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article imageGoogle's Pixel 2 might look very similar to current model

By James Walker     Aug 6, 2017 in Technology
Google's upcoming Pixel 2 smartphone might come with only minor design changes over the original. A credible report claims Google will be keeping the same chassis and body, leaving out the bezel-less display that defines contemporary flagship handsets.
In an article for VentureBeat, renowned smartphone leaker Evan Blass shared a photo of what's allegedly the Google Pixel 2. The device is almost identical to the current Pixel, indicating Google isn't going all-out in an effort to stave off Apple's impending iPhone overhaul.
Fans have been expecting Google to make wider changes to the Pixel 2 in response to criticism of the debut phone. If official, the photo reveals Google will be doing nothing of the sort though. This will leave the Pixel's missing features looking even more conspicuous than last year.
Google Pixel 2 leaked photo - Image via VentureBeat
Google Pixel 2 leaked photo - Image via VentureBeat
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As the rest of the industry moves to bezel-less displays, the Pixel 2 will retain its sizeable top and bottom bezels. Similarly, Google looks set to resist the movement towards dual camera setups, instead persevering with the single lens from last year.
The Pixel 2 will also keep HTC as its manufacturer. This gives rise to one of its few notable new features. HTC will add squeeze-sensitive sides to the Pixel 2, using technology developed for its own U11 flagship. Applying pressure to the edge of the phone will perform actions like taking a photo, opening an app or talking to Google Assistant.
Google Nexus 5X and 6P devices
Google Nexus 5X and 6P devices
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As with all leaked material, there's no guarantee is accurate. Blass has a good track record on this kind of leak though, adding credibility that's often lacking. If the device shown in the image is the real Pixel 2, fans could be disappointed with having to settle for an iterative revision of last year's handset.
An explanation for the decision could be found in the Pixel 2 XL, Google's larger and more premium phone. The company is widely believed to be planning more significant changes for the XL model, including a shift in manufacturing partner to LG. The design overhaul will feature a bezel-less LG FullVision display.
It's possible Google will use the XL as the headline model for the Pixel 2. The smaller, HTC-built model could then be offered as a cheaper, lower-end alternative with updated internals and a minor exterior revision. When considered from this angle, the leaked design makes more sense. It's still incongruously behind the times though, an unfortunate characteristic for a handset to rival Apple's most anticipated iPhone in years.
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