does not alallow widgets on home screen

47. janis

Posts: 397; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

yeah apple invented fast charging, which will cost you not sure i guess that is around 80$, while we android users using it for years now included in the box. As well the best 2k display which i have been using for years.. finally its same level as competition in terms of tech, but hey its iphone so its best :d

3. Lumberjack

Posts: 306; Member since: May 04, 2017

Nexus 5x is top 3 ugliest phones among Moto G4 and iPhone 7+.

4. jjface

Posts: 250; Member since: Jun 07, 2017

The nexus 5X looks decent in person. I like it.

9. KingSam

Posts: 1472; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

There are some really ugly phones so that's debatable.

31. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I actually liked the 5X a lot. No nonsense, matte black functional smartphone. But why is the 7+ ugly, but not the normal 7 or the 6(s) series since they are almost identical?

49. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

He's a *insert your name here*.

5. Cat97

Posts: 1933; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

This can possibly be my first Google phone after the Nexus 4 (which was another LG phone). LG has the ability to build great smartphones (the G6 looks and performs great, really) and an LG with OLED display (a flat display so you can protect it easily) and small bezels would be a dream phone.

8. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

I just dislike the Nougat navigation keys, it isn't anymore transparent like it was on Lollipop.!

10. applesnapple93

Posts: 313; Member since: Jan 06, 2016

Owner of a pixel. If there are no front firing stereo speakers.... I am not interested.

40. dmsrfl

Posts: 76; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

I agree...I stuck to my Nexus 6p because I hated that the pixel had no front speakers.

11. sachouba

Posts: 266; Member since: Jun 08, 2014

7 MP for the front camera is a "lowly" resolution ?? Could you please remind me of what you were saying when the iPhone had an 8 MP main camera ?

50. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Hey, it's still a difference of a 'million' pixels.

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