Early rumours are already swirling around Google's successor to the wildly popular Pixel phones.
When does the Google Pixel XL 2 come out? Predicted to be announced in October/November with availability before the end of the year.
What’s new about the Pixel XL 2? 6-inch AMOLED display, squeezable frame, Android O
How much will the Pixel XL 2 cost? High premium pricing above $1,000
What is the Google Pixel XL 2?
When Google launched the first Pixel phones in 2016, it did so by dropping the Nexus brand that it had previously adopted for its own in-house phones, instead launching Pixel as its brand. The Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL were launched in Australia as exclusives with Telstra, with the central hook being the "pure" Android experience they offered.
As with the Nexus phones that preceded them, the Pixel phones will be the first in line to receive the next version of Google's Android operating system, for now just known as Android "O". It's expected that the Pixel XL 2 will launch with O already onboard, alongside a smaller Pixel 2 phone.
The naming for the Pixel XL 2 isn't set in any way, with Google still entirely free to simply call the new phones as Pixel or Pixel XL as with the 2016 iterations, or possibly Pixel 2nd Generation. That's something we won't know for some time, depending on whether or not marketing or packaging material leaks before the official announcement.
Google used to own Motorola (now a Lenovo brand) but it doesn't manufacture the current Pixel phones, and it's not expected to launch its own fabrication plants for the Pixel XL 2 either. Instead, that job is being strongly rumoured to fall to LG. LG last worked with Google on the Nexus 5X smartphone, with last year's Pixel and Pixel XL being manufactured by HTC.
Not that HTC's presence is entirely missing from the current swirl of Google Pixel XL rumours. Current rumours suggest that the Pixel XL 2 may adopt squeezable sides, similar to those found on the HTC U11. The current rumoured design looks a lot like a slimmed down Pixel with smaller bezels and rounded edges, similar to those found on the Samsung Galaxy S8.
Will the Google Pixel XL 2 be powerful?
There's not a lot of detail as yet as to what will go into the Pixel XL 2's internal configurations, but presuming that Google continues along the path of pitching the Pixel brand as a premium offering, we'd expect a high-end processor, at least on par with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (or possibly its successor) to feature under the hood of the Pixel XL 2.
Google doesn't quite have the built-from-the-ground-up advantages that Apple does when it comes to totally optimising Android towards the Pixel XL 2's hardware build, but having first mover advantage should still lead to a heavily optimised experience, making the most out of the mix of the Pixel XL 2's hardware and Android O.
One factor that we don't expect to change on the Google Pixel XL 2 is Google's insistence on fixed storage. While Android can quite easily address additional storage via microSD cards, Google's own inhouse phones have instead opted to push Google cloud storage heavily with no microSD card expansion present at all.
Will the Pixel XL 2 have a good camera?
For some years, Google's Nexus phones made do with cameras that were OK, but never great. That changed with the Pixel and Pixel XL, two phones with cameras that were market leading at launch and are still in the top echelon of mobile phone cameras to this day.
While many manufacturers are tending towards dual lens cameras with either feature effects or differing angle/zoom configurations on their premium handsets, the current rumours point to the Pixel XL 2 featuring a single lens array on the back with only a very slight camera "bump". There's not much known about the actual camera optics in play, but expect the Pixel XL to once again sit in the top tier of camera phones when it launches later in the year.
How will I charge the Google Pixel XL 2?
Google leapt wholeheartedly into the USB C charging space as far back as the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X, so there's no reason to expect that it won't opt for USB C charging this time around. There's no specific word on whether or not the Google Pixel XL 2 will also allow for wireless charging capabilities, although it wasn't a feature of the Google Pixel 2016 versions.
Will the Google Pixel XL 2 be water resistant?
We live in an era where premium phones are increasingly touting water resistance as a key feature to differentiate themselves from a crowd of impressive mid-range options. Google made the 2016 Pixel phones water resistant, but only to a rating of IP53, quite below that of competitor phones that tend to offer IP67/68 ratings instead.
IP53 means that the 2016 Pixel is protected by not entirely resistant to dust (that'd be IP63), and that trailing 3 digit means that light showers of water are protected against, not immersion of any type. That doesn't mean that a dunking will always kill a Pixel, but it's a risky move. Hopefully Google will up its water resistance game with the Pixel XL 2.
When will the Google Pixel XL 2 be available in Australia?
Google's track record with regards to local launches of its flagship handsets is an unusual one, with some phones launching imminently upon announcement, and others waiting some time before being officially available down under. Based on the Pixel phone release, however, we're optimistic that we should see the next generation Pixel phones relatively rapidly in Australia.
How much will the Google Pixel XL 2 cost?
Google's positioning for the Pixel brand has focused on its premium status, so we wouldn't expect the new phones to hit the market at anything less than a premium price point above the $1,000 mark.
Google's pricing for the current generation Pixel and Pixel XL phones could well be informative in predicting Pixel XL 2 pricing. Here's how that pricing currently stands.
|Google Pixel Model||Price|
|Pixel XL 32GB||$1,269|
|Pixel XL 128GB||$1,419|
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Google Pixel XL 2 Specifications
- Product Name
- Google Pixel XL 2
- Display Size
- 6 inches.
- TBC, expected Snapdragon 835 or better
- TBC, 4GB minimum expected
- TBC, expected 32GB/128GB or higher
- Operating System
- Android O
- Front camera
- Rear camera
- TBC, expected single lens
- TBC, expected above $1,000
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