Ultra Pixel: Google's iPhone X Killer or Fake?

If rumors about the upcoming Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have you feeling underwhelmed about what Google has planned for its flagship phones this year, a new video suggests a more radical redesign could be in the works.

The phone — a third model dubbed the Ultra Pixel — could feature an edge-to-edge screen that replaces on-screen navigation keys with gesture controls, an embedded fingerprint sensor and dual rear cameras.

Credit: Mrwhosetheboss/YouTube

(Image credit: Mrwhosetheboss/YouTube)

It sounds like just the device to take on the upcoming iPhone X and the already-out Galaxy Note 8 — assuming that the Ultra Pixel described in the video actually exists. And that could take a big leap of faith.

The video itself was posted by Arun Maini on the Mrwhosetheboss YouTube channel and features still images and videos from an anonymous source teasing the new phone. Specifically, Maini points to a photo of a presentation slide for the Ultra Pixel — the "p" is lowercase in the slide, which would be a departure from how Google names its phones — and clips that tout new multitasking capabilities and a slogan claiming "The Future of Android is Fluid."

Maini interprets that to mean that the on-screen back, menu and home buttons are going bye-bye. Instead, the Ultra Pixel will reportedly come without hardware or software keys — you'll control the entire device using gestures.

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Maini's source also claims that the Ultra Pixel will have a dual camera on its rear. That would be a step up from the single lens that the Pixel 2 and 2 XL will reportedly sport. Maini also says the phone will offer a "new kind of fingerprint sensor," which he suggests will be embedded under the Ultra Pixel's screen.

If that's true, Google will have solved a problem that bedeviled both Samsung and Apple. Those two phone makers apparently tried to embed a fingerprint sensor in the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 and on the new iPhones, respectively, but ran into too many hurdles. The S8 and Note 8 feature a rear fingerprint sensor while the iPhone X will rely on face recognition to unlock your phone. Embedded fingerprint sensors are coming to smartphones, though it's widely expected that won't happen until 2018.

That's making us more than little dubious about this rumor coming to pass. Also consider that a lot of what Google's planning for its Oct. 4 launch event has already been leaked — everything from Pixel details to information about updates to the Daydream View headset and Google Home speaker. It seems odd that info on such a major addition to Google's phone lineup would only surface less than a week before Google unveils the phone, especially given how freely other Pixel info has leaked out.

Still, it's fun to dream, isn't it? We'll find out for certain whether the Ultra Pixel is a reality or not next week.

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.