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This is what the Google Pixel 2 could have looked like

If you're a fan of the design for any of Google's latest products that were announced last October, the woman you'd want to thank is Ivy Ross. Ross is in charge of Google's design team for its hardware division, and Google's official blog 'The Keyword' recently interviewed her as part of its The She Word series.

I highly recommend checking out the entire interview as it's an excellent read, but one of the most interesting tidbits to come out of it are early design concepts for the Pixel 2, Pixelbook, and Daydream View headset.

As you can see above, Ross and her team tested a ton of different designs for the Pixel 2 before settling on the final version. All of the concepts have a two-tone design with the glass and metal back, but some of them had bodies that were wider, blockier, and had different-sized camera sensors.

We also have a look at a couple different designs for the Pixelbook, both of which feature glass that took up about half of the front as opposed to the smaller glass window Google ended up choosing. It also looks like Ross toyed with the idea of having the window in a black paint job, meaning we could have gotten a panda Pixelbook alongside the Panda Pixel 2 XL.

In the photos below, you can also see early designs for the Daydream View (one of which had holes on the front...yuck), color swatches that were tested for the Home Mini, and different fabrics that were considered for the Pixel 2's fabric cases.

I'm more than happy with the final products Ross and Google chose, but it's still interesting to get a look at what could have been. What are your thoughts on these early design concepts?

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

15 Comments
  • So was there a design that included the headphone jack?
  • No...
  • While I own and love both of the new pixels, I would be lying if I said either one was a good looking phone. They just aren't.
  • Agree, I can't work out if Google did this on purpose ( function over form) or just crap designers.
    They do seem to be pushing the phone as another device to control your world and not as a bling fashion statement.
  • I agree the performance is stellar, but it's one of the few phones where the looks were the biggest turn off.
  • I just wish the 2 would have simply been a smaller version of the 2 XL.
  • Or...the HTC U11+ which wouldn't have been such bad press like the LG variant.
  • That would have been nice. It's actually a double burn the way it turned out in the states: We didn't get the U11+ as the Pixel XL, and it's not available in the US, presumably due to a non-compete agreement so the U11+ would not siphon off Pixel sales.
  • I wonder what it would be like if it had all of the features a flagship should have, none of the issues, and wasn't butt ugly.
  • Best phone I've ever owned honestly. I love the design.. it's simple and gets away from the all metal bling slabs.
  • Almost agree. As just a phone the OnePlus 5 still is my favourite, but the Pixel cameras.... Can't touch them.
  • It looks like, in any instance, that the black top was gonna stay, regardless.
  • I guess I'm the only who likes the design. It's different and feels good in your hands. The back is a fingerprint magnet though, that's the only bad thing I could say.
  • Generally speaking I'm not overly concerned with design, I mean 'c'mon, there's only so much that can be done with a rectangular slab... right? But overall it looks and feels good. But there is one design "flaw" that does annoy me, and that's the placement of the power button, volume buttons and the squeeze area. The way it all lines up, it makes it very difficult to put on a windshield holder. The most logical place for the windshield holder grip is the very bottom of the phone , but with a slanted windshield, that forces the phone away from the windshield quite a way, and I don't particularly want a phone right in my face. I had an iBolt with my HTC for the longest time, and could possibly make that one work with my Pixel 2, except the "jaws" don't quite open up as much as they need to. I would of kept the power button on the left, move the volume buttons up, and leave the middle of the phone available for a cell phone mount.
  • Uh... even with a bad design I'd love it but it's just too much money for me, and for now I prefer to put my e-mail in giveaways/sweepstakes like this: giveaways.services/googlepixelgiveaway I've won some stuff in the past so you never know lol my current iPhone is from one of these lol you have nothing to lose.