Google set to release new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones, insiders say

Sources speaking exclusively to the Guardian reveal details of new phones and a smaller Google Home Mini smart speaker ahead of October launch

Google is set to release two new smartphones, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, as well as a smaller Google Home Mini smart speaker on 4 October, the Guardian has learned.

The devices will be released at the Made by Google event scheduled to take place in San Francisco and will lead the company’s renewed hardware efforts as it attempts to take on Apple and Samsung in the premium smartphone and accessory market.

Two variants of the Pixel smartphone will be released mirroring last year’s devices, several well-placed sources told to the Guardian. The smaller Pixel 2, which is expected to have a screen about 5 inches in size, will be made by smartphone manufacturer HTC – part of which was acquired by Google on Thursday – according to two sources. It will come in blue, black or white and have a metal and glass back, similar to last year’s Pixel.

The larger Pixel 2 XL will be made by LG and resembles an LG G6 on the front with an almost bezel-free screen, according to two sources, who added the phone will come in black or white with a black top and a glass panel at the top.

Four separate sources said the images of the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL published by technology site Droid Life were accurate.

Both Pixel 2 smartphones will have Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, according to two sources, as well as 4GB of memory and either 64 or 128GB of storage. Both smartphones will also have pressure-sensitive sides, according to two sources. HTC introduced the feature with its U11; Google is likely to use it to launch its virtual assistant.

Google’s 2016 Pixel smartphones won awards for their cameras, using Google’s HDR+ mode. The 2017 Google Pixel 2 smartphones will both have an improved single 12-megapixel camera on the back using similar computational photography techniques, two sources have confirmed.

Neither smartphone will have a headphone socket, instead relying on the USB-C port for audio out, but both phones will be water resistant – a new feature for this year that brings them into line with rivals – according to one source.

Three sources say the cost of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is still to be confirmed, but they are expected to be priced similarly to last year’s Pixel and Pixel XL, which cost £600 and £719 respectively.

Alongside the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, Google will also unveil a smaller Google Home smart speaker. The Google Home Mini will be a direct Amazon Echo Dot competitor, taking the voice assistant functions of the Google Home and shrinking them down into a smaller fabric puck shape, two sources said.

Similar to the differences between Amazon’s full-sized Echo and the Echo Dot, the Google Home Mini will not have the same speaker quality as the larger Google Home, but will perform most of the same functions through Google Assistant. It is expected to cost about £40-50, according to one source.

Google is also rumoured to be unveiling a new high-end Chromebook called the Pixelbook, which supports an optional stylus, but the Guardian has not yet confirmed its existence.


Samuel Gibbs

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Google Pixel phone leaked before unveiling
Google’s own-brand phone revealed in promotional images by Carphone Warehouse before official unveiling on Tuesday

Samuel Gibbs

03, Oct, 2016 @10:13 AM

Article image
Google launches Pixel 3 smartphones and Pixel Slate tablet
Android-maker bets on dual-camera selfies and AI features such as Super Res Zoom and Top Shot to battle Samsung and Apple

Samuel Gibbs

09, Oct, 2018 @4:00 PM

Article image
Google announces first smartphone Pixel – as it happened
Google launches iPhone rival emphasising Google Assistant as well as Daydream VR, Home smart speaker and more at live event

Alex Hern

04, Oct, 2016 @5:42 PM

Article image
Pixel is a direct challenge to Apple – and a referendum on Google
After fighting long proxy war the two tech titans are now in same arena, as Google bets big on its new phone brand transferring to a market dominated by iPhone

Samuel Gibbs

05, Oct, 2016 @9:03 AM

Article image
Google Pixel 2 XL review: the best big-screened Android experience yet
The fastest and smoothest Google Android device has a cracking camera, squeezable sides, great battery life and baked-in AI

Samuel Gibbs

17, Oct, 2017 @1:00 PM

Article image
Google Pixel review: an iPhone beater but not quite an Android king
First smartphone designed by Google from scratch ticks many boxes, but isn’t quite the stellar world beater some might expect

Samuel Gibbs

20, Oct, 2016 @6:00 AM

Article image
Google Pixel 2 review: dated design lets down smartphone that almost had it all
Cracking camera, good battery life and great performance are offset by disappointingly big bezels, making it feel like a missed opportunity

Samuel Gibbs

25, Oct, 2017 @6:00 AM

Article image
Google: Pixel 2 XL screen burn 'should not affect day-to-day user experience'
Company says only a small handful of review devices have been affected and that tests show device behaves same as other OLED-based devices

Samuel Gibbs

27, Oct, 2017 @10:49 AM

Article image
Google launches Pixel phone in direct bid to take on Apple's iPhone
Search company unveils first own-brand phone with 12 megapixel cameras and unlimited photo storage, pitting it directly against Apple

Samuel Gibbs

05, Oct, 2016 @11:53 AM

Article image
Google's Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL: an AI-infused challenge to the iPhone
In direct challenge to Apple, Google’s new high-end smartphones have 64GB of storage, front-facing speakers and 12-megapixel cameras supported by machine-learning

Samuel Gibbs

04, Oct, 2017 @7:32 PM