Google is just a few months away from revealing its 2017 Android flagships, which are codenamed Taimen and Walleye. We’ve seen speculative renders of the Pixel XL 2 (Taimen), and that device looks to minimize its display bezels, opting for a design that is becoming increasingly common in 2017-era Android flagships.
However, new images from seasoned leaker Evan Blass suggest that the smaller Pixel 2 (Walleye) won’t be too far removed from its predecessor when it comes to design. Although it may be a little difficult to tell from the grainy images, the Pixel 2 still features rather large bezels framing the top and bottom of the display.
What’s interesting — if this leak proves to be accurate — is that Google would be bucking a trend that has found great success with flagships like the LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8/Galaxy S8+. Even upcoming flagships like the Galaxy Note 8 and Apple’s iPhone 8 are expected to shrink their display bezels down to the bare minimum.
The move is even more perplexing when you consider that Google encouraged developers earlier this year to design their apps to take advantage of these new Android devices with taller 18:9 and 18.5:9 aspect ratio displays. “In order to take full advantage of the larger display formats on these devices, you should consider increasing your app's maximum supported aspect ratio,” Google told developers earlier this year. “As more super widescreen Android devices, like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the LG G6, become available, you'll have more opportunities to display more content and create more engaging experiences with your app.”
The leaked images also confirm that the Pixel 2 will not feature dual rear cameras, which is another design feature that is gaining acceptance with Android devices. The drastic difference in appearance between the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 might be due to the fact that HTC has been tapped to produce the former, while LG (which has experience with bezel-free displays) is making the latter. Last year, HTC produced both the Pixel and Pixel XL.
Unfortunately, we have yet another bit of bad news to bring you concerning the Pixel 2. According to both 9to5Google and Blass, the smartphone won’t feature a headphone jack, and will rely on either the USB-C port or Bluetooth for audio. This also goes for the larger Pixel XL 2.