If you pay attention to the rumor mill surrounding Google’s Pixel devices, you might remember a bit of drama earlier this year.

Rumors began to pop up in June that Google canceled its HTC-made second-generation Pixel XL. Instead, it went with a different device made by LG for the Pixel 2 XL. This was strange because HTC had made both first-generation Pixel phones and was still rumored to be producing the smaller second-gen Pixel 2. What happened to the device codenamed “muskie”?

It was released this morning as the HTC U11 Plus.

See also: The HTC U11 Plus is official: HTC’s true flagship for 2017 has arrived!

According to The Verge, a source has confirmed that the device HTC had readied for Google as the Pixel 2 XL is now being released as the HTC U11 Plus. Instead of scrapping all of the engineering work and money poured into the project, HTC decided to move forward with some slight alterations and release the phone as its own.

You can see several similarities between the HTC U11 Plus and the LG-made Pixel 2 XL. They both have 6-inch 2880 x 1440 displays with 18:9 aspect ratios. The difference here is that Pixel 2 XL has an LG-made display that has caused controversy since the phone started getting into the hands of customers, while the HTC U11 Plus has an LCD display.

Moving around to the back of the phone, the HTC U11 Plus has a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, much like you’ll see in the Pixel devices. This is pretty rare for HTC-made devices which usually have a physical home button with a fingerprint sensor in it. We had to reach back to the HTC One Max to find an HTC flagship with a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. 

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Although this device was once destined to be a Pixel, it does appear that HTC made some changes after Google dropped the device. HTC went with its signature all-glass look and the same camera from the HTC U11, released earlier this year. It also pumped up the battery capacity to 3,930 mAh which is far higher than the LG-made Pixel 2 XL.

We have already spent some time with the Translucent Black version and will have our full review coming out soon. You can read our thoughts on the device here.

What do you think about this news? Would you have preferred that Google went with HTC over LG for the Pixel 2 XL? Let us know down in the comments.

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