Major Android OEMs, including HTC, LG, Samsung, and even Sony, have already made their mark with new 2017 smartphones targeting the flagship market – and the same is expected of Google.
We’ve seen HTC U Ultra, LG G6, Samsung Galaxy S8, and Sony Xperia XZs (Xperia XZ Premium), but we are yet to see the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL, the successors to last year’s Pixel and Pixel XL. Other than the likes of OnePlus 5, Moto Z2, HTC U 11 and LG V30, the only major Android flagship that is left to be talked about (actually) is the Google Pixel 2.
Ever since it came into being, the Google Pixel has become many people’s favorite. It has a great build, receives timely updates, it runs on pure Android, you get one of the best, if not the best, camera and you’ll also love the battery life of the Pixel XL. Google gave the Pixel phones a new feature – the Assistant – and with it, using the Pixel phones get better and better.
But recently, things took a different turn when Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S8 and S8+. If you want the most beautiful and stylish phone, look no further than the S8 twins. If you are in the market for the most powerful phone, look no further than the Galaxy S8 or S8+. In short, Samsung seems to have nailed it, but of course, there’re things that the Google Pixel 2 could turn to in order to replicate the achievements of the Pixel and Pixel XL in relation to the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, but this time with the Galaxy S8 in mind.
Despite being some of the best phones in 2016, the Google Pixel and Pixel XL lacked the waterproof feature. Like last year, the Galaxy S8 has an IP68 certification that means you don’t have to worry using the phone when around pools, caught up in the rain or even when doing some dishes in the kitchen. If Google is targeting to be a major Galaxy S8 challenger, having an IP6X certification is a no brainer for the Pixel 2 phone.
It’s time for a microSD card slot
Ever since the Nexus era, Google has preferred to do things the Apple way as far as internal storage is concerned. Android allows OEMs to add external storage support to devices, but Google, the current owner of Android OS, hasn’t bought into this idea so much. With Samsung shifting to 64GB as the base model and still including support for expandable storage, it’s about time the Google Pixel 2 came in with support for this feature.
The Galaxy S8’s microSD card slot can accommodate up to 256GB while the LG G6 gets support of up to 2TB. If the Google Pixel 2 skips this feature, it could be a major blow. Of course, some would argue that the idea of having unlimited cloud storage helps alleviate this pain, but at the end of the day, it feels better knowing that you can also turn to an external storage whenever need be.
The Google Pixel’s camera was ranked the best by industry experts DxOMark, giving it a score of 89. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge came in close second with a score of 88. With the Galaxy S8, Samsung has stepped up the performance of the camera, something that the Google Pixel 2 will have to follow suit in order to match or beat the S8. It gets even tougher for the Pixel 2 knowing what the likes of HTC U Ultra, iPhone 7 Plus, and LG G6 are offering.
Bigger battery for the smaller Pixel 2
Samsung has totally failed on the battery capacity aspect, equipping the Galaxy S8 with a 3000mAh unit and the S8+ with a 3500mAh unit. While the latter might be okay, the former is absurd, considering that the 5.7-inch LG G6 has a bigger 3300mAh unit. If the Google Pixel 2 is to beat the S8, a significant upgrade over the 2770mAh unit used on the Pixel phone is a must. In fact, pushing it to 3000mAh while keeping the same 5-inch (or a slightly bigger 5.2-inch) panel would make the phone a killer. As for the Pixel 2 XL, a 3600mAh unit would be acceptable.
Work on the aesthetics
As noted earlier, the Google Pixel and Pixel XL are loved by many due to their solid builds. However, making a phone more durable shouldn’t come at the expense of aesthetics, just like with the case of Samsung Galaxy S8. One area that Samsung has perfected in terms of looks is the bezels. The S7 took out the side bezels, but the S8 took out almost all the top and bottom bezels.
We are not saying that Google Pixel 2 should look like the curved Galaxy S8, but thinning out those bezels would be a welcome idea from our side of the table.
Even though the Google I/O 2017 will be here in just over a week’s time, don’t expect to hear anything about the Google Pixel 2 during this event. Usually, Google doesn’t make hardware announcements in this event, but nothing can be ruled out. Rather, the Pixel 2 should be announced somewhere in October this year, which is the traditional period that Google announces new hardware devices.