Official details about the Google Pixel 2 and its larger sibling, the Google Pixel 2 XL, are quite scarce. While Google has all but confirmed that a new range of flagship smartphones would indeed be coming later this year, the specifics of the devices themselves remain unconfirmed. Recently, however, rumors have emerged stating that the development of the Google Pixel 2 series is experiencing a shake-up, with the search engine giant shifting to LG for the manufacture of its “Taimen” handset, and with “Muskie,” the initial successor to the original Pixel XL, being discontinued.
According to a report from Android Police, three separate insiders have stated that Google would be shelving the device codenamed as “Muskie” this year. Muskie was widely rumored to be the direct successor to the 5.5-inch Pixel XL, with Taimen being an even larger device and Walleye being a successor to the original 5.0-inch Pixel. During its report, Android Police has stated that the chances of Muskie being discontinued are very high. Thus, there is a pretty good chance that for this year at least, Google would be focusing its smartphone initiatives to two handsets only — a 5.0-inch Pixel successor and a supersized Pixel XXL phablet, somewhere in the 6.2-inch range.
Considering the shift in the smartphone industry to larger-screened flagships with sleek frames, Google’s decision to discontinue the rumored 5.5-inch Muskie makes perfect sense. After all, even devices that are deemed portable enough to use one-handed now boast more than 5.5-inch displays, such as the Galaxy S8 and the iPhone 8. The 5.5-inch display of the Pixel XL, therefore, is not so large anymore, since the current standards of the mobile industry. Considering that Muskie is getting discontinued, rumors are now high that Google would be designing Walleye with a display that is around 5.7 inches. Taimen, on the other hand, would likely have a screen beyond six inches.
A recent PocketNow report has also emerged, stating that Google’s larger flagship, Taimen, would likely be manufactured by LG. Interestingly, last year’s Pixel and Pixel XL were built by HTC. Thus, the move to LG might be seen as a pretty notable surprise for those expecting a new generation of HTC-manufactured flagships from Google. Despite this, however, an LG-made Google smartphone is actually nothing new, especially since the South Korean tech giant has already manufactured devices for the search giant in the past, in the form of the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, and Nexus 5X.
Interestingly, many mobile enthusiasts have reacted positively to the notion of LG being the selected manufacturer of Google’s 2017 Taimen handset. For one, many Pixel fans have extended hope that aspects of LG’s stunning premium design for the G6 would make it to the Taimen smartphone, such as its excellent build quality, waterproof design and its resistance to fingerprints.
The Pixel 2 series is expected to be launched sometime this fall, likely around the same time as the launch of Android O, which would most definitely be the selected OS for the upcoming flagship devices. Pricing for the new handsets remains unknown, though speculations are high that the Pixel 2 line would still command a premium price.
[Featured Image by Eric Risberg/AP Images]