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Google's Pixel smartphone surfaces in leaked render, shows off new navigation buttons

We're one week away from the launch of the Pixel and Pixel XL. The handsets have leaked in live photos last week, and this time around we're being treated to an alleged press render of the Pixel. The leak comes from Evan Blass, and showcases the new home screen with the Pixel Launcher, circular icons, and redesigned navigation buttons. The phones will be built by HTC, but Google's branding is set to take center stage.

The leaks suggest we'll see a 5-inch Pixel, and a 5.5-inch Pixel XL. Both phones are expected to be powered by the Snapdragon 821 SoC, offering 4GB of RAM, 12MP camera, 8MP front shooter, and storage variants of 32GB and 128GB. The 5-inch Pixel will allegedly offer a Full HD display, with the larger Pixel XL sporting a QHD panel.

On the software front, we'll likely see the phones debut with the first maintenance release of Nougat. It also looks like the Pixels will be targeted at the high-end segment, with the base-model Pixel rumored to debut at $649.

We'll know more on October 4. What do you guys think of the phone based on the render?

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

94 Comments
  • no front facing speakers ??? pass
  • It'll probably have the boom speakers like on HTC 10 or like new iPhone 7.
  • That's the hope.
  • If it does, I hope they implement it like Apple did, that is stereo, rather than 'bass' and treble in the HTC 10. The HTC One M8 and M9's stereo speakers were far better than the 10's setup, as was the 6P.
  • The iPhone 7 Plus speakers are amazing. Louder and better sounding than my 6P.
  • I would get Nexus 6P for watching a movie over the IPhone 7 anyday.
  • Agree completely. Rumor of locked down bootloader, if true, makes me wonder what Google is doing. Nexus devices were havens for those of us who like control of their phones. Axon 7 is looking pretty good.
  • not a nexus device
  • Jeez you sound like a brat
  • Here I thought HTC's dual front speakers would become an industry standard. But nope got to cut corners and save every nickel and dime while charging Top Tier Full Prices.
  • Was really hoping they'd tone down the bezels.
  • That was the hope.
  • Thick bezels make the phone larger (a negative) and do not appeal to our current aesthetics. However, in my use of a phone at work, I need to grab my phone....a good hold on it....while typing away.
    The darn "edge" phones and the otherwise super-thin bezel phones result in my parts of my hand touching the screen. When this happens, it renders the entire screen useless or causes other actions to happen.
    The super thin bezel is why I am avoiding the Note 7 for the time being.
    I wonder if they'll have make super thin bezel phones with the option of disabling the extreme edges of the glass screen to avoid accidental touch.
  • I think most people are talking about the top and bottom bezel. Especially since there isn't front facing speakers.
  • Exactly. The 6P giant bezels are justified by front facing speakers. These giant bezels are just there to waste space it would seem.
  • First Google phone that I will not buy... I think they're making a wrong decision in abandoning the Nexus branding, and reduction the screen size to 5.5. I don't generally wish poorly on anything, but I hope it tanks so next year they go back up in size.
  • With these chicks bezels if the phone were 5.7 you would have an surface tablet in hands
  • Yeah I'm crazy about Google and the nexus line,but I've got a grudge against them this year. Mostly due to the pricing on the phones. I don't know how many people are gonna try them out at that price. Especially the 5 inch model.
  • I am too, but couldn't stand the performance of the 808 on the 5X, so I ditched it for a OnePlus 3. I had thought about moving on quickly to the 5" Pixel, but so far (knowing as little as we do), I'm not feeling it either. The 5's design was utilitarian with cute flourishes (round speaker grille!), the 5X was just pedestrian (not particularly thin, plastic, big bezels), but then, it was relatively cheap. At $649 the best comparison is a Galaxy S7, which is nearing the midpoint in its lifespan. To be competitive, Google has to match the phone on design, and probably beat it on some combination of camera, performance and features. I'm really not sure they can do it.
  • Needs to have something up it's sleeve for a base price starting at $649. I hope i'm surprised because I always look forward to the Google/Nexus/Pixel phone releases, but seeing the leaks hasn't excited me for this one.
  • I'm on the same boat as you. I have a 6p and i have always been excited for Google phones but this year not so much. I am excited to see new software and seeing where they want to take Android.
  • It's because you have a 6P. It's hard for me to get excited about the successor after having it for the last 6 months.
  • A little late no AC? Especially since Android Police and others have already had this for quite some time. Furthermore this device does not justify that $649 price tag. Of course once it's unveiled we will be the judge of that, but for now, nope. I really think the iPhone this year won it when it comes to smartphones. Unpopular opinion, but oh well. Let's see when this baby pops out
  • I don't think anyone won, I think in general the consumer lost. It's been a long time since anything in the smartphone market has excited me.
  • I don't think the consumer lost. Phones have reached the point where there are only going to be incremental improvements. I think even what are regarded as being mid range phones are now plenty good enough for what most people use them for. In that respect the consumer has more choice than ever.
  • I agree, mid range phones are now great, but for me at least that means the flagships should be amazing, because ultimately the features and hardware on a flagship are what will trickle down to the mid range in a year or two. If I walked into a car showroom and the mustang was only slightly better than the focus, I'd be disappointed.
  • Horrible comparison seeing how u can get a focus with more horsepower than a mustang... All except a gt...
  • Smartphones can't most definitely be improved at this point and not just have incremental updates. No phone was great this year and the only phone i was excited about was from Motorola. When people say a Google phone is priced too high i think that is absurd especially when you think k the iPhone and even Samsung devices compete with it and i have to say everything an iPhone or galaxy phone can do a nexus can do. The software isn't bloated just like on an iPhone and that i will pay extra for and for faster updates.
  • AC's policy on leaks seems to be that they'd rather be late and certain, than first and wrong. Which is a good policy in my book.
  • Nexus 6 wasn't justified by the price tag either, I still owed $350ish after a year and it was selling / worth $199 at the time. Probably won't get another Google branded phone, the hype isn't worth it. Also idk if it's me but the "reply" buttons don't work on Android Chrome unless I'm in desktop view, I accidently reported the comment because it would hit everything except reply...
  • But, dat bezel
  • Google'a first real phone with the signature HTC chin! Seriously, they should have gone with someone other than HTC here.
  • HTC need the business so they probably got a good deal! Plus it's a nice synergy with HTC making the first Nexus phone and now the first Pixel phone.
  • Not to mention they made the first Android phone too!
  • It should at least have physical buttons there... Please
  • Google has never had physical buttons you should not expect it and in 2016 who the hell wants physical buttons anyway.
  • The Nexus One and Nexus S are frowning at you. PS physical buttons can be a good thing too..
  • Are we counting capacitive buttons as "physical"? When I think of physical buttons, I think of the Galaxy Active phones and the like.
  • :( Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well, here's to hoping to being more impressed next Tuesday, from a personal standpoint.
  • I was excited. But. Ow im not. I was ready to throw 650 for it. I hope i eat my words
  • $650 for a phone with a 5 inch full hd screen? I'll think I'll pass and hold on a little longer to my 5X....
  • Yup, same here.
  • That's the normal price of flagship phones (the S7 on launch was even more expensive).
    Welcome to the real World, buddy.
  • That's the price of PROVEN flagship phones. I'd like to see what Google will offer as a "unique experience" alongside this hardware. The rumored hardware and exclusive UI tweaks we've seen so far is not enough to command that type of price up front. Provide something game-changing in terms of experience that will make alot of people say, "Hey, you should really take a look at this Pixel."
  • No. That's the price of every flagship phone, regardless of being "proven" or not.
    Actually, "proven" flagships like the S7 are even more expensive. As for what Google will offer...Nexus devices were always the worse band-for-buck phones. They were designed for "stock Android" fanboys. I don't think the Pixel will be any different. The only difference is, fans of stock Android (which are a minority) will now have to pay normally for a high end spec device. Many of them kept saying things like "I love the S7 but it should have stock Android", "I love this Xperia but it should have stock Android", "I love the G5 but it should have stock Android".
    Well, Google is giving them that. A flagship phone, with a normal flagship price, with stock Android. As for the rest, no one will say "Hey, you should really take a look at this Pixel.".
    Google has no brand recognition as a phone maker. Being a well known brand elsewhere doesn't give you merit on the phone making space, as Microsoft can attest to.
    With Google ditching the OEM branding on the phones all they'll manage is to shrink the already very small pool of Nexus users. Which, again, justifies the normal flagship price as it minimises losses.
  • I don't really agree that Nexus devices have been bad in terms of value for the money, but I'm with you on just about everything else. But hey, if the phone is actually good, they get the carriers on board to the extent that you can walk out of any store with a Pixel just like you can with a Galaxy S or an iPhone, and they throw serious money at an advertising campaign (I'm talking Samsung and Apple kinds of ad money), maybe it will get a foothold. I hope they sell at least enough of them that I can get a used one on Craigslist for a reasonable price a few months after launch.
  • That will NEVER happen for Google's phones. They will fly under the radar as they do every year by the masses. The usual stock fanboys will purchase
  • If you consider the price of a Nexus and what they offered (or more like, what they didn't offer) and compare it with other OEMs, you'll see they became really niche devices only for people obsessed with stock Android. In that sense, for someone who isn't obsessed with stock Android, a Nexus was never a good purchase. And I don't think Google ever intended them to be. And I honestly disagree.
    1 - Carriers: relevant in the USA, absolutely irrelevant everywhere else in the world. Take Europe as an example. In Europe we don't buy phones from carriers. We buy them at full price from normal tech retailers of outlets with tech sections. Nexus devices have always been available here alongside the other phones. They never sold to the masses. Apart from the hardcore stock fanboys, most people would look at them and move on.
    A marketing campaign won't really change that. Consumers buy more based on brand trust than marketing. Apple, for example, doesn't put out ads around here. You may see them at Apple stores (in the very few that exist in Europe) and you may see them, very occasionally, on retailers and carrier marketing materials alongside other phones.
    Only Samsung puts out a considerable marketing machine. And they honestly didn't really needed too.
    Sony does some ads here and there but nothing special, LG does it all mainly on social media but nothing else.
    Microsoft tried to push harder their "Microsoft Lumias" after Nokia left but without the power of the Nokia brand on the phones, people simply stopped buying them (to the point where they not only closed the mobile division, but the Lumia 950 - a 600€ on launch - can now be bought for 270€ not even a year later). People buy the brand on the phone more than anything else. That's why Apple sells. That's why Samsung sells. That's why Lenovo bought Motorola Mobility, that's why Xiaomi has been trying and failing to make a name for itself for years here, that's why Huawei has been trying and not having that much success either (albeit, truth be told, from all the crappy Chinese brands, Huawei is the one who has found the greatest amount of success on Western markets). I highly highly doubt these Pixels will sell.
    And that's good for you. Because if they do sell, price won't come down as soon as you might want it to. When Google realises no one is buying them, they'll start cutting prices. With luck, you won't even need to buy a second hand phone ;)
  • That's..... amazing?
  • $649 for the base model!!!! I just don't think that this will be successful. Not upgrading I'll keeps my 6p for a while longer.
  • Me neither. Anyone who isn't Samsung or Apple is doomed to fail with a phone that price. And I don't think even those 2 will be able to sustain that long term. Google clearly thinks they are capable of breaking that duopoly and competing on the same level. Hense the rebranding. Good luck to them. But I don't see it happening.
  • Google will need to advertise like they never have before. I'm talking Apple and Samsung levels if not more. People are easily swayed and brainwashed. The brainwashed do not know they are brainwashed.
  • I agree. The way Google should approach this is they're the new kid on the block. They need to have such a grand entrance and offer something head-turning to make others want to try the "Google experience". With a rumored $649 price for the base model, what Google might offer may very well be worth it, but we don't know. I'm hoping for a clean, thoughtful, and practical integration of gestures and features that improve the Android experience.
    I'm also hoping for some-type of accidental coverage or 1 free repair/exchange included in the cost of $649 and up.
  • Is it just me, or does the dock resemble iOS more than ever? Why Google? Why? "Be together. Not the same." Remember? It's one thing when Chinese OEMs copy Apple as much as possible, but et tu, Google? I wanted to love the new Pixel phones. But if these reports are accurate, I'll definitely stick with my Google Nexus 6 (not 6P). Slim bezels. Front stereo speakers. Quad HD AMOLED display. And I personally love big phones! In fact, I'd say that they shouldn't call the 5.5-inch Pixel the XL. Maybe the L, at most. To be XL, you'd need 6 inches.
  • Exactly this! I have the Nexus 6 as well and there's no way I'm going to downgrade to a 5.5 inch screen. Are they kidding me? 5.5 is like the standard screen size for most regular flagships. Should of been 5.7 and up! For them to call it XL is laughable.
  • Wtfff Google! That looks exactly like an iPhone specially with that shade going across at the bottom of the screen. Of what appears to be the dock. And those huge bezels! Oh lawd
  • Round icons, eh?
  • Pass
  • I've applied a circular mask to all app icons, and had folders identical to the the new circular ones, for years now. So I obviously like those. The rest... Do not like. Those navigation buttons are terrible. If they appear on my nexus 9, the first thing I'm going to do is root it an replace them. The phone design looks pretty uninspiring too. Your average iPhone style bar of soap with corners so rounded it's practically an oval. And the back window has none of the charm of the 6Ps visor.
  • I reckon Pixel is just the premium range and they'll be a new secret Nexus too. I'm just trying to think positive!
    Why are they pricing out Nexus/Pixel fans from the phone that only Nexus/Pixel fans buy?
  • I'm not impressed and don't at all understanding the ugly round icons.
  • I hope the 5 incher has an AMOLED screen, dual speakers a la HTC 10 and a stealth black color option.
  • I really don't think that's gonna be the base-model price, but oh well, let's wait and see.
  • What do you guys think about the round icons though?
  • Ugly af
  • I got my S7e back from Sammy a week ago because it died. When I got it back, the back has a crack down the right side. Wasn't there before in any fashion. Been fighting with them now for them to fix it and pretty much being told to pound sand. So I'm done with Sammy. F them. With that said, I was really hoping the Pixel was going to be....shall I say...a little better to sell my S7e and give my iPhone 7 to my son. I'm not disappointed, but rather uninterested. There's nothing appealing...but isn't that what Google aims for?? Non-flashy devices that tout Android in pure glory? That shouldn't be the point though. The point is is that it looks to be an underwhelming device that's been tagged with a huge price tag. So it looks like I'll be skipping the "Pixel" leaving it ripe for the "pixies".
  • I guess you'll know for sure come October 4th. Speculation is rampant in these parts, and I reserve my opinions for the actual launch.
  • Come over to the dark side. I'm sure Pixel will look much better in person.
  • For some reason Erik, I doubt it.
  • My expectations are gonna be as high as the price tag...
    along with the initial price tag my current N6 works far too well to justify being an early adopter of a "pixel", im more interested in getting nougat .. if I do get a pixel I'm ditching that navbar, shading, and Google pill immediately..
  • If it's available from carriers, then the price tag doesn't mean much.
  • You're paying for it either way. Of course the price matters.
  • Yeah, but people have been buying 650 phones for years without thinking twice at carriers. It's all baked in the monthly. Now unlocked for 650.. Now we can complain
  • Couple of years ago I'd agree, but.. these days my kids for instance, are far more tech savvy, they all have flagships from other sources..
    Same for me, not going through a carrier in the uk is mostly a much cheaper and easier way of getting a flagship..
  • hope they keep the same price as the 6P otherwise I won't even bother with this phone
  • Based on all the renders and leaks, I think these iGoogle phones are a good match for Goggle's designs: absolutely horrible and vomit-inducing. As for the price, it's a normal flagship price. People (or rather, Americans) should start to realise that. If this will all sell at that price, that's another question. I doubt it but that's because Google has no brand recognition when it comes to phones (what sold the Nexus devices was the OEM brand in them... And even those didn't have much success with the general public).
    Well and everything in the phones from software to hardware is ugly as sin.
  • Shut it down Google. You have no chance. This guy says so.
  • Oh I'm so going to rub this inevitable failure on your fanboy face, it's going to be epic.
    I've read idiotic comments like yours before. You know when? When I said Microsoft wouldn't stand a chance without Nokia and that Windows Phone would sink right after Nokia left. Being a known brand elsewhere doesn't grant you success in markets you're a stranger to. But you have no concept of that. Just like WP fanboys didn't.
    I've been enjoying their agony as WP dies. And I will enjoy yours when you realise these Pixels will be as much of a failure as the entire Pixel line has been.
    I did it to them, and I can't wait to do the same to you. And believe me, I will do it ;)
  • Whatever knocks your socks off. You take this way to seriously. In a selfish way I hope they do not sell that many. I like having something the masses do not have, just the way I'm wired.
  • Won't make any judgement until I see the phone in person.
  • So many people are comparing the Pixel with the 5X because of the size but that's not a fair comparison. The 5X didn't have premium build materials and had a much lower spec than the 6P thus had a much lower price.
    Google is following Sony's strategy - the phones could almost be called the Pixel and Pixel Compact.
  • People people its a leaked render, that bezels aren't that big compared to all other phones and that 650 price tag isn't even close to being confirmed. Calm down these comments are worse than the pro-AUX people in the iPhone 6 release article.
  • I know it's not confirmed yet.. But yuck. For the price it's supposed to be, it better blow all the competition out of the water.
  • So... for less money and a better processor than the competition it has to blow said competition out of the water? Makes total sense.
  • I use my phone outdoors a lot, so IP67 or IP68 is important to me. Pixel would need to have that. Also, an SD Card slot and Quick Charge. My Samsung Galaxy S7 is still one of the few that fit what I want in a phone.
  • No water resistance and no expandable storage = No thanks.
  • Fail! The key to success is 'solving people's problems' so putting yet ANOTHER high priced phone on the market with your own brand solves nothing. Sorry but I'll pass on this bad boy for sure.
  • Was considering buying a Nexus (or Pixel) this time around, but I'm not so sure anymore. My current phone isn't going to last another year though.....
  • I think my aluminium N6P will have a white brother with 128 gigs soon. I will get me some more of the last Nexus standing.
  • I passed on the 6P because my Nexus 6 was fine for my use. Figured I'd jump for a new Nexus this time around. All I can say about the Pixel phones is that my Nexus 6 is now looking better than ever. The Nexus 6 is still a great device and mine looks brand new so decided to keep it another year. Plus $649.00?????
  • $649? Are they out of their minds? (Sorry I had to.) Not feeling this for the base price. That means my next phone will be a midrange. I'm definitely keeping my 6P for a while.
  • I agree that the design leaves a lot to be desired, especially compared with the Nexus 6P. I don't think I'll be abandoning my 6P just yet. What I don't understand is people whingeing about the price. For a phone with a QHD screen, Snapdragon 821 processor, and 4GiB of RAM, you should expect to pay a lot. I would expect at least $749 for the XL, as that's how much premium smartphones cost. The iPhones with the largest storage option are considerably more expensive. My biggest problem is with the bezels and lack of front-facing speakers. I've become accustomed to them...
  • I'm excited to see these new devices! My 6P is still going strong. I've always had a soft spot for HTC since the One S. Hopefully these devices end up a hit.