What to Expect from the Google Pixel 2 Release

What to Expect from the Google Pixel 2 Release
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With all the hype around the new iPhone, it’s easy to miss out on news about Google’s flagship smartphone. That’s no reason to ignore it. This year’s announcement should have plenty of notable improvements over last-year’s model. 

The Future of the Google Pixel

The new generation of smartphones elevates the status of the screen higher than ever. Aesthetically, that’s in the spirit of the original Pixel, which omitted any front-facing buttons in favor of side-mounted controls and a novel back-mounted fingerprint reader. The next generation of Google phones will likely enhance this large-screen technology, especially given the popularity of the sizable Pixel XL over the past 12 months.

Some rumors have recently gained even more credibility. For example, Droid Life has exposed several details about the look and price of the new devices. We expect these devices to be called the Google Pixel 2 and the Google Pixel 2 XL. Like their predecessors, their storage should start at 64GB (with an option to double that for an extra fee).

The prices, too, are rumored to have been leaked. We expect the price of the baseline model to cost $649. The larger version, the Google Pixel 2 XL, is expected to start at $849. The 128GB versions of each model will cost about $100 more than their 64GB counterparts. You can offset these costs by trading in your old smartphone. Google just added the original Pixel and the Pixel XL to their trade-in program, so you can get up to $410 off your order with select models.

If Google does what we expect them to, the new Google Pixel 2 phones should appear on their site once they’re available for purchase.

What we hope for (but don’t expect)

The hardware behind the Google Pixel already stands up to the best phones on the market, but we’d also love to see a strong digital-to-analog converter (DAC) for high-end headphones. This would differentiate the phone from competitors for audiophiles, but it wouldn’t make much of a difference to most consumers. Unfortunately, most people speculate that the Google Pixel 2 XL will not have a headphone jack at all. This follows Apple’s trend, and it’s sure to be a deal breaker for many of us.

On the plus side, there’s talk of front-facing stereo speakers. That could make the phone stand out among similar models, especially when you’re sharing the screen with a friend.

We’re also hoping to avoid the inventory challenges that surrounded the release of the Pixel XL, which seemed to be out of stock everywhere forever. From the day it came out, many shoppers couldn’t find the premium versions of the smartphone anywhere.

The Benefits of Project Fi

Google’s new smartphones can work on Project Fi. That’s what the company calls their groundbreaking wireless network, which uses wireless towers from Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular to provide nationwide coverage for calls, text, and data. There’s no annual service contract, and you can use the network with any Pixel phone.

The Project Fi wireless plan is one of the reasons we find the Google Pixel so appealing. Its price starts at $30 per month, including unlimited calls and a gigabyte of data. Extra data only costs $10 per gig, and Google credits your account for unused data.

That last bit is really important. You only pay for what you use. If you don’t use all your data, even for your first gig, they credit the difference to your account. That’s incredibly handy for people who use Wi-Fi for the majority of their online activity.

Do you have one of the original Pixels? Are you looking forward to the next generation of Google smartphones? Let us know in the comments.