According to a GFXBench listing for a “PixelXL2” device, it shows that the new Google Pixel 2 XL that’s expected in October 2017 will have a key change in its dimensions. The resolution on the new device shows a 2560 x 1312 display, while the current Google Pixel XL has a 2560 x 1440 resolution.
That means it’s a little narrower, which would conform to an 18:9 aspect ratio, similar to the Galaxy S8 and LG G6, rather than the current 16:9 aspect ratio.
But, is the loss of resolution a good thing? It could be, because this aspect ratio would make the Google Pixel 2 XL feel a little bit longer, and thereby more comfortable for single-hand use. It’s also better for reading.
LG and Samsung did it a little differently, though, increasing the height rather than cutting width, resulting in 2960 / 2880 x 1440 pixels, respectively. The Galaxy S8, incidentally, ended up with a 2220 x 1080 resolution just to increase battery life.
The specs also point to the same Qualcomm 835 chipsets that Samsung is using for the U.S. edition of the Samsung Galaxy S8. That means it’s going to be pretty fast.
The only odd-looking entries in the benchmark listing are the 100GB memory and the 7-megapixel front-facing camera. The current Google Pixel Xl already has an 8-megapixel selfie camera, so we’re not sure why it would list a lower spec. Still, it’s not entirely unknown for a listing to have erroneous specs. Also, this might be an early prototype that’s being benchmarked, which means it might not be the same specs on the final production version.
Overall, it looks like the Google Pixel 2 XL is going for a slightly longer profile so it’s convenient for those with not-so-big hands to use with one hand. In fact, that’s the same aspect ratio we expect to see with iPhone 8 as well.
We also know that the camera on Google Pixel and Pixel XL being the best feature, Google is sure to ‘focus’ on that area more than anything else. The camera sensors on these devices have very impressive scores with DxOMark, so they’re not going to compromise on that. It was alluded to that the camera would not get an upgrade, but would be better through other enhancements, so we’re still waiting to see what tech Google deploys to make that happen.
But the newly-emerged information about the aspect ratio changing is a key factor because it alters the dimensions of the device. Snapdragon 835 is great, but one-hand use is probably even more important for a larger device like the Pixel 2 XL.
Though Google made an $880 million bid to get its hands on OLED screens this year, it looks like that’s not happening. That means Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are going to be the only top flagship phones from big names that aren’t going to have a near-zero bezel like the Infinity Display on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus and the edge-to-edge display we expect to see on iPhone 8. That looks like it might only happen with the third generation of Google Pixel smartphones.
Still, there’s still hope that we’ll see third Pixel 2 this year, dubbed Taimen, which should sport an even bigger screen than the Pixel 2 XL. Let’s see how that pans out.