(Pocket-lint) - A Geekbench score with 'Google coral' reference popped up on 24 January, as mysmartprice reports. But is this codename device - which runs Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 processor - the Pixel 4 early doors, or a glimpse into the changing face of Chromebook? Questions, so many questions.
First up, a Pixel 4 reveal seems unlikely for a number of reasons. With the Pixel 3 not long in the public domain and the typical Google launch cycle for its smartphones being late October, a device appearing nine months ahead of release is questionable.
We could assume it to be the imminently anticipated Pixel 3 Lite then? Well, no. This Coral device is running Snapdragon 855 - which will be 2019's top-spec chipset, not for the reserve of mid-level phones. We also anticipate the Lite to appear in XL form - currently thought to be the Sargo and Bonito codenames - so with just the one codename on Geekbench that further rules that out.
The bigger assumption is that Coral will be a forthcoming Chromebook. But look at the Geekbench information and this brings up yet more questions - or perhaps points to the changing face of Google's operating systems.
First, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 is designated for mobile, the 850 is designed for laptops. However, there's nothing to say a 2-in-1 device couldn't break this mould. Second, the mention of Android Q - Google's forthcoming mobile OS update, which is typically Pixel-first in its release cycle - certainly isn't the Chrome OS standard of Chromebooks, thus unlikely to be a laptop operating system.
That said, Google has long been rumoured to be working on an OS that brings Android and laptop forms together. Originally this was expected to be called Andromeda, but that project was binned in 2017. Since there's been beta of Google Fushia OS, which is yet to appear on any consumer device. Therefore - and this might be a long reach, but it's plausible - will Fushia be embedded within Android Q's base to allow Google's mobile operating system the versatility to run mobile, tablet, 2-in-1, laptop, and beyond?
Currently we have more questions than answers. But Android Q might spell a bigger change for Google's OS than any update before it. We suspect that Mobile World Congress will be the testing ground for whatever Coral is, so more info as and when we have it...