Google Hints at Plans To Launch Pixel 2 Smartphone on Oct. 4
It appears that Google plans to launch its latest smartphones, the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL, on the first anniversary of the release date of its original Pixel phone, pictured above.
Google today went live with a teaser Web site that asks would-be buyers, "Thinking about changing phones?" Without offering further details, the site then invites visitors to "Stay tuned for more on October 4" and asks them to submit their email addresses to receive updates about new devices and more from Google.
A 35-second video posted today on Google's YouTube channel drops a few more hints about what buyers might expect from its latest smartphones. With a percussive electronic piano melody playing in the background, the video shows a series of questions being typed into a Google search box, then closes with the messages, "Funny you should ask" and "Oct. 4th."
Hints about Battery Life, Performance
While the new YouTube video doesn't provide answers or identify the Pixel 2 by name, the questions posed offer some clues about the features Google is likely to highlight in its new devices.
Among the questions that appear: What's wrong with my phone's battery? Why is my phone always out of storage? Why does my phone take so many blurry photos? Why doesn't my phone understand me? Why can't my phone update itself? Other queries ask why a phone is so slow, hot, fragile, annoying, broken, impersonal, cruel, and dumb.
Taken together, these hints suggest the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will be marketed on the basis of long battery life, improved memory, durability, and performance, and will also feature improved photographic and artificial intelligence capabilities.
Pixel 2 Squeeze Control?
Although Google is keeping mostly mum about the specifics of the Pixel 2, two sets of documents filed recently with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) indicate that the Pixel 2, like the original Pixel and Pixel XL released last year, is being produced by HTC, while the Pixel 2 XL will be made by LG.
The first set of documents, filed with the FCC on Aug. 15, points to a new device from HTC that runs the Android 8.0.1 mobile operating system and uses the same navigation buttons as the original Pixel smartphone. In its analysis of the documents last month, Droid Life noted that Android 8.0.1 hasn't yet be released, adding, "Can you imagine that HTC would create a phone and get it tested at the FCC while running an unreleased version of Android before Google? Nah, didn't think so."
The HTC documents also describe a mobile phone system with a gesture control called "Active Edge" that allows users to "squeeze for your Assistant." That suggests the Pixel 2 will feature a squeeze-control function similar to the "Edge Sense" capabilities unveiled earlier this year in HTC's U11 flagship smartphone.
Another set of documents, filed by LG yesterday with the FCC, provides fewer insights into the device being described, but features the model number G011C, similar to the G011A identifier used in HTC's filing for its device.
Neither set of documents identifies Google or the Pixel 2 by name, but it's notable that two separate companies use such similar identifiers for their new devices. Droid Life observed in a post yesterday that the unused identifer G011B could refer to the Pixel 2 XL model originally believed to be in development by HTC, which was "reportedly cancelled in favor of this LG phone."
Image credit: Product shots of Pixel and Pixel XL phones by Google.