Google currently has seven Pixel-series smartphones in development, including a foldable handset, Russian outlet Mobile-Review claims as part of its in-depth look into a Pixel 3 XL prototype that was likely part of a trial manufacturing batch stolen from Foxconn. Two of the seven devices are said to be the upcoming Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, with the foldable phone prototype supposedly being in an extremely early phase of development as Google is only thinking about a 2020 release, according to a machine translation of the report. The rest of the products under development have even more question marks around them as the source claims two of them could already be ready for production in time for the Pixel 3 series launch in early October.
The main differences between the upcoming lineup and the two other devices come down to the fact that the latter support infrared scanning in addition to more general facial recognition, have dual-camera setups, somewhat different chassis designs, and leverage new AI tech specifically designed for augmented reality applications. The handsets are also said to feature tactile keys instead of physical buttons, with the main implication of that claim being that they were manufactured by HTC or at least based on the same tech used by the HTC U12 Plus. The devices also reportedly support a new VR solution Google isn’t planning to announce before 2019 and aren’t powered by the Snapdragon 845 like the Pixel 3 lineup. With Qualcomm confirming it’s already sampling the Snapdragon 845 successor just yesterday, that may be the silicon found inside the said prototypes.
The same source claims the Pixel 3 line could be mass-produced as early as September, suggesting Google may not experience the widespread stocking issues it had with the last two generations of the Android flagship family this time around. The Pixel 3 series is widely rumored to be announced on October 4, the same date on which Google‘s last two annual hardware events took place, and should begin retailing by the end of the same month.