Top 5 things Google needs to change about the Pixel
Google’s first phone has a lot of stiff competition. Hopefully, its next devices measure up.
by Iyaz Akhtar
With its superb camera and elegant design, the Google Pixel (and its larger counterpart, Pixel XL) phone hit it out of the park last year. So it’s no surprise that Google wants to keep the good times rolling with its pair of premium flagships. The company’s hardware chief, Rick Osterloh, already confirmed that a follow-up is coming this year, and while he didn’t say exactly when, we’d guess it’ll launch some time in October, a year after the Pixel was born.
We don’t know much about the next Pixel (unofficially known as the Pixel 2), but rumors say that it’ll have a slimmer design and an even better camera. Until its unveiling, however, we’ve gathered all the facts and rumors we know about the phone so far. Be sure to check back as more information rolls out; we’ll keep the updates coming.
The Pixel 2 will have improvements all around
As new camera tech and improved chipsets become available, the next generation of phones will likely be better than the last. Some specific rumors about an improved Pixel 2 speculate that the phone will be water-resistant, and have a camera that’s packed with more features. Google will also likely outfit it with a faster processor, though we’re unsure from where. It’s believed the company is testing out processors from Qualcomm, Intel and possibly the Taiwanese chipset maker MediaTek.
It might have squeezable edges
There is talk about the Pixel 2 coming with a squeezable frame, similar to the HTC U11. This means the frame is pressure-sensitive, and when you hold it tightly you can do things like launch the camera, turn on the flashlight, or open an app of your choice. (Check out this video of how it works on the HTC U11.) In the Pixel’s case, there’s been speculation that squeezing the phone could launch Google Assistant.
It could have a slimmer design
Recently, a rendering of the next Pixel XL made its rounds, giving us more detail about what the next pair of phones could look like. It showed the XL with a larger , 6-inch display and thinner bezels. It also looks more rectangular with sharper corners and the signature glass shade on the back is shorter, vertically.
Another rendering (this time in video form), considers different possible colors like red and teal. Blue, which is one of the original colors of the Pixel, is also included.
It’ll likely be more expensive…
The current Pixel starts out at a cool $650, £599 and AU$1,079 unlocked, and it doesn’t look like the new one will be any cheaper. Especially since Google’s Osterloh said that the Pixel will stay premium. Rumors are anticipating a $50 increase, but no exact pricing has been mentioned.
…but there may be a cheaper option
If the Pixel 2 sounds too expensive for you, Google may be considering a more budget-friendly Pixel. Known internally as the Pixel 2B, this phone is rumored to have lower-tiered hardware to go with its cheaper price tag.
The Pixel 2 will (probably) launch with Android O
Last year’s Pixel ran Android 7.0 Nougat. But now that the next software update, Android O, is already available to developers, it’s likely that the next Pixel will have O. This means the phone may natively feature picture-in-picture apps for multitasking, new app notifications and improved copy-and-paste built-in.
15 new features in Android O you need to know about
By its purported launch in October, the Pixel 2 will face stiff competition from Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8, the OnePlus 5 and the LG G6. It’ll also go against the next Apple iPhone, which is rumored to feature wireless charging and an edge-to-edge display (both of which the Pixel doesn’t have). Though the Pixel will get a boost from Google’s branding and ecosystem, as well as its timely software updates, it’ll need extra additions — like the possibility of water resistance and a better camera — to remain even more competitive.