AOSP otherwise known as the Android Open Source Project, has revealed information on an unreleased version of the Pixel 2 with a large battery, under a project tree labeled as "muskie" which was one of the codenames for the three Pixel devices that were rumored to launch this year before Google officially announced the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Aside from the previous details about muskie which surfaced much earlier this year, there was a fair amount that wasn't known. For instance, it was long-rumored that HTC would be making two out of the three devices. The new muskie branch recently found in AOSP seems to support that, albeit on a slightly different level.
According to the references, HTC may have in fact been tapped for manufacturing the device, at least in part. A reference to an HTC-made battery points to HTC as the manufacturer of the battery cell which would have been used for the device. That battery also looks like it would have carried a 3,830mAh capacity, which would have been more than the battery capacity on the Pixel 2 XL, which sits at 3,520mAh.
Another interesting point to make note of is that the actual device manufacturer seems to be listed as Google, which means the device itself, including the design of the body and most other components, were likely to be handled by Google in-house. That's according to an AOSP "make file" which references Google as the manufacturer, and muskie as the name of the device. Other details suggest that muskie came with the same DPI as the Pixel 2 XL, with a number sitting at 560. The part to consider is that this would have been a variation of the Pixel 2, which would have likely come with a smaller screen, yet come with the same DPI as the larger Pixel 2 XL and a larger battery, which probably would have meant some extremely long-lasting battery life and great clarity from the screen. Suffice it to say, this could have ended up being a version of the device that did well, but for whatever reason Google saw fit not to release the phone. Perhaps to keep pricing where it is for the two models that were released. Whatever the reasons, it still makes for an interesting find and showcases that Google was indeed thinking about how to deliver a good user experience to its consumers.