Pixel XE surfaces in live images; is this the 5G flagship that Android super fans want?

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Those of you who were hoping for a new flagship Pixel and obviously didn’t get one this year, there might be some hope for you soon. A live photo showing the settings page for a mystery device named the Pixel XE was tweeted by @Slashleaks. Another image from the handset’s settings page reveals that the unit will be powered by an octa-core chipset and feature a dual SIM setup. A third photo contains proof that the device supports NFC connectivity and if legit, the phone will have a punch-hole selfie snapper located near the top of the display in the middle of the screen.

Is Google about to go after the iPhone with a new series of Pixel handsets?

The full-sized Pixel and Pixel XL models had always used 800 series Snapdragon chipsets dating back to the first generation models released in 2016. Google kept this up with last year’s Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL; both of these handsets were powered by the Snapdragon 855. It really appeared that Google was going after Apple and Samsung’s top-shelf models last year; the Pixel 4 was equipped with Face Unlock, a feature similar to the iPhone’s Face ID. And thanks to its Motion Sense laser based hand gesture system, a Pixel 4 was able to detect when a user was reaching for his Pixel allowing the phone to activate Face Unlock quicker than the iPhone opens Face ID. While Google had high hopes for Motion Sense, all it did was bypass calls, skip songs and videos streamed by an app, and turn off an alarm. For most Pixel 4 series users, it was a waste of time and effort. The expectations of what Motion Sense would do came in well below the reality.

Google’s hopes of challenging the iPhone and Galaxy S models with the Pixel 4 lineup never came to fruition. And when Google decided to power the Pixel 5 with the Snapdragon 765G instead of the Snapdragon 865, it appeared that a change was taking place. Gone was the larger “XL” version of the phone and all of the high-end features including Face Unlock and Motion Sense were removed. The device that Google designed for those who wanted a “pure” Android experience was being aimed at a slightly different target. Priced at $699 and carrying a 6-inch display, the Pixel 5 was closer to being a mid-range phone than a high-end device. And as much as quick Android updates had helped sell the line in the past, Pixel fans have been really hoping that Google has something else under its sleeve. And that something could be the Pixel XE.

Of course, there is a chance that the photo evidence is all fake. Back in 2018 several leaks seemed to indicate the presence of a super high-end Pixel Ultra including a render from Ben Geskin; the Pixel Ultra turned out not to be legitimate. If you’re a huge Android fan, you are really hoping that there really is a Pixel XE coming although it is hard to be optimistic considering what Google has done with the Pixel over the last couple of years. Sure, the Pixel 3a series was a great idea since it brought the Pixel’s photography system to consumers at a much lower price. But while focusing on the mid-range market, Google forgot that there are Android fans willing to pay up for best-in-class hardware.

Besides using its software prowess to make the Pixel phones among the best when it comes to photography, Google has designed the Pixels to be the first to receive system updates each year. And don’t forget the quarterly Pixel feature drop adding new capabilities to certain Pixel models every three months. But Google cannot rely on software alone which is why we hope that if the Pixel XE is legit, it brings a huge upgrade in hardware to the Pixel line.,





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