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Google 'Confirms' Pixel 2 Release Date

Google's (boring) Pixel 2 and (exciting) Pixel 2 XL are the two biggest remaining phone launches of 2017. And now Google just officially confirmed when they will launch…

In a triple push Google launched synchronised online and billboard advertising plus a new website encouraging users to “Ask more of your phone” on October 4th. If that wasn’t a clear enough hint about the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, Google followed this up with an official press invite which I received to attend an identically themed launch on the same date.

And when did the original Pixel and Pixel XL launch? October 4th 2016. Yes, Google is nothing if not obsessed with numbers.

Furthermore Google’s ads strongly hint at the main benefits of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The ads show users asking a series of questions such as:

What’s wrong with my phone’s battery? Why is my phone always out of storage? Why does my phone take so many blurry photos? Why doesn’t my phone understand me? Why can’t my phone update itself? Why is my smartphone so slow? In order we can interpret these as the new Pixels having: better battery life, unlimited storage (via Google Photos), faster cameras, an upgraded Google Assistant, the usual Pixel instant Android updates and greater performance.

These all seem like sensible improvements, so why did I label the Pixel 2 as “boring” and the Pixel 2 XL as “exciting” in my intro? Because the smaller HTC-built Pixel 2 is expected to be a minor upgrade on the original Pixel (read: thick bezels) with curiously squeezable design while the LG-built Pixel 2 XL will be a complete overhaul with minimal bezels and a 6-inch, 18.5:9 aspect ratio display.

OnLeaks and MySmartPrice New Pixel 2 render reveals a dull design and the 3.5mm headphone jack has been removed

Both new models are also expected to have stereo speakers and be water resistant, though they are bizarrely expected to ditch the headphone jack as well - a feature Google was very keen to promote on the original Pixels after Apple removed the jack from the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Google Google made the headphone jack a key part of Pixel and Pixel XL marketing, so why remove it now?

To compensate for this Google is expected to unveil a pair of Assistant-powered wireless earbuds (inevitably learning on Android Oreo’s new audio prowess). It seems unlikely these will be bundled with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, but if Google does remove the jack then personally I think they should be.

And yet arguably the biggest challenge facing the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is not technical, it’s logistical.

To date Google has repeatedly failed to deliver enough stock of both the original Pixels and the Nexus models before them to keep up with demand and devices have been sold out for months at a time. Should the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL deliver and should Google truly wish to be a major smartphone player, that has to change with this new generation…