Released a little over a month after the iPhone 7 was launched, Google’s Pixel and PIxel XL handsets became the surprise launch of 2016, winning many plaudits for its features and simple, solid design. A lot is expected of the Pixel 2 when it’s launched later this year with Google expected to build on what was its first proper smartphone release.
With the rumour mill hotting up, we’ve gathered together some of the more plausible leaks and suggestions for what you can expect to accompany the Pixel 2.
EXPECTED LAUNCH DATE: towards the end of October
EXPECTED COST: £700
When will the Pixel 2 launch?
Google launched its first Pixel phone in October 2016. This was partly to disrupt the clamour around the iPhone 7 and also because the company was already in the 12-month cycle of new launches, with its Nexus handsets coming to market around that time of year.
There’s nothing to suggest that Google will break this cycle and with more convincing photos of the Pixel 2 being released, the indications are that an October launch date is on the cards.
How much will the Pixel 2 cost?
The Pixel and Pixel XL are flagship handsets, which come with a premium cost. The current 128GB Pixel phone still retails at £699, with the XL even more costlier at £819.
We expect the Pixel 2 to be priced in a similar bracket, although rumours are surfacing that the lead price for the 32GB Pixel 2 will be £699 with the 128GB model at £799. This may indicate that Google’s entry level Pixel 2 will be 64GB instead of 32GB.
For monthly contracts, expect to pay an upfront cost for the handset of between £50-200 with tariffs starting at £40 per month.
Despite not sporting the prettiest of designs, the simplicity of the original Pixel appealed to many, and Google isn’t expected to apply any gimmicky gloss to the new range.
There’s plenty of speculation about whether the Pixel’s screen will shrink or grow. The general consensus is that the Pixel 2 will have a 4.97-inch 1920 x 1080 display with the Pixel 2 coming in at 5.5-inches.
An interesting rumour that’s broken recently is the Pixel 2 will feature squeezable sides, which will perform a range of commands, including taking photos. Similar to Edge Sense on HTC’s new U11, this allows users to manage a range of tasks without needing to touch the screen.
The quality of Pixel’s camera was one of its standout features and rumours are that Google won’t be drastically changing this. A 12-megapixel camera on the rear with 4K support is expected with 8MP on the front to match the current specs.
Android O is Google’s latest version of its operating system. The Pixel 2 will ship with O and all Pixel phones past and present will be the first to download the new OS.
Android O has better processes to reduce power-drain on your battery, improved audio as well as a host of other, smaller features, such as new emoji designs.
No headphone jack
The Pixel 2 is expected to join the list of new handsets to launch without a headphone jack. This is partly to save space and partly because Bluetooth headsets are becoming more popular.
It’s a decision that polarises opinion, because many of us are so attached (quite literally) to wired earphones. Android O is expected to feature improved audio that’s specifically designed to enable improved Bluetooth audio, so the likelihood is that this rumour is on the money.
The trend with flagships is to provide a level of water-resistance, something that the original Pixel lacked. It’s expected that Google will meet the IP67 standard with the Pixel 2, which, in summary, means it’s dust-resistant and waterproof (to a certain degree).
These standards of waterproofing are managed by the neatly-named International Electrotechnical Commission, or IEC for short. IP stands for Ingress Protection with the numbers relating to dust-proofing and waterproofing.
If the Pixel 2 meets the IP67 classification, the 6 will mean that it’s dustproof and the 7 that it’s protected from submersion in water with a depth of one meter for 30 minutes. In other words, the phone should survive rain and incidences of it being in water for a short time.
Dual front speakers
Leaked images suggest that the new Pixel 2 will have dual front-facing speakers to improve the range and sound quality when playing audio without headphones. The quality of the speakers on the Pixel isn’t great so this is a welcomed move to improve the audio experience.
There is credible evidence that the Pixel 2 will become the first to use the Snapdragon 836 chipset. This isn’t a major update to the 835 but is expected to deliver a performance improvement of up to 10%. This will result in quicker performance when moving from app to app as well as better battery life.