Google’s Pixel 3 XL has been announced alongside the smaller Pixel 3. Out of the two phones, the Pixel 3 XL is likely to get the most attention, being a flagship device. The phone has not only got a bigger display, but also comes with the notch. That notch. It’s unlike any that we have seen on a smartphone, because it’s really big.
The Pixel 3 XL hits the Indian market on November 1 and it will be sold at Rs 83,000 for the base version. I spent some time with the Pixel 3 XL, and here’s what I think about the 6.3-inch smartphone. Based on my first impressions, I do believe that the Pixel 3 XL can give a hard time to iPhone XS and Galaxy Note 9. Here are more details around the newest Google flagship.
Google Pixel 3 XL first impressions: Design, display
The Pixel 3 XL looks similar to last year’s Pixel 2 XL, though the latest flagship has a notched display, similar to the iPhone XS. Personally speaking, I am not a big fan of a notch, especially when it’s narrower and deeper.
The design has been polished a bit, though. Google has once again gone with the two-tone look, but instead of having half metal and half glass, it’s all glass on the rear. I tried out the ‘Not Pink’ colour variant of the Pixel 3 XL, but the phone will also be available in ‘Just Black’ and ‘Clearly White’.
The 6.3-inch “flexible OLED” screen offers 2960 x 1440 pixel resolution. We do not know who manufactured the display, but it looks bright and colorful. If you recall, the Pixel 2 XL and Pixel 2 adopted OLED displays for the first time, but they looked pale and washed out. The display on the Pixel 3 XL appears to be balanced. But we’ll have to wait until we test the Pixel 3 XL’s display in the real world.
Pixel 3 XL first impressions: Performance, battery
The Google Pixel 3 XL is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB or 128GB of internal storage. There is no microSD support, unfortunately.
During my brief testing, I did not find any issue while navigating the user interface. In fact, apps launched quickly, and I believe the phone should be able to handle multitasking without any issue. Android 9.0 Pie felt smooth, responsive, and zippy. As expected, there’s no headphone jack, but Google will bundle USB Type-C earbuds in the retail box, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack adapter.
The Pixel 3 XL will be coming with dual front-facing speakers, which is a welcome move. Google says the speakers are 40 per cent louder than last year’s Pixel 2 and the difference is noticeable.
There’s a 3,430mAh battery inside, which is actually smaller than last year’s Pixel 2 XL. Should that worry you? Not really. But I am not expecting the Pixel 3 XL to last more than a day on a single charge. In case you are interested, the Pixel 3 supports fast charging as well as any wireless charger.
Pixel 3 XL first impressions: Camera
One of the strengths of the Pixel 3 XL has to be its camera. The Pixel 3 XL has the single-lens camera setup on the back, similar to the Pixel 2 XL. What Google says the Pixel 3 XL improves the picture quality dramatically through AI. It’s the same 12.2MP lens with a f/1.8 aperture, but I can already tell the camera is so good.
It took pictures instantly with almost zero lag, colours look accurate and the camera app feels much more easy to operate. Again, I will only be able to pass the judgement when I start using the Pixel 3 XL as my daily driver. As for the front camera, the Pixel 3 XL has two 8MP snappers, with the second camera has a wide-angle lens. That should mean your selfies will come much better.
Google Pixel 3 XL first impressions: Early Conclusion
The Pixel 3 XL appears to be a better device than last year’s Pixel 2 XL. Features like an OLED display, uncluttered software experience and the camera makes the Pixel 3 XL shine among the competition. Yes, it does not come cheap, but every flagship in the market commands a high price tag. Expect a detailed review of the Pixel 3 XL in the coming days.