Google Pixel 3: What we might know

Leaks of­fer a glance at new crop of smart­phones

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - TECH - Eli Blu­men­thal

The fall smart­phone sea­son con­tin­ues to heat up. With the lat­est Gal­axy Note from Sam­sung and iPhones from Ap­ple now an­nounced, an­tic­i­pa­tion turns to what is next from other man­u­fac­tur­ers in­clud­ing OnePlus, Razer and Google, all of which have events lined up for later this month.

While some of th­ese com­pa­nies have kept their phones un­der wraps, Google’s ru­mored up­com­ing Pixels have ap­peared all over the in­ter­net in re­cent months, even pop­ping up in the back of a Lyft.

Here’s a roundup of what we ex­pect at Google’s big event Oct. 9.

❚ Names and de­sign: Sim­i­lar to last year, Google is ex­pected to in­tro­duce two new Pixel phones: a Pixel 3 and larger Pixel 3 XL. Both phones are slated to get de­sign up­grades and fea­ture two front cam­eras. The Pixel 3 is ex­pected to look like last year’s Pixel 2 XL, with smaller bezels, while still main­tain­ing the smaller form fac­tor and 5.4-inch dis­play – that’s slightly larger than last year’s 5-inch Pixel 2.

The Pixel 3 XL, mean­while, is seen as beef­ing up to roughly 6.7 inches (from 6 inches) and em­brac­ing the edge-toedge screen with a notch de­sign Ap­ple, LG, OnePlus and nearly every other ma­jor man­u­fac­turer ex­cept Sam­sung have adopted for their top phones. While notches have be­come com­mon, cou­pling them with two selfie cam­eras makes for an in­ter­est­ing de­sign.

❚ Cam­eras: One of the big­gest stand­outs of Google’s Pixel line is the im­pres­sive cam­eras and im­age soft­ware. Last year’s Pixel 2 line, even with only one rear cam­era, was among the best phone cam­eras on the mar­ket and sets a high bar for this year’s mod­els.

Ac­cord­ing to the ru­mors, Google will be keep­ing the sin­gle rear-cam­era setup it used last year. The sen­sor is said to be 12.2 megapix­els, in line with last year’s phones, though what ex­act im­prove­ments will be added re­mains a mys­tery. Google is also said to be in­tro­duc­ing an up­dated ver­sion of its Pixel Vis­ual Core im­age chip, ac­cord­ing to 9to5Google, but again, the im­prove­ments the new it­er­a­tion will bring are un­known.

Pho­tos said to be from a Pixel 3 XL popped up on In­sta­gram in Au­gust from Rus­sian YouTu­ber Mak­sim Khoro­shev, giv­ing a pos­si­ble sneak peek at the cam­era. Khoro­shev has since posted a hands-on with the Pixel 3 XL. While the video is in Rus­sian, there are English sub­ti­tles.

As men­tioned be­fore, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL are both ex­pected to have two front cam­eras, each of which are said to be 8.1 megapix­els. Ac­cord­ing to 9to5Google, the added sen­sor will im­prove self­ies on the front cam­era, but fa­cial recog­ni­tion ca­pa­bil­ity is also pos­si­ble.

❚ Ad­di­tional specs: As with last year, the Pixels will both fea­ture USB-C ports, no head­phone jacks and a finger­print sen­sor on the back. Wire­less charg­ing has ap­par­ently been added, a wel­come ad­di­tion af­ter lack­ing on last year’s mod­els. An un­box­ing by a Ukra­nian tech blog­ger, shared by An­droid Po­lice, shows USB-C headphones will be in­cluded, though it is un­clear if Google will still throw in an adapter for us­ing tra­di­tional 3.5 mm headphones. As with most 2018 An­droid flag­ships, the Pixels are an­tic­i­pated to run on Qual­comm’s Snap­dragon 845 pro­ces­sor.

As one would ex­pect, the phones will run a ver­sion of An­droid 9 “Pie.” The “Ac­tive Edge” grip fea­ture to sum­mon the Google As­sis­tant by squeez­ing the phone is also said to be present, ac­cord­ing to a leaked Google mar­ket­ing video of the soft­ware on the Pixel 3 that has ap­peared on YouTube.

❚ Avail­abil­ity and col­ors: Ver­i­zon is again ex­pected to be the ex­clu­sive U.S. car­rier for the Pixel 3, ac­cord­ing to a Bloomberg re­port ear­lier this year. Google has part­nered with Ver­i­zon for its prior Pixels while also re­leas­ing un­locked ver­sions that work on any net­work in ad­di­tion to its own Project Fi cel­lu­lar ser­vice. This is ex­pected to be the case once again.

As for col­ors, black and white op­tions are an­tic­i­pated, though re­cent ru­mors and a leak from An­droid Head­lines also point to a pos­si­ble pink vari­a­tion. A mint green color has been ru­mored as well.

AN­DROID HEAD­LINES

A leak ap­pears to show the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

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