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Google planning three Pixel smartphones in 2018

Google looks to be planning to extend its range of Pixel smartphones in 2018, shrugging off the series of glitches that have affected its recently launched Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones.

The suggestion comes via Android specialist website Droid Life, which claims that sources at Google have hatched three codenames for smartphones the company will launch next year. Those codenames are “Crosshatch”, “Albacore” and “Blueline”.

Droid Life suggests that Crosshatch is the codename for the Pixel 3, and that the devices will be premium and/or high end.

A fourth code name, “Wahoo”, has been linked with a “unified kernel for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL”.

Google’s enthusiasm for launching new smartphones comes despite the lacklustre reception for the original Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, launched last year, and the increasingly disastrous reception to the seemingly glitch-prone Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

These glitches have been well covered on Computing’s sister site, The Inquirer, and include complaints of “screen burn”, “black smears”, high-pitched noises and clicks.

Screen burn will be a problem familiar to anyone old enough to have used an old cathode-ray tube (CRT) monitor, a complaint whereby an image, if held for too long gets burnt into the screen – hence the screen saver used by operating systems before the popularisation of LCD screens.

Black smears also relate to the screen, and suggest the use of relatively cheap OLED displays. “It basically means that when transitioning from black to colour, there’s ghosting of the black image because the picture isn’t refreshing fast enough. And on the Pixel 2XL in appears to be particularly bad,” reports The Inquirer.

The clicks and whistles seem to affect the Pixel 2, rather than its bigger brother, and can be reduced by turning off NFC, according to reports.

The Pixel 2 XL, meanwhile, has speaker issues, with one found to be louder than the other by about 10 decibels. This, it has been suggested, was the designers’ workaround for vibration problems caused by the speaker.

It has been suggested that Google may be facing a recall of the Pixel and Pixel 2 devices, which would be an embarrassment for the company following its $1.1bn tie-up with HTC.

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