Pixel 2 XL – Google’s Most Anticipated 2017 Product



The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are shaping up to be the most anticipated Google products of 2017. There is always a chance some last minute revelations will be shared before the announcements on October 4th, but this is what we know today.

Trends

Let’s start with the most popular item.

Phones

Pixel 2

Leaks suggest and I agree with the assertion the Pixel 2 will be an iterative upgrade. By that I mean for the most part it will look like the current Pixel but will share some of the improvements made to the Pixel 2 XL.

Anticipated features include:

  • Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB or 128GB of storage
  • Full HD display
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Google’s version of HTC Edge Sense
  • Front facing stereo speakers
  • Single rear camera
  • Single front camera
  • Google image processor
  • Gorilla Glass 5
  • Improved Fingerprint Sensors
  • Wireless charging
  • Android Oreo OS
  • E-SIM Slot
  • USB-C earphones
  • 2,700mAh battery
  • IP67 dust/waterproof rating
  • Colors
    • Clearly White
    • Just Black
    • Kinda Blue
  • Unlimited Google Drive Space
  • Pricing – $649 – 64GB / $749 – 128GB

There was a rumor in late August this phone and it’s sibling (2 XL) would ship with an updated 836 processor. Sometimes manufacture discover something after the launch of a product they need to fix but this does not appear to be the case with the 835. Reviewers will compare the 835 against the Apple A11 but in reality this is not a fair comparison. Although there are things which could be done to improve the performance of the 835, it really becomes an unnecessary expense.

Anything is possible, but an 836 is not very likely.

Pixel 2 XL

The 2 XL is where Google has placed the bulk of its attention adhering to the design trends of other popular smartphones like the Samsung Note 8, LG V30, and HTC U11.

The anticipated specs are the same as the Pixel 2 with the following exceptions.

  • 6-inch screen
    • 18:9 aspect ratio
    • 80 – 85% screen-to-body ratio
      • Compared to Samsung Note 8
        @ 83.6% screen-to-body ratio
      • Compared to LG V30
        @ 81.2% screen-to-body ratio
      • Compared to iPhone X
        @ 82.9% screen-to-body ratio
  • High-resolution OLED display
  • Curved OLED screen
    • Curved like the Note 8 / iPhone X
      See image from Evan Blass
  • 18:9 aspect ratio
  • Wide Color Gamut Support
  • Bigger 3520 mAh Battery
  • Pricing – $849 – 64GB / $949 – 128GB

Missing Headphone Jack

It appears the dedicated headphone jack is a thing of the past and some folks are unhappy. It is anticipated the Pixel 2 and 2 XL will ship with USB C headphones. If you think about it, this is an improvement because the inclination is to slide your phone top first into a pocket which leaves the bottom port facing up which is exactly where it needs to be with an attached cable. It’s not the perfect solution as the port would not be available if charging via USB.

  • And; there is always the option of Bluetooth wireless headphones. Bose just release the QC35 II wireless noise cancelling headphones with Google Assistant built in.
  • And; there are many wireless earbuds to choose from.

In reference to this, Google may disclose a new program called “Made for Google” which is an accessory certification process.

In my opinion, the missing headphone jack is a non issue.

Home Mini and Max

It is anticipated Google will announce a $49 competitor to the Amazon Dot named the Home Mini. For all practical purposes this is Google Home without the speaker.

Another rumored Home deviation is “Manhattan”, Google Home with a screen to complete against, and is similar to, the Amazon Echo Show. I stated the original Google Home may resemble the Echo Show in my Google I/O predictions post but I obviously missed that one. Amazon is manufacturing home devices in every conceivable form factor to 1) saturate the market, and 2) to see what sells the best. Google can ill afford to wait around for their results as it will be too late. It makes sense to announce such a device now as the Holiday season is approaching fast.

New VR Headset

Google will launch a successor to its original Daydream VR headset. It’s unclear what will change when you consider the Daydream VR is comfortable, works well, and supports a variety of existing Android smartphones.

Possible upgrades include the following:

  • Refresh of the overall design
    • New colors
    • New materials
  • Redesigned wand
  • New audio options
  • New phone integrations
  • New sensors

It has also been rumored Google or a partner will release a stand alone VR headset to compete with those being released by Microsoft partners targeted at $399 or $449 with controllers.

We will have to wait on this one.

Pixelbook

The Pixelbook leak is the most puzzling because of the price and the amount of local storage. Techradar goes so far as to state the “Google Pixelbook is probably not a Chromebook at all”. I believe the reason for the 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of storage may simply be to support Android apps. It is also rumored to run a highly-modified version of Chrome OS.

In addition to enhancements to the OS, there may be other perks from Google (ie. Unlimited Google Drive Space) and/or its partners which will defray the anticipated costs. It is rumored the 128GB model will start at $1,199, followed by the 256GB model at $1,399, and the 512GB model at $1,749.

Wrap up

As we can see from the trend data the thought of a high performance Chromebook priced above the $1K mark is not generating much enthusiasm compared to other planned introductions. Not surprising the Pixel 2 smartphone is gathering the most interest but I will not be surprised if something we didn’t plan on is introduced as well. As Rick Osterloh from Google alluded to in a tweet, they will be putting the pieces together on Oct 4.


Source: Google Search / Google Trends


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