Google is working on a new Pixel lineup with edge-to-edge display to take on next generation iPhone. The search giant is reportedly planning to introduce the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL with new design language in October as it aims to convert its critically acclaimed device into a consumer hit.
According to Bloomberg, Google will stick with its two device strategy, and launch Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL as the successors to last year’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The larger Pixel 3 XL with a nearly edge-to-edge display design will compete with Apple’s iPhone X. While iPhone X is almost entirely glass at the front, the Pixel 3 XL will have a thicker bezel at the bottom. In other words, it will retain a chin similar to Huawei P20 Pro, OnePlus 6 and Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S.
Like most other smartphones launched in the past few months, the Pixel 3 XL will also have a notch or a cutout at the top of the display. The report is in line with a leaked screen protector for Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL which gave a glimpse into Google’s design decisions for 2018. The Pixel 3’s notch will be smaller than the one seen on iPhone X but is said to be noticeably taller. Google has shown its plans to embrace notch with the release of Android P developer preview, which allows users to emulate the notch.
The Pixel 3, on the other hand, is said to go with a design similar to its predecessor, and won’t feature a notch or an edge-to-edge screen. Google’s two new Pixel smartphones will be announced in October, a month after Apple’s fall event in September. The smartphones are said to arrive exclusively on Verizon in the US, for the third year in a row. People familiar with Google’s plans told the publication that the search giant is speaking with Foxconn for building its 2018 Pixel phones. In 2016, both the Pixel phones were built by HTC, while in 2017, the smaller Pixel 2 was built by HTC and LG got the contract to build Pixel 2 XL.
One of the most interesting details from Bloomberg’s report is that Google plans to stick with single rear camera setup. While dual rear camera systems have become a norm even on budget smartphones and the industry is moving towards triple camera solution, Google plans to offers an upgraded single lens camera module on the back. It does indicate that Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL might not be able to offer optical zoom support this year. At the front, Google is planning to add dual cameras placed inside of the notch.
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Alongside the new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones, Google will also highlight improvements coming to Android P, the next version of its mobile operating system. There are also reports suggesting that Google will procure OLED display from LG for the Pixel 3 models.
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were launched amidst a lot of fanfare last year. The Pixel 2 was priced $50 lower than the iPhone 8, while the Pixel 2 XL was $50 more than the iPhone 8 Plus. The smartphones offered a versatile camera with intelligent HDR and portrait mode effect. However, soon after its availability, consumers started complaining about a blue tinge on the Pixel 2 XL’s OLED display. With Apple also planning three new iPhone models for September launch, Google will need to ensure such problems don’t arise this year.