There are not many secrets surrounding Google's Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL handsets, both of which have been subject to numerous leaks and rumors the past several months. It's through those leaks that we learned the Pixel 2 will have dual front-firing speakers. This led many to wonder if the same would be true of the larger Pixel XL 2, and supposedly that is a feature it will share with its smaller sibling.
XDA-Developers feels confident enough in its source of this new information that it is using the word "confirm" to deliver the news. Given that we are not talking about a rumor originating from some corner of the web at a site that nobody has ever heard of, we are pretty confident that the information is accurate, though we have not confirmed it ourselves.
In addition to having dual front-facing speakers, both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will have a new "Music Recognition" feature that works similarly to Shazam. Unlike that third-party app, the second-generation Pixel phones will listen for music being played and automatically fire up its Music Recognition feature on the lock screen. Anyone who has ever scrambled to find the Shazam icon on their phone and tap it in time to hear a song being played will appreciate this.
On the flip side, there are obviously some privacy concerns with having a phone persistently listen for music. We suspect that Google will offer a way to disable this.
Previous rumors also suggest that both Pixel devices will lack a 3.5mm audio jack. It appears that Google is taking a cue from Apple, which ditched the popular interface starting with its iPhone 7 series. It is not a trend that the industry at large is following, and so it remains to be seen what kind of blow back Google will receive over this decision.
Other rumored features of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL include a Portrait Mode in the Camera app that focuses on the main person in the frame and blurs out the background; a revamped Pixel Launcher with the search bar at the bottom; Squeeze to launch Google Assistant functionality; and an always-on Ambient Display mode.
Google is planning to launch its new Pixel phones on October 4.