Six Google Android Phones Receive U.S. Approval, Drop Pixel Hints

Six smartphones made by Google received regulatory approval from the United States Federal Communications Commission mere moments ago, just as some of the company's top device executives were having meetings and holding speeches as part of the first day of this year's Mobile World Congress, the largest trade show of its kind on the planet. The handsets in question are identified by the model numbers G020B, G020C, G020D, G020F, G020G, and the G020H, with those designators being rather similar to the G013A and G013C attached to the company's Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

One of the implications of the new documents which are heavily redacted and reveal little concrete details is that the G020C is the Pixel 3 XL Lite, a handset that's been mentioned by about a dozen rumors since the final quarter of 2018. Several insiders previously claimed Google is planning to release at least a couple of Android mid-rangers over the course of this year and will most likely unveil them together. Their alleged names aren't particularly imaginative and consist of last year's monikers supported by the "Lite" label meant to communicate they aren't as powerful as the gadgets that preceded them.

The overall design of the handsets is also believed to be extremely close to that of the original Pixel 3 range, which likely affected the final decision about their names not straying too far away from the older pair. And while the newly discovered certificates appear to be in perfect order, avoiding to reveal even the tiniest of details they're not legally obliged to divulge, some other parts of Google's hardware operations aren't nearly as tight.

One doesn't have to look hard for evidence of those issues; both the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 XL Lite already leaked on numerous occasions, with the former even having its alleged camera samples surfaced on the World Wide Web - three months ago. Even as the legitimacy of those sightings wasn't confirmed for obvious reasons, they came from similar parts of Russia that have been leaking the original Pixel 3 series for months prior to its release

The previous incident is said to have stemmed from a stolen batch of pre-production Pixel 3 units at one of Foxconn's plants in China, prompting the two companies to investigate the matter. The contents of their findings, assuming they exist, remain unclear to this date but judging by several later leaks, including the one described by the lines above, the probe didn't amount to much.

And while Alphabet's subsidiary is reportedly developing its first Pisel-series mid-rangers alongside the Pixel 4 flagship and at least one Wear OS smartwatch meant to launch as part of the same brand, all six newly tested devices have been clearly classified as smartphones and their identifiers leave little possibility for them to be anything but extremely closely related. In other words, some of these designators may refer to carrier-specific variants, whereas others could be the ones pointing to the actual size of the device. Then again, based on the Pixel 3 (2018) example, that would suggest the tech giant is planning a simultaneous release of six significantly different handsets, which isn't a likely outcome regardless of the circumstances.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Senior Writer
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]