Google Pixel 3 Next On Tap For The Android Army, When And What To Expect

We haven't even finished out the first quarter of 2018 yet, but the Galaxy S9 family has been launched and the first developer preview of Android P has been released. There are sure to be a slew of Android flagships launched this year, and one of the most highly anticipated models will no doubt be the next-generation Pixel family from Google. Google made some critical improvements with 2017's Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, and the enthusiast community is expecting even more with the rumored Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL in 2018.

Given that we're still so early in the game, anything regarding the upcoming Pixel 3 lineup is pure speculation at this point – we haven’t seen anything in the way of channel leaks or early prototypes. What we do know, however, is that Google will have the advantage this time around of an in-house hardware team, which is the result of its acquisition of key talent from HTC's smartphone division. These are the same team members that were responsible for working on the Pixel 2.

google pixel 2 family

Another "given" is that the Pixel 3 smartphones will be among the first to ship out of the box with Android P later this year. Android P will have even deeper hooks with the Google Assistant, and it will give developers specific APIs to handle notched displays.

We're almost certain that Google will adopt Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 processors this time around. Last year's Pixel 2 used the hottest chip on the market -- the Snapdragon 835 -- and there's no reason to believe that Google would go with a different chipmaker. The current Pixel 2 phones have 4GB of RAM, although we speculate that Google might bump that to at least 6GB to keep pace with newer flagships like the Galaxy S9+.

What about the displays? The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL feature displays measuring 5-inches and 6-inches respectively. The former has a resolution of 1920x1080, while the latter bumps that up to 2880x1440. Given the trend for flagships to go with slimmer bezels all around, we could see those screen sizes jump slightly while keeping the same overall dimensions. What remains to be seen, however, is if Google will bow to peer pressure by including a display notch on the phones. The Essential Phone was the first with a (admittedly small) notch, and the iPhone X brought the design trend to the forefront. Now, a slew of smartphone OEMs have jumped on the bandwagon -- we just hope that Google is able to refrain from going that route, because it looks absolutely ridiculous.

Perhaps the most celebrated feature of the current Pixel 2 phones is the camera. Despite "only" having one rear camera while most other flagships have two, the Pixel 2 camera has been praised for its excellent overall shooting performance. In addition, the Pixel Visual Core allows improves image quality with HDR+ photography. Given its pedigree we can only imagine what the Pixel 3 will offer on the image quality front now that the Galaxy S9+ is breathing down its neck with variable aperture shooting capabilities.

The original Pixel was announced on October 4th, 2016, while the Pixel 2 bowed on October 4th, 2017. If Google sticks to its previous schedules, keep an eye on the first week on October for the Pixel 3, with an official launching come a few weeks later.