Published On: Tue, Jul 11th, 2017

This might be Google’s next Pixel XL

We’re likely still a couple months away from an official unveiling of Google’s next Pixel phones, but Android Police just published what could be the first image of the larger-sized device. Android Police has a very strong, accurate track record with early Nexus and Pixel leaks, but the report still hedges that there’s a chance this might not be the finalized design of the Pixel XL 2017. Or, uh, Pixel 2 XL, or whatever this ends up being called. If it is in fact final (or close), it shows clear signs of Google making strides to catch up with Samsung and LG in the display department.

The phone’s front has far smaller bezels around the OLED screen than last year’s Pixel. It’s now taller (6 inches) and slimmer too, with the same 2:1 aspect ratio as the LG G6. It looks not unlike Samsung’s Galaxy S8, but this display appears flat with curved glass at the edges. LG is believed to be producing both the display and the whole phone, marking a changeover from the HTC-made Pixels of 2016. The sides of the next Pixel XL can reportedly be squeezed to activate software features, similar to HTC’s latest flagship phones. (And yet HTC isn’t making this thing? Weird.)

But the overall aesthetic doesn’t stray too far from the original Pixel, which makes sense since it’s Google doing the designing here. It just seems more refined all around. The glass window is still on the back, though smaller this time. (The fingerprint sensor is now part of the aluminum body.) The other noticeable thing about the back is that big camera lens, which seems to have a significantly larger cutout than the current Pixels. There’s just one lens, which suggests Google might be skipping the dual-lens trend — even in a phone made by LG. My Pixel XL’s camera is the primary reason I’ve held onto it this long, so I’m just hoping Google doesn’t somehow make a misstep for the sequel.

A single picture leaves plenty of questions. Is it waterproof or does it have wireless charging? What are the specs and color options? If Google follows last year’s timeline, you can expect to see its next generation of phones debut in early October — hopefully with better availability than the mess we saw last year. And better Bluetooth.

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