Google Pixel 3 XL - overview

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Battery92
Display74
Overall81
Camera71
Rating3.5
Price1700
25 user reviews
3.5 total
score
Prices:
  • India price
    10000r
  • GB price
    1200f
  • USA price
    1700$
Release date
Status
2018, October
Available
Google Pixel 3 XL
CPU
Octa-core (4x2.5 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4x1.6 GHz Kryo 385 Silver)
Google Pixel 3 XL
Main Camera
12.2 MP, f/1.8, 28mm (wide), 1/2.55", 1.4┬Ám, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
Google Pixel 3 XL
Storage
64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM
Google Pixel 3 XL
Size
6.3 inches, 100.3 cm2 (~82.8% screen-to-body ratio)
Google Pixel 3 XL
OS
Android 9.0 (Pie), upgradable to Android 10.0
Google Pixel 3 XL
Avatar
Jennifer Pilates
  • Overall:

I will not throw technical data around in this review, others have already done that. Rather, I would like to express my personal impressions of the Pixel 3 XL.
I have been using the device for a good 5 months now and in general it can be said that the Pixel 3 (XL) is probably the most sensible smartphone for minimalists. Like an iPhone with Android. It combines solid hardware with perfectly tuned software. In contrast to the iPhone, however, you have all the freedom you need and don’t sit in an ‘Apple cage’.

The workmanship is almost perfect. A glass plate front and back, held by a coated aluminium frame. Gaps are very small or even non-existent.
I can’t say exactly what material the buttons on the side are made of. In any case they feel high-quality and have a firm, crisp pressure point. The firm pressure point is also very important to me, because I always use my smartphones without a protective cover and so there is the danger that you accidentally press a button while the device is in your pocket. No problem with the pixel.
The speaker covers are made of a very fine-meshed, moderately stable grid, which is also unfortunately somewhat susceptible to dust. This makes e.g. Huawei better. Apart from that they certainly offer a good enough protection.
You can certainly argue about the design, but as always it’s a matter of taste. In any case, a special focal point is this strange display recess at the top, also called notch in expert circles. The positive thing is that the thing isn’t as wide as on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, or iPhone X, so a few more icons fit to the left and right of it. Unfortunately, it goes quite deep into the display, which is probably due to the 2 camera lenses on the front. But for me it’s also a little bit incomprehensible, because there is no face-iris- or whatever recognition system was used. I got used to it, because it is a design element of the Pixel 3 XL. But if you don’t get used to it, you can hide it in the developer options and thanks to AMOLED, the display area to the left and right of it is really off, black, inconspicuous and doesn’t use any more power. Unfortunately, you’re giving away a bit of space again with this. So Google, just leave that thing out at the next pixel! Make the upper edge as big as your chin and match the upper speaker to the lower one. I don’t like borderless displays anyway, because then you can’t hold the smartphone without pressing somewhere and there has to be room for the front camera and speakers. In my opinion this is just a stupid trend, otherwise nothing. According to the motto: ‘Because you can’. Extendable front cameras with motor, croaking from the speaker or from the USB port (Huawei Mate 20 Pro) and all that with high-end devices… what a nonsense! br>The rest of the design is right so far. OK, you have to get along with the 18:9 display, which unfortunately, thanks to LG, is now standard. 16:9 or even 16:10 I always felt that it makes more sense. The partially etched glass on the back, the position of the camera, the rounded corners and edges and the continuous 2.5D glass on the front definitely look noble and timeless and contribute to the good haptics. By the way, the device lies very well in the hand. The frame is a bit smooth and the pixel is also a bit top-heavy, but this is often the case with other smartphones. The manufacturers certainly don’t mind if the smartphone regularly slips out of our hands and hits the asphalt. After all, they always want our best (in EUR of course). You have to get used to the arrangement of the buttons on the side, because the power button is located above the volume rocker, unlike usual. No problem for me, I’m flexible there.
The edge around the display is a bit wider than on some other high-end devices and that’s a good thing. At least this way you can grip the smartphone properly without accidentally pressing anything. Also, the edges of the display are only subtly rounded and there is no, in my opinion, ugly Edge Display, which, at least outside of the Samsung warehouse, doesn’t serve any purpose.

First of all, I’ll come to the points that I don’t like much:
>No Micro-SD support:
First of all, if it were up to Google, you should store everything in the cloud. On the other hand the internal memory is much faster and less error-prone anyway, but I do miss the flexibility of a portable storage solution a bit. Not the end of the world, but still a pity.

No real Dual-SIM support:
You generally use ordinary SIM cards. I can’t understand why Google doesn’t provide a combo slot for MicroSD card/DualSIM.

And now for the positive things:

The display:
Natural colors, great contrast, stable viewing angle, sharp and bright enough. This is probably the best way to describe the Pixel 3 XL screen. I didn’t really want to have an AMOLED display anymore, because white looked either yellow, green or blue and all colors were somehow too candyish. Especially when reading, this always bothered me a lot. With pixel 3 it’s all water under the bridge, because you can see at first glance how the technology has developed to the positive. Even in profile, the colors are still strong – typical for AMOLED – but not overdone and white is really white now, no matter in which angle. Thanks to the 2k resolution, everything is also very sharp. No more frayed edges. Especially if you read a lot on your smartphone, you’ll be happy with Pixel 3 XL. The brightness is also absolutely fine. Some testers say the display could be a bit brighter, but I never had problems with the brightness, even outside in bright sunshine. However, the brightness slider is always in the last third of my screen, even at night. Everything below is really a bit dark, even for my perception.

The cameras:
There are 2 cameras at the front. A tele- and a wide-angle camera. A step from Google that I can’t quite understand. On the one hand you say with the main camera, we can do what others do with several lenses with only one, but then we install 2 lenses in the front. Nevertheless it is still practical. You get much more stuff on a selfie thanks to the wide angle and people don’t have to have their noses operated smaller thanks to tele XD. A bit stupid is that the wide angle camera is not yet supported by third party apps, e.g. WhatsApp. There is probably an interface for it, but it is probably not used by the developers yet. Otherwise, the front camera (tele) is the same as the rear camera. Bokeh effects etc. work in front and back, and the resolution is equally good. All in all, the cameras take great photos anyway, thanks to sophisticated algorithms. Although the photos are not as good as from a good compact camera, especially when you zoom in it can look a bit slushy, you always have your smartphone with you. And you know that the best camera is the one you always have at hand.

The battery:
The Pixel 3 XL doesn’t have the strongest battery, but I get through the day with it under normal use. If you take a lot of photos or videos, the battery will of course run down faster. Especially the post-processing by the algorithms, after taking a photo, consumes a lot of power. Thanks to USB 3.1 Power Delivery, (Qualcomm’s Quick Charge is NOT supported, by the way!) charging is a fast thing. From 20 to 60% in about 20 minutes with the included quick charger. The smartphone can also be charged via wireless QI standard. I don’t want to miss it anymore, finally no more cable tangle!

The speakers:
The speakers have a strong, natural stereo sound and only overdrive a little at full volume. This was not always the case, it was fixed sometime during a software update. Especially with bass-heavy sound output the speakers had sounded distorted in some applications and the stereo image was not balanced. The narrow speaker at the top sounded much quieter than the wide one at the bottom. I can’t tell that anymore now. Everything seems to be in perfect order. Some people might find the vibration of the rear cover a bit annoying at low tones, but for me it’s absolutely no problem. With Huawei or Sony you would sell this as a feature… Ultimate Vibration Bass Feedback System, or something like that, but Google incomprehensibly refrains from this promotional measure XD.

The Vibration Motor:
This gives a particularly crisp feedback, especially when writing, pressing for a long time, or during activities in the launcher. Now I also use the vibration when I touch it regularly. With other smartphones, this was always implemented only half-heartedly and spongy.

Special features:
The pixel 3 supports eSIM (electronic sim card). A chip in the smartphone that stores SIM profiles from the network provider. I use an eSIM from Telekom and am very satisfied with it. You can switch back and forth between eSIM and ordinary SIM if necessary, even during operation. With Android 10 Q the dual operation of the two cards should be possible.
Furthermore the pixel has a special security chip called Titan M. It can fend off attacks, monitors the boot process (boot loader) and optimizes the encrypted memory without the user noticing anything. It also enables third-party apps to carry out secure transactions.

The software:
The pure Android was optimized and enhanced by Google for the pixel. Other camera software, pixel launcher, settings for e.g. wallpapers, sounds and some other things have been replaced with the pure Android for Google’s Ultimate Premium Pixel Experience. Of course the full Google program is pre-installed, but you can disable most of it if you don’t want to use it. Bloatware is not pre-installed. It looks all in one place, clean and tidy. No unnecessary frills, no unnecessary settings or inflated features. One gets along intuitively very well. If you need help, you can find small question marks in the settings and get more information about the Pixel Help app. The whole system works very fast. Scrolling is very smooth and without jerking. The data protection (backup) via Google should also be emphasized. Contacts, calendar, app data, settings and, exclusively for Pixel users, the arrangement of the apps in the launcher and call lists, SMS etc. are also backed up on the Google account. When you restore the backup, the system is restored almost as you left it. Exemplary! Also very useful is the Always On Display. It shows especially useful information such as notifications, time, day of the week, date, weather, battery status and, if desired, the music title it is listening to. The latter can be done without internet. The database is apparently updated monthly with every update of the security patch. So the lack of the notification LED is easily overcome. Also otherwise with the update of the security patch also still further things at the pixel are optimized and errors are fixed. It’s also worth mentioning that you are guaranteed to have the latest Android version for 2 years and the latest security updates for 3 years. Furthermore, there is unlimited storage space on Google Photos for all photos and videos you take with the pixel for 2 years.

The pixel is worth every cent in total and it’s incredibly fun to work with it.
My next smartphone will definitely be a pixel again!

5+
Google Pixel 3 XL
Avatar
Wneedham
  • Overall:

The phone is great as an idea but it lacks on the built and at very early stages it starts to be laggish.
I have expected more to be honest at this price range.

3+
Google Pixel 3 XL
Avatar
Ashley Traurig
  • Overall:

Connecting to PC doesn’t work.
Ineffective software.
Volume button defect.
I expected more.

1+
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
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  • India price
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  • USA price
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Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
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amazon
  • India price
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  • GB price
    1200f
  • USA price
    1700$
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
from 7 000 $
amazon
  • India price
    10000r
  • GB price
    1200f
  • USA price
    1700$