Last year, Google's first-ever phones — the Pixel and the Pixel XL — made a remarkable debut. They were one of the best Android phones in the industry and their camera scored the highest in the DXOMark ratings. They stayed on the top for until HTC U11 broke covers in May 2017.
Now, the search engine giant is all geared up to pull the wraps off the second-generation Pixel series phones, and going the by recent spate of leaks, they are shaping up to be promising flagship Android phones and possibly the only ones that can give a real fight to Apple's most powerful phones yet iPhone 8 (& 8 Plus ) and the iPhone X series.
Also read: Top smartphones coming to India in October 2017: Google Pixel 2, Moto X4, Mi Mix 2 and more
To provide better perspective, we have leafed through numerous reliable sources and stitched up a comprehensive report that lists the most probable features, price and also when the Pixel 2 series will be made available for consumers to purchase.
Google Pixel 2 series: Design and display
As per the information we have gathered so far, Google is expected to announce two new phones — a generic Pixel 2 (aka Walleye) and a big-screen Pixel 2 XL (aka Taimen) — which are going to replace the first-generation Pixel and the Pixel XL, respectively.
Both devices, barring the screen-size, are expected to boast the same design language on the rear side. They are said to flaunt dual-tone glass and metal finish similar to the predecessor.
However, there will be minor changes in design: The glass will cover only the topmost part, while most of the rear will have a metal shell. The fingerprint scanner will be out of glass enclosure.
Another key change is that the successors will be devoid of a 3.5mm audio jack port.
On the front, the Pixel 2 XL will come with a 5.99-inch QHD (2560x1440p) OLED display similar to LG V30 series, with thin bezel design language having 18:19 aspect ratio and boast AOD (Always-On-Display) feature.
The Pixel 2 will have a boring design — thick bezel with a lot space going to waste on top and the base segment. It will sport a 4.97-inch full-HD display (1920x1080p) with 16:0 aspect ratio and AOD feature.
Google Pixel 2 series: Processor, RAM and storage
Both Google Pixel 2 series phones are said to be coming with 4 GB RAM, 64GB/128GB storage and Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core CPU.
Google Pixel 2 series: Camera
As far as photography is concerned, Google has reportedly decided to keep a single 12MP primary camera on the back with dual-tone LED flash, EIS (Electronics Image Stabilisation) for enhanced low-light images.
Having said that, Google Pixel 2 series is expected to come with a bigger lens having wider aperture, which promises to absorb more light and deliver top-notch photos even under low-light conditions.
Reliable reports have suggested that the company has incorporated a dedicated Imaging Chip in the Google Pixel 2 series, which will certainly pose a threat to the top-ranked Apple iPhone 8 series in terms of DxOMark ratings.
There is no word on the Pixel 2 series' front camera, but Google has added dual OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) feature on both the front and the rear cameras.
Google Pixel 2 series: Battery
Google Pixel 2 XL is said to have a 3,250mAh battery, 100mAh more than the first-generation model. On the other hand, the Pixel 2 will have a 2,700mAh cell, the same as its predecessor.
Some might wonder why Google hasn't bumped up the battery capacity in the new devices, but fret not, as the new devices are coming with power efficient OLED display and also the Snapdragon 835 processor will optimise the devices to consume less energy to perform tasks, while the Android Oreo OS will keep a check on power-draining apps and offer a full day's battery life.
Google Pixel 2 series: Value-added feature
Last month, Google announced it would buy for $1.1 billion a part of HTC's mobile division that was involved in making the first-generation Pixel phones. The deal included access to related patents (non-exclusive) and also transfer of HTC mobile phone development staff to Google's Mountain View headquarters.
Given that Google now has got access to HTC's patents, speculations are rife Google has taken the liberty of borrowing HTC U11's key feature — the "Edge Sense" squeezable frame technology — for its Pixel 2 series, and intends to call it "Active Edge."
For the uninitiated, HTC Edge Sense technology offers users the ability to trigger advanced touch capabilities and use a "short squeeze" as well as a "squeeze and hold" for more functionalities.
Since Edge Sense takes inputs based on the pressure applied to the side of the device, it can be used in nearly any condition – including rainy weather that would normally pose a challenge with capacitive buttons.
In the Pixel 2 series, it is expected to be used to trigger Google Assistant, launch the camera and perform other tasks depending on finger pressure and location on the frame.
Google Pixel 2 series: Price and availability details
The Pixel 2 is said to come in three colours — "Kinda Blue, Just Black and Clearly White". It is said to be offered in 64GB and 128GB variants for $649 (approx €540/Rs 41,783) and $749 (approx €624/Rs 48,221), respectively.
Google is also expected to offer them with monthly contracts of $27.04 (approx €22.52/Rs 1,741) and $31.21 (approx €25.99/Rs 2,009), respectively, over 24 months.
On the other hand, the Pixel 2 XL — 64GB & 128GB — will cost $849 (approx €707/Rs 54,659) and $949 (approx €790/Rs 61,097), respectively.
These, too, will be made available via monthly contracts of $35.38 (approx. €29.46/Rs 2,278) and $39.54 (approx €32.92/Rs 2,545), respectively, over 24 months.
The Pixel 2 XL will be offered in two shades — a panda-hued "Black & White" colourway and another raven-coloured "Just Black".
As far as the availability is concerned, Google is expected to initially put the generic Pixel 2 on sale on October 19 and the bigger Pixel 2 XL on November 15.
Google — besides the Pixel 2 series — is also expected to announce new-generation Daydream VR headgear and mini Home smart speakers.
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