In this post, which will be updated regularly, we’ll be looking at the latest rumors surrounding the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
Update, September 28, 2018 (2:14PM EST): We have new information on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, including a new hands-on video, corroborated colorways, marketing materials, and the Pixelstand. Read below to learn more!
Last year’s Google Pixel 2 received plenty of acclaim, even if Google chose to drop the headphone jack. Despite the audio port disappointment, you were getting a powerful phone, stock Android, and a great camera experience.
What will the Mountain View company bring this year? Here’s what we know about the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL so far.
Google traditionally launches its Pixel devices at its fall hardware event in the second half of the year. In fact, the last two Pixel generations were unveiled on the same date — October 4 — in San Francisco. Despite early rumors that we were destined for another October 4 launch, an anonymous source speaking with Bloomberg said otherwise.
Turns out that source was right, as Google later officially confirmed an October 9 event in New York City where the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL — as well as a whole bunch of other Made by Google products — are certain to be revealed.
According to WinFuture.de, Google is partnering with Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile to manufacture the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. FIH Mobile isn’t a new entrant either, producing HMD’s Nokia-branded smartphones.
We’re now just a few weeks from the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL’s launch and if you’ve been paying any attention to Android news you’ve no doubt seen the frankly ridiculous number of in-the-wild leaks for the third-generation Pixel phones.
Multiple leaks of images have hit the internet, including renders, prototypes, and even a full-on unboxing video of an alleged pre-release model. Let’s start off with the earliest prototype:
The images above were posted to XDA Developers by a regular forum member. If the images are legit, the smartphone will have an all-glass back. At first glance, the Pixel 3 XL seems to feature the same metal-back-and-glass-window design as the current generation. But on closer examination, you can see that the back is actually one slab of glass with a matte finish on the lower part.
This could mean the handset will support wireless charging. Although nothing has been confirmed yet, we did come across a video on Twitter allegedly showing the wireless charging capabilities of the Google Pixel 3 XL in action:
— Максим Хорошев (@khoroshev) August 22, 2018
There are also several mentions of something called the Pixelstand, which looks to be a wireless charging dock that quickly charges the Pixel 3. Once you place the phone on the stand, the phone will reportedly trigger a custom UI that turns it into a pseudo smart display. There will reportedly be shortcuts to often-used features and might be always-on listening capabilities.
The images further up also reveal that the larger Pixel phone could feature a notch, which not everyone is a fan of. They also tell the same story as previous rumors, which is that the flagship will sport a single camera on the back, two on the front, and dual front-facing speakers. And no, the headphone jack won’t make a return.
Keep in mind while this leaked Pixel 3 XL unit seems legitimate, it’s still likely just a prototype or engineering sample. The design of the commercial model could be different.
Reliable leaker @OnLeaks posted 360-degree video renders that allegedly depict the Google Pixel 3 XL in black and the Google Pixel 3 in white. Check them out below:
From the renders, we can tell that the new Pixel series will look a lot like the current Pixel series, albeit with some notches here and there.
We also saw some unboxing videos and photos that allegedly depict a retail version of the Google Pixel 3 XL. The images are here:
And here’s the unboxing video, which leaves very little left to the imagination when it comes to the Pixel 3 XL:
You’ll notice that there’s a set of USB Type-C headphones included in the retail box. This appears to be a concession for removing the headphone jack from the device, as using the included headphones will prevent you from having to use a dongle if you don’t own a set of Bluetooth headphones.
Additionally, we recently came across loads of additional images allegedly showing the Pixel 3 XL from all angles. The first three were taken on a train in Toronto, while the rest were posted online by a Russian site called Rozetked and Twitter user @Wylsacom — check them out below.
Finally, on the Pixel 3 XL front, we had the amazing case of someone leaving a pre-production unit in a Lyft, which the driver proceeded to share snaps of on social media.
Incredibly, things do not end there. In addition to the pictures, Rozetked recently published a hands-on video with the Pixel 3 XL. According to the video, the phone features a new vibration system that is similar to the one in the iPhone. Rozetked also claims that the Pixel 3 XL’s camera is better than the cameras on the Galaxy Note 9 and iPhone XS, though that is a more subjective take.
Now we’ve throughly covered the Pixel 3 XL, let’s take a look at the vanilla Pixel 3. In general, the smaller of the two phones has received less attention and hasn’t been leaked in quite such a spectacular fashion as its larger sibling.
However, hands-on images have surfaced via Reddit which show a phone that looks a lot like a smaller Pixel 2 XL. For starters, there’s no notch to be found on the smaller variant judging from the photos. The camera and flash modules are also in the same position as the Pixel 3 XL/2 XL, as opposed to the flipped position on the Pixel 2.
The Pixel 3 has also been shown in renders obtained by NieuweMobiel.nl which show the phone next to the Pixel 3 XL in what appears to be an official fabric case.
We also have an idea of what colorways to expect from the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL series thanks to a teaser from Google Japan. The interactive page shows the husk of a Pixel phone from a rear angle and clicking the Google icon on the rear causes it to cycle through three different shades, beginning with a white/grey shade, then a black finish (both below), and finally a turquoise colorway.
That wasn’t the end of the teaser’s secrets, however, as a Twitter user uncovered a fourth pink colorway hidden in the site’s source code.
WinFuture editor and known leaker Roland Quandt corroborated the pink colorway and said Google would call the color “Sand.” Interestingly, his tweet suggested there would be three colors instead of the four colors rumored up until now.
There is indeed a third color for the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. It’s called “Sand”.
— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) September 28, 2018
And here we have a likely look at the Sand colorway:
In addition to the colors, we also got a look at the supposed marketing materials for the Pixel 3. Based on the leaked content, Google will focus on Pixel 3 and Android 9 Pie features. Device-exclusive features include squeezable sides, double tap to wake, the always-on display, and more. For the most part, however, the marketing materials focus on features unique to Android Pie.
Finally, WinFuture posted some leaked press renders that give us a full look at what are likely the official retail versions of both the Pixel and Pixel 3 XL. They look exactly as we expected:
In the leaked unboxing images and video above, we get a good look at the specs of the Pixel 3 XL.
The first thing the images all but confirm is that the phone will run the latest version of Android, the newly monikered and released Android 9.0 Pie. However, this was expected and is pretty much a given as launching with the newest version of Android is half the point of the Pixel line.
The images also show that the phone will likely be powered by an octa-core Qualcomm processor (4 x 1.77GHz and 4 x 2.8GHz), which is almost certainly the Snapdragon 845 SoC, backed by 4GB of RAM and an Adreno 630 GPU. The display is also listed as having a 1,440 x 2,960 resolution with a 494ppi rating.
Although not much was given away as far as display resolution, we did get a look at the official live wallpapers that will ship with the Pixel 3 line. You can download those here.
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL managed to deliver portrait mode without the need for a dual camera setup. In fact, Google’s HDR+ feature and portrait mode make a strong case for computational photography paired with a single camera setup.
From the images above, we can assume that all versions of the Google Pixel 3 will come with a single camera lens on the rear, just like the previous line. We also can assume that both phones are apparently packing two selfie cameras, ostensibly for improved bokeh trickery, authentication and/or wide-angle shots.
Over at XDA Developers, a new rumor started that suggests the Google Pixel 3 running Google Camera will be able to utilize Google Lens features in real-time. This is another bit of evidence to suggest that Google is banking big on the camera capabilities of the Pixel 3 line.
Another feature possibly coming to the Pixel line is a new addition to the Digital Wellbeing app called “Flip to Shhh” – it will simply turn Do Not Disturb mode on whenever your phone is placed face down on a surface. Neat.
A more recent video (below) allegedly showing the Pixel 3 XL tells us the same story but shares a few additional specs the phone may offer. These include a 6.7-inch display, a 3,430mAh battery, 64GB of storage and a 12.2MP primary camera.
If these details are true, the Pixel 3 XL will not be as much of an upgrade over its predecessor as we’d like. A 3,430mAh battery is rather small for a device with such a large display. In fact, it’s smaller than the one its predecessor is packing (3,520mAh). The combination of 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage also isn’t impressive for a 2018 flagship, but there could be more memory variants available.
Despite all the leaks showing just two phones, many Pixel fans are holding out hope that we may see a third Pixel phone model in 2018. Way back in October 2017, an unconfirmed report claimed that the code names for the next Pixel phones would be “albacore,” “blueline,” and “crosshatch.” Since then ASOP commits from Google have referenced both “crosshatch” and then “blueline”. At the moment, we have yet to see a reference to “albacore” in ASOP.
The speculation surrounding this mysterious third phone — dubbed the Pixel Ultra — has been inescapable. The Pixel 3 XL’s incremental spec upgrades (and the notch) have served to pour more gasoline on the fire, with some consumers holding out hope for a ‘true next-gen Pixel phone’.
While Google could obviously turn around and release a Pixel Ultra at the October event, at this point it seems highly unlikely. We’ve seen nothing to show that Pixel Ultra is actually on the way and every supposed leak or insider source has been debunked (check out this 9to5Google post for all of the bogus ‘leaks’).
There’s also another unconfirmed report, from WinFuture.de, that claimed Google is working on a new phone that could launch in the first half of 2019. The same site claims the code name for the phone is “bonita” and that it will use the newly announced Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor that’s designed for mid-range ($400-$500) devices. This may be the second generation of such a device from the company.
Again, sorry to crush your dreams, but the long-rumored Pixel Watch isn’t happening either. Yet.
It had been rumored that Google would also launch its first branded smartwatch at the launch event for the Pixel 3. No leaks of images or specs emerged, but rumors keep popping up that as many as three Pixel-branded smartwatches were imminent.
There are plenty of other Google products that could launch at the Pixel 3 event, however! Read our breakdown here for all the things we might see in New York.
The first-generation 32GB Pixel XL came in at $769, while the 64GB Pixel 2 XL has a price tag of $849. At the top end, the 128GB Pixel XL came in at $869, while the 128GB Pixel 2 XL has a $949 price tag. Could we see the top-end Pixel 3 XL breach the $1000 barrier?
With the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 launching in August at $999 for the cheapest variant, it is absolutely possible that Google could follow suit and price its most expensive phone in that arena.
Unfortunately, we haven’t seen any solid leaks just yet in regard to pricing. At least Google has managed to keep one thing under wraps!
Will the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL fare better than their predecessors? What do you want to see from the two smartphones? Let us know in the comments below!
Further reading: October is the month of #phonepocalypse