A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing has revealed that Google's upcoming Pixel 2 smartphone could borrow one of the more unique features from 2017's crop of flagship Android devices.
First spotted by 9to5Google, the documentation refers to the smaller of Google's two next-gen Pixel handsets, which, as with the first Pixel, is expected to be manufactured by HTC. The larger, phablet-sized Pixel 2 XL – codenamed "Taimen" in early leaks – appears to be in the hands of LG.
With HTC seemingly looking to put its own spin on an officially branded 'Google Phone' this time around, the Taiwanese company has turned to its own flagship smartphone, the HTC U11, for some 'squeezable' inspiration.
In a sample screenshot within the filing, a feature called "Active Edge" can be seen within a "Languages, input & gestures" menu. While not explained within the document, it's safe to assume that this is the Pixel version of the HTC U11's "Edge Sense" – a pressure-sensitive input embedded into the sides of HTC's top-end phone activated with a quick squeeze.
The set-up shown in the screenshot utilises the squeeze feature as a prompt for Google Assistant. Whether or not this can be changed by the user, as is possible on the HTC U11, is yet to be seen.
Other tidbits of information have also been gleaned from the FCC filing that appear to confirm recent leaks and industry rumours. In another screenshot showing the device's status menu, the storage section confirms that 50.66GB remains free after filling 21% of the phone's internal memory – a reading that lends credence to reports that the Pixel 2 will include 64GB storage as standard.
Elsewhere the OS is listed as Android 8.0.1 with an August security patch. As with the first Pixel and Google's previous Nexus smartphones, the Pixel 2 is expected to release with the latest version of Android, which in this case is the upcoming Android O (8.0).
While we'll have to wait and see if the features teased in the filing come to fruition upon the Pixel 2's release – expected to be October – it'll be more interesting to quirky additions like a squeezable input will assuage fans who have already expressed concern about the design choices for the smaller Pixel phone.
Chief among those choices is the reported lack of a headphone jack, traditional bezel-size and its familiar part-glass, part-metal chassis – especially at a time when LG seems to be going all-in on its bigger brother, the Pixel 2 XL, with a modern, stretched screen like those found on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and its own LG G6.