So we have two phones incoming, Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL, which is to be unveiled, alongside a new Google Home Mini, new Daydream VR and a new Pixelbook on October 4, 2017, in San Francisco. And we can’t wait to get our hands on them!
Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL of 2016 were manufactured by HTC whereas this year we will see Pixels manufactured by two companies. The smaller version is designed by HTC whereas the larger version is designed by LG. It is also worth noting that Google recently acquired part of HTC’s mobile division team in a deal worth up to 1.1 billion dollars. Google also gains non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property. Only time will tell what the long-term implications of this deal will be to Google and HTC!
Coming back to Pixels 2017 again, the rumours we have heard make it a promising prospect.
From what we have heard:
– Pixels will launch with Android 8.1, a version that remains exclusive to these phones for few months.
– Pixels will introduce “Pixel Portrait mode” for its single rear camera (no dual lens), much similar to Apple’s Portrait mode that works entirely through software.
– Pixels will have OIS added to the front and rear cameras dubbed as ‘Pixel Cameras’ and feature Google’s own Imaging chip.
– Pixels will feature eSim card slot that will let you connect to different cellular networks without replacing a sim card. This is similar to the feature we have seen in Apple Watch Series 3.
– Pixel Launcher will be completely redesigned one of the biggest launcher changes in years.
– Pixel can automatically listen for music playing around you and display the name of the title and the artist on your lock screen.
– Stereo speakers are back.
– In a move that could be much maligned, 3.5mm headphone jack will be removed in order to make the phone thinner.
– These premium Android smartphones may come with flat displays and rear-facing fingerprint scanner.
– We may finally see an almost bezel-free design on Pixel 2 XL.
– Pixels will run on Snapdragon 835 chipset and not Snapdragon 836 as was previously rumored.
– Much like HTC U11, Pixels will have “Squeeze the sides” technology that may be used to launch the Google Assistant. This can be done even from the launch screen, thanks to new OLED panels.
– A minor benefit that can be noticed here is both these Android smartphones will have an upgraded base storage of 64 GB.
It is clear to see that Google aims to compete with other premium range smartphones by keeping the price of the android Pixels, especially Pixel 2 XL, close to Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone 8/8+. Even though the price is on the higher side and may be unable to match iPhones on all fronts, these Android smartphones offer quality and features that no other Android smartphone currently offers in the market. Moreover, Google will also offer financial support on Pixel 2 XL to make it much more affordable than the expensive iPhones.
Good News! Now anyone can use Android Instant Apps!
Finally, remember that one feature announced in 2016 that was limited only to Google devices? Yes, we are talking about Instant Apps. For people with short memory, let us remind you again that Instant Apps allow users to use apps without installing them on your smartphone. The feature was initially available only on Google’s Pixel and Nexus devices but is now available on all devices running Android 6.0 or higher. This feature provides an enormous opportunity for developers and users to connect. Users can try out new applications in their original form without the need to install them while developers have a chance to gauge the response of users to their apps and make changes as required. It’s a boon to someone who doesn’t download much yet craves for improved browsing and purchase experience. To gain access to Instant Apps, users need to activate this feature in their Google settings. Once the feature is enabled on your smartphone, you will notice an “Instant” icon present next to supported apps on the web browser.
So will these Pixel phones live up to the hype and price tag? Can it compete with the Apples and the Samsungs of the market? Will Instant Apps trend among users? Leave your views in the comments below!
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