We’re about to find out what Google has in store for the next Pixel. On Wednesday (Oct. 4), Google is taking the wraps off its next smartphone — along with a host of other revamped products — so we can see what’s new with the device that’s supposed to embody the purest Android experience. In just a few days time Google will lift the lid on its next generation Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2.
Google’s original Pixel was well received by fans but rival manufactures have raised the bar considerably, with many now producing devices with faster processors, better screens and improved cameras.
The Pixel 2 and its larger XL sibling are likely to see some boosts to performance and specs but here’s few things we think they need if they have any chance of beating the current crop of phones from Apple, Samsung and LG.
Almost every flagship phone that has launched over the past year feature water resistant designs. The latest iPhone, Galaxy S8/Note 8 and Xperia XZ1 all include a casing that can cope with getting wet and even some mid-range devices, such as Samsung’s Galaxy A5, offer this feature.
Google’s original Pixel won’t cope well if it gets a soaking and this is something Google desperately needs to fix. Water damage is one of the most common ways people break their smartphones so included some form of resistance is now vital in any flagship.
Google’s current Pixel does support fast charging which means users can get seven hours of usage after just 15 minutes attached to a plug. Fast charging is a very popular feature but we’d like to see Google go one step further and include wireless charging.
Samsung has had this feature on its phones for a while and with Apple now including wireless charging on its new iPhone 8 and iPhone X it’s likely more bars, restaurants and shops will make this hassle-free technology available. To make the Pixel charge in this way, Google would need to ditch the aluminum rear case as this isn’t compatible with wireless charging.
A glass design would be need to be incorporated and we’ll have to wait until Wednesday to see if Google has decided this charging technology is worth including.
The Pixel was only launched last year but it is already looking very dated. LG, Samsung and Apple have all revealed new devices this year that feature edge-to-edge screens – which make phones with big bezels look like they are stuck firmly in the past.
Going edge-to-edge not only improves the viewing experience but also means you get a much bigger display in a device that’s physically smaller. Another thing that would improve the Pixel’s desirability is more colour options. The Pixel is currently only available in Black or White which some may think is a little boring.
HTC, who is rumored to be making one of the Pixel 2 devices, has just launched its new U11 which features numerous colours including a stunning red and very shiny blue. Let’s hope some of that colour rubs off on the Pixel.
Google’s camera won a host of awards and received one of the highest scores ever from the DxOMark test. However, the Pixel didn’t include a dual-lens camera – something most of its rivals, including the much cheaper OnePlus 5, now have.
Including a double camera on the rear of the phone allows users to zoom and add DSLR-style effects to images. Samsung’s latest Galaxy Note 8 even lets owners change the amount of blur in background after the picture is taken.
It’s clever stuff and means you can now take incredible professional looking images using the device in your pocket. Google has created some clever software which mimics what a dual-lens camera can do, but it’s not as good as having the real thing.
Apple did it, HTC have done it and now rumors are rife that Google is riding its new smartphone of the headphone port. Although many haven’t had an issue with this socket disappearing from their phones it can still be hugely irritating, especially if you want to charge the phone and listen to music at the same time.
There’s also the problem for anyone who has just treated themselves to a new pair of wired headphones as they won’t connect without using an adapter. With wireless headphones becoming more popular we can understand why manufactures are ditching this port as it frees up space inside for other technology.
But we still think giving consumers access to the standard headphone socket is something Google Pixel fans would no doubt appreciate.
With the Pixel 2, Google has a tough road ahead. Simply making the phone broadly available — more carriers, more countries, better production — would go a long way toward boosting sales. But it’s tough to get carriers to go along with Google’s “no bloatware, rapid updates” policies.
Even with greater availability, Google must make a jaded public with a lot of other options want a premium phone that doesn’t have some of the features Samsung and Apple heavily market on their comparably-priced models.
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- Big Things To Expect From The Google Pixel 2