Thanks to the entirely expected Google Pixel 2 leak we saw earlier this week, we have confirmations for several of the Pixel 2 rumors out there. I say “expected” because we’re looking at documentation Google filed with the FCC, which leaked just like the original Pixel’s FCC documents a year ago. Among the things we learned from Google’s paper trail, is the fact that HTC is indeed building the Pixel for Google. That’s probably why the phone will get a unique, albeit unnecessary new feature that has HTC written all over it.
HTC launched the U11 flagship earlier this year, a phone that lacks the all-screen display that almost every other Android flagship out there has. Instead, it features a squeezable edge gimmick supposed to make it stand out from the crowd. Squeeze the edge of the phone and get a particular action such as opening the camera app. Personally, I’d rather have a gigantic screen than a squeezable frame.
For some reason, probably because HTC makes the phone, Google chose to adopt this feature for its next Pixel handset. That means it’ll add squeeze support to Android 8.0, or at least the software version that will run on the Pixel 2. The Pixel 2’s squeezable housing will be called Active Edge, and it’ll let you launch the Google Assistant. It’s unclear what other features will be associated with it, or whether Google will replicate the HTC U11’s squeeze features on the Pixel 2.
Samsung’s Galaxy S8 doesn’t have a squeezable frame, but it does feature a dedicated hardware button that can call up the voice assistant. Perhaps Google should’ve copied the S8’s button — and it’s all-screen design — instead of the U11.
The Pixel 2 will definitely be the “boring” Pixel phone this year, featuring a smartphone design that’s already outdated, and at least one feature that we shouldn’t be bothered with. The Pixel 2 XL, meanwhile, will have the all-screen design we want. The phone will made by LG, so it’ll be interesting to see whether it’ll also have the squeezable frame gimmick.