Complete Pixel 3 XL review appears: design, features, pricing revealed
The Pixel 3 XL's design
Providing a considerable amount of device images, the Pixel 3 XL can be seen from essentially every possible angle. This means that the new notched display can be seen entirely, with the controversial design feature also receiving a closeup shot. This image showcases the two front-facing selfie cameras that sit either side of the in-ear speaker grill which itself doubles as a stereo speaker when combined with the one that sits below the display. In regards to the latter's quality, the reviewer in question states that the panel is on par with that of the iPhone X. However, he did state that it leaves quite a bit to be desired when it comes to outdoor viewing, especially if put next to the Galaxy Note 9.
Moving over to the smartphone's frame, the right side is home to an elongated volume rocker and a separate power button which, in this case, utilizes an aqua blue color that contrasts against the white body of the device. Also, present on the bottom of the frame is the USB Type-C port and SIM tray. Elsewhere, while no other features are physically noticeable, it's worth noting that the Active Edge squeeze function is included.
In regards to the back panel of the smartphone, previous information has claimed that the device would make use of two different glass textures. However, according to this review, the non-glossy area has a rough plastic-like feel. In terms of the camera, these images once again confirm the presence of just one lens which sits right next to a laser autofocus system and a dual-tone LED flash. Additionally, it's worth noting that a circular fingerprint scanner sits towards the center of the panel.
Another look at what's inside the box
Yesterday a number of images revealed what would be included in the Pixel 3 XL's retail box and, thanks to today's review, an even closer look at each accessory has been provided.
As expected, the device ships with a SIM tray ejector tool and a Quick Start guide to get the device up and running quickly. But because this is a pre-production model, it refers to the Pixel 3 XL under its codename of "Nelit." Elsewhere, a 3.5mm to USB Type-C dongle is bundled in alongside a regular USB to USB Type-C connector and a USB cable. Speaking of which, this connects to the new quick charger that is also included.
With the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, there were signs that Google initially had plans to bundle in a pair of wired Pixel Bud-like earphones. However, this never materialized and the two devices ended shipping without any earphones. With this year's duo, though, the company will finally introduce the earbuds that were never announced, giving those who purchase the smartphones a pair of USB Type-C earbuds for free.
The software features
Thanks to multiple screenshots that were taken, various software features are revealed such as support for Pixel Imprint, which allows people to authorize purchases with their fingerprint, and the Active Edge squeeze feature that was mentioned previously - it allows Pixel owners to activate the Google Assistant or silence phone calls and alarms by squeezing the smartphone. This latter feature will accompany multiple other gestures that are supported. For example, users will once again be able to double tap the display or simply lift the phone off of a table to activate the display, while a swipe down on the fingerprint sensor can also pull down the notifications when activated. Also supported will be shortcuts that open up the camera.
In regards to some simpler features, the Pixel 3 XL includes support for a Night Light which helps filter out blue light whenever activated. Additionally, the ability to customize screenshots after taking them by drawing on them is present too. Separately, Adaptive Battery is unsurprisingly included among the many other features that can be seen in the screenshots below.
How it compares to the competition
While Google's next flagship is set to ship with a huge 6.7-inch display, when compared to competing models such as the Galaxy Note 9 and the Huawei P20 Pro, the size differences are actually quite minimal. In fact, placed next to the other devices it's quite hard to tell which one of the three is the largest, which undeniably shows that Google has worked hard to reduce the size of its bezels, although it does also suggest that rumors of a 6.7-inch panel could be slightly inaccurate.
As revealed by the screenshots, the rear camera boasts a resolution of 12-megapixels and the front duo are capable of producing 8-megapixel shots.
When it comes to the different options that are supported, the regular camera mode allows pictures to be taking naturally or with a soft-touch effect. Additionally, some AI-backed face retouching can be activated when required. Elsewhere in the app, panorama and portrait mode are both accessible to users via a swipe to the left, while video recording is available to the right. Also available to the right is More, which opens up access to Google Lens, Slow Motion, and Photo Sphere.
On the topic of actual settings, both image and video quality can be modified, while video stabilization can be deactivated entirely. Unlike competing flagship smartphones, however, the Pixel 3 XL is seemingly only capable of recording 4K video at 30fps which is pretty odd, especially when it's claimed that the software included is final. Nevertheless, this could potentially arrive as an update in the future ahead of the smartphone's release.
Separately, as revealed earlier today, it's worth noting that a camera comparison between the Pixel 3 XL, the Galaxy Note 9, and the Huawei P20 Pro was created.
Release and pricing
Currently, Google’s Pixel 3 XL is expected to make its debut on October 4 alongside the regular Pixel 3 and, while no release date is known at the moment, sales should commence roughly two weeks after the event. In terms of pricing, the reviewer claims that the smaller Pixel 3 will go on sale for $649, while $100 extra will give consumers access to the Pixel 3 XL. Reportedly, the company is hoping that the free Pixel Buds that are included inside the box will help entice customers.