Google's Supposed Ultra Pixel Android Flagship Leaks Online


Google may be working on a third Pixel-series Android smartphone that has yet to be announced called the Pixel Ultra, a new leak shared by YouTuber Arun Maini (Mrwhosetheboss) suggests. In a short video published earlier today, the content creator showed three images sent to him by an unnamed source for whose legitimacy he didn't vouch, though the photographs themselves seem to be relatively realistic or would at least be somewhat difficult to fake, especially considering they were supposedly taken inside one of Google's offices and are said to be showing an official presentation of the newly uncovered device.

The phablet seen in the video and screenshots below seems to be more similar to the rumored design of the Pixel XL 2 than the Pixel 2, featuring an edge-to-edge screen with minimal top and bottom bezels, as well as being relatively thin and accompanied by a tagline saying "The future of Android is Fluid." Mr. Maini speculates that this particular piece of info suggests that Google redesigned its Pixel Launcher in a way that puts a larger emphasis on gestures and completely does away with on-screen system buttons on the bottom of the screen so as to avoid accidental presses. Several fuzzy depictions of the supposed Pixel Ultra give some credence to that theory, showing an operating system that appears to be heavily relying on card-like windows, not unlike the highly experimental Fuchsia OS. While it's possible that Google attempts to introduce its Zircon kernel-based OS as a spiritual successor to Android with the Pixel Ultra, it's much more likely that the company simply took some design cues from its other OS project whose fate remains unclear.

The first image seen in the gallery below also illustrates the term "fluid" to a degree, showing a user interface without on-screen buttons and with a multitasking icon situated in the lower portion of the screen which is entirely black and separated from the rest of the UI with an uneven line that may have been hand-drawn by a user. This detail still doesn't shed much light on the possible capabilities of the new Pixel Launcher, save for indicating that Google is really focusing on visual flexibility with its alleged creation.


The source of the images also mentioned that the Pixel Ultra may be equipped with a dual camera setup on its rear panel but provided no proof of these claims, with the YouTuber who disseminated the photos also speculating about a "new" fingerprint scanner that may be part of the newly leaked package. If the images are legitimate, it's possible that the Pixel Ultra ends up being the official moniker of the Pixel XL 2 or that the rumored device codenamed "Muskie" was never actually scrapped by the Alphabet-owned company as some insiders suggested earlier this year. The LG Electronics-made Pixel XL 2 which is expected to be unveiled in early October is supposedly bigger than the Muskie, suggesting that the newly leaked device may not necessarily be the largest of the three models despite its name indicating that it's the most premium member of the upcoming product family. Chances that the Pixel Ultra actually ends up being the Pixel XL 2 seem somewhat more likely, especially seeing how the handset largely corresponds to the expected design of the bigger Pixel 2-series model which is alleged to feature a nearly bezel-free display panel with a tall aspect ratio of 18:9, i.e. 2:1.

If Google is truly planning on releasing three high-end devices, such a move would be reminiscent of the one that Apple made earlier this month when it introduced the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus which are already available for purchase, as well as the more unconventional and expensive smartphone in the form of the iPhone X that's scheduled for a commercial release in early November. Google's original Pixel series was rather clearly aimed at people who purchase iPhones and debuting three Android flagships a month after Apple outs three iOS ones would essentially be a continuation of such a product strategy. That scenario would also indicate that the Pixel Ultra would be even more expensive than the Pixel XL 2 which is already rumored to cost north of $800 in the United States.

The possibility of the Ultra Pixel being the Pixel XL 2 is still the most likely explanation for this leak, especially in light of the fact that the word "pixel" isn't capitalized and may simply refer to the "ultra pixel display" of the larger handset. That theory still doesn't explain why the leaked presentation shows the words "Ultra pixel" right below the "Phone by Google" tagline, though the latter is at least a strong indication that the Mountain View, California-based company is seemingly adamant to continue advertising its Android smartphone lineup as its own doing without referencing its hardware partners. The Pixel 2 lineup is scheduled for an official announcement on October 4th.


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Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]

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