Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL: Everything we know

Google Pixel 3 XL may feature a massive 6.7-inch display

Google Pixel 2 XL back
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are less than a year old, but we’re already hearing plenty about their successors, the upcoming Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. As we approach October, which is the month we expect to see Google launch its newest phones, rumors, and leaks are coming in at a fever pitch. Here’s everything we know about the Google Pixel 3.

Display and camera

It looks like Google is looking to one-up the 6.4-inch display on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. The upcoming Google Pixel 3 XL will reportedly have a massive 6.7-inch OLED display. The resolution will come in at 1,440 x 2,960 while pixel density is at crisp 494.

While the Pixel 2 XL had pretty chunky bezels, it looks like this year’s update will have much slimmer bezels and a top notch for the camera sensor.

When it comes to the camera, it looks like Google is holding firm with the single rear lens. The Google Pixel 3 XL will likely have a 12.2-megapixel camera on the rear and two, or possibly three 8.1-megapixel sensors in the front of the phone.

Specs

While we’ve seen the Pixel 3 in plenty image leaks, we haven’t seen a ton of performance-related leaks for the phone. A design leak from XDA Forums appears to show a few of the specs for the Pixel 3 range. If leaked images on Slash Leaks are to be believed, at least one model will ship with 4GB of RAM: This matches up with earlier rumors that one Pixel 3 variant would ship with 128GB of storage and 4GB RAM. There’s also a chance at least one Pixel model will have 6GB of RAM.

So what does that mean in terms of how the phone performs? Well a listing for the Pixel 3 XL, which was first spotted by WinFuture, has popped up on GeekBench, showing a single-core score of 2,426 and a multi-core score of 8,355. Those aren’t bad scores — they’re certainly not groundbreaking, but they’re very solid, and fall in line with other flagship phones for the year. We expect the phone to feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, and the listing pretty much confirms this by listing the specs of the processor. The listing also notes 4GB of RAM.

Design

While we don’t expect Google to veer too far from what makes the Pixel great, we do expect to see some design changes with the Pixel 3.

Most of the information we’ve seen thus far focuses on the Pixel 3 XL. The upcoming flagship appears to share some similarities with its predecessor, but there’s a lot of design tweaks that make it more attractive.

First up, it looks like Google minimized the bezels on the massive 6.70-inch OLED display and added a top notch for the camera sensor.

The back of the phone looks very similar with one exception: The aluminum body might be swapped out for glass. This makes sense considering there’s a separate rumor that Google is working on a wireless charging pad called Pixel Stand. The phones need glass backs so that energy can pass through to enable wireless charging. It does mean the Pixel 3 series will be a little more fragile, though it’s unclear if wireless charging is coming to both Pixel 3 models, or just the Pixel 3 XL.

Earlier renders from MySmartPrice based on information from @OnLeaks may offer some insight into the display on the Pixel 3. The renders show the Pixel 3’s slimmed bezels with an 18:9 aspect ratio — while the notch on the Pixel 3 XL will likely mean an extended 19:9 aspect ratio on that particular model.

Interestingly, renders and leaked photos suggest dual front-facing cameras on the Pixel 3 as well as the Pixel 3 XL, and the return of front-facing stereo speakers on both — though the Pixel 3 XL’s top speaker is a lot smaller than last year’s model. There’s a USB-C port at the bottom of the phone, and no sign of a headphone jack.

According to @OnLeaks, both upcoming Pixel 3 models will have bigger screens than ever before. The Pixel 3 is purported to have a 5.3-inch display, and the Pixel 3 XL will ship with a monstrous 6.2-inch display (the same size screen as the Galaxy S9 Plus). Bloomberg reports the Pixel 3 XL will sport a bezel-less display with a top notch and dual front-facing camera. This seems to be in line with images of purported glass screen protectors for the devices first found on Slashleaks, as well as new leaks we saw from XDA Forums.

Release date

October has traditionally been Google’s month to release hardware, and it seems that this year will be no different thanks to a leaked date that — hilariously enough — comes direct from Google itself.

Spotted by Brandon Lee of YouTube channel This Is Tech Today, Google apparently posted a Famebit ad asking for Canadian content creators and influencers to cover the Pixel 3’s launch. Unfortunately, if you’re asking people to take time out of their schedule, you have to give them a date — which is exactly what Google did: October 4.

If that date seems familiar, well, Google has used that date to launch hardware in previous years, including the Google Home in 2016, and the Pixelbook. While there’s some skepticism as to the veracity of this date, it’s worth keeping in mind that this is a website owned by Google, and a fake post should be pounced on fairly quickly. Still, it’s the only thing we’ve heard about the release date so far, and it jibes with Google’s past record.

Three Pixels?

Rumors persist that Google may be considering more than two models in the Pixel 3 range. A tweet from Roland Quandt, a popular leaker, claims that “Google is working on a ‘mobile’ device based on the Snapdragon 710 currently scheduled for launch in the 1st half of 2019.” This, the self-purported “master of cheap scoops” said, could be one of the upcoming midrange Pixels. No further specifics are known about this device at this time, though Quandt suggested that hardware development began in April.

Previous rumors point at Google creating a low-end, entry-level Pixel device running the low-spec Android OS Android Go. While it may seem odd to change the expensive Pixel branding to include a much lower-spec (and likely much cheaper) model code-named the “Desire,” this makes a lot of sense with Google’s current drive to access the developing phone markets, which usually thrive on low-cost low-power phones.

The first leaks for the Pixel 3 were code names, and there were three of them: “Crosshatch,” “Albacore,” and “Blueline.” If accurate, all it means is that Google is considering three Pixel models, and like last year it’s entirely possible that only two will end up being launched. According to the Droid-Life report, two of the phones are considered “premium,” while one of them is “high-end.” We don’t yet know what that means.

Who is building the Google Pixel 3?

In addition to a radical redesign for at least one upcoming Pixel, it looks like Google may be working with a new manufacturing partner on the upcoming phones. According to Bloomberg, Google may be partnering with Foxconn to manufacture the upcoming flagships. If that name sounds familiar, it may be because it’s the same company that manufactures iPhone devices.

Updated on August 10: Added Display and camera section. 

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