Jun 16th, 2017

The original Pixel family was a great “born again” moment for Google’s hardware business. It felt like the Nexus line had finally grown up into something that could realistically step into Galaxy and iPhone levels of mainstream.

Sales may not have reflected that, of course, but those who are in the know about Pixel know just how good of a phone it is.

For the Pixel 2, things should only get better, and we’re already thinking about some changes we feel could make the sequel a phone that’s simply too good to pass up.

IP68 Waterproof

If the goal of the Pixel 2 is to create a top notch flagship worthy of taking on all competitors, it simply has to have water resistance. We know phones are not constantly drenched in water and some people don’t need this ultimate protection, but the addition of IP68 water resistance would at least tick one of the many boxes that cause us to get smartphone anxiety. It’s simply one less thing for consumers to worry about: there if they need it, practically invisible if they don’t.

Wireless charging

We may not have had this as a must-have feature 3 years ago, but wireless charging has come a long way by now. Pads charge almost as fast as their USB counterparts.

Yes, we can live without it, but there’s something so blissfully simple about dropping your phone down onto your desk and having its battery get charged without having to fumble around with pesky cables. Of course, USB-C cables have made this annoyance a little less annoying, but we still wouldn’t mind some contact pads inside this thing.

MicroSD

Enough is enough. It was cute when Google first began their crusade on microSD cards way back when the Nexus S launched, but there’s just no good argument for excluding this feature anymore. People want more storage inside their phones, even if that storage isn’t as good as the stuff it comes with.

Dual cameras

The Pixel already dominates smartphone photography with one of DxOMark’s highest ratings ever. It also has yet to be matched on our list of Android phones with the best camera.

How could they get even better? Some dual sensor sorcery, we’d say. Whether they use it for true optical zoom, monochromatic stitching for more detail, or what have you, we’d love to see this trend extend to the Pixel family.

Tango

ASUS wants to bring us the first mainstream Tango phone, but why shouldn’t Google do it? The ZenFone AR proves you can have a sleek Tango phone, so long as your engineering chops are sufficient, and if they really want a marketable game changer, this would be it.

Much thinner bezels

The size bezels on the original Pixel were fine, but there was simply no excuse for the girth on the top and bottom. I mean, it was Sony levels of bad. And you all know how I feel about Sony. Cut it down!

Stereo Speakers

Because a lone bottom-firing speaker just isn’t enough, dammit.

What do you want to see?

This was just my take on the Pixel 2 and what I think would make for a killer phone. I excluded obvious things like better battery life, a faster chipset, and Android O, because duh.

But the nice thing about my proposed improvements is that — perhaps with the slight exception of Tango — they’re all pretty practical and realistic additions that I think Google and whichever hardware company they’re going with this time can pull off. I’d include whimsical fantasies like modularity, but with the way Project Ara tanked I’m simply over it.

Again, that’s just me. What do you think the Pixel 2 would need to take things to the next level? Share your thoughts ahead!

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