The Google Pixel currently available is one hell of a phone and is still being pushed hard by Google with large amounts of advertising. That doesn’t stop people being excited and trawling through AOSP code for any snippet of information about the 2017 variant of the Pixel phones.
The previous known codenames of Muskie and Walleye have been joined with the rumoured name Taimen, with this being the first time Taimen has appeared in the AOSP. Previously it was a rumour fed to DroidLife that alerted everyone to its presence but now it is there in the code, for all to see. The Taimen is apparently a phone and given the size of a Taimen fish, is expected to be a large phone, possibly a Google Tango or AR device. The Taimen is expected to be a Google smartphone but NOT a part of the Pixel branding.
The other piece of interesting information is the processor that the AOSP code for these device targets. It targets a SoC with the codename MSM8998 which we all know and love to be the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, already powering the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ in some markets. While it is no surprise that Google will be putting the best available SoC in their Pixel phones it is still good news nonetheless.
Whether the MSM8998 ends up being the final chipset included is of course unknown — that depends on when Qualcomm do their mid-year refresh of the chips or if they decide to release an entirely new chip. Last year their refresh came too late for Google and HTC to include it in the Pixel phones but it did manage to make it into a late year refresh of the OnePlus 3T and the LG G6 of this year. With only one phone releasing anytime soon with the Snapdragon 835 (the Xiaomi Mi6 is not releasing until mid June) it is unlikely we will see Qualcomm refresh it until well into the second half of this year, too late for the 2017 Pixel phones.
Of course we will keep our ears to the ground to sniff out any more information on the Pixel phones of 2017. Will you be upgrading to a Pixel this year?