The most leaked phone in all of history officially showed its face in yesterday’s Google event. And not surprisingly, there were no surprises. Everything new that Google showed yesterday were old stories already.
The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL looked exactly like the leaked photos or the phones that were sold before launch or the phone that was left in a Lyft taxi. But, that doesn’t mean that there was no excitement. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL were one of the most anticipated phones of the year and we couldn’t wait to see how they really looked in the real world.
To get things out of the way, the notch on the Pixel 3 XL is the deepest notch on the planet and I think it looks ugly as hell. But Google made the phone that way and now we can do nothing about it. If you really hate the notch, Pixel 3 is your savior.
However, things are exciting at the back of these phones. The back is all glass, but Google is retaining its two-tone finish of the Pixel 2 and 2 XL and it looks even better here. There are 3 new color variants – Just Black, Clearly White, and Not Pink. Personally, my favorite of the bunch is not pink. It just looks gorgeous. But tastes differ from person to person. A glass back means better wireless charging. Overall, if you want your phone to be the sexiest, these are not for you. If you want them to be most functional, look no further than Pixel devices.
The screens on both these devices have been updated from last year. Pixel 3 has an 18:9 aspect ratio now which was oddly missing on the Pixel 2. Pixel 3 XL has an 18.5:9 aspect ratio and it comes with the aforementioned already-infamous notch.
The display looks exquisite regarding the picture quality from what we could discern through videos of YouTubers present on the launch. Both devices use a color-rich bright P-OLED display. We think we won’t see any kind of issues present in the Pixel 2 XL’s screen when it initially launched. Google probably has learned its lesson.
As the devices just launched yesterday, we can’t tell you how the devices perform But with all the hands-on coverage we’ve seen so far, we think Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 Xl will handle nearly anything you throw at it. And did we tell you? Both the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL have the exact same specs inside – Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB RAM, and 64/128GB internal storage. 4GB RAM seems alarming at first but we will have to see this phone tested properly before making any judgment. But as with all the previous Pixel devices, this phone will surely be snappy.
We don’t know much about the battery life of these devices as no one has used them extensively yet, but we do know their battery capacity. Battery capacity on the Pixel 3 has increased to 2915mAh from 2700mAh and with the added battery efficiency of the new Snapdragon chipset and the new Android Pie, we may see a full day of use from this phone. Interestingly, battery on the Pixel 3 XL has decreased in size to 3430mAh from the 3520mAh on the Pixel 2 XL.
Again, only extensive testing will show how the battery fares in day-to-day use. However, you should note that the Pixel 2 XL already had one of the best battery life on any flagship of the previous year, so we don’t have much doubt that the Pixel 3 XL will give you a similar battery life.
Finally, the one feature that made the Pixel devices the sweetheart of every tech enthusiast out there. The cameras on the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL were the best in the whole smartphone industry in 2017. They are still one of the best out there. They trampled all the competition in terms of picture quality and all that was made possible by a single sensor at the back. And Google didn’t change that. Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL both have a single lens camera system at the back. But the sensors used have been updated. However, there are two cameras at the front now. One for regular selfies, one for wide-angled selfies which can capture all your group in a single photo.
There are several AI smarts added to the cameras. There is a new night-sight feature that makes your photos in the dark look like they were shot in daylight. You’ll have to look at it to believe it. Then there is another very useful feature called top-shot. In this mode, the camera takes a bunch of pictures before and after you clicked the shutter button and using machine learning tells you which ones look the best. You can choose for yourself which one you want to keep. The cameras the most exciting feature of these phones.
Miscellaneous and Final Thoughts
The other important feature of the new Google devices is its speakers which Marques Brownlee said might be as good as the ones on the Razer phone. Google said that the stereo speakers on the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL are 40% louder than the ones on the previous Pixel devices. This somewhat eases the pain of having to live with that notch. Google also added another feature to the new Pixel devices. The new phones have a Titan M Chip that helps keep your data in the device secure.
Overall, I am pretty impressed with the new Pixel devices. They don’t have the best design that’s for sure, but they sure have all the functions I want in a smartphone. Amazing cameras, strong performance, beautiful screen, and that snappy smooth stock Android. They get updated with new software faster than any other phones and their camera gets better with time. So, even though the look of the XL isn’t for me, I definitely recommend people with money to consider the original Pixel 3, or even the 3 XL if you can look past the design.