The Pixel 2 XL that Google unveiled last month was not the original phone it had in mind, a new report has claimed.

Google made an interesting decision over this past summer concerning the Pixel 2 XL, and it resulted in the company releasing a phone completely different from what it had originally planned, according to The Verge, which spoke to a "source familiar with HTC and Google’s tumultuous recent history". You see, the company shelved a phone prototype codenamed “Muskie”, and it instead went with a phone design codenamed “Taimen".

Taimen became the LG-manufactured Google Pixel 2 XL. Muskie then seemed to disappear forever - until it recently showed up in an Android source code that associated the device with HTC. It also suggested the phone had the same pixel density and battery as the new Pixel 2 XL. But the most interesting part about all this is The Verge has claimed HTC took Muskie and repurposed it into the new HTC U11+ phone.

Pocket-lintGoogle Pixel 2 Xl Black image 1

If you doubt that at all, just look at the Pixel 2 and the HTC U11+. The latter is the first HTC phone in a long while to feature a fingerprint sensor on the back. Also, the display size and proportions of the HTC U11+ and Pixel 2 XL are the same: 6-inch screens with 18:9 aspect ratio and a 2880 x 1440 resolution. However, LG’s display is an OLED panel, while HTC went with an LCD screen.

The HTC U11+ has an all-glass rear shell, though, as well as the same camera system of the HTC U11. And it has a 3,930mAh battery, which helps set the new phone apart from the LG-made Pixel 2 XL.

UPDATE: During a media interview on Thursday, after revealing Google's acquisition of HTC's Pixel team should close in early 2018, HTC President Chialin Chang responded to a question from Engadget about whether the HTC U11+ was supposed to be the Pixel 2 XL:

"The question you asked is too tough, I don't know how to answer you... I can't comment on Google's products. Due to our relationship with Google, there are obviously things that we know and don't know about them, but either way, we can't comment. I can only comment on our own U11+: we actually started planning it as such around end of last year, like the way we sourced its key components and whether they made sense, it was planned that way at the time. We are also very happy that our U11+ used these parts."