There have been rumors flying recently that Google’s Pixel 2 smartphone will be released some time later this year. But just a few days ago, there is some increased talk that the said device will feature a squeezable body.
Smartphones that have squeezable frames may sound weird, but there actually already exists an Android powered mobile device with that kind of body. Some may remember that a little more than a couple of months ago, HTC officially unveiled the U11. Hitting store shelves just a few weeks ago, the U11 features sides that are pressure sensitive, which allows its user to launch specific apps or even complete particular functionalities just by applying pressure on the device’s sides.
As for the upcoming Pixel 2, the device might have a similar set up. Not too long ago, Android Police had published a report that provided rumored specifications of the follow up to the Pixel XL. The same report also made mention of the possibility of the Pixel 2 XL having some squeezable properties.
Future owners of the device could take full advantage of its pressure sensitivity to launch the Google Assistant, the digital artificial intelligence (AI) assistant that debuted with the Pixel. A more recent report from XDA Developers seems to support this rumor. If Samsung’s Galaxy S8 could launch its Bixby assistant through a dedicated button, and if Apple could open Siri through a home button shortcut, then Google is looking to the same thing but through squeezable sides.
More and more new smartphone releases appear to be experimenting with ways to complete functionalities without using a physical button. The Galaxy S8 and LG’s G6 are just a couple of examples of recent devices that have done away with those. Having squeezable sides can be viewed as a welcome feature that does not need a physical button, and if Google is employing this approach in a high profile flagship release, then others just might follow the tech giant’s lead.
So when can we expect to get our hands on a squeezable Pixel device? Well, according to Rick Osterloh, the head of hardware at Google, a successor to the original Pixel is indeed in the works, and will be launched before the end of this year. But as far as specific timeframes are concerned, there is no definite schedule yet. But if a new Pixel is going to launch in time for the holiday shopping season, an unveiling in the next couple of months could be reasonably expected.
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