Google is about to launch its new Pixel range, but a series of leaks about the Pixel 3 XL including unboxing videos and even full reviews have spoiled the surprise. Not only do we have the first photos of the elusive smaller Pixel 3, but the launch event has now been confirmed.
Launch event in New York City confirmed
We now have confirmation that Google will launch its new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL on October 9th in New York City. The event had been earlier rumored for October 4th, the same day Google unveiled the Pixel in 2016 and the Pixel 2 in 2017. The official date does not come as much of a surprise, given that Mark Gurman mentioned the new date in a report about the iPhones that will land in 2019. Google has previously revealed its Pixel phones in California, but it looks as though the company will be heading to the east coast for this one.
There's not much given away by the invite. Some say that the '3' in the "I <3 NY" message is intended to drop a hint that the event will be about the new Pixel 3's but, honestly, so much has already leaked about these devices this summer that subtlety is not really an option for Google at this stage.
All the rumors and leaks about the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL
- What will the Pixel 3 be look like?
- What will the Pixel 3 XL look like?
- Software and features
- Technical specifications
The regular Pixel 3 doesn't fall far from the tree
First a word of caution, the images below were posted on reddit, so take it with a pinch of salt. However, the device shown (complete with a screenshot of specs) does appear to line up with the rumors and expectations so far:
As you can see, the regular Pixel 3 looks a lot like last year's Pixel 2 XL, inheriting much from the previous large model. A smaller Pixel 2 XL with new hardware, slimmer bezels and two-tone back doesn't seem bad at all, and should be an attractive prospect for Pixel-heads that are disappointed with the design of the Pixel 3 XL.
The poster has stated that the particular device shown is part of a testing program through a carrier other than Verizon, so the intitial exclusivity may not last too long. Aside from the photos of the device in hand, the leaker also post screenshots showing the specs of this purported Pixel 3.
Don't be put off by the 2:1 aspect ratio, that's the same as 18:9. Overall, the specs line up with what we'd expect from the next generation smaller Pixel so the leak so far seems plausible?
What do you think of the leak? Does the purported Pixel 3 seem better than the XL to you? Let us know in the comments!
Don't expect any huge surprises
We already know a lot about the Pixel 3 XL. Images have been around for a while but in the last week video footage has been cropping up online, mostly from Russia and Ukraine (where it seems bloggers were able to buy stolen XL's), showing the new smartphone in detail. We know that the XL, at least, has a huge notch but there was some new information to be taken away from this latest batch of leaks.
Google is bundling a pair of USB-C earbuds in with the new Pixels in a move that shows the company understands that consumers are not ready for the Bluetooth headphone revolution that is still to pick up serious traction. Apple's most popular accessory at Best Buy is, unsurprisingly, the iPhone headphone dongle and it looks like Google is taken a very consumer-friendly step to save itself from the same scandal.
Google has not commented on the significant leaks or the stolen units that are all over YouTube. The reason for this could be that the company does not want to talk about what is still, officially, and 'unannounced' product. The cat is out of the bag in terms of the 3 XL, but we still don't know too much about the regular Pixel 3.
We already know what the XL looks like
The previous round of Pixel 3 XL leaks show the front and back of the device. The only thing different to what we've seen so far on the back of the smartphone is the logo - now it's the usual 'G' logo of the final product rather than the alternate one used on prototypes. On the front, there's a large notch taking up space at the top, while a chin bezel takes up space at the bottom.
It looks a bit more modern than previous Pixels, but it's a shame that the large bottom bezel is still in place despite the notch. In addition, there was a brief unboxing video:
A campaign published on the site searches for Canadian YouTubers to create video content about the new Google Pixel 3 which is expected to be unveiled on October 4. Obviously, we can expect the XL version on the same date in addition to other hardware Made by Google during the event. Google has never launched products immediately after the presentation so probably we will have to wait until late October to get our hands on the new Pixels, at least the presentation date is no longer a mystery.
The Made by Google event could also bring us new Google Homes, a new Pixelbook, the second generation of Pixelbuds and maybe new Daydream virtual reality hardware. Of course, this is just speculation, but we don't think that Google will start slacking in the hardware department at this stage in the game.
A traditionally fishy name
Google devices are classified using code names themed around fish. For the new generation of Pixels, too, the recipe is the same: albacore, blueline and crosshatch are the ones that have been leaked into the net.
The names begin with a, b, and c, respectively, which may suggest some sort of hierarchy of devices. According to Droidlife reports a few months ago, two of Google's devices will be premium and the third will be high-end. What exactly it means is not certain, but we know it concerns the Pixel range.
XDA Developers has published a whole series of photos showing the new Google Pixel 3 XL and its notch in the display. Even if the authenticity of the pictures is difficult to prove, they all look very credible.
On the pictures, you can see the presumed Pixel 3 XL, which hardly differs from the current Pixel 2 XL on the back. Again, Google encloses the upper part with the camera in a glass pane, which not only looks good, but also benefits the reception. Google apparently continues to rely on a simple, single rear camera. The fingerprint sensor remains on the back, while the tray for the SIM card moves to the left side of the USB C port.
In the front, the notch is clearly visible in the display. The cutout is slightly wider than that of the Huawei P20 Pro, but not quite as wide as the one on the Apple iPhone X. The manufacturer's logo is not yet the characteristic Google-G, but it is in the right place, and similar placeholder logos have appeared on Google prototypes before.
More pictures can be seen at XDA Developers.
Color variants shown in renders
Following the first real photos of one of the Google Pixel 3 XL prototypes, the community caught fire. People were upset about the notch and complained about the few changes in the final design of the device.
A phone designer has come to our aid and thanks to his render we can take a first look at what the final product might look like. It should be said right away that these renderings are based on the information that has been leaked previously and add nothing new to what we already know.
These renders really make the new "panda" color look really gorgeous. Not only does it recall the 2017 model, but the black frame around the white paint on the shell gives it a unique and very special look. In this render you can also admire the Kinda Blue coloring that was an option for the Pixel 2 last year.
Steve Hemmerstoffer, better known as OnLeaks, has leaked new information about the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. This time it concerns the display.
According to my sources:— Steve H. (@OnLeaks) June 4, 2018
Pixel 3 ≃ 5.3-inch (no notch)
Pixel 3XL ≃ 6.2-inch (notch)
According to OnLeaks, the Pixel 3 XL will have a notch and the display will also grow to 6.2 inches. Even the small pixel will get a larger display without notch, one with a diagonal of 5.3 inches. At least with the Pixel 3 XL, by the way, Google matches LG Display in size.
Google will not have an external partner for its third generation of Pixel smartphones and will have neither LG nor HTC on board. Instead, Google has apparently teamed up directly with Foxconn to find a new manufacturing partner. This measure also makes sense because Google took over around 2,000 employees from HTC in time for the development of this Pixel generation.
Screen protectors show a notch for the XL version
Despite a poor reception from many tech enthusiasts, the display notch is the trend of the times and according to some manufacturers the only solution to increase the screen front surface ratio of new devices. The notch amazed us on the Essential Phone, worried us on iPhone X and then became de rigueur on most of the flagships (and even some lower end phones) of 2018 such as the Huawei P20 Pro and the LG G7 ThinQ. Now, it looks like the notch is going to arrive on one of the new devices Made by Google.
According to a photo of the glass panels uploaded on the SlashLeaks portal, the Pixel 3 should continue to use an 18:9 display in a form similar to that used on the Pixel 2 XL. The Pixel 3 XL, on the other hand, seems to be a collection of all your worst nightmares: a notch at the top, a pronounced bottom bezel and a rather bulky size.
From the photos, which are taken with a grain of salt as always, we can also deduce that the smartphone could use either a dual front camera or a front camera and an iris scanner in the style of the Galaxy S8 and S9. The presence of a pair of front stereo speakers also seems to be confirmed, even though earlier rumors suggested a speaker-free device.
Made by LG or HTC?
Around five million Pixel phones have been sold worldwide, and if it weren't for limited supply, Google might have been able to sell even more. The Investor, a Korean news site, reports that an industry insider says "Google is seeking a new partner for the phone's stable supply," and that it is likely LG may even help produce some of the upcoming Pixel 3 phones.
HTC, the manufacturer of the Pixel phones thus far, would be out of the picture, it seems, and LG would be taking up the task of producing Google's phones again. LG previously made the firm's Nexus smartphones in 2012, 2013 and 2015. Google may even be planning to invest around $900 million in LG Display's OLED production, according to The Investor's sources. Though all of this is merely unconfirmed speculation according to LG.
The Pixel 3 will run Android P. The name of the future software version is still a mystery but the first Developer Preview has already been released and you can take a look at the first features implemented:
- Android 9.0 P: all the new features of the developer preview
- Android P beta: what is revealed by the second preview?
AOSP code mentions Pixel 3
The team over at XDA Developers got its hands on AOSP, where it found a configuration element that would show how the new Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL), HAL V_1_2, would be compatible only with Pixel 3. In plain English, it's an interface layer that acts as a bridge between the Android framework and hardware. The new automatic network selection is based on HAL V_1_2, so to go straight to the point, the future Pixel 3 could scan for networks more quickly or offer exclusive radio features.
This HAL, combined with the new API dedicated to network scanning, which is mentioned several times in the code, could allow the device to reduce energy consumption during network scanning–one of the factors that weighs most on the battery. But we can only guess for now.
|Pixel 3||Pixel 3 XL|
|Display||5.3 inches||6.2 inches, Notch, OLED|
|Chipset||Snapdragon 845||Snapdragon 845|
|RAM||4 GB||6 GB|
|Internal storage||64 GB||64 GB|
The data in the table are estimates based on the assumption that Google will continue the Pixel series in the premium segment. We also consider how other manufacturers equipped their high-end smartphones in 2018.
Source: The Verge