In the history of worst kept secrets ever, Google's Pixel 3 would have to be close to the top of the list. With the alleged theft of a shipment of phones trumping the infamous "found it in a bar" iPhone 4 leak, we know a lot about the Google flagship smartphone that will be announced during the wee hours of Wednesday 10 October 2018. Here's everything we know about the Google Pixel 3 so far.
On The Outside
We all know first impressions count. So what will the new Pixel 3 look like? We already know the Pixel 3 XL an edge-to-edge display with a notch that looks narrower that Apple's version but is expected to dip a little lower into the screen. But the Pixel 3 will have a carry a top bezel, rather than a notch, suggesting Google is experimenting with a kind of A/B test to see what their customers want. Unlike the latest iPhones, Google has retained a lower bezel on both new smartphones according to official renders of both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
The Pixel 3 will have a 145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9 mm body that houses a 5.4-inch display running at a resolution of 2160 by 1080. The Pixel 3 XL will be 158 x 76.6 x 7.9 mm with a 6.7-inch display running at a resolution of 2960 by 1440.
There's no 3.5mm headphone port, with Bluetooth or USB-C your best options for connecting headphones although an adaptor is included in the box, unlike Apple, that decided a cheap adaptor was too much to include with a $2000 smartphone.
And while the USB-C port can be used for charging, wireless Qi will also be an option. Wireless charging has now become table stakes for mid-range and premium smartphones. Practically every leak regarding the Pixel 3 has included wireless charging with prototypes shown getting juiced up on charging pads.
There was speculation that Google was going to include a dual-camera array on the front of the new Pixel 3 devices. It looks like the Pixel 3 XL is getting a pair of front cameras but the Pixel 3 sticks with a single camera system.
Despite many other phone makers opting for dual rear cameras, everything points to Google sticking to a single rear camera. That's expected to be a 12.2 MP unit with dual-LED flash, HDR, panorama mode and capability to shoot video at 2160p at either 30 or 60fps, 1080p at 30, 60 or 240fps or 720p at 480fps.
On The Inside
With most of the smartphone market now offering between 64GB and 512GB options, we can expect Google to follow suit. The current model offers 64GB and 128GB of storage but I expect we'll see the top end expanded to at least 256GB. While Google will be keen to keep buyers slurping data from their cloud services, there are times when we are disconnected and need access to our data, whether that's for work or play. With many streaming services, such as Spotify and Netflix, offering offline access to content, we still need local storage.
The big move will the incorporation of the Snapdragon 845 SoC processor, which is a step up on the current Snapdragon 835. A review of the new processor by Anandtech defines this processor a "tock" update on the previous generation processor used in the Pixel 2. So, it's an incremental update. But it should still offer a performance boost over the previous Pixel.
Most of the rumours suggest the device will also get a memory upgrade from 4GB to 6GB.
Part Phone, Part Smart Speaker
As we reported previously, there have been references to a product called the Pixel Stand that allows you to dock your Pixel phone and use Google Assistant even when the phone is locked.
With smartphone and connected devices a major battleground for Google as they battle against Amazon and Apple, having a device that leverages the power of the Pixel 3 when it's otherwise sitting idle makes sense.
There's no doubt Google will be using the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL to show off all that their Android P operating system can do. While Google tends to keep Android fairly vanilla on their devices, they have been known to throw in a few extra features, such as when they included Google Lens support with the Pixel 2.
Android Authority reports that Google is playing with a feature called "active wallpapers". These are on-screen backgrounds that change depending on what you're doing. For example, they might have a moving display while music is playing.
Or, We Might have It All Wrong
The most interesting rumour, which has the light smell of "conspiracy theory" about it, is that all the rumours and supposedly leaked devices, are a cunning ploy by Google to throw us all off the scent of what they are really announcing. Tom's Guide reports that bloggers criticising the leaked images have been invited to the launch and that they've been asked by Google for permission to use YouTube clips they've produced looking at the leaked prototypes during the launch.
That's an interesting move with many speculating Google might be preparing to pull a big reveal and showing how they managed to keep a new device secret while duping the rumour mill.