The next Google phone: Pixel 3 launch date, specs, and rumor roundup

Google hasn't offered any official indication it plans to launch an updated smartphone in 2018, but that's no reason to suppress the various leaks and rumors.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor

Google hasn't given us any official indication it plans to launch an updated Pixel 3 smartphone in 2018, but that isn't going to stop us from covering the various leaks and rumors leading up to its launch.

Here's what the rumor mill says about the next Google Pixel.

Google Pixel 3: How many Pixels?

Google will reportedly launch three new Pixel devices in 2018, if a source-code leak in October 2017 is to be believed.

According to Droid Life, the new Pixel phones have codenames of "crosshatch," "albacore" and "blueline," the code says. Two Pixel models are said to be premium phones, with the other being high-end.

Google Pixel 3: Cheaper version

Google is planning to launch a mid-range Pixel model with lower specifications and price for developing and price sensitive markets like India, Economic Times reported in April.


This isn't the first we've heard of a cheaper Pixel -- 9to5Google reported its existence a year ago via an anonymous source:

You should interpret "Budget Pixel" as a device that is being developed by the same team working on the Pixel 2, that is aimed at being released in emerging markets. This could mean Android One, this could mean something entirely different. My knowledge of this device is that: a.) it's being developed alongside the Pixel 2 and b.) will not be sold in the US (assuming that it leaves the prototype stages).

It's worth noting there were three versions of the Pixel 2 found in 2017 code. Google ditched the third device and launched the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

9to5Google's earlier report said Google is planning a Pixel phone "aimed at different markets" with a lower price and less powerful hardware.

There's no word on pricing or specifications for the rumored cheaper Pixel. It's not clear if it is one of the three codenames provided by Droid Life.

Google Pixel 3: Launch date

Google launched its Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL in early October 2017. ValueWalk theorizes Google will debut the new Pixel in October to compete with a new Apple smartphone offering for the fall.


There's no word on a specific Google Pixel 3 launch date.

If the report Google will launch a mid-range version around August-July is true, it's likely Google would introduce the entire new Pixel lineup at the same event.

Google Pixel 3: Design

We don't know what Google's 2018 Pixel lineup will look like. So far, there have been no leaked mockups or part snapshots to give us an early indication.

It's likely HTC will be behind manufacturing and parts of the Pixel 3 design process. HTC was behind the Pixel and Pixel 2, and Google just concluded a $1.1 billion deal to acquire certain HTC employees.

Google's latest update to Android, called Android P and currently available to developers for testing, gives better software support around phone display "notches." This could indicate Google will take the notch route with Pixel 3.

Google Pixel 3: Specs

Like the original Pixel and Pixel 2, Google is likely to use the latest processor available for flagship phones. In 2018, it's Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 processor currently found in Samsung's Galaxy S9 and other big flagships for the year.


Expected with all flagship upgrades, Google will probably include boosted storage and RAM. We'd also expect Pixel 3 not to include a headphone jack and let USB-C be the star -- like the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

Google is working to develop iris scanner support that could complete with 3D scanning used on iPhone X, according to code examined by Android Police. There's no word if it will be ready in time for the Pixel lineup:

The code doesn't actually fully implement iris unlock, it just creates the internal structure for the feature. Instead of modifying the lockscreen code themselves, adding the relevant permissions, and so on, manufacturers would just add their code in the proper location. The discussion on the commits is ongoing, and it hasn't been merged into AOSP quite yet.

We'll be tracking the latest.

Closer look at Google's Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL (pictures)

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