Google is apparently working on a mid-end Pixel smartphone, which it plans to launch in early next year. According to the prolific leaker Ronald Quandt, the mysterious Pixel-branded phone will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 710, a processor aimed at mid-end Android handsets. Not much is known about the smartphone as the hardware development has just started. The device would be released in the first-half of 2019.
Snapdragon 710 is Qualcomm’s latest “upper mid-end” processor. It is the first of the 700-series, which was announced at MWC this year. The processor is more powerful than the Snapdragon 660 and is aimed at bringing flagship-level performance to a mid-end smartphone. The Mi 8 SE is the first phone to be powered by a Snapdragon 710 chipset.
This isn’t the first time we’re hearing that Google is working on a mid-end Pixel smartphone. Earlier this year The Economic Times had reported that Google was planning to launch a Pixel-branded mid-end smartphone for “price-sensitive” markets, including India. The report said that the launch will happen either in July or August of this year.
Up till now, previous Pixel smartphones have all been high-end, with the top model of the Pixel 2 XL costing as high as Rs 82,000 in India. A mid-end Pixel phone, if it launches in the near future, could expand Google’s reach in the world’s second-largest smartphone market after China. Not just Google, technology giants including Apple, Huawei and Xiaomi are all increasingly looking at India for growth. According to research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), the sales of smartphones in India will grow by 14 per cent this year and by 16 per cent next year.
Off to Taiwan for @computex_taipei today, but here’s a tidbit for ya: Google is working on a “mobile” device based on the Snapdragon 710 currently scheduled for launch in the 1st half of 2019. Sounds like this might be the (or one of them) upcoming mid-range Pixel phone.
— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) June 2, 2018
Later this year, Google plans to launch two new Pixel smartphones – the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Both smartphones are expected to be high-end in nature and will be powered by the Snapdragon 845 SoC – Qualcomm’s latest flagship processor. There’s also a good chance to see the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL adopt the controversial notch design, similar to the iPhone X and Xiaomi Mi 8. Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL will likely make their global debut in October this year.