The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL may already be considered two of the best Android phones out there, but they’re not cheap, and it looks like Google may be preparing some lower-cost alternatives. Rumors say Google is working on the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL, two budget options for those who want a Google smartphone experience, but don’t want to pony up the cash for the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL.
Here’s what we know about them so far.
Should we expect the Pixel 3 Lite range to be much less powerful than the Pixel 3 range? That seems the most likely outcome — but how much of a downgrade could we expect?
The latest leaks come from a Geekbench score which claims to be for the Pixel 3 XL Lite, equipped with a Snapdragon 710 — largely in line with previous rumors that the larger Lite phone would come with this processor. It’s likely the small Pixel 3 Lite will be equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor, which has so far been largely featured in phones targeted at Asian markets.
RAM numbers are high even on midrange phones these days, and the same Geekbench results show the Pixel 3 XL Lite to come with 6GB of RAM. We expect there to be other configurations available, and wouldn’t be surprised to see both models start at 4GB. There’s no mention of storage space, but 64GB seems likely. Most other midrange phones would come with a MicroSD card slot to boost storage, but sources have noted the apparent lack of such a slot.
On the back, there’s a 12-megapixel camera, while the front of the device has an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. Powering it all is a 2,915mAh battery.
Price and release
With a name like Lite, you’d expect to pay a little less for these Pixel phones than the regular Pixel phones. The leaks so far indicate the phones will end up costing between $400 and $500, several hundred dollars less than the regular Pixel phones.
When will they be released, and where? Google has potentially signed up with Verizon to launch the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL sometime in the spring this year, according to sources speaking to Android Police. It was speculated early on the Lite Pixel phones would not be sold in the U.S., and would instead head to other markets including India, China, and Russia. A Verizon deal would obviously make this assumption false.
Design and display
Will the Lite Pixels look the same as the Pixel 3 and 3 XL? In this video posted by 91Mobiles, both the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 XL Lite are apparently shown in a full 360-degree render. It states the display sizes for both phones will be 5.5 inches and 6 inches, as well as some other details like the plastic body and return of the 3.5mm headphone jack. Interestingly, it seems the Pixel 3 Lite XL lacks its bigger brother’s divisive notch.
The first indication of a Pixel 3 Lite was leaked online by Russian tech blogger Rozetked, who posted a hands-on video of an unreleased Pixel 3. The Pixel 3 Lite sports a similar style to the Pixel 3, but only has a display resolution of 2220 x 1080. It also appears to have a headphone jack, unlike the other two Pixel 3 devices, and a slightly thicker polycarbonate build.
When you buy a Pixel phone, you expect a great camera. so how about the Pixel 3 Lite? Rumors claim the Pixel 3 Lite has the same 12.2-megapixel camera sensor as its flagship siblings, and if it does, that’s a huge selling point for the phone. The photo samples you see here are apparently those taken with the Pixel 3 Lite.
We’ll update this article as we hear more about this possible new midrange Pixel line.
Updated on January 15, 2019: Benchmark scores for the Pixel 3 XL Lite have surfaced.