With the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL approaching their one year anniversary, we're almost due another round of premium smartphones from Google, which we're assuming are going to be called the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL.
Despite some screen issues, the verdict seems to be that the 2017 Pixels were a solid step forward from the 2016 Pixels, which themselves were pretty decent smartphones. With contenders like the Samsung Galaxy S9 around though, Google knows it needs to keep innovating.
Here's everything we know so far about the new Pixels, and what to expect when they're unveiled.
Pixel 3: release date and price
The first Pixels appeared on the 4th of October 2016, then the Pixel 2 devices were announced on the 4th of October 2017. You don't need to be a smartphone Sherlock Holmes to work out that the 4th of October 2018 is a decent guess for the launch of the Pixel 3 phones.
It might not be exactly that date but October is very likely – the phone industry has settled into a regular routine as far as its phone launches go and Google seems happy to let everyone else go first.
Prices for this year's Pixels start at £629 (UK) or $649 (US) for the smaller model, and £799 (UK) or $849 (US) for the bigger phone, and it seems probable that Google will follow the same kind of structure this year.
We have heard whispers that a mid-range Pixel is in the works. If three phones do appear, one might be a little lower than that, and one a little higher. Having three handsets would allow Google to cover more bases as far as prices go, though it's unlikely it would go all the way up to four figures and iPhone X levels.
There's no doubt more information will leak out before launch day – which we'll include here as we get it. Before the Pixel 3 phones appear, we're also expecting to see Apple's successor to the iPhone X.
Pixel 3: all the rumoured features
As the launch date for the Google Pixel 3 phones approaches, we're starting to see some pictures leak out on to the web – such as the picture above, posted to the forums on XDA Developers.
It's supposedly the Pixel 3 XL, and yes, that is a notch up at the top of the screen (apologies if you're not a fan, but the software might allow you to hide it). It also looks like Google is going to stick with the single-lens rear-facing camera.
The same intrepid XDA Developers leaker, meraz9000, went on to post even more photos of the Google Pixel 3 XL, now available to view from almost every angle. We can't promise you that these pictures are genuine yet, but the more of them that appear, the more inclined we are to believe they're real.
While they don't tell us much about the specs, the grainy shots do give you an idea of how the Pixel 3 XL might fit in your hand. It also apparently confirms a glass back for the new phone, which might suggest wireless charging is arriving on the Google Pixel phones at last.
Meanwhile, check out the gorgeous render of the Google Pixel 3 XL above, placed next to an iPhone. This isn't an official image but it's a guesstimate of what the final handset might look like, based on all the leaks and details we've heard so far.
Full credit to the smart and talented @PhoneDesigner on Twitter, who came up with the Pixel 3 XL render shown above. They're not the only unofficial renders we've seen, either. If Google's next big phone ends up looking as good as this, we're definitely interested.
Next up we have these interesting-looking screen protectors for the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL, which surfaced on SlashLeaks. It would seem that notch is confirmed for the bigger Pixel phone, but won't be present on the smaller Pixel 3, so you can choose whether you want to go for the notch or not.
Numerous other sources have reported this will be one of the key differences between the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL. Bloomberg says Google wants to cut out the notch next year for a true edge-to-edge screen, and that both phones will have dual-lens front-facing cameras. Apparently Google might also switch to Foxconn as its supplier, the firm that builds the iPhones.
According to my sources: Pixel 3 ≃ 5.3-inch (no notch)Pixel 3XL ≃ 6.2-inch (notch)June 4, 2018
The rumours are backed up by multiple sources, including the usually reliable @OnLeaks, who says the Pixel 3 screen will come in at 5.3 inches with the Pixel 3 XL display measuring 6.2 inches.
As for the rest of the specs, the use of the Snapdragon 845 chip seems inevitable, as it's in every other Android flagship this year. RAM and storage may well get a boost too, but Google will no doubt also emphasise the importance of AI and the cloud in ensuring the smooth performance of the Pixels.
We do know that the Pixel 3 phones will come with Android P on board, and there has been talk that the Android P beta includes some sneaky shots of the Pixel 3 (above). That seems far-fetched but you'll be able to take advantage of P's gestures, digital health dashboard, and other new features come October.
What else could Google include? Wireless charging is the obvious one, so that's a decent bet for whatever Google unveils later this year – as we mentioned above, that would probably mean a switch to a glass back for the phones, to make wireless charging easier.
While we wait for more news and rumours on the new Pixel to drop, why not check out the Pixel 3 concept renders video by DBS Designing, which we've embedded above? Of course it's very unofficial, but it might tide you over until October.
We're hopeful that Google's next pair of smartphones are going to be two (or three) of the best handsets of the year. Who knows, we might even get a Google Pixel smartwatch at the same time.
Pixel 3: the story so far
On the 4 October 2016, Google officially ditched the idea of the Nexus programme and decided to start making its own smartphones - or at least take more responsibility for the hardware design as well as the software on board.
The first Pixel and Pixel XL lacked some of the key features and specs of other flagship phones, but attracted a lot of praise for their software and the quality of the camera, which is always one of the key features for any smartphone buyer.
The successors to those two phones were announced last October by Google, successors which bumped the specs up a little, added some missing features like waterproofing, and gave buyers the choice of an 18:9, bezel-free display on the larger Pixel phone alongside a more traditional-looking, smaller model.
Again the cameras received a lot of attention, and with unlimited Google Photos storage thrown in, these are definitely worth a look if picture quality is most important to you.
With a new Google Home speakers and a new Pixelbook launched alongside the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL, Google seems to be ramping up its hardware efforts, and taking an Apple-like approach to developing both hardware and software in the future.
As we wait and see what's next, we'll bring you all the Pixel 3 news right here.