Update 3/13/17 16:55: Google has told 9to5Google that is has made no revisions to either the Pixel of Pixel XL’s hardware. The ‘Rev. B’ on the box has nothing to do with the device and only acts as an identifier related to the smartphone’s packaging.
The company does, however, state that it’s made “small improvements” to the Pixel’s manufacturing process to reduce the “likelihood of an audio codec failure.”
Google has started shipping a new version of its flagship Pixel smartphone, according to an image obtained by 9to5Google.
A recent new Pixel owner from Europe sent the website a photo of their smartphone’s retail packaging. The sticker on the bottom of the box, which includes the device’s serial number, includes a reference to “Rev. B,” suggesting Google has started manufacturing a new Pixel that includes minor changes to the smartphone’s internal hardware.
It’s not clear exactly what hardware issues the revision resolves. However, one possibility is that the new Pixel doesn’t suffer from any of the microphone-related defects that have become a recent fixture on the Google Support Forums. Seemingly confirming this suspicion is a recent quote from a Google spokesperson.
“We have been taking additional steps to reinforce the connection at time of manufacture on phones built since January. Phones manufactured in the last month should not have this problem,” said the company’s Brian Rakowski on the Google Support Forums.
In any case, it’s not unusual for smartphone OEMs to replace a current in-market model with a new revised model. Usually, companies like Google and Samsung do this without much fanfare. A well-known recent example includes the Note 5. Several months after controversy over that smartphone’s “Pen-gate” design flaw erupted, Samsung quietly released a new Note 5 model that made it impossible for users to insert the smartphone’s stylus blunt side first.
Did you buy a Pixel or Pixel XL smartphone recently? Does the sticker on the bottom of the box phone came in indicate it’s one of the new models? Tell us in the comments section.
Patrick O’Rourke also contributed to this story.