The Apple iPhone, once a symbol of status and wealth for the elitist cosmopolitan, is still a brand to be reckoned with in the telecom arena. It has had its fair share of competition sure from Samsung, from Nokia and from HTC. Yet somehow, it always managed to hold its own at the apex of the smart-phone industry. Some say it is overpriced, others say it lacks in features, but, at the end of the day, the name always manages to usher in a feeling of reliance and security in the smart-phone market. But times change, and with time, every whale, shark and whale-shark must ultimately make way for the new up and comer, the new rising star.
On October 4, 2016, Google announced its new in-house-smart-phone, designed entirely by the company itself. It was going to be the search engine giant’s official take on Apple’s ridiculously popular range of smart devices, its official entry into the telecom hardware industry. In many ways, it was the perfect replacement for the incumbent’s flagship. It boasted a magnificent polish, came with an amazing camera and prided itself on the latest version of Android ever released. It also had its flaws. It was overpriced, sort of bland and lacking in features when compared to its Samsung counterparts. Still, the effort was remarkable. Now, a year later with expectations running high, we are looking towards Google to up its game and lay claim on a device that will amaze us all.
“The iPhone is the Default Phone, the one you buy when you want a phone, not a project. The Google Pixel changes that. It offers the look and competence of an iPhone, with a truly great camera and loads of innovative software and services. It changes my answer to the question I hear most often: What phone should you get? You should get a Pixel.” – David Pierce, Wired Magazine.
There’re a lot of things we want to see in the upcoming Pixel smart-phone. A sleek new design, a waterproof body, improved AI functionality and not to mention better battery life. The rumor mill is abound, and what it looks like so far, is that Google is going all-in with its next generation of in-house devices.
According to the Android Open Source Collaboration, Google has been working on two new pet projects for the smart-phone industry, codenamed Walleye and Muskie. They’re both fish names, in case you were wondering, just like the codenames Marlin and Sailfish used to identify the company’s previous range of Pixel smart-phones. Not much has been brought to light from direct sources within the company, especially since Google doesn’t like to talk about products still under development. However, a number of leaks and rumors from all over the industry suggest that the company plans to make good on a lot of expectations set forth by the avid consumer base.
We all know that Samsung is big on water-proofing, a feature that was later embraced by the last generation of Apple iPhones to sweeten the deal. The Google Pixel deliberately chose to go around this feature in its last range of devices, and we are told that it’s going to change with the next generation, which is going to come with water and dust resistant out of the box.
“Water resistance is often confused with waterproofing, but the two terms are definitely not synonymous. The latter implies complete protection while resistance suggests some level of vulnerability and certainly not complete coverage. There is only so much that can be done to keep devices water tight and there are varying degrees of water resistance, with some devices offering substantially more protection than others. Unlike a waterproof material that possesses specific waterproof properties, a water resistant device is really just a tightly sealed barrier that protects the delicate circuits within.” – Robert Triggs, Android Authority.
The Pixel smart-phones were an absolute marvel when it came to the stunning 12.3-megapixel camera that came with power packed with the devices, and no doubt, Google plans to nothing but improve on that feature as it takes the match to the next around. There probably won’t be any significant increase in resolution, but the next generations of Pixel smart-phones are supposed to come with better low-light performance and other significant feature improvements.
In its debut model, Google ran with the best-in-class Snapdragon 821 processors with two pairs of Kryo cores that each boasted clock speeds of 2.34 GHz and 2.19GHz respectively. This time around, the company is planning to go with an even more powerful processor in the Snapdragon 830 line. There has also been some talk on an alternative model that features Intel chipsets, though that part is a bit in the dark for now. Some inside sources say that Google may even be experimenting with its own sets of custom-made chipsets.
As far as design in concerned, Google is reportedly looking forward to spicing up its previously boring presentation choice, some say with its new plan to ditch the headphone jack in a move toeing the line of Apple. Here’s hoping that Google’s take on a wireless headphone will be better than Apple’s, which, let’s all face it, was inconvenient, to say the least. The waterproof and dust-proof systems will definitely be a new addition to the design, so what remains to be seen is what Google does to pretty up the actual body of the smart-phone itself.
“The thing about Android is, it’s open-ended. That leaves a lot of room for any smart-phone developer to customize the operating system software just the way they please. The Google Pixel’s version of Android is new and unadulterated, which is something we very much fell in love with as developers.” – Dmitry Azarov, iFlexion
The last version of Google smart-phones came pre-packed with Android Nougat, Google’s latest take on the open-ended operating system that powers so many of our smart devices. This time around, the Pixel 2 is set to ship out with the new Android O, short for Oreo, which is said to be rolling out sometime around August. The Android Oreo, too, has its own magic casket full of new features that it is just dying to unveil at Google’s next I/O Conference. It is rumored to be coming in with an improved notifications system, a picture-in-picture mode like the one in Android TV, smart text selection and a lot more.
While all this may sound very exciting, the bad news is that Google may be inclined to up the prices by at least $50 this season, apparently in order to compensate for the increased range of features and a supposedly bigger screen size. A cheaper model with a smaller screen size is also said to be in the works, though nothing much is known about its release beyond that. Whether this budget device is released under the Pixel flagship or with an entirely new name, as part of the Android One project, remains to be seen.
As an up and comer with zero experience in building smart-phone hardware, Google did some amazing things last time with its range of in-house devices. They had their flaws, obviously, but it was still a good start. However, now that they are in the business of making their own smart-phones, fans are looking up to Google to do a lot more than make a good smart-phone, they want a great one. Either way, it seems that we will find out soon enough with an alleged release date this autumn. What are your thoughts?