A previously unseen Pixel 2 model surfaced online in a new image on Wednesday, with the leak itself being heavily redacted in an effort to protect its source close to Google. The variant of the device that can be glimpsed above boasts a combination of a dark silver rear plate, gray glass panel, and a black case front, though it's currently unclear whether this particular model has already been approved for commercialization or is still only being tested by the Mountain View, California-based tech giant.
The close-up shot of the smartphone's rear plate also suggests that the smaller Pixel 2 — codenamed "walleye" — will have a laser autofocusing system situated beneath the phone's primary camera lens which is found in the top-left corner of its back panel. The main camera setup of the Pixel 2 is seemingly accompanied by a dual-LED flash unit, with the rear side of the handset also being equipped with a traditional fingerprint scanner, the leak suggests. According to the latest reports, the Pixel 2 will feature a 4.97-inch display with a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) resolution which will utilize a conventional 16:9 aspect ratio, with the phone itself having nearly identical bezels to those found on the original Pixel. The handset is also said to feature front-facing stereo speakers and lack a 3.5mm audio jack, which Google is reportedly aware won't be a popular choice among some consumers and is already working on the ways to present its design choice in a more positive light, sources said, without clarifying on the matter. Furthermore, the company has reportedly developed a new dongle for the Pixel 2 which will allow users to connect their 3.5mm headphones to the USB Type-C port present on the bottom of the handset.
Latest reports on the Pixel 2 also add more credence to previous rumors that Google is looking to offer two variants of the device, boasting 64GB and 128GB of internal flash memory. According to the same sources, Google is apparently looking to make the Pixel 2 series more resistant to dust and water, with one insider claiming that the larger Pixel XL 2 will be entirely waterproof, with another one stating that both devices will feature IP68-certified elements resistance. On the software side of things, the Pixel 2 lineup is said to be the first product series to feature the stable build of the Google Lens augmented reality (AR) app, with the flagships themselves being set to run Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box. The Ambient Display supported by the devices reportedly underwent some minor cosmetic changes and now has a new large time font and presents the date and alarm info in a new line beneath the basic clock, provided that you previously opted to enable both features. On a related note, insiders claim that the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 will both support an Always-On Display mode which should otherwise be similar to the one seen on the older two smartphones.
The Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 are expected to be officially unveiled in early October and will reportedly be somewhat more expensive than their predecessors, according to previous reports. The smaller device is said to be manufactured by HTC, whereas the larger Pixel XL 2 codenamed "taimen" is thought to be produced by LG Electronics and feature smaller bezels, as well as a 5.99-inch 18:9 screen. Both were previously reported to feature stereo speakers and pressure-sensitive frames developed by HTC, with that particular technology presumably being similar or identical to the Edge Sense capabilities of the U11 flagship. According to older reports, the two devices will be powered by the Snapdragon 835, Qualcomm's most powerful system-on-chip (SoC) to date, in addition to boasting 4GB of RAM.
It's currently unclear why Google opted to hire two phone makers to manufacture its upcoming smartphone offerings, though it's possible that the company was still contractually obligated to commission HTC to produce at least one of its 2017 devices as details of its original Pixel phone deal with the Taiwanese tech giant remain unknown. Likewise, there's still no concrete information on how many color variants is Google preparing for its upcoming smartphone series and whether the thereof will support wireless charging, a feature that was missing on the 2016 devices. Apart from a pair of new handsets, Google's October hardware event may also see it unveil a smaller version of the Google Home speaker and at least one Google Assistant-enabled pair of headphones meant to be part of a new "Bisto" product category whose existence has yet to be officially confirmed.