So does that mark the end of the budget handset rumors? Yes and no. According to 9to5Google, they have received a statement from the original tipster that clarifies the previous rumor. Basically the tipster said that this budget handset is being worked on by the Pixel team, which does not necessarily make it a Pixel handset.
The full text that they received reads, “You should interpret “Budget Pixel” as a device that is being developed by the same team working on the Pixel 2, that is aimed at being released in emerging markets. This could mean Android One, this could mean something entirely different. My knowledge of this device is that: a.) it’s being developed alongside the Pixel 2 and b.) will not be sold in the US (assuming that it leaves the prototype stages).”
With this clarification it kind of makes sense as Google does have budget handsets in the form of the Android One lineup which have so far been released in emerging markets, although recent rumors are suggesting otherwise. In any case you should probably still take it with a grain of salt for now, but hopefully we’ll find out more at Google I/O that’s coming up in the next couple of months.