The Pixel and Pixel XL were highly anticipated devices, but ultimately they were primarily a first-generation, introductory release for Google, and though they weren’t wholly-spectacular, we regarded them a “foundational release“. What was and remains really exciting, however, is what can be built upon said foundations.
Not long ago, we saw buzz surrounding references to upcoming Pixel devices in AOSP — publications with sources informed on the matter went on to report about the existence of three Pixel devices, respectively equipped with a small screen, a large screen, and of course… an even larger screen. Sadly, the in-between device is said to be cancelled according to Android Police’s sources. That leaves us with “walleye” and “taimen”, the smaller and largest device respectively. A recent report found references to what could be the smaller and bigger Pixel successor in HTC U11 files, but according to 9to5google’s sources, the larger Pixel is actually an LG device, which is consistent with reports earlier this year that suggested LG was a likely candidate for a 2017 Pixel phone, something that was reinforced by a bug report not too long ago.
XDA-Developers has obtained information about both upcoming Google devices, which we’ll detail below, from a source familiar with the matter that spent time with at least one of these phones. We are confident in the validity of the details presented below, given the source’s track record, and since these are seemingly-finalized hardware specifications and features, it’s unlikely that they’ll be subject to change.
The larger device coming from Google this year will feature a 5.99-inch display with a 1440p OLED panel provided by LG, which isn’t extraordinary given that earlier this year, Reuters reported about Google investing into LG’s display division for their next phone. The phone will sport a smaller bezel than what we saw in the original Pixel XL, and there is a 128GB storage model, though it might not be the only configuration. The device will indeed pack the expected Snapdragon 835 processor (with the big cluster clocked at the reference 2.45GHz frequency, unlike the original Pixel’s lower frequency in the Snapdragon 821-AB) alongside 4GB of RAM. The back is similar to last year’s with a two-tone glass and metal finish, though the glass window is located near the top and no longer encloses the fingerprint scanner. The device should feature a single camera with dual LED flash.
The smaller Pixel device will feature a familiar 4.97-inch display with FHD resolution. While the design remains “almost identical” to last year’s smaller Pixel, with similarly large bezels surrounding the display, Google is planning to include stereo speakers at the expense of the 3.5mm headphone jack, which our source says will not be present in this iteration. The phone will also feature a Snapdragon 835 with 4GB of RAM, and there is a 64GB of storage option, making this one of the few small display handsets with premium specifications.
An interesting detail we’ve learned about is that the pre-production software our source became familiar with on taimen used the name “Nexus Imprint” when referring to the device’s fingerprint scanner, while walleye’s settings referred to it as “Pixel Imprint”. We don’t know whether this is indicative of a Nexus return, though LG has produced several Nexus devices in the past, and these devices don’t seem to be quite as similar as the Pixel and Pixel XL did. However, this might be something that’ll be addressed in the future, and we have no way of knowing whether it means anything beyond a place-holder or left-over name that’ll be changed as development progresses.
That’s all we’ve learned so far, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated on any new details we get a hold of or any reports that surface on the web. For more Pixel news, stay tuned to the XDA Portal!