Even before the launch of the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, we had been hearing reports of the developer of the Android operating system getting into the mid-range smartphone game. Although the launch event in October only revealed the premium Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, reports still suggest that Google has its rumored mid-range devices in the works, set for launch sometime in the first half of 2019.
According to a new report by Android Police, two new phones carrying the codenames Bonito and Sargo – both species of fishes – have been spotted during a teardown of the latest build of Google’s ARCore APK. This typically covers those phones supported by ARCore, and would suggest that the new devices will be highly regarded by Google since ARCore support is still limited at this stage.
Furthermore, the fish-themed codenames hark back to the earlier Pixel devices; the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were codenamed Sailfish, Marlin, Walleye and Taimen respectively, all names of fish species. Although the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL did depart from the fish-themed codename convention, these new devices could indicate that Google has plans for mid-range Pixel phones.
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The new mid-range Google Pixel devices could be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 SoC, which is a step below the flagship 800-series chipsets from the American chipset maker. And although the new devices are being touted as ‘mid-range’ offerings, it’s likely that the pricing of these smartphones will be significantly higher than the typical definition mid-range.
As noted by @arbycalzone Google's SDM710 device indeed does have a "fishy" codename, being called "Bonito": https://t.co/gvDHgYq1nj which _PERFECTLY_ fits the mid-range orientation – Wikipedia says: "Bonitos are a tribe of medium-sized, ray-finned predatory fish…" 🙂 https://t.co/G95tImjfEz
— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) June 4, 2018
The idea that ‘Bonito’ could be a mid-range device was floated by popular commentator Roland Quandt earlier this year, but didn’t actually get a launch this year. While earlier reports were that the mid-range offering had been cancelled, it seems now that it could still come to fruition in the next few months.