The Pixel brand has seen great use by Google since it debuted in 2013 with the Chromebook Pixel laptop, which saw two generations produced. But the Pixel name truly came into its own with Google’s foray into mobile devices, with the 2016 release of the first-gen Pixel smartphone, and its slightly larger XL, both manufactured under contract by Taiwanese electronics company HTC. While not enough to undo the dominance of Apple’s iPhone or Samsung’s Android-equipped smartphones, it sold well enough that a Pixel 2 series followed in 2017. Now, Google is gearing up to introduce the Pixel 3 and 3XL.
According to The Verge, Google will be debuting the third generation of their Pixel smartphones this coming October, and they in particular will be the first in the series following the internet giant’s acquisition of a full smartphone development team from their contracted manufacturer HTC last year. As before, telecom juggernaut Verizon will remain the sole carrier in the US that will exclusively issue the upcoming Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL to their subscribers, although interested buyers can still purchase unlocked versions of the phones direct from Google itself.
So what to expect with the third generation of Google Pixel? Leaked images of possible screen protectors for them indicate the regular-sized Pixel 3 to look similar, nearly identical externally, with the Pixel 2. That however means that it will still be sporting the bezels that have already been long on the way out with most other smartphones making their entrance in 2018. Thankfully however (at least for prospective owners who care about this), they are much smaller than the Pixel 2 bezels and in fact makes the feel more like a shrunken-down 2XL; it does however emphasize that the regular Pixel and its XL version remain somewhat “different” aesthetics-wise.
In the meantime, the Pixel 3 XL will have minimal bezels but also sport a design sore spot with many users: a notch cutting into what should be an uninterrupted “edge-to-edge” screen display. That’s actually the same problem users had with the iPhone X. Said notch also houses two front camera lenses. In terms of design commonalities, the Pixel 3 and 3XL will have stereo speakers and single rear cameras.
These phones will determine the worth of the 2,000-strong smartphone division from HTC that Google acquired for $1.1 billion in December 2017. This arrangement has given the company more control over the manufacturing process for their designed smartphones. HTC contractually made their original Pixel and Pixel 2, while Korean company LG put together the Pixel 2 XL. This time, they will have Foxconn to oversee assembly of the Pixel 3s made by their new team.