Google discontinued the development of the successor to the Pixel XL that was reportedly codenamed “Muskie” and likely intends to replace the device with one that it refers to as “Taimen,” several sources close to the Alphabet-owned company said on Monday. Recent developments indicate that the Mountain View, California-based tech giant won’t be releasing three Pixel phones this year like it was originally rumored to and will instead follow up on the Pixel and Pixel XL with two devices. “Taimen” is said to be larger than both the allegedly discontinued “Muskie” and “Walleye” — another rumored Pixel-series handset — and is hence presumed to be a direct successor to the Pixel XL.
It’s currently unclear whether a recent benchmark listing detailing a “Google Pixel XL2” is that of “Muskie” or “Taimen,” provided that it’s legitimate. However, in light of the fact that the listing described a handset with a 5.5-inch display panel and a 1.95:1 aspect ratio that actually amounts to less screen real estate compared to the original Pixel XL, it presumably referred to the supposedly scrapped smartphone. With the “Taimen” being said to feature a larger screen than the 5.5-inch Pixel XL, the device may be closer in size to the 5.96-inch Nexus 6, provided that Google doesn’t significantly reduce the bezels of the second-generation Pixel lineup and opts for a conventional 16:9 image format.
As the original Nexus successors sported identical internal components and only differed in terms of battery capacity and screen size, the upcoming Pixel 2-series devices may be similar in that regard. According to the aforementioned listing, the “Google Pixel XL2” is powered by Qualcomm’s 10nm Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip (SoC) and 4GB of RAM, in addition to sporting 128GB of internal flash memory, an 8-megapixel front camera, and at least one 12-megapixel rear one. The phone was running Android 7.1.1 Nougat at the time of its testing but will likely launch with Android O, i.e. Android 8.0. Google announced the original Pixel and Pixel XL at a San Francisco event in early October 2016, with some industry watchers expecting that their successors will be unveiled around the same period this year. More details on the handsets and Google’s other hardware efforts will likely follow in the coming months.