Google Pixel 3 xl
It’s one thing to immerse in every leak about Google’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL Android mobile phones and blow the larger device’s thick cut from afar. Still, another to hold them in your hands and also try to make sense of the design selections and features that result from them.
These are the hot phones of the moment, and from my fleeting time with them, they indeed feel good in the hand. But is there anything captivating about the Pixel 3 phones beyond their glass surfaces? Yes, if you’re really into taking photos.
Table of Contents
Camera Feature Overload
So let’s talk about cameras. The 5.5-inch Pixel 3 and 6.3-inch Pixel 3 XL have the same usual cameras: a 12.2-megapixel rear camera and a dual 8-megapixel selfie camera on the front.
And also, with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, Google has proven that it can compete in mobile photography without pushing the hardware (for example, a dual-camera system or optical telephoto lens). Instead, rely on software, through artificial intelligence and machine learning, to do what camera lenses and sensors cannot do independently.
Although the demo area at Google’s occasion was far from a good place to test the cameras, the Pixel 3’s shots looked good. I mean, they looked no worse than the Pixel 2.
With the Pixel 3 for its third iteration, Google says it has an improved dynamic range for photos taken on HDR+. With its Night Sight feature (which I couldn’t test because it was daytime), the phones use on-device machine learning to analyze low-light shots and improve details by injecting more brightness into areas such as shadows. Boost—all without using Flash.
It sounds impressive, and Google even shot a comparison of the iPhone XS’ cameras:
I’ll learn more about how well it works in practice compared to the iPhone XS’ Smart HDR feature, which I found to be a vast improvement over the iPhone X’s regular HDR feature, and I’ll learn it in more detail when I get the phone. For review.
A new “Super Resolution Zoom” feature crops a photo and sharpens details; it’s an easy way to compensate for the lack of a secondary 2x telephoto lens like on other phones.
The “Top Shot” feature ensures you only get the best shots. You know, with no closed eyes, no photobombers or blur.
A photo booth takes pictures when it detects smiling or silly-faced subjects. There is another video mode that tracks moving objects. And Pixel 3 phones also have more realistic AR stickers (is that something people care about?).
Perhaps the most useful new camera structures besides Night Sight are the better-quality Portrait Mode and what’s commonly referred to as the “Group Selfie Camera”.
Portrait mode lets you adjust the deepness of the background blur, just like on the flagship Samsung phones and iPhone XS and XS Max. In addition, it enables you to adjust the subject focus to make the centre blurry and the background sharp or desaturate the experience to make the subject pop. As far as I can tell, the feature seemed to work pretty well.
Group Selfie Camera lets you adjust the zoom slider to switch between the even wide-angle camera and the more comprehensive secondary camera for a wider field of view – good for group selfies. LG has used the dual camera selfie trick on nearly all of its phones in the past, but it works better on the Pixel 3.
Most of these camera features are designed to help users “get the shot,” but other than Night Sight, improved portrait mode, and group selfies, most feel gimmicky. Again, it brings us back to what people want from their phone cameras – the answer: only clear and better-exposed photos.
When your dirt on too many fluffy feature phones, people will ignore them. But who knows? Perhaps these new camera features will grow on me. Check out all the junk inside Samsung’s Camera app.
The hardware is okay
Google might have overlooked the hardware during its keynote, but consumers surely won’t. Nevertheless, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL have good designs. They’re not the prettiest premium phones, but they feel good.
The smaller Pixel 3 is far more usable with one hand than the Pixel 3 XL. Both are a bit slippery, thanks to their glossy sides. I love the orange power buttons — they give the phones a nice pop of colour.
There’s a fingerprint sensor on the back, no headphone jack, a USB-C port, and louder dual-front-facing stereo speakers.
Both phones are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip and 4GB of RAM, and you can use 64GB or 128GB of storage (no insane 256GB or 512GB on these babies). And if you must ask, there’s no expandable microSD card slot.
Google Pixel 3 XL Review: The Best Camera Phone
After Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 and Apple’s iPhone XS, Google has launched their third-gen Pixel smartphones- a 5.5-inch display Pixel 3 and a 6.3-inch display Pixel 3 XL. So how does it stand against its completion? Is it worth buying?
Pixel 3XL Price in India
64GB- Rs 83,000
128GB- Rs 92,000
A few years earlier, it used to be Samsung vs Apple in the race for premium smartphones. Then, two years ago, California-based tech giant Google came up with the Pixel smartphone, with which Google is trying to make way for itself in the completion. After Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 (Review) and Apple’s iPhone XS (Review), Google has launched their third-gen Pixel smartphones- a 5.5-inch display Pixel 3 and a 6.3-inch display Pixel 3XL. So how does it stand against its completion? Is it worth buying?
We have used Pixel 3XL for over three weeks, and here’s what we think about it.
Design and Display
When Apple came up with the notch display for iPhone X last year, they mock in the previous year by almost every Android smartphone brand. But it was just a material of time. So now, most Android handsets have a notch at the top, including the new Pixel 3 XL.
First, Pixel 3 XL’s display has a big notch at the top, which houses two selfie cams (wide-angle+normal), an earpiece and many other sensors. Regarding the show, the third-gen Pixel XL features a 6.3-inches QHD+ (2960×1440) pOLED display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio, pixel density of 523ppi and Corning Gorilla Glass 5, which protects the screen to some extent from scratches.
The screen is vibrant and displays crisp and explicit content. So be it gaming or binge-watching your favourite show, Pixel 3 XL’s display will not disappoint you in any way whatsoever.
Unlike previous year’s Pixel handsets, this year’s Pixel XL has glass at the back. However, Google still retained the contrast design with a glossy upper portion and the lower portion with a matte finish, which Google achieved with an etching process. As a result, the phone feels nicer to hold, and I didn’t find it slipping out of my hands. In addition, pixel 3 XL is available in three colours- Just Black, Clearly White, and a new colour which Google calls ‘Not Pink’, which is pink.
The display quality is undoubtedly one of the greatest you can get on any smartphone.
Pixel 3XL retains the front stereo speakers from last-generation Pixel phones, with one at the bottom and the earpiece doubling as another speaker.
The device is IP68-rated water and dust-resistant, which means you can submerge your phone up to 1.5 metres deep for 30 minutes.
Pixel 3XL still retains the rear-mounted round-shaped fingerprint scanner from its predecessor, which is fast and accurate for scanning fingerprints for unlocking the phone. However, Google missed face unlock or the modern in-display fingerprint sensors that are going mainstream.
The bottom of the phone has a USB Type-C port that will double your headphone jack as most smartphone brands, including Google, are omitting the traditional 3.5mm jack from their handsets. But thanks to Google, they are shipping Pixel 3XL with USB Type-C wired Pixel buds and an adapter to connect with 3.5mm headphones.
Next to the USB port is a single-SIM tray. Volume buttons and power buttons are on the right side. Google’s Active Edge feature is still there, which lets you activate Google Assistant or silence incoming calls by squeezing the phone’s edges. Unluckily, you can’t assign any other functionality to this feature.
Software and Performance
Day-to-day usage with Pixel 3XL is as snappy as you would expect it to be; after all, it’s powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor coupled with Adreno 630 GPU. The single-SIM handset runs on the latest Android 9.0 Pie software version. The handset has 4GB RAM and comes in two storage variants of 64GB and 128GB, without any MicroSD card slot.
The specs this phone offers are often found in the mid-range segment of the Indian market. However, we find it odd when a phone this expensive only has 64GB of internal storage. This year, Google should have kept the base models at the same price with 128GB storage, and another one should at least have 256GB of storage. Pixel phones are more about software than hardware, so Pixel 3XL only has 4GB of RAM, and high-level optimization did on a software level.
On Geekbench, Pixel 3XL achieved a single-core score of 2,253 and a multi-core score of 7,973. AnTuTu gave it a score of 2,23,283.
This phone’s performance was satisfactory regarding battery life, but it is not one of the best phones with excellent battery life. Pixel 3 XL has a 3,430mAh battery which Google claims can deliver up to 7 hours of battery backup within 15 minutes of charging. The handset is also capable of wireless charging.
Pixel 3 XL takes 45 minutes from zero to fifty per cent and another 45 minutes to reach a hundred per cent, which means it gets fully charged within 2 hours. In addition, there is a feature called Adaptive Battery for increased battery life, which limits battery for other infrequently used apps.
The only lag I found in this phone was in the Camera app. Pixel 3XL takes a few seconds to process Portrait images after you click them because it has a single lens and uses machine learning to process blur effects.
Google has also included a Titan M security chip in the Pixel 3, which is said to protect most sensitive device data by securing your lock screen and strengthening disk encryption.
This year, Google has trimmed the three-button navigation system; instead, you’ll only use the Pixel through gestures.
There is a small pill-shaped on-screen button at the bottom. On clicking it, you’ll reach Home; swiping it up will open Recent Apps, and Swiping it up to the top will show you the App Drawer. For going back, there is a tiny on-screen button.
Google’s Now Playing feature is still present this time, detecting music playing nearby. Whenever there’s a song playing in the background (for example, a car or room), its name appears on display automatically, and this feature also works offline.
Connectivity features include Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with 2X2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, Location, USB Type-C, Qi wireless charging and NFC.
Regarding cameras, Google again showed everyone that you don’t need multiple cameras to click good-quality images. Google has ticked all the boxes of making the best camera in a phone. The camera is the most glorified feature of Pixel phones, and this year, with the Pixel 3 XL.
The new Pixel 3 XL sports a 12.2-megapixel single rear camera with optical and electronic image stabilization, f/1.8 aperture, dual phase detection autofocus, HDR+ mode, and Portrait mode. It records 4K videos @ 30fps, 1080p @ 30fps, 60fps, and 120fps.
On paper, the camera hardware looks similar to that of a mid-range phone, but thanks to Google’s Pixel Visual Core processor, the Pixel 3 XL can take pictures that no other phones can capture.
On the front, Google has gone with two selfie cameras, 8-megapixel (wide-angle, f/2.2 aperture, 97-degree FOV and fixed focus) + 8-megapixels (standard, f/1.8 gap, 75-degree FOV, and autofocus). The wide-angle selfie camera is handy for fitting your whole group in the frame. Switching to a wide-angle and standard camera is as easy as zooming in or out.
The camera app comes with Portrait mode, which works with front and rear cameras. Thanks to the phone’s software prowess, Portrait mode works like magic.
When using the camera of this phone, I would prefer you not to change anything and let it work on HDR+ mode. The HDR+ is always on, but you can disable/enable it from the camera settings. There’s also HDR+ enhanced mode which is helpful in difficult lighting conditions.
There is also a feature called Top Shot which detects and recommends the best photo taken. In addition, thanks to HDR+, the camera takes alternate shots.
Google also introduced a new feature called Night Sight, which Google claims is the best low-light camera. Unfortunately, this feature isn’t available on these phones, and Google will make this feature available through an update. However, we could click some images using a modified Night Sight APK, and the results were astonishing.
We look forward to seeing how Google can improve the Pixel camera’s low-light capabilities by releasing Night Sight.
Pixel 3 XL is the manifest of what Pixel phones have always stood for a great camera and smooth performance with less reliance on hardware. However, the Pixel 3 XL isn’t just a phone that amalgamates every phone’s features. Instead, Google offers a unique experience to consumers beyond Samsung and Apple.
Talking about the difference between last year’s and this year’s Pixel phones, there aren’t many noticeable differences other than the notch. Pixel 3XL offers the best cameras, fantastic display, and subtle design, but the battery is average.
Also, Google isn’t luring anyone with its hardware specs like OnePlus (OnePlus 6 Review) or Xiaomi (Poco F1 Review). Although, for example, the third-gen Pixel XL only has 4GB of RAM with a price starting from Rs 83,000, other Android handset brands offer way more than these specs at a much lower price. Google is doing it the Apple way, which means Pixel phones are more about user experience than specs on paper.
Pixel 3 XL is more about software than hardware; even being an Android phone (every eighth phone out of tenth is), it delivers a premium user experience. This phone is the benchmark for every other Android phone, only if we forget about some downsides. For example, Pixel 3XL doesn’t offer the greatest (or one of the greatest) battery backup in a phone, there is no face unlock, and why is there still a 64GB storage variant in a phone this expensive?