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Pixel perfect: Google picks a date to launch its next phones

Google Nexus Pixel launch date
Google Nexus Pixel launch date

Goodbye, Nexus phones. Google is holding a big press conference on October 4, where it's rumored to be launching two new phones under its increasingly-used Pixel branding.

Both the Google Pixel and Pixel XL are expected to be announced at its San Francisco event, which starts at 9am PST, 12pm EST and 5pm BST. It'll be live streamed on Google's favorite video site, YouTube.

We're in for a 5-inch and 5.5-inch phone with a release date of October 20, according to the latest leaks, and the invite tease a phone silhouette that's a window into various scenes. Naturally that invites speculation of a VR focus.

Just don't expect any Nexus device to show up. We'll likely see Google's Pixel branding replace the long-used Nexus name and officially learn that HTC is behind the pair of phones.

Specs boost for Google Daydream?

It's true that HTC just made the HTC 10, but the thinking is that it'll top its own phone's specs and that of every other 2016 smartphone with the debut of the Snapdragon 821 processor.

Qualcomm's latest System-on-a-Chip is already inside the Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe, but that handset hasn't made its way to the US or UK yet. Google and HTC could get an early lead on the competition.

In all likelihood, the extra processing power will be put to good use for VR. Google Daydream VR is going to open up more Android devices to virtual reality and that supposedly starts with the Pixel and Pixel XL.

We'll know for sure on October 4. TechRadar will be at Google's Nexus event for all of the coverage, so check back between now and the newly confirmed launch date.

Matt Swider

US Editor-in-Chief

Matt Swider is TechRadar's gadget-savvy, globe-trotting US Editor-in-Chief Editor who leads the US team in New York City. He began his tech journalism career all the way back in 1999 at the ripe at of 14, and first started writing for TechRadar in 2012. He's tested over 1,000 phones, tablets and wearables and commands a Twitter account of 600,000+ followers. Matt received his journalism degree from Penn State University and is never seen without his TechRadar headphones.