IN THE WEEK that has seen Google+, Inbox and goog.le consigned to the digital graveyard, Google has also unexpectedly killed off the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.
As first spotted by Android Police, the 2017 flagships have been wiped from the Google Store, with URLs for the Pixel 2 and 2 XL now redirecting users to the product page for the Pixel 3. Some other UK retailers, such as Carphone Warehouse and Currys, have also stopped selling the year-and-a-half-old devices.
The decision to discontinue the Pixel 2 lineup is hardly surprising. While the phones, first released in October 2017, were lauded for their at the time unrivalled camera tech, they were also beset with issues from the get-go; the Pixel 2 XL's OLED screen was criticised for a lack of definition at angles, screen-burn and a weird blue hue, with users also complaining about a mixture of high-pitched noises and clicks coming from the smartphone.
Google is also likely readying its digital shelves for the arrival of the Pixel 3a and 3a XL, mid-range additions to its more recent Pixel 3 range. Recent rumours suggest the incoming handsets could cost half as much as their flagship siblings, with the so-called Pixel 3a set to fetch around €450 (around £380) when it arrives in May.
The Pixel 3a will, according to online murmurs, feature a 5.56in 2,220x1080 LCD screen, its 12MP rear-facing camera that takes "the same quality photos" as the Pixel 3 and a Snapdragon 670 processor, while the larger XL model will pack 4GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, a 2,915 battery, an 8MP front-facing camera, a 3.5mm headphone jack and, naturally, Google's Android 9.0 Pie OS.
All will likely be revealed at Google I/O next month. µ
S marks the rumoured spot
The best sitcom about a compression algorithm in TV history
But not on phones and laptops. Yet
Send Tim now to C.E.S