Google Pixel 9 cases leak seemingly confirms new Pixel 9 Pro XL model and design changes

Google Pixel 8 Pro held in hand.
(Image credit: Future)

One of the biggest Pixel 9 rumors circulating about this fall's phone lineup from Google centers around how many models there will be. After several years of giving us just two phones each fall, Google may broaden the Pixel 9 lineup to include a third model.

More evidence of a trio of Pixel 9 models emerged over the weekend when Android Central posted photos of some Pixel cases it had received from case maker Thinborne. The cases include one for a Pixel 9 Pro and another for a Pixel 9 Pro XL.

As the name might imply, the XL is the larger of the two Pro models. According to rumors, Google plans to release a 6.7-inch version of the phone similar in size to the current Pixel 8 Pro. But rumor-mongers also expect to see a 6.1-inch Pixel 9 Pro — basically, a more compact version of the phone offers a telephoto lens alongside the main and ultrawide cameras that come with the standard Pixel.

In this scenario, the regular Pixel 9 would have a 6-inch display, smaller than the 6.2-inch Pixel 8 offers.

According to Android Central, the Thinborne cases have completely flat sides and smooth corners, matching previous leaks about the Pixel 9 design. There's also a cutout for the camera bar that's become a staple of Google's phones, though rumors this year suggest that the bar will now have rounded ends.

Thinborne Pixel 9 Pro cases posted by Android Central

(Image credit: Android Central)

Apart from adding a third model—and possibly a fourth if the Pixel Fold 2 is absorbed into the Pixel lineup as the Pixel 9 Pro Fold—this year's Pixel flagships are expected to feature a new Tensor G4 chipset to power AI capabilities built into the phone. Cameras have been a centerpiece of past Pixel models, though there are few rumored improvements to the Pixel 9 camera setup at this point.

Of course, we're a long way off from the Pixel 9 launch, as Google typically releases its new flagship phones in October. Before then, there's the small matter of the Pixel 8a launch, which is expected to happen next week with an announcement during the Google I/O 2024 conference.

No matter what Pixel model you're holding out for, it sounds like there will be something new from Google soon enough. And if you can make it to the fall without upgrading, it's looking increasingly likely that you'll have your choice of Pixel 9 Pro sizes.

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Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.