Google Pixel 2 – first look at new phone with low-bezel AMOLED display and squeezable frame

Google Pixel and Pixel XL were without question two of the hottest new smartphones of 2016. Google surprised fans by ditching its Nexus lineup of devices and moving from affordable upper mid-range devices to high-end flagship phones. Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are expected to launch this October.

However, the twitter account has published what could be the first official picture of the XL handset. This image is based on information from sources we deem extremely reliable. For those of you keeping track, this is the codename “taimen” device.

The high-resolution render matches a number of whispers we’ve already heard about the upcoming flagship phone. If the leak is accurate, Google looks set to keep a similar industrial design to its first in-house smartphone. However, the California-based firm appears to have dramatically trimmed the bezels around the display, when compared to last year.

According to Android Police, which has a very strong track record with unreleased Nexus and Pixel hardware, the OLED display on the Pixel 2 XL will be slightly taller at six-inches.

It is rumoured to have the same 2:1 aspect ratio as the LG G6. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S8, Google does not look set to use a curved display in its new phone. Instead, the Pixel 2 will use curved glass around a flat OLED display to blend the edge of the chassis.

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According to the latest rumours, LG will be building the next Pixel devices for Google – taking over from HTC last year. However, the new Pixel and Pixel XL will purportedly include squeezable sides to trigger specific functions, a feature that HTC debuted with its latest flagship phone, HTC U11, earlier this year.

On the back, Google appears to have kept the coloured glass window (one of the only design flourishes on the original Pixel phone). It does appear to have shrunk when compared to last year, with the circular fingerprint sensor now part of the aluminium body rather than the glass.

The only other noticeable thing about the back of the alleged Pixel 2 XL is the camera lens, which appears much larger than its predecessor. The leaked image also chimes with previous rumours that suggested Google would shun the dual camera trend in favour of one lens. Unfortunately, this latest leak still leaves a number of unanswered questions.

Previous whispers from 9to5Google claim the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 will jettison the 3.5mm headphone port in favour of stereo speakers. Elsewhere, the next-generation Pixel will likely include IP68 water resistance – something that was missing from the original Pixel.

Last year’s Google Pixel and Pixel XL were clearly among the best Android phones of 2016, especially among hardcore Android fans looking for a pure Android experience. But if we’re being perfectly honest with ourselves, the design was a bit of a let down. The phone, which was built by serial iPhone copier HTC, looked exactly like an iPhone 6 with a big ugly glass panel slapped on the back.

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The LG-made 2017 Pixel XL, however, looks like an entirely different story. Last year’s Pixel phones looked terrific. After all, the iPhone 6 is a great-looking phone. But we wanted to see some originality and in 2017, it looks like we’ll finally get it with the Pixel 2 XL.

The bezels on the front of the handset have been minimized above and below the display, the signature glass panel on the back has been revamped so it’s far less offensive, and the overall look of the devices is much sleeker than last year’s models. Long story short, Google can’t launch this thing soon enough.
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