This week began much talk and hype for upcoming Pixel 2 smartphones from Google. Last year, the tech giant transitioned from Nexus to a more customer-friendly high-end Pixel line. Therefore, it’s only natural that we expect upgrades this fall to the current Pixel and Pixel XL.
This week, Google’s Pixel Launcher showed up on the Play Store and rose from 500+ million downloads to 1-5 million downloads. Sources were quick to claim that this number reflects the number of Pixel smartphones that have been sold to this point, since it was a Pixel-exclusive app up until this week. If the figure is accurate, sources have estimated that somewhere between 1 and 1.8 million Pixel phones have been sold. This is not much to be proud of, especially considering how hard it is to get one nine months later and the sum of money Google used in advertising the pair of phones.
Google has a chance to counter what happened between it and Verizon over the last year. Coming into this week we had heard about three possible Pixel 2 models, ones code-named ‘Muskie’, ‘Walleye’ and ‘Taimen’. Yes, these are named after fish. The Muskie device was expected to be the Pixel XL successor for 2017, but as sources indicated this week, the handset may have been cancelled in favor of Taimen, said to be a significantly larger device of 6.2 to 6.4-inches in size.
The Taimen device we now suspect is the Pixel XL 2 may have been the one to surface on Geekbench this week, though it’s more likely the tested unit was the pulled Muskie smartphone. The examined unit contained a 17.5:9 display with 2,560 by 1,312 pixels arranged in a Quad HD resolution. The diagonal size was 5.6-inches, the chipset used was the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, the device had 4GB of RAM, and included 128GB of storage. A 12MP and 8MP rear and front combo appeared to be on board in addition to Android 7.1.2 Nougat, not Android O.
In another turn of events, veteran Apple chip designer, Manu Gulati, revealed on LinkedIn this week that he had been awarded the position of Google’s Lead System-on-Chip Architect. Gulati is expected to lead a team at Google in creating an in-house processor to be optimized for Google hardware such as the Pixel smartphones. We may not see the development until Pixel 3, but this definitely is a lead on the direction Google is going in.
Towards the end of the week, a report was written up by a trusted source who spotted some key information on one Google Issue Tracker page. The information revealed some key information about the upcoming Pixel XL 2 code-named ‘Taimen’. The report identified the manufacturer behind the Taimen device to be “LGE,” which stands for LG Electronics. HTC produced the initial Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones and Google was expected to hand the job back, but it seems like that won’t be the case at least for Taimen. While LG could be manufacturing the larger Taimen Pixel XL 2 smartphones, HTC is the likely maker of the smaller Pixel 2 code-named ‘Walleye’. LG is a long time partner of Google, and given that Google invested millions of green in the Korean Giant for OLED screen technology earlier this year, the move to LG to produce Pixel XL 2 makes a lot of sense.
This brings us to our question of the week. Are you rooting for a super large LG-manufactured Google Pixel XL 2? Or did HTC win you over with last year’s models? Let us know by dropping a comment below this post. The poll will remain open all week and we look forward to hearing your response.
Below are the headlines from this week. Click each to be redirected to the full story.