Prior to the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL handsets being announced, there were rumors that Google had actually three Pixel phones in the works, with one of them having the codename “Muskie”. However it was later reported that the handset had been cancelled, leaving us with two Pixel 2 smartphones for 2017.

As it turns out, Muskie wasn’t completely cancelled. In fact HTC had kept the handset around and sort of gave it a new lease on life in the form of the recently announced HTC U11+. This is according to a report from The Verge who learnt from their source that the HTC U11+ is indeed the Muskie handset that Google had cancelled.

For those unfamiliar, HTC was originally rumored to make both Pixel handsets this year like they did last year. Muskie was one of those handsets, but it was said to be cancelled in favor of the LG-made Pixel 2 XL. It was unclear as to what prompted Google to cancel the Muskie in favor of the LG-made handset, but either way we suppose at least HTC’s efforts did not go to waste.

So far initial impressions of the HTC U11+ appear to be largely positive, with the handset sporting a bigger display, smaller bezels, improved optics, and a pretty huge battery to boot.

Filed in Cellphones. Read more about , , and .