The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have seen a number of leaks in recent months, with the latest revealing significant differences in the design of the two devices.
While the first Pixel and Pixel XL were similarly designed – with just different screen sizes separating them – the new smartphones look very different. The Pixel 2 XL has the minimal bezels and massive screen that have represented 2017 phone design. It will likely feature a look reminiscent of LG’s G6 or V30.
This is unsurprising given that Google has chosen to partner with LG for the manufacturing of these devices. When rumours of the next generation of Pixel smartphones broke, it was expected that HTC would once again manufacture the phones.
However, in June, it was revealed that LG would be taking over the production of the larger device. With the change in manufacturer, the design of the device evolved into more of a 2017-style phone.
The Pixel 2 – which was not taken over by LG – features bezels that look like they came from a device produced in 2016.
The smaller Pixel 2 is currently rumoured to be powered by Qualcomm's latest processor, which will likely be a Snapdragon 835. It is also expected that it will feature 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The screen size will probably remain at around five inches, with a 1920×1080 display resolution.
It is also thought that the device will not feature a 3.5mm headphone jack. This is not going to be welcomed by many users, who have tended to appreciate the fact Android devices have largely stuck with the jack. Many users have expressed their annoyance with devices like Apple’s iPhone not featuring the jack, so removing it could be a controversial move on Google’s part.
From the images of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL already seen, neither device is expected to feature a dual rear camera, which is another surprising choice by Google. With most manufacturers moving towards this configuration, including Apple, Samsung and OnePlus, it seems an unusual option for the company that produced one of the best smartphone cameras on the market.
However, the camera is expected to include a bokeh effect, which is likely going to be software-induced. This allows users to create a blurred background in their photos. It is increasingly becoming a highly valued feature in smartphone cameras.
HTC has influenced the design in other ways. Users will be able to squeeze the frames of both devices to launch Google Assistant. The feature works when the phone is asleep too. It has already been seen on HTC’s flagship U11, which was released earlier this year.
How successful the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL end up when they are released later this year remains to be seen, but the company has a huge number of ardent fans, which could boost sales.