Google's Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are just around the corner and it now seems to be more or less confirmed that the announcement event will happen on October 4th just like last year. Google seems to have made that much clear with the billboard it put up that was spotted last week telling people to "ask more of their phones" and to be mindful of the October 4th date, as well as the Made By Google web page that is now up and tells people to stay tuned for October 4th, while also giving users the chance to register with their email address so that they can be notified about upcoming details once the company has more to share.
By all accounts now, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will be here in a matter of weeks, but despite knowing what was inevitably going to be the announcement date again this year, there is still much that isn't known about the device, like confirmed specs and features. While there are definitely going to be a big number of consumers who could care less what the specs and features are with these new phones, as a Pixel owner, there are some features which Google needs to implement, and specs that it should be using for the two new devices. The ideal specs and features if you will. I'm one of the consumers that really loves the original Pixel. Upon seeing it announced I had to have it as my next device, and it worked out perfectly as I was actually in need of a new phone, having spent at least the prior two years with the Sony Xperia Z3. That doesn't mean that I don't feel the Pixel is lacking in any areas. It is, and I'm likely not the only one that thinks there could be some changes that Google will hopefully make this time around.
For starters, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL NEED waterproofing. In this day and age, it's simply unacceptable to have a device of this caliber, with this high of a price tag, that doesn't offer a basic resistance to water when just about every other high-priced flagship phone is offering it. The Pixel was not a cheap device especially if you bought the 128GB model like I did, and the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will probably be at least the same price at launch, so you would think that Google would want to help consumers protect their new high-end devices with some level of water resistance so that rain and the occasional spill won't have to induce a near heart attack for the user for fear that the damage would cause it to be inoperable. Thankfully, rumors have been suggesting that the new Pixel devices would have water resistance, so it would seem that, if that is the case, Google has heard the complaints and suggestions of consumers and will be introducing these new phones with water resistance.
Dual Rear Cameras
Another ideal feature to have would be a dual rear camera module. While this wouldn't necessarily be a deal breaker for me if Google didn't add this to the device, and by all accounts it looks like that's the case as the leaked images show the phones without one, having it would definitely be a benefit. Again, a dual rear camera is not something I would personally be seeking out, but I wouldn't shake my head at the idea of having one as it would add some more depth to the camera experience with extra features. Google could use a second sensor for things like a more professional looking depth of field of effect, or to have one sensor for RGB images while the other could be used for monochrome images. Many smartphones have used a dual rear camera this year, even devices which cost a significant amount less than what is to be expected for Google's upcoming phones. And while this might not be something that's a deal breaker for me personally, that doesn't make it any less of an ideal feature as many consumers will be looking for phones that offer this.
A Bigger Battery
For those who value simply being able to take their phone with them and use throughout the day without worrying about it dying on them, a bigger battery is a must, at least in the Pixel 2 model. In the original Pixel the phone only came with a 2,770mAh battery which, in the beginning was fine, but after the first month or so it seems that the battery just doesn't last as long as I would have expected for a device that was supposed to be really well optimized. Surely, not everyone with a Pixel has issues with the battery life, but it certainly could have been better and this time around with the Pixel 2, Google could use a 3,000mAh or even a 3,100mAh battery and that little bit extra would help out quite a bit. Google has done a fairly good job at optimizing the Android software to save on battery with both Nougat and Oreo, but the battery life still feels lacking, even now, having updated to Oreo which is supposed to have optimized the battery life even further to help extend it. Of course a number of factors could cause the battery life to drain faster than expected, but this is where a bigger battery would most likely solve most people's issue with it.
Near Bezel-Free Display For The Smaller Pixel 2
While the screen on the original Pixel and Pixel XL were both great, with the Pixel 2 series, only the Pixel 2 XL is getting any sort of upgrade. The resolution will be the same really, but it's getting a nice new design with the nearly bezel-free setup thanks to LG being rumored to use the same aspect ratio as found on the G6 and V30. The Pixel 2 on the other hand is getting basically no change at all. It's still going to be a Full HD screen, which, is really just fine as the Pixel's display looks great, but Google could improve things by simply giving the Pixel 2 a near bezel-free screen too, this way even with a 5-inch display panel you would be getting more screen real estate and ultimately have a larger screen, and it would get rid of those thick bezels.
Dual Stereo Speakers
Dual stereo speakers would be a huge improvement this time around, too, and while they wouldn't necessarily need to be front-facing, if there were two of them it would still make the audio better even if Google left them in the same place, which it seems it will be doing. Next to the waterproofing, this was my biggest complaint with the Pixel. The audio is good, but it's not great, and it took me a while to get used to holding the phone in a certain (if not slightly unnatural) way to where my hand wasn't covering the speaker up and muffling the sound. Even now I still do it sometimes, but having a second speaker would help counteract this. the audio would likely come through more clearly and be louder.
Expandable storage is something that Google has never offered in its phones, and while this has been an issue in the past when internal storage wasn't nearly as much, it's not as much of an issue now if you were someone who picked up the 128GB model, at least in terms of having enough space to store thing. Still, there are some users who are likely to push past this amount of internal storage, and this is why it would be ideal for Google to add expandable storage support, so that more space could be added for those that need it, and to be quite honest, it might make transferring photos between devices a little easier too. While Google has done a good job at making it as seamless as possible to have your photos across devices, the images aren't accessible everywhere. If for instance you wanted to transfer it to a computer, you'd have to first open up the browser or Windows apps for Google Drive which is becoming Backup & Sync soon, or Google Photos. While this is a simple process, it would be simpler to just pop out an external storage card and transfer the photo that way, then get to work with editing or doing whatever else you wanted it on that machine for in the first place.
Not everyone is going to agree that these features would be ideal or even needed, and there are some who will likely feel I have left some stuff out, like 6GB of RAM instead of 4GB, or a 256GB storage option, which might still be coming if some of the rumors are true, but for the most part the things listed here are what I personally feel would be ideal, and what others likely feel would at least be a nice improvement. Even without these changes, though, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are still probably going to be amazing phones, and will make lots of consumers who do buy them pretty happy.