Update: Yet more photos seemingly showing the Google Pixel 3 XL have leaked. Plus, the phone has seemingly been certified in Taiwan, suggesting it’s coming very soon.
The Google Pixel 3 XL release date is likely to be October, as that’s when we saw the handset’s predecessor launch last year.
Leaks of the Pixel 3 XL are starting to come thick and fast alongside the slightly lesser Google Pixel 3 and we expect to know even more about the phone in the coming weeks.
Since its initial launch, Google’s Pixel line-up of smartphones has made an indelible impression. Offering a distinct vision for a ‘pure’ Android experience, the line has also been distinguished by its superlative camera performance.
Though they had their quirks, 2017’s Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were solid smartphones which found popularity among mobile geeks, but perhaps not quite the wide consumer appear the search giant may have been hoping for.
Google will go again in 2018 though, and the Google Pixel 3 XL is tipped to be the flagship leader to the slightly lesser Pixel 3 plus there are also rumors of the first Google produced smartwatch called the Pixel Watch.
The new Pixel XL has a decent foundation to build upon, but it will have to hone its all-round offering if it’s going to compete with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, iPhone X, Huawei P20 Pro and HTC U12 Plus.
Below you’ll find all of the leaks and rumors so far, plus we’ve put together a list of the things we’d like to see the new handset feature.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next supersized Pixel phone from Google
- When is it out? Probably October 4 or October 9, 2018
- What will it cost? It will probably start at around $840 (£650, AU $1,129)
Google Pixel 3 XL release date
It looks like the Google Pixel 3 XL (and the standard Pixel 3) could launch on October 4, as an advert Google posted looking for ‘influencers’ to review the phone mentioned that date. It’s a believable one too, as the Pixel 2 range was announced on October 4 2017. However it didn’t go sale until October 19.
On the other hand, Bloomberg reckons the big day is Thursday, October 9. We’ll have to wait and see what Google decides.
It’s definitely coming soon though, as the NCC (National Communications Commission) in Taiwan has certified the phone (as well as the standard Google Pixel 3) and usually handsets get certified shortly before launch.
In the past, in the UK the Pixel series has initially launched as a carrier-exclusive, and there is no word yet on whether the search firm will pursue the same tactic in 2018.
Google Pixel 3 XL price
The Google Pixel 3 XL price will probably start around $1,000 (£850, AU $1,400), which would be a touch higher than the Pixel 2 XL, which came in at $849 (£799, AU$1,399).
Certainly as the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has crept above the $1000/£1000 mark, there may be temptation on Google’s part to bump prices, especially if it plans to include more expensive earbuds and other such goodies.
The Google Pixel 3 XL will almost certainly be priced around 15% higher than the smaller version and it is also likely that a new, higher, max storage option of 256GB will be introduced, with this then being the most expensive available.
Google Pixel 3 XL design and display
- A big notch
- A 6.2-inch 1440 x 2960 OLED screen
- A two-tone design
We’ve now seen various leaked photos of the Pixel 3 XL and one thing is clear in all of them: this phone has a big notch.
There are a variety of leaks of the handset – you’ll see all of the photos so far below – and these shots from Russian blogger Rozetked show the clearest look at the handset so far.
He says the phone features a 2960 x 1440 diplay, a fingerprint sensor on the rear of the majority aluminium body (there’s a glass section at the top) as well as the SIM card slot sitting on the bottom edge of the device alongside the USB-C port.
You can see some more images below, taken from two different sources, and will also note other details, such as a two-tone rear and a bezel housing a speaker below the screen.
Other details include a truly edge-to-edge display at the sides, particularly visible in these pictures taken on a Toronto subway (also shown above), a single-lens rear camera and a dual-lens front-facing one.
Other similar leaked photos have also emerged, so it’s looking very likely that this is the design of the Pixel 3 XL. You can see a few more in the gallery below and will note that there’s no 3.5mm headphone port.
Still not seen enough? Well you’re in luck, because the Google Pixel 3 XL has seemingly leaked yet again, this time being snapped after apparently being left in a Lyft car.
You can see those pictures below, but they match up exactly with the other leaks, so don’t expect any surprises.
We’ve also seen various leaked renders from factory CADs (computer-aided designs), and they show both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL from all angles.
You can see those images below. Note that they both have just a single-lens rear camera (something that’s also seen in the images above and a leaked case picture), but that they seemingly have dual-lens front-facing cameras and – in the Pixel 3 XL’s case – a notch. This all lines up with the leaked photos above.
The design on the rear looks similar to the Pixel 2 XL, with a two-tone finish and a fingerprint scanner.
The source that supplied these renders says the Google Pixel 3 XL will have a 6.2-inch display and measure 158 x 76.6 x 7.9mm, widening to 8.6mm where the camera sticks out.
However, a video leak suggests the Pixel 3 XL XL may have a screen even larger than this, going up to 6.7 inches, making it a true behemoth even among phablets.
We’re skeptical though, as the screen doesn’t look that big in the leaked photos we’ve seen.
Whatever the size though, a separate leak suggests the resolution will be 1440 x 2960, which is in line with other flagships, while the display will probably be OLED, and the aspect ratio based on images will probably be 19:9 or similar.
Screen protectors supposedly for the Pixel 3 XL have also leaked. You can see them below and they match the design rumored above.
Google Pixel 3 XL OS and power
- Snapdragon 845 chipset
- 4GB of RAM
- 128GB of storage
A recent leak reveals that the Pixel 3 XL will likely have a Snapdragon 845 chipset and 4GB of RAM. That’s the current top-end Snapdragon chipset, but some phones have more RAM than that.
However, it’s a claim we’ve heard more than once, along with the possibility of 128GB of storage.
The Pixel 3 XL will of course also run Android Pie. Not only has that been rumored but there’s really no way it would run anything else.
Unsurprisingly, the Active Edge feature from the Pixel 2 range (which lets you squeeze the sides to interact with the phone) is also rumored to be making a return.
Google Pixel 3 XL camera and battery
- Single-lens rear camera
- Dual-lens front-facing camera
- Wireless charging
Images all suggest that there will just be a single sensor on the rear but a dual-lens camera on the front of the Pixel 3 XL and we now have a little bit of information about those cameras.
Sources claim that one of the front-facing lenses will be wide-angle and that the two lenses combined will allow for a better bokeh effect (portrait mode) as well as something called ‘Super Selfies’, which is currently unexplained.
The same sources aren’t sure whether or not the extra lens will allow for better facial recognition, but they claim the rear camera is great in low light and comes with an upgraded Visual Core chip that – unlike the chip in the Pixel 2 range – does more than just improve the processing of HDR+ images.
We don’t know what size the battery will be, but there are rumors of wireless charging, which is a long overdue feature for the range. Another rumor suggests the phone will come with wireless charging, but it won’t come with a charger in the box.
Google Pixel 3 XL: what we want to see
The Pixel 2 XL got 4.5 stars in our in-depth review, so there’s still room for improvement, and adding the following features to the Google Pixel 3 XL would be a step in the right direction.
1. Smaller bezels
The Pixel 2 XL had smaller bezels than the Pixel 2, but compared to 2018’s onslaught of almost bezel-less devices more can be done by Google.
We’d like to see the bezels on the Google Pixel 3 XL slimmed even more, allowing for a larger screen in a similar form factor. As well as looking good it will also help keep the Pixel 3 XL relevant against the likes of the iPhone 11 Plus, Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and Huawei P20 Pro.
2. Customizable Active Edge
Active Edge on the Pixel 2 XL lets you squeeze the sides to launch Google Assistant. It’s a handy feature, but unlike on the HTC U11 that’s all it does and it can’t be re-mapped.
For the Google Pixel 3 XL we’d like to see the feature to return, but we want it to be context-sensitive.
For example, if used in the camera app it would take a photo, while core functionality can be customized, so you can use it as a shortcut to whatever app or feature you want.
3. Camera app improvements
The Pixel 2 XL has one of the best cameras around, but we want even more from the Google Pixel 3 XL.
The trend at the moment is dual rear cameras (and in a few cases more than that), but Google stuck with a single rear snapper in 2017 and still got great results.
If Google does implement dual cameras it needs to do so with a clear reason, rather than simply just following the trend.
Google’s software could still use some work. We’d like gesture controls for timed photos and the ability to switch between the main and selfie cameras with a swipe, like you can on Samsung and LG phones.
They’re little tweaks, but they’d make using the camera a little faster and a little more pleasant.
4. A return of the headphone jack
Despite taking a dig at Apple for ditching the headphone jack when launching the original Pixel, Google has also got rid of it for the Pixel 2 XL, which is a decision we’d like to see reversed for the Google Pixel 3 XL.
We don’t expect that to happen, if anything ever more handsets are going to start removing the port, but for many users it’s an inconvenience and the benefits of its removal just don’t seem overly compelling.
5. Wireless charging
The Pixel 2 range have reasonable battery life and support fast charging, but don’t come with have wireless charging, which is a major omission, especially now even Apple is supporting it.
We expect wireless charging to become a lot more popular in the next year, thanks to the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, so it will stand out even more if the Google Pixel 3 XL doesn’t support it.
Once you’ve equipped your home and office with wireless charging pads (at admittedly, an additional cost to yourself) you’ll quickly see the benefit and ease of charging your phone wirelessly.
6. Screen improvements
The screen on the Google Pixel 2 XL show room for improvement. The QHD panel on the Pixel 2 XL is sharp enough, but in our review we found that the viewing angles aren’t great and nor is it especially vibrant, so we’d like to see work done to improve those aspects for the Google Pixel 3 XL.
There were also numerous complainants about the Pixel 2 XL display, including a screen burn-in issue. Google later release software updates to address some of these issues, but for the Pixel 3 XL, Google needs to learn from its mistakes and get it right first time.
7. Better water resistance
The Pixel 2 XL sports IP67 certification, which means it can survive being submerged up to 1 meter deep for up to 30 minutes.
That should be plenty, but these are flagship phones we’re talking about and some rivals offer more. The Samsung Galaxy S8 for example has IP68 certification, meaning it can be submerged 1.5 meters deep for the same duration.
It’s a small change, but one that could at the very least give buyers more peace of mind that their expensive purchase is fully protected against rain and spills.