Rumours of the 2017 Google Pixel devices have been swirling around for a little while now, with punts on everything from the specs, component vendors and this year’s manufacturing partners doing the rounds. As with last year’s Pixels Google is rumoured to be working on two models of Pixel a 5 – inch Pixel and a 6 – inch Pixel XL, today’s leak is apparently of the LG build Pixel XL 2017.
You can see the overall styling of the rear of the device is reminiscent of the 2016 Pixels, with a similar rounded back, perhaps a little less harsh on the corners, anodised surface and “glass window” up the top. The glass window has been slimmed down and slightly wraps around the side of the device, with the fingerprint sensor now living on the anodised metal frame rather than in the bottom of that glass pannel.
Around the front is the biggest departure style-wise from last year, with a rumoured new 6-inch 2K 2:1 AMOLED display with rounded edges a la the LG G6, which isn’t a surprise as this panel is rumoured to be made by LG Display. The side bezels are now almost imperceptible, although they haven’t chosen a curved screen like the Samsung S8, and the top and bottom bezels have been significantly reduced compared to the 2016 Pixels, which considering the 2:1 6-inch panel will make the phone longer is a good thing.
Google seems to be sticking with a single rear camera and not following the trend of including a second sensor for various speciality images. This also makes it unlikely that even Google is investing in Tango in their 2017 flagship devices, which isn’t a great vote of support for Googles fledgeling and struggling AR project. Will Google surrender AR to Apple or will the replicate the same single lens experience going forward?
Another interesting visual choice is the lack of antenna bands. Now, this is a render so perhaps they’re just “missing” but all metal phones need those antenna bands so it will be interesting to see how they develop over the coming months of drip drip rumours and leaks.
Other notable feature includes a squeezable frame (*cough HTC U11 *cough) that will apparently allow users to interact with the Google Assistant, could this be a Google flavoured Bixby button? That said Google Assistant is actually useful and I use it multiple times a day, Bixby however…. not so much. There’s currently no mention of the devices IP rating, with the 2016 Pixels widely been criticised for not featuring water-resistance to some degree I’d expect Google won;t make that mistake a second time.
Unfortunately, the rumours of the smaller Pixel remaining largely unchanged from the 2016 model are persisting. It will be interesting to see if Google starts introducing significant differences between the two sizes of Pixel. On of the gret things about the 2016 Pixels was you were simply choosing a size, almost everything else, apart from battery capacity obviously, was identical between the Pixel and Pixel XL.
Diverging the brand so early in its life is risky and likely to put many users, who may want the new shiny thing just not in the larger package, offside. I am sure there are many potential buyers who would dearly love to have a 5-inch version of the latest Google Hardware. Several of us at Ausdorid opted for the 5-inch 20016 Pixel for example, we will watch the 5-inch model with interest.
As with all leaks, rumours and renders please take all of this with large grains of heart-stopping salt, even with APs reputation for accuracy this far out from production things could change.