On October 5th, 2017, a year and a day after the October 4th, 2016, unveiling of the Pixel and Pixel XL, Google will take to the stage again to announce its Pixel 2 generation of devices. This is according to prolific leaker and spoiler of well-kept secrets Evan Blass, who has tweeted the date along with confirmation of the processor spec for these new phones:
Not only is Google repeating its original Pixel strategy with the date of the launch, it is also apparently taking the same approach with the SOC. The 2016 Pixels came with a Snapdragon 821 that was slightly revised from the 820 chip that everyone else had been using up to that point, and the next Pixels will be built around a Snapdragon 836 that’s marginally better than the current 835 flagship part. Word of this was first reported by Fudzilla a month ago. In that report, it was indicated that the 836 SOC would have slightly higher maximum speeds for both CPU and GPU, and that it would offer slight improvements in battery life. The repetition of “slight” isn’t hugely encouraging, but we can just think of the Snapdragon 836 as the 835 with all the optimizations Qualcomm has been able to make since rolling out the chip at the start of the year.
The one thing nobody will be hoping Google repeats is the limited availability of the Pixels. The US company opted for exclusive distribution in the UK with carrier EE, despite a very prominent marketing campaign, and it struggled for many months to fulfill demand of the larger Pixel XL. Eager buyers in developed markets like Spain and Japan were just completely left out. Even if the next Pixels are just a gentle evolution of the first (with perhaps some of that LG magic dust that kills bezels), the most important thing Google can do is make them available on a truly global basis so that keen Android fans can actually get their hands on one.