Will Google reintroduce significant elements of the beloved Nexus device lineup as the tech giants ramps on its preparation for the Google Pixel 2 2017 release? Rumours have it that alongside the flagship Pure Android handsets to come out this year, the company will also launch the relatively cheaper Pixel 2B.
In a report, 9to5Google said that multiple prototypes or test devices are now in use in relation to the Google Pixel 2 thrust this 2017. The publication pointed to a reliable source as provider of its credible information. No specs were given regarding screen size(s) or battery life, but waterproofing — a feature that Google didn’t have enough time to include in the Pixel — is reportedly still on the table, though it’s not a shoe-in. Although the phone’s camera will “not have large MP size,” it will “compensate in extra features”. The upcoming flagship will have a much improved camera, as Google seems to be really focusing on that spec, trying to master low light photography.
And supposedly included in the Pixel 2017 project, which bumped off the Nexus smartphones and tablets last year, is a device that is labelled for now as Pixel 2B. The source also claims that multiple Pixel 2 models are being tested, “some with Snapdragon 83X chips, others with Intel chips.” Google was originally planning to collaborate with MediaTek, but the semiconductor company is reportedly no longer involved with the production of the Pixel 2.
The plan, according to the same report, is for the Pixel 2B to hit the market at the same time with the flagship Pixel smartphones but things could change and the debut time could happen a bit later. “This phone would bring with it a lower-price point and less powerful hardware, and would be aimed at different markets,” 9to5Google reported.
And as originally intended with the Nexus line, the Pixel 2B is designed as the emerging markets’ easy access to “Google Phone and Google experience, the report added.
What “less powerful hardware” exactly means could be Google intends to tone down on the hardware make up and other components of the device in order to bring down its price tag. That strongly suggests that the Pixel 2B will not get a taste of the Snapdragon 835 chip that most Android flagships, the 2017 Pixel 2 phones including, will be using.
Also, the report did not mention any manufacturing partners for Google’s Pixel 2017 project so it remains unclear if HTC, which handled the Pixel phones of 2016, will be the anointed maker anew or other hardware partners will come in, at least for the Pixel 2B.
As for the actual pricing, the only hint carried by the same report is that the Pixel 2B when unboxed “will be significantly cheaper.” So the sticker price of the Pixel 2B when and if it materializes will likely be determined in relation with the main Pixel 2 starting price, which on its 2017 release date will be $50 higher from last year.