Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL: all the new features

In case it didn't become clear from all the leaked Pixel 3 XL images and even videos, Google indeed went with a notch-y design at the front, no matter all the trolling, and it was indeed unlikely to pull a last-minute save by unveiling a completely different design.

The leaked notch-y design with big chin at the bottom has inspired many an unhappy fan in the last few weeks, but the outer appearance isn't all there is to a phone, especially one made by Google. The Pixels usually have big bragging rights in the camera department, after all, and there are plenty more new features that the Pixel 3 and 3 XL bring to the table.

OLED displays with HDR support

That's the single biggest impression that strikes you immediately are the larger Pixel 3 and 3 XL displays, both featuring flexible OLED technology this time around, meaning higher contrast, better viewing angles, and flashier colors. 

The 6.3" one on the XL model is with QHD+ resolution, meaning an extra drag on the battery compared to the FHD+ resolution of the smaller Pixel 3. The new displays are certified for the all-important HDR media presentation, so you can rest assured they cover the wider DCI-P3 gamut in case you need it.

Camera "better than iPhone XS," wide-angle selfies

Computational photography that only Google can muster

How does Google make with a single 12MP camera what others can't with two or three? Well, it leverages all the Google Images algorithmic knowledge built through the years, analyzing hundreds of millions of photos to reach expert telling of a dog's ear from its nose. 

We kid, but that has been the secret sauce of the Pixel phones' amazing cameras, and the new ones pump it to the extreme with a smorgasbord of new features, of which the most important is Top Shot that uses AI to help you capture the perfect photo every time, lossless zoom, and enhanced low-light shots. 

The Top Shot option part starts snapping shots in HDR+, then recommends the best one where everyone is smiling and nobody blinks, even when it's not the one you took by pressing the shutter. Creepy? No, AI!

The Super Res Zoom feature takes computational photography used for astronomy and brings it down to the masses, for lossless zoom without a telephoto lens, but we'll have to see how it performs in practice.

The one that got us smiling was the Night Sight (coming at a later date), that "lets you take natural-looking photos in dark surroundings," even without a flash. the flash part should have revealed to you what Night Sight is - it simply makes the photo way brighter, but the result feels a bit unnatural, looking as if the photo was taken during the day. 

Last but not least, the wide-angle 8MP camera at the front fits everyone and their pets in the shot, and you can zoom in and out while you are taking the selfie for the best fit.

Stereo speakers tuned by a GRAMMY-winning producer

It's all about the base

The front-firing speakers of the previous Pixels were for some reason not listed "stereo" in the specs, but with the arrival of the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, that injustice is straightened out, and tunes will come out through separate channels. Not only that, but those troublemakers are fine-tuned by a Grammy-award winning producer. On top of that, those who activate a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL by year-end, can get six months of free YouTube Music Premium.

Gigabit LTE

This one is a side effect of having Qualcomm's fastest current chipset, the Snapdragon 845, albeit underclocked a bit to 2.5GHz. Not only does the cellular modem support a much higher number of 4G bands than before, but the Gigabit LTE part means you can download with speeds at up to 1Gbps. Even if your carrier can't offer such speeds, the real-life download speeds will be higher than on a lesser LTE category phone.

Fast wired and wireless charging

"Up to 7 hours of battery life in 15 minutes"

While the battery capacities are nothing to write home about, Google swears by its software optimization that will allow the new Pixels to last "all day." 

Just to be on the safe side, though, it also outfitted the phones with a fast 18W charger that should be topping them up in less than an hour and a half for the big one. 

The addition of 10W wireless charging is welcome, too, and Google provides a new Stand at an extra $79 cost that essentially turns your phone into a Home Mini while it sits there.

Higher water-resistance rating

Deeper divers

While the Pixel 2 and its XL sidekick were listed with IP67 certification meaning that they can last half an hour in up to three feet of water, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL can endure that torment in deeper, five-feet tides.

Custom-built Titan M security chip 

No fingerprint left behind

Whatever the Titan M part means, the new Pixels flaunt a one-of-a-kind encryption processor that has been purposefully designed by Google. The search giant calls the Pixel 3 "the most secure phone we've built yet." The Titan M chip stores and protects your unlocking identification manages disk encryption, safeguards the apps' data, and makes sure the overall operating system code structure is not being tampered with.

Higher prices!

$800 is the new $600

That one isn't something to brag about with, but $800 is the new $650 with the new Google phones, as the Pixel 3 blasts off from $799, and the 3 XL from $899. Add a Benjamin for extra 64GB of storage if you dare, too. Google now has its own sweet $999 phone with the 128GB Pixel 3 XL, how trendy. Any takers?

Related phones

Pixel 3 XL
  • Display 6.3" 1440 x 2960 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3430 mAh
Pixel 3
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 2160 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 2915 mAh



1. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

There is no mention of the built in Titan security on the new Pixels. Come on Daniel your title is false, or your reporting is crap. So which is it?

4. nivek4011

Posts: 49; Member since: Jul 31, 2014

It was covered in depth at the launch event. Titan security is on the Pixel 3.

8. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

After i posted that about the Pixel 3 Titan security. Daniel went back and added that into the article.

5. kingkoopa765

Posts: 33; Member since: Oct 22, 2011

apparently it's on the "Pizel 3" not the pixel 3 lol typo

2. rouyal

Posts: 1583; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

I don't know about the color gamut, but the Nokia 7.1 also supports HDR content and SDR to HDR conversion. FWIW. All other changes look good though. I like the actual stereo speakers and wide angle selfie. The smaller one looks a lot better designed than the Pixel 2. The $800+tax is hard to swallow. I'm going to try out the Nokia 7.1 though, I'm not a power user or mobile gamer, and looks like a decent day to day midrange phone for the price.

9. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

The Nokia 7.1 has an LCD display and its only HDR10 compliant, which is definitely not the same as full HDR. Which you get on the Pixel 3's. The contrast range is much higher with OLED displays compared to LCD displays.

12. meanestgenius

Posts: 22505; Member since: May 28, 2014

The display on the 7.1 will definitely get the job done. It will even convert SDR material into full HDR material in Real-Time, and uses Pixelworks Iris mobile processing PX8418 chip for full HDR video quality.

3. Valdomero

Posts: 704; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

You typed "Pizel 3" in the Titan M security chip paragraph

6. dcwt2010

Posts: 74; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

Those prices are ridiculous but Apple has shown the way on how much people are willing to get scalped. Shheeeeeeet.

7. meanestgenius

Posts: 22505; Member since: May 28, 2014

Underwhelming smartphones outside of the camera. Too high of an asking price for what you're getting, IMO. Google just doesn't command such high asking prices like Samsung and Apple do. Add in the horrendous design of the world's ugliest smartphone (Pixel 3XL), and the probable (inevitable) bug issues that have plagued the Pixel line, and what you get is Google not wanting to sell these things. It's a shame, because I really wanted to like them, but Google let me down. Maybe I'll just settle for a Pixel 2XL on eBay. I'm sure they will be heavily discounted there.

10. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

I tend to agree the pricing is high on all these smartphones these days. But the Pixel 3's give you more in the box, like ear buds, USB to USBC dongle, 3.5 mm audio dongle, quick charger and USBC cable. Plus if you pre-order you get a free wireless charger as well. The Pixel 3's have not only a SD 845, but another AI chip called the Pixel Visual Core which has its own ram, and operates at over 3 trillion operations per second, and now it has a new chip for system and account security on board. Not to mention it also has Daydream VR, and now supports Steam VR as well.

11. meanestgenius

Posts: 22505; Member since: May 28, 2014

None of what comes in the box or what you get for free with pre-order is enough to outweigh the cons, especially the price. Pixel devices are just not worth the asking price. $800 is just too much for a smartphone that will most likely come with a host of issues, as is the norm for Pixel devices. You know it's sgodsell when you see someone extolling the virtues of VR, LMAO!

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless