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

Posted: , by Peter K.

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Google Pixel 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. 

Design


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

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

Display


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.

As far as resolution goes, we suppose that the next Pixels will still boast Quad HD displays. However, the display resolution and the aspect ratio might be totally different - according to a leaked screenshot from GFXBench's benchmark database, the Taimen could be boasting a 5.6-inch display with a resolution of 1312 by 2560 pixels. This would work out a 17.5:9 aspect ratio, which means that the screen of the phone will be taller than your regular 16:9 device, yet not as tall as the LG G6 or the Galaxy S8/S8+. Remains to be seen if the smaller Pixel will also score a display with such an aspect ratio. 


Hardware


Alleged Pixel 2 Taimen becnchmark screenshot

Alleged Pixel 2 Taimen becnchmark screenshot

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. 

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 of storage in 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.

Camera


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.

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

Software


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.

String from Android O Developer Preview 3 hints at Always On ambient display screen for next-generation Pixel phones

String from Android O Developer Preview 3 hints at Always On ambient display screen for next-generation Pixel phones


Price & release date


Judging from all the previous releases of Google hardware, we should expect an early-fall announcement for the Pixel 2 and the larger Taimen handset. Google has the habit of hosting its hardware-centric keynotes in the October-November window. 

As far as price is concerned, we don't expect any surprises - Google's next-gen Pixels are going to boast a similar price tag to last year's Pixels mostly due to the lack of information so far. The 32GB version of the Pixel cost $649 initially, whereas the 32GB of the Pixel XL was priced at $769. Here's what the 32 and the 128GB versions of these two cost last year. 

29 Comments
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posted on 16 Jun 2017, 03:47 2

1. Myphoneisonfire (Posts: 347; Member since: 05 Sep 2016)


Cant beat the iPhone 8

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 04:12 14

2. gigicoaste (Posts: 131; Member since: 21 Feb 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!

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 06:57 1

6. MrHate (Posts: 291; Member since: 09 Feb 2015)


Why do you think that the iPhones are totally useless?

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 08:06 3

12. sgodsell (Posts: 4754; Member since: 16 Mar 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.

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 08:08 2

13. gigicoaste (Posts: 131; Member since: 21 Feb 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..

posted on 21 Jun 2017, 15:03

24. Arashmahmoodi25 (Posts: 28; Member since: 07 Apr 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 :)

posted on 17 Jun 2017, 03:48 1

20. Chuck007 (Posts: 1302; Member since: 02 Mar 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?

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 06:58 8

7. baldilocks (Posts: 813; Member since: 14 Dec 2008)


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

posted on 18 Jun 2017, 13:13

23. The_Innovation (Posts: 632; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)


Not with the chip, never.

posted on 19 Jul 2017, 12:55

29. UrbanStuff (Posts: 1; Member since: 19 Jul 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.

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 04:30 2

3. Lumberjack (Posts: 151; Member since: 04 May 2017)


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

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 05:27 4

4. jjface (Posts: 40; Member since: 07 Jun 2017)


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

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 07:10 1

9. KingSam (Posts: 542; Member since: 13 Mar 2016)


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

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 06:56 3

5. Cat97 (Posts: 305; Member since: 02 Mar 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.

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 07:10 1

8. trojan_horse (Posts: 4647; Member since: 06 May 2016)


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

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 07:22 2

10. applesnapple93 (Posts: 70; Member since: 06 Jan 2016)


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

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 07:46

11. sachouba (Posts: 219; Member since: 08 Jun 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 ?

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 08:24 1

14. Arashmahmoodi25 (Posts: 28; Member since: 07 Apr 2017)


I don't get this why they going through bezel less designes , this is so stupid this is wrong . Ppl want useablity ! And easy to use even in bad situation u could use it easily . And trust me it's not the future

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 08:34 1

15. Valdomero (Posts: 286; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)


Oh my gawd... that first design looks delicous, definitely a buy for me.

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 19:50 1

16. pankajxdx (unregistered)


Specs and image 4 is accurate.

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 20:02 2

17. willywanta (Posts: 416; Member since: 04 Jun 2014)


How about Samsung Galaxy S8 Google play edition?

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 21:44

18. Pitrich (Posts: 125; Member since: 13 Apr 2016)


Either or those are great looking designs in my opinion.

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 22:58

19. chhau (Posts: 11; Member since: 01 Jun 2017)


Please no weird aspect ratios for the screen. Virtual bezels aren't great.

posted on 17 Jun 2017, 10:39

21. Zylam (Posts: 1083; Member since: 20 Oct 2010)


Image 3 looks amazing. I'd buy that in a heartbeat. Please Google release Image 4's design!!!

posted on 17 Jun 2017, 23:47

22. jigneshkano (Posts: 2; Member since: 09 Jun 2017)


nice article thanks for sharing with us

posted on 30 Jun 2017, 12:23

25. AnnDroid (Posts: 75; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)


I can't wait for the Pixel XXL. Hoping it doesn't have a glass back. If it does, I'll compare it to the U11. I would grab that phone now if it didn't have a glass back.

posted on 14 Jul 2017, 10:33

26. Vega007 (Posts: 6; Member since: 18 May 2017)


Way too tall.

posted on 15 Jul 2017, 02:25

27. 99942apophis (Posts: 2; Member since: 15 Jul 2017)


Wrong proportions in the image size comparison. It's showing the Pixel XL 2 screen with the same width as the Pixel XL, which at the 18:9 aspect ratio would make it a 6.2" display like the Galaxy S8 Plus. The phone will be smaller than it looks there. PhoneArena should know better.

posted on 16 Jul 2017, 01:47

28. Luuthian (Posts: 287; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


Kinda bummed they wouldn’t eliminate the bezels on the smaller version... i hate it when manufacturers split features between unwieldy 5.5” and above phones and the smaller models. I understand on some level if there’s just no room for specifi hardwate features like the iPhone 7+ dual camera vs the normal phone, but there should be no excuse for the bezels.

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