All the sessions from Transform 2021 are available on-demand now. Watch now.
Unlike Apple, Google tends to hold just a single major hardware launch per year — and just like last year’s event, this one will also be held on October 4. The range of products expected to debut include a mini connected speaker, a laptop, refreshed VR headset, and more… but what always interests us most are the phones. The event is scheduled to be livestreamed on YouTube beginning at 9 a.m. Pacific.
For the second year in a row, the stars of Google’s hardware showcase will be a pair of own-branded smartphones dubbed Pixels, specifically the Google Pixel 2 (pictured above) and Pixel 2 XL (pictured below). Manufactured by HTC and LG, respectively — and codenamed Walleye and Taimen — these two stock Android 8 Oreo handsets were originally planned to showcase an iterative new system-on-chip from Qualcomm called the Snapdragon 836 (just as their predecessors were first out of the gate sporting the Snapdragon 821).
Because of an alleged delay in the rollout of that silicon, however, both Pixel 2 and 2 XL will instead utilize the same chipset as the LG V30 and all three Samsung flagships this year, the Snapdragon 835.
With a five-inch, 1080p display, Pixel 2 is the smaller of the devices, featuring a screen whose aspect ratio is the formerly standard 16:9. Pixel 2 XL, meanwhile, should have a six-inch, QHD+ display in an 18:9 aspect ratio, making it more competitive with this year’s other top-of-range handsets. While this gives XL 2 a reduced bezel profile, it still falls short of being the true edge-to-edge device that some may be hoping for.
Otherwise, the two phones are quite similar, at least on paper: 4GB of RAM, either 64GB or 128GB of storage, and 12-megapixel primary rear cameras, along with front-firing stereo speakers. According to Droid Life, they’ll be priced at $649/$749 (Pixel 2) and $849/$949 (Pixel 2 XL), depending on capacity. And according to a person familiar with Google’s release plans, they’ll see a staggered rollout: October 19 for Pixel 2 and November 15 for Pixel 2 XL, both preceded by preorder periods.
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