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