New images have now cropped up allegedly showing off a Pixel 3 Lite being developed under the codename “Sargo” alongside benchmarks and leaked by the Russian tech blog Rozetked. Starting with the supposed internal specifications, the handset in question is said to be a budget-tier device in spite of its similarity to Google’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. On the inside, the Google Pixel 3 Lite is reportedly powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 670 SoC – although some images show a Snapdragon 710 instead – and that’s backed by 4GB RAM and 32GB storage with no microSD card expansion available. Specifically, that’s the latest mid-range SoC to ship from Qualcomm, built on the 10nm process node and coupled with an Adreno 615 GPU. A 2,915mAh battery drives that hardware with apparent support for Quick Charge 4+ while the display panel on top of that is listed at 5.56-inches and 2220 x 1080 resolution with 444 ppi on the density side. The cameras are said to be comprised of an 8-megapixel selfie shooter and a 12-megapixel main shooter with a dual-tone flash.
With regard to the aesthetics here, there are quite a few similarities, in particular with regard to this handset and the smaller official Google flagship – the Pixel 3. Notably, the front does lack a second camera sensor and there aren’t any forward facing stereo speakers to be found, however. Instead, two speaker slits exist along the white-colored curved bottom edge next to a USB Type-C port while the forward facing earpiece is the only speaker on the front. A headphone jack is conspicuously located at the top edge as well. The standard dual-tone white coloration is seen here as well but the mint-colored side button has, in this case, been replaced with an almost gaudy-looking neon lime or yellow-colored button.
Background: Rumors have been circulating about just such a device for quite some time now, even appearing in benchmarks under the codename ‘Bonito’. Interestingly, that handset also featured a Snapdragon 710 SoC in at least one test as well but that SoC may have been associated with another handset, made by Nokia-manufacturer HMD, that was tested in conjunction with that same leak. Speculation had immediately begun to swirl on the basis that the search giant was looking to fill out its line with more affordable options in a bid to gain more market share. With that said, more in-depth information never really materialized for any smartphone matching up with the rumors and, obviously, Google’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have both launched in the meantime. Those larger handsets are driven along by a much more capable Snapdragon 845 64-bit octa-core SoC, and both feature dual-forward-facing cameras and speakers – among other premium specs.
Impact: According to the source, the device will launch in early 2019 at a price of $400-500. Setting aside the speculation, however, there may be a couple of issues with the claims being made here and the images themselves. The biggest clue can be found on the lower portion of the back panel in the images themselves as the icon featured there doesn’t quite appear to be the same as the “G” logo found on Pixel handsets. In fact, it’s shaped more like a full circle with a chunk missing rather than looking like a ‘G’ at all. Beyond that, the side button is a very bright color, whereas the official Pixel devices have followed a more laid-back pastel design language. Moreover, it seems highly unlikely if Google had planned to release a third Pixel-branded handset to match up with the ‘3’ model designation, that it would not have done so during its early October ‘Made by Google’ hardware event. That’s not to say outright that the images and benchmarks aren’t real but the device that’s shown certainly doesn’t appear to be as much like Google’s recently launched flagships as might be hoped.