If you're not a fan of notches on your smartphone displays, 2018 hasn't been a good year for you. Many phone makers are following Apple's lead in fitting their phones with screens that curve around the front-facing camera and earpiece. It's caused the public to wonder if Google — perhaps the only tech company whose influence as a trendsetter rivals Apple's — is going to do the same.
The latest rumors suggest the company will with this fall's phone updates. An image purportedly of tempered glass screen protectors for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, courtesy of Chinese social networking site Weibo, depict very different designs for Google's flagship duo. The cutout for the larger device features a notch, while the smaller one doesn't.
Anyone familiar with the Pixel 2 range knows Google isn't afraid of producing two smartphones with vastly different designs, even though everything else about them — the cameras, processors, RAM and so on — might otherwise be exactly the same. Therefore, the idea that Google might produce one Pixel with a notch and another one without isn't terribly surprising. It might even be clever, as it would ideally satisfy buyers on both sides of the debate.
What could be surprising, though, is what some of the other clues hiding in the cutouts mean. On each panel, you'll find two identically-sized holes, which could denote a plurality of front facing cameras. The elongated cutout along the bottom definitely suggests stereo speakers are making a comeback.
At this time, not enough is known about the origin of these images to suggest that this is really a leak, or just a hoax. But it's definitely plausible, given the conflicting reports about Google's notch plans to date. And we expect many more rumors like this to surface between now and the phones' eventual launch in the fall, where we could see not two but even three new Pixels.