We've heard rumors of Lite versions of the Pixel 3 family in the past, and now we're receiving even more chatter regarding the alleged smartphones. According to the new report, the smartphones will be ready for a Spring 2019 launch and will be exclusive to Verizon, America's largest wireless carrier.
This is definitely a big departure for Google which has exclusively focused on flagship Android smartphones for the past three generations (Pixel, Pixel 2, Pixel 3). The last time that the company offered a true mid-range option was with the Nexus 5X, which debuted way back in the fall of 2015.
Given that these will be lower-priced entries into the Pixel family, you won't find the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor that currently powers the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Instead, it's rumored that a Snapdragon 670 or Snapdragon 710 SoC will be used on the phones. RAM will be capped at 4GB (which is identical to the Pixel 3 family) and internal storage will come in at 32GB. It is not known at this time if the phones will only be offered in a 32GB SKU, or if larger 64GB and 128GB SKUs will be optional.
When it comes to cameras, Android Police says that there will be an 8MP selfie unit up front along with a 12MP primary shooter on the rear. As for displays, the Pixel 3 Lite will reportedly have a 5.5-inch panel, while the Pixel 3 XL Lite will increase that to an even 6 inches. Display resolutions are unknown at this time.
Google Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 XL Lite speculative renders
Given the downgraded hardware and smaller displays, if this reporting is accurate, Google will have to be really aggressive with pricing to make these entries a success in the U.S. market. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are priced at $799 and $899 respectively, so we'd hope that the "Lite" versions could knock at least a couple hundred bucks off that prices. If we were living in fantasy land, a $300 price drop would seem "about right".
In fact, that $300 drop would be the only way that such smartphones would have any chance against value-friendly smartphones from companies like OnePlus -- and even then, it still wouldn't be an even match. The recently launched OnePlus 6T is priced from $529 with a Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 6.41-inch AMOLED Full HD+ display.