Here's what we can expect the Google Pixel XL 2 to look like

We now have a solid idea of what the Pixel XL's 2017 successor will look like. Android Police, which is generally good about these sorts of things, has published renders of its approximation of what the so-called "Pixel XL 2017" will look like, based on information it has from internal sources. For those keeping up with all of the Pixel rumors back at home, this is the phone known by the codename "Taimen." That's the largest of the three rumored upcoming Google devices, with both "Muskie" and "Walleye" also in some progression of development.

For what it's worth, the naming of the forthcoming device has yet to be finalized. We could be looking at simply "Pixel XL" with no further denomination, "Pixel XL 2" or something else entirely. Names can be finalized much later than the hardware, and often are — we'll stick to calling this the Pixel XL 2 for now.

Corroborating with previous reports, this confirms that LG is the manufacturer of this new Pixel XL 2, rather than HTC that built the original Pixel and Pixel XL (of course, without any branding indicating the fact). Some of that influence is immediately apparent in the phone — there's a tall and skinny 18:9 display with rounded corners like the LG G6, which is reportedly 6-inches diagonal, with much smaller bezels than the current Pixel XL. Curved glass on the front is very pronounced, though the screen itself is actually flat underneath.

Lots of LG G6 influence, but plenty to tie it back to the original HTC-built Pixel XL.

The large glass pane at the top of the back of the phone remains, though the fingerprint sensor is no longer inside that glass as the phone is taller than before. In addition to the the back glass panel, there's a clear familiarity in design from the current Pixel XL to the new Pixel XL 2. There's still a metal frame that's nicely brushed to a simple texture that's flat across the back and rounded on the edges and corners.

Though the manufacturing has changed hands from HTC to LG, the report says the Pixel XL 2 will have a squeezable frame not unlike the HTC U11, which is mildly interesting to see.

The question remains, though, what is to be done with the standard Pixel's successor in 2017. Will it be a smaller version of this design? Or perhaps a simpler refresh of last year's phone? And what about the expected third Google-branded phone to be released this year? We can expect to see more information leak as we get closer to the launch.

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

156 Comments
  • That's beautiful 😍
  • A Pixel worth considering. Even in spite of that horrible, fragile glass rectangle in the back.
  • Still a fragile glass back for no reason at all (e.g., wireless charging)?
  • It's a design element. Designs don't have to be 100% functional or practical. But FWIW, the current Pixel's glass panel is partially functional in that it lets radios pass through it to reduce the number/size of antenna lines embedded in the metal back.
  • Andrew, can you confirm if either model will have a dual speaker setup.. Love your work, kind regards, Richard U.K
  • No one outside of Google can confirm anything. Everything is still rumor at this point.
  • > Designs don't have to be 100% functional or practical. Or attractive to everyone.
  • I would still rather have a couple of thin antenna bands than a huge chunk of fragile glass.
  • If it has IP68 rating and costs less than the Note 8, I'm sold.
  • If you want the regular Pixel, you'll be in luck.
  • Agreed.
  • Done and done.
  • Yea but no enhanced audio stack that allows for zero latency pro audio, you can run a library of iOS pro audio ports that can be chained together live on stage, no multiple simultaneous audio channels (on stock android if you play a video your current background audio gets interrupted), no gear vr which is still way closer to the rift that the daydream and galaxies get both, no adaptive white shift, video enhancer, or any other display enhancements, no custom performance and power profiles, no emergency or max power mode that allows your battery to last for days and even draw power for an hour after 0 percent, no Knox so no NSA grade security tools, or rootless global ad and tracker blocking or the ability to run multiple instances of Android simultaneously with zero resource overhead, no s pay which works literally anywhere, no s health which is hipaa certified and allows you to visit a doctor through your phone, no extended USB compatibility, no DeX, no s pen, or any other hardware software integrated features. Google tried to not seem to be just slapping stock android onto an HTC prototype with the original pixel by enhancing the camera and adding Google assistant but that hardly justified the price difference between it and the one plus 3t especially considering that the one plus was faster and had more ram. If Google want to make a flagship premium they'll have to step up their game with the hardware integrated features. They have to add project tango or something that actually justifies the price tag. The galaxy can replace more than a grand worth of other equipment.
  • Found the Samsung employee
  • Still horrible. Still probably lacking basic features of any good phone like a microSD slot, OIS on the camera, IP rating and wireless charging. But at least it resembles less an iPhone.
    I'm still calling it iPixel though as Google's philosophy will likely continue to be the same: barely useful software, mediocre hardware and overpriced to no end.
  • The camera, SOC and ram were about as top of the line as you could get at the time. The other points you make, ok. Saying it had mediocre hardware is just plain wrong. 
  • The camera was hardly top. It had great algorithms where HDR was concerned but that's it. All the rest was crap. And in low light, a lenses disaster. And when I mean "mediocre hardware" I'm including all the defects that aren't software-related. Lack of OIS, microSD expansion, IP rating, wireless charging, the terrible design, the huge top and bottom bezel, ALL that is included when I say "mediocre hardware". Just to make that clear ;)
  • it took great low light pics. where the hell did u read ur reviews. my wife's pixel take amazing low light pics. an iphone fan said it took better than his phone
  • I consider OIS and some sort of IP rating a must on the new Pixels, especially if they'll maintain those ridiculous prices. We know they probably won't have expandable storage or wireless charging, but I can learn to live without those I suppose (have lived without expandable storage since the start of Android.) My Nexus 6 is going strong though, will use that phone until it completely dies on me and even then I may try to resurrect it once again! The DJCBS guy appears to be just a troll though. At the time of release Pixels had great hardware, and the camera was especially good despite it's lack of OIS.
  • Did the Pixel hurt you in some way? Seems like you're just making up reasons to hate on it
  • Never mind him, he has never posted a positive comment, no matter what the subject.
  • ... Except when he's obsessively Nokia fanboying.
  • Haha
  • Even then it's nothing but trolling. Nokia died years ago, he's fanboying a new company that's never made a single flagship device. Hell, even the old Nokia has never made a legit flagship smartphone.
  • What kind of crack are you smoking? The entire N series we're Flagships and years ahead of it's time before anyone else other than palm and black berry were making smartphones. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_N95
    In my opinion this was the Pinnacle of the N series line up. Some of the earlier models had some interesting design choices.
  • I looked that phone up. It's not at all what we're talking about and it's over 10 years ago.
  • You've not been paying attention (or you're too dumb...either one)
  • When people can't afford sometimes they try to knock it down
  • Oh, stop it. You can dismiss someone as a jackass without resorting to "you sound poor."
  • This. I am so sick of people throwing around the you're poor argument on these topics.
  • Because it's usually true
  • Sadly for you, I'm not some dumb redneck. And I fortunately can afford the whatever phone I want. Doesn't mean I will buy it. Specially if it's crap. Like the iPixel. I'm sorry if I'm not stupid like you ;)
  • Hey no shame in being poor
  • He has a really good point though. Have you ever seen a Pixel image in low light with HDR+ off? It's super obvious that they used the software as a crutch for crappy optics.
  • Sure, but with HDR+ on, the pictures looked great, so who cares. Any phone takes terrible pictures if you strip away the software enhancements.
  • HDR+ has a tendency to make things look plasticky or over saturated is why I bring it up. There are phones that have good enough optics to take good low light pics without making them look plasticky by leaning on software. But I agree, it should be measured as far as quality is concerned with all its tricks that it has up its sleeve, as that's what real world use would likely be.
  • I actually really like HDR+. Mainly due to how it works. From what I've heard, it not only does a good job at increasing dynamic range, but it also uses a combo of image stacking of multiple short exposure images and pixel shifting/re-alignment to reduce noise. I've seen it in action and the difference is actually quite significant at times. It won't look as smooth as conventional noise reduction, but it does also retain more detail as a result. It's obviously not perfect (nothing is) but it's one of the better HDR implementations I've seen, and it's right up there with Apple's (sometimes surpassing it). If it's combined with supreme hardware, best camera ever? Apple HDR, Google HDR+ and Nokia PureView are among my favorites.
  • "Sure, but with HDR+ on, the pictures looked great, so who cares." Those of us who actually like photography care.
  • I care about end results, why would you turn if HDR and intentionally hobble the camera. It was designed from the ground up with HDR in mind. This argument is asinine.
  • You need to read. HDR+ makes the image over saturated and plasticky a lot of the time.
  • It actually reduces saturation in my case
  • Now that's interesting, my best friend's does the opposite, maybe it's a one off issue with his. When they brought HDR+ to the 6P while I still had it, it didn't do that there so I thought it was specific to the pixel.
  • Well, it's kinda important to note that HDR+ Auto works differently on the 6P and Pixel. On the 6P, it scans the scene and applies the full HDR+ effect if it's deemed necessary. But on the Pixel, HDR+ Auto actually takes multiple snaps in the background and then saves the most recent ones and applies a more subtle version of the effect. Of course, when HDR+ is fully on in both, it's the same. I use HDR+ on a Moto Z via a modified version of the CameraNX app
  • No, it doesn't. Not at all actually.
  • I agree on design but the camera was praised by pretty much everyone, in all cases. Even using the HDR algorithms.  Lack of OIS- ok, although didn't seem to hurt the camera  micro sd- good luck getting that on a google device  IP rating- yep, but with the rumors of it being built in shorter than normal time I understand (not giving a pass though)  wireless charging- yep that is a bummer, but that's what you get with a metal device  
  • Camera is great. Calm down.
  • This is absolutely false. You know it's false. The Pixel had one of if not the best camera of 2016 and still holds up extremely well in 2017. Your hate for the phone should not get in the way if admitting obvious strengths.
  • MicroSD is not missing, Google believes high end phones ought have sufficient internal storage instead of supbar storage. Blah blah, if you're going to lie about the camera, it's hard to take anything else seriously. It's objectively the best camera on a phone released prior to Q2 2017 and it's still second best despite a whole slew of flagships that ought to have been able to challenge.
  • Barely useful software?? Sorry, man, but it has the MOST useful software: stock Android, Google-style. Your other objections are understandable because it's clearly very important to some people that their phone have things like wireless charging and waterproofing, but keep in mind that whatever phone from that generation you happen to consider to be the best will fail someone else's subjective qualifiers. For example, I think Samsung's phones have been consistently disappointing for a few years now, and certainly far more disappointing than anything with stock (or near) Android or without a fragile, fingerprint-magnet build.
  • I think that's subjective Because I know not everyone likes stock Android.
  • The thing about stock Android is that it can be modified. The thing about many non-Nexus/Pixel devices is that they cannot be modified to delete Touchiz/Sense/other bs overlays they have plaguing them. They won't get updates to the core Android software. The other part that people seem to be missing is that since 7.1 I'm not even sure what useful features are missing from vanilla Android that are present in the likes of Samsung and etc. Can you rattle off a few? I mean useful ones and not based on hardware (like the new HTC device.) So yeah, people who really don't like stock Android are usually using iPhones.
  • Themes, navbar customization and small floating apps.
  • Who hurt you?
  • Clearly the Pixel.
  • Nokia did when they died.
  • Says who? Microsd and wireless charging are not basic features, move on already.
  • I have yet to see you make a genuine statement. You are quite the artist.
  • Very attractive.
  • I could get behind this :)
    ..Probably not for $800 though.
  • And back to the smaller version being gimped. Was nice last year both models same outside of battery and screen.  Lets see how horrible they handle stock with this device. Google is horrible with their phones and keeping stock (and there is no excuse for a 4+ month wait on stock, they aren't pushing iPhone type volume)
  • Come on you know, it'll sell out pretty quick due to low stock then not be in stock for like 6 months
  • Saying there is no excuse is not correct. The do not own/control the supply chain or means of production.
  • Neither do other OEMs and they don't drop the ball this way.
  • That would make sense if they were selling 10+ million or more. The fact that they most likely sold around 1 million (which even that may be the high end) there is no excuse for the delays. OEMs sign contracts for these things. It's not googles first time doing this and they still drop the ball time and time again 
  • Internal sales figures as of about a month ago were around six million shipments.
  • I would love to see those "internal sales figures" because that # seems very high. 
  • @Premium1, you are sooo right, it's taken them exactly 1 year to go back to crapping on the regular sized phone if the rumors are correct, which is disappointing. I have the pixel xl and I like it a lot, but I wanted to try the regular sized version this year. That won't be happening if it's gimped as hell, compared to the xl 2. Guess I'll just stay big phoned, if that's the case.
  • A bit too square edged for me BUT, don't want to dismiss it just yet.
  • Very like the original. Too like it, in my opinion. I'd like to see more angles. Really tired of these soft, round edges that everyone seems to want. Some of us dudes would like something a bit more masculine, but apparently the majority of the market likes their phones this way, so I guess I'll wait for things to come back around again.
  • After I got a refund on my Nexus 6P, I picked up an S8+ during their trade-in sale (traded in 2014 Moto X). I was expecting to unload the S8 and pick up the new pixel, but I'm not sure this design will woo me away from the S8. I have come to really enjoy wireless charging and the IP rating. We'll see though...
  • Did they approve your trade in? I have a 2014 Moto X with some dings in the metal. Screen looks good though.
  • I just got the notification that it was approved.
  • Refund for your 6p.... How?
  • After a failed RMA device I asked for a refund and it was granted. Check out the nexus 6p sub Reddit. A lot of refunds have been granted.
  • I too would like to know about this refund for your 6P.. And about this trade in sale.
  • See my comment above about the refund. As for the trade-in it was through Samsung and was so successful there have been backorders. The S8 and S8+ were $100 off plus a $200 trade in of "any" smartphone. I got an S8+ for $545.99 after tax. . Although there are reports of trade-ins being denied have come out recently. However, mine was just approved. This sale is over now.
  • Considering what the last device costs for what you get, this one will probably be $6,000
  • If it has no headphone jack and expandable storage it's still DOA for me.
  • It will have a headphone jack.... expandable storage, no.
  • With the V20 you all have that plus a lovely Quad DAC Amp :) Oh, and Military Spec metal build plus removeable battery plus Dual SIM plus Dual Cameras plus infrared blaster plus plus plus
  • They really should just start auto deleting posts in Google phone related stories the mention removable storage. Google decided YEARS ago that it doesn't care about that segment of the market and people who enjoy Google phone decided years ago that it isn't a deal breaker. It's time for removable storage advocates to get off their soap boxes and decide not to care about Google phones (without so obviously caring about them enough to whine on every post). Headphone jack on the other hand...
  • @Mike Yeager, HELL YES X1000. Move the f'ck on, it's not there, and it's not going to be there, as a substandard storage medium.
  • Good. I will less person in the cue when I try to get mine.
  • Sounds stupid. Hope you find what you want.
  • Where are all those Pixel fans complaining about the new aspect ratio now? Crickets...
  • Right here, but looks like we have no choice. This is the trend.
  • You're honest...lol
  • This lol. The hate was so strong for the G6 and the S8 and now....silence ;)
  • Hehehe it's usually all ok as long as the feature or technology is made available to device the consumer is committed to buying (samsung/apple/google)
  • Looks awesome! Glad to know I'll stay with Google.
  • Day 1 purchase
  • I want the sequel to this here phone next year and I have an s8+ 🤤👍
  • This one is...less hideous I suppose?
  • Not bad. I have no intention of updating my Pixel this year but I think people will be happy if this is what this year's version looks like.
  • Hmm, Google gettin' it's squeeze on. Interesting indeed. I have to say the feature is unexpectedly useful on the U11. Always handy, never in the way.
    Pixel camera is damn good in most situations, wonder what they will do to top it.
  • This is really starting to sound like the XL might be a LG Display on a HTC frame. The screen looks all G6, but Edge Sense from LG? Is it possible they're working together on this one? Along with the rumored HTC 12?
  • I like the way it looks but it needs an IP rating..
  • I think it looks good. Can't wait until we get closer to firm up on what the new Pixel 2 has to offer.
  • Looks awesome... With that Google software this will be the to go phone along with the new iPhone. Only 2 phones with the complete experience.
  • And you'll pay out the ass for that "experience".
  • And? Some people are fine paying for tightly integrated hardware and software.
  • That's cool. I just don't want to hear y'all ******** when these new prices are announced.
  • The only people griping about the price were never going to buy it in the first place. They just wanted something to gripe about.
  • I'm paying day 1 just like I did last year.
  • Nothing different than what a Samsung flagship, HTC flagship, or a good chunk of flagships cost.
  • Don't care I have cash 😎
  • Looks good, still not the biggest fan of the aspects ratio but I'm not looking to replace my XL this year anyways. I'm pretty sure by 2018 that aspect ratio (or close to it) will be standard on high end phones. :/ Also the squeezing stuff, come on Google. Luckily it seems easy to ignore on the U11.
  • The squeezing stuff - yeah - that's almost * gimmicky * I'd think I'd rather have another button that I can remap to my preferences.
  • I would too, but I'm actually warming up to Edge Sense a little.
  • I guess I'll have to explore it to learn more...
  • I hope it evolves into something nice. As it stands, it's a useful party trick.
  • Useful indeed. The sensors are exactly where I naturally hold my phone 90% of the time, you don't have to feel for a button or find the volume rocker or power switch. Mine performs three functions now, and I was effortlessly popping off photos without having to think about it. Poor guy I was with who was using his iPhone looked downright clumsy trying to capture spontaneous shots.
  • I'd probably configure it for screenshots, selfies and probably to set it to silent
  • The key, as with most features like this, will be software support. If it grows to actually support useful functions then I think it will be excellent, but right now on the U11 it seems pretty dang gimmicky. That being said, one man's gimmick is another man's killer feature, so I am glad it is easy to disable.
  • I like it. Only thing I want is a better camera. The last Pixel wasn't bad at all. It's actually pretty darn good with HDR+ especially. Just want some extra control and better optics. Does it need OIS? Probably not considering the large sensor and pixel size. It would be nice, but combining the crop stabilization and OIS wobble would look messed up IMO, unless Google can disable OIS and use the crop stabilization for video. PS: My main camera doesn't have OIS ever since I swapped the optically-stabilized kit lens for an f/1.4 fast prime without OIS.
  • I'm with you. Last year we went on several trips - saved the photos to the card - and later the card got corrupted. The option to save to the cloud has a sincere meaning now... Plus I like Google services - and what they have to offer overall. Samsung makes really good hardware - but the services have a way to go - it's either that or Apple. Apple now has to be ingenious in their designs and culture I think to beat Android has a whole - which is going to be a massive undertaking.
  • Google Photos is a great service IMO. I save all my photos to it. On a side note, my niece was just born and I saved all her photos to my library. It'll forever be there.