New Pixel 8 Pro Leak Reveals Google’s Risky Decision

As Google prepares to launch the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, some curious details have come to light in the latest leaked images of the handsets.

Thanks to leaked images and renders from the prolifically accurate OnLeaks, we have a clear idea of the dimensions of the upcoming handsets and some key components. One obvious update is the move towards a flat display without the curves that should allow the handsets to be fractionally smaller.

There’s also something missing. Mishaal Rahman highlights the lack of physical SIM card slots on the images. While inconclusive, this suggests that there may be Pixel 8 models that will skip physical SIM cards and go all-in on an eSIM-only handset.

It’s worth pointing out that an Android tool to transfer eSIMs for another device was announced in February, expanding the capabilities of the platform. Given Google’s use of the Pixel platform to demonstrate what it sees as the best implementation of its flavor of Android, providing extended eSIM tools and backing this up with an eSIM-only smartphone is an easy prediction to make.

It could be a risky decision to commit to eSIM. Support for eSIM varies by territory so it’s likely that there will be physical SIM and eSIM variants of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro handsets. Apple took this approach with the iPhone 14, offering the US market only eSIM versions while global markets had the physical SIM versions.

Throw in some key updates to the camera software alongside the next-generation Mobile Tensor chipset, and you have a strong, albeit iterative, update to the Pixel smartphone family.

Now read how Google is promoting the Pixel Tablet to Android users…


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