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Leaked Google Pixel listings confirm specs ahead of launch

It’s the time of year when Google announces its annual in-house phone release, but something is very different this time. For nearly six years, we’ve had Nexus phones from Google as a showcase of what Android can be when device makers don’t muck around with it. This time, all signs point to an expansion of the Pixel brand in place of Nexus. Two Pixel phones are expected to be announced tomorrow at the October 4th event, and a UK retailer has accidentally dropped spec sheets and images for the devices.

There have been a few leaks of the Pixel phones thus far, but none of them have been as detailed as the new leak from Carphone Warehouse. The listing pages that went live over the weekend (now removed) will likely be the same ones that go up for consumers to pre-order devices in the coming days. They confirm a lot of details that were only based on rumors previously.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, there will be two Pixel phones, the Pixel and Pixel XL. The regular Pixel will have a 5-inch 1080p AMOLED display, and the Pixel XL will have a larger 5.5-inch 1440p AMOLED. Other than the size differences, these devices will be virtually identical, as confirmed by the specs on Carphone Warehouse.

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The Pixel phones will run the brand new Snapdragon 821 SoC, 4GB of RAM, 12.3MP cameras with optical stabilization, and 32/128GB of storage. The Pixel has a 2770mAh battery and the XL bumps it up to 3450mAh. And yes, they’ll have headphone jacks (strange you need to specify that these days) and a rear-facing fingerprint sensor. These should be the first phones to ship with the Snapdragon 821, which was announced by Qualcomm in July. Google’s phones don’t usually debut new hardware, but that’s only one of the reasons these phones are unusual.

The Pixels are being manufactured by HTC (based on FCC filings and rumors), but the Carphone Warehouse listings confirm that there’s zero mention of HTC — no logos, no branding, not even a note in the specs. Although, the design of these phones does appear to have some clear similarities to recent HTC devices like the One A9 and HTC 10. Google is taking full control of the Pixel brand, and going after other premium phones like the iPhone and Galaxy S7.

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The leaked listings also confirm one more important detail — the Pixels will launch with Android 7.1 Nougat. The 7.0 variant of Nougat just started rolling out to Nexus devices, and the LG V20 has launched in Korea running it. We don’t have all the details on what Android 7.1 will include in general, but on the Pixels it will come bundled with an updated home screen UI, Google Assistant integration, and unlimited photo backup via Google Photos.

One thing missing from the Carphone Warehouse listings was a confirmation of pricing. The consensus is that Google will charge more for these phones than most of the recent Nexus devices. Rumors have pointed to a $650 starting price for the Pixel, though there may be financing available.

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