Source: Pixel 2 XL has Stereo Speakers, Always Listening “Music Recognition”, and Portrait Mode

Source: Pixel 2 XL has Stereo Speakers, Always Listening “Music Recognition”, and Portrait Mode

The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is set to be announced on October 4th with multiple color options and a hefty price tag. While these two smartphones have had a lot of information leaked so far, one of the most controversial changes is the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack. This has been corroborated by our own sources, 9to5Google, @evleaks, and others, so it’s safe to say that the next generation Pixel 2/2 XL smartphones will not feature a headphone jack.

Users have been wondering if, at the very least, Google would offer dual stereo speakers on these smartphones. Though previous leaks have affirmed the existence of dual speakers on the smaller Pixel 2 model, some were wondering if this would be true on the larger Pixel 2 XL model. After speaking with our source, we can confirm that the Google Pixel 2 XL will indeed have dual stereo speakers on front much like its smaller counterpart.

That isn’t all that we’ve learned, however. Over this weekend, the founder of AndroidPolice, Artem Russakovskii, shared some rumors from a source who spent time with the Verizon Google Pixel 2. Our own source independently corroborates most of these claims. That means we believe both the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL will have the following features:

  • New “Portrait Mode” feature in the Google Camera app. This feature focuses on the main person in frame and blurs out the background to produce an image in vein of a live portrait. This feature is said to be similar to the Portrait Mode found on the iPhone 7 Plus.
  • Revamped Pixel Launcher with the search bar at the bottom. This was accidentally shown off at this year’s Google I/O, and 9to5Google was able to capture a video of it in action. Some of you may not like how it looks, but the beauty of Android is that you can always install another launcher.
  • New “Music Recognition” feature. According to the settings page for this feature, “when music is playing nearby, it will automatically show up on your lock screen.” Even though Google Assistant itself doesn’t yet have song recognition (though there’s a workaround for that), it seems that Google will somehow be able to listen for songs in the background and recommend them to you on the lock screen. Those of you worried about privacy will probably want to keep this feature disabled.
  • Squeeze to launch Google Assistant. We already leaked the existence of this feature back in July, but Artem’s tweets now corroborate this further.
  • Always on Ambient Display mode. We’ve covered this feature on multiple occasions, and given that it’s actually live in AOSP and can even be enabled on existing Android Oreo devices, this is probably Google’s worst-kept secret feature for the Pixel 2 series.

There are bound to be other leaks of features and hardware of the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL in the coming days. We’re only a few days away from the official announcement, so there’s a lot to look forward to in the next week. Though the loss of the 3.5mm headphone jack port is disappointing to many, perhaps having dual, front-facing stereo speakers will assuage those concerns somewhat. Furthermore, those new Google Assistant-enabled headphones might come in handy in the future—perhaps if they release another model at a lower price.

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