The phone that’s being sold in stores even before the official launch. The phone that’s probably the worst kept secret of 2018. The phone with a notch that’s as steep as its price. Yeah, the Pixel 3 XL is finally here, it’s official now. You probably think you know everything about it, but we unboxed the Pixel 3 XL to tell what you don’t know and give you our initial impressions about Google’s latest flagship.
The very first thing we noticed was how quick the phone boots. And yeah, a new boot animation as well. The Pixel 3 XL has a 6.3-inch 2K P-OLED display on the front with a notch that’s unusually sized. We’ve seen the notch on a ton of smartphones this year but this one will take some getting used to. Inside that notch resides the earpiece, sensors and two front-facing cameras rated at 8MP out of which the primary camera is an f/1.8 lens for normal shots while the secondary sensor is an f/2.4 lens for wide angle selfies. The bottom chin is quite huge and that’s mainly due to a front firing speaker which works in tandem with the earpiece to produce stereo sound. The right side houses an orange-colored power button which isn’t textured and the volume rockers below that. Left is bare while the bottom has the SIM tray and the Type-C port.
The back has the typical Pixel look with glossy glass on the top and a matte textured “soft glass” for the rest of the back. Unlike Pixel 2 which was plastic coated over aluminum, this one is Corning Gorilla Glass 5 with a frosted coating in pink. One needs to touch and hold this to appreciate the texture. It’s kinda like the Silk White OnePlus 6, but softer! There are two more color options if you are interested – Just Black and Clearly White.
Unlike on the front, the rear houses a single 12.2MP camera with an f/1.8 aperture with both optical as well as electronic image stabilization, pretty much like the one on the Pixel 2 last year. The video recording maxes out at 4K 30fps which is strange given most flagships these days come with support for 4K at 60fps. And yeah, no 1080p at 240fps either (maxes out at 120fps). The fingerprint scanner can also be found here and its placed in a position where your finger would naturally rest.
Here are a few camera samples to check out, and we’ll let the images speak for themselves.
There’s no headphone jack this time around as well so you’ll have to use the supplied adapter to plug in your existing earphones. The Type-C port though is USB 3.1 compliant which means faster data speeds as well as power delivery, and it’s not something we see on every smartphone, hence the special mention. There’s also support for 10W Wireless charging. The Pixel continues to support single SIM with support for e-SIM in select markets.
At the heart of the Pixel 3 is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64 or 128GB of internal storage. For software, the phone runs Android 9 Pie and being a Pixel device, you will receive at least three years of updates on this phone, that is two years of Android updates followed by a year of security patches.
Other features include a 3430mAh battery, Active edge which basically triggers Google assistant when you squeeze the phone, three mics for better sound cancellation, and an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance.
There is more to the Pixel experience than the specs rundown we gave above. Google is trying to wow the users with things like Live wallpapers which peek out even on Active Display. Just pick up the device and see the screen comes alive. This is sort of a big deal considering all the drama surrounding the display on the Pixel 2 XL last year. This new one, at least on the first look, is damn gorgeous, to say the least. But does that warrant a hefty price tag of Rs 83,000 like we see on the box? Well, let’s wait for the in-depth review coming up next week.