The Pixel 3 Lite line that leaked back in November of last year, months before Google was ready to acknowledge its existence, stopped off at the FCC today, just as MWC was kicking off. There are three devices in total, all of which are smartphones, but one has an unusual note that shows a phone locked to the US, yet without the bands it would need to work well here.
At the FCC today, we have three phones under model numbers G020C, G020G, and G020H. The first two (G020C and G020G) are likely to be the Pixel 3 Lite (leak) and Pixel 3 XL (leak) that you’ll be able to purchase in the US in the near future. The G020H could be an international unit with limited connectivity.
Why do I say that? The LTE band support for G020C and G020G shows coverages on all of the major US carriers. They’ll work on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. The G020H is missing quite a few bands. Here are the tables to show that:
Google G020C/G LTE Bands
Google G020H LTE Bands
Additionally, Google included a note with G020H to suggest that it “does not support any non-US channels in any operational mode(s)” and that “all non-US frequencies and country code selection are disabled through proprietary software that is not user changeable.” That actually reads like it will work in the US only. And most of the US carriers LTE bands are there, at least the big ones. We are missing CDMA support, which is probably fine since Verizon isn’t really using CDMA for much at this point. It’s very odd. We typically only see limited band support at the FCC for phones when they are international models, which is why I’m leaning that way instead of it being a carrier-locked Pixel 3 Lite.
UPDATE: We’ve got more model numbers to track now. Google phones under model numbers G020B, G020D, and G020F all hit the FCC as I was preparing this post. The G020B phone has all of the proper LTE support for use everywhere, while G020D and G020F both contain the note from G020H about not supporting any non-US channels and frequencies.
UPDATE 2: Alright, we have two more to pay attention to now, G020A and G020E.
Outside of that, there isn’t much to learn here. Bluetooth and NFC are there, as is 802.11ac WiFi. Since these are Google phones, we expect them to just work everywhere.
What we really care about are release details like pricing and availability. If these are at the FCC, it might not be long before we hear something official. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL came through the FCC at the end of August 2018 before being announced a month later.
// FCC