Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL: Rumored specs, features, leaks, price, release date

What new indignity will next befall Google’s still-officially-unreleased Pixel 3? 

Between Russian bloggers leaking numerous photos and videos of the Pixel 3 XL, someone else leaking images of the smaller Pixel 3 on Reddit, and someone else leaving a Pixel 3 XL in the backseat of a Lyft, it’s safe to say that the — alleged — beans have been fully spilled. If even half of these leaks are legit, Google will have its hands full generating some surprise at the phone’s official introduction — scheduled for an event in New York City on Oct. 9, according to Bloomberg. (We have reached out to Google for confirmation, but haven’t heard back.)

But Google surely has some revelations in store. The latest version of its Android operating system, known as Android Pie, has some compelling new features — such as multiplayer AR and enhancements to its already-superior voice assistant — that will likely be integrated in the Pixel 3 and which can’t be found on any iPhone (yet). And the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL may be more different from one another than in previous years — chiefly due to the notched design that Google is rumored to have given the larger device.

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With the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, Google will also look to avoid the mistakes associated with its previous Pixel 2 XL. That phone suffered from burn-in issues and other defects related to the phone’s OLED display — missteps that resulted in quite a bit of media attention, marring some initial positive reviews with caveats. It also brought the spotlight to Google’s warranty, which was eventually broadened to accommodate the issues. (Note that the iPhone X’s OLED display is not immune from burn-in either.) 

Again, the company hasn’t formally announced the Pixel 3 phones, so most of what we think we know is based on rumor and hearsay. However, because the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL and are among the best phones on the market today on account of their excellent cameras, snappy performance and tight integration with Google’s homegrown Android software, many are interested in what Google will offer this time around.

We’ve collated the major buzz on the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL below, and will continue to update this space regularly with news and rumors. 

Editors’ note, Sept. 4: This post was originally published on June 10, 2018, and will continue to be updated with news and rumors on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.  

Rumor: Google will introduce the Pixel 3 on Oct. 9

According to Bloomberg, Google plans to unveil new Pixel phones in New York on Oct. 9 — just shy of a month after the date Apple has announced it will unveil new iPhones on Sept. 12 (and perhaps a host of other products in its pipeline). Though Google’s rumored announce date for 2018 may not be precisely the same as last year, the general timeframe would follow precedent: the company introduced the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL on Oct. 4, 2017 and the original Pixel phones exactly one year earlier on Oct. 4, 2016

Rumor: This is what the Pixel 3 might look like

The first several batches of leaked photos gave us our first look at the larger XL model. Now, an anonymous Reddit user has delivered purported images of the smaller Pixel 3 (via 9to5Google). The big news: it has no notch. 

Traditionally, the Pixel and Pixel XL have been nearly identical — except for the size difference — but that may change this time around, as the larger phone’s notch necessitates a design fork. According to the leaker’s analysis, the Pixel 3’s 5.5-inch display will feature a 2,160×1,080 resolution, which is slightly higher than the Pixel 2’s. 

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Pixel3Throwaway/Reddit/9to5Google

Rumor: This is what the Pixel 3 XL might look like

Within one week, there were two, yes two, purportedly leaked images of the Pixel 3 XL. The first apparently took place in Toronto, where a rider with a keen eye took pictures of what appears to be the upcoming phone in the wild. The images are consistent with earlier leaks, showing a display notch, Google keyboard and a two-tone design.

Could this be the Pixel 3 XL in the wild?


MobileSyrup

We know that Android Pie supports phones with notches and according to the increasing number of renders and leaked photos we’re seeing, that’s no coincidence. If the photos are real, the Pixel 3 XL will have a notch — and not just any notch, but a big, deep notch.

The Pixel 3 XL's deep notch

A “leaked” photo that supposedly shows a Pixel 3 XL final production unit with a significant notch cut into the top of the display.


Android Poilce/Telegram user @LuchkovCH

A Ukrainian Telegram app user has posted images of a phone purported to be the Pixel 3 XL that looks a whole lot like the Pixel 2 XL but with a notch that’s deeper than the iPhone X’s.

Rumor: Pixel 3 XL may come bundled with Pixel Bud-like earbuds

Several Russian bloggers supposedly got their hands on the Pixel 3 XL. The phones might have come from a Ukrainian black market dealer, but nevertheless the bloggers uploaded unboxing videos and tested out the camera. One unboxing shows a pair of earbuds with a meaty, Pixel Buds design. This would be a change from the Pixel 2, which didn’t come with any headphones.

The images of the headphones did also have misspelled “@googel.com” email address on the label, which is a little sketch. Our email bounced when we tried emailing that address, so keep in mind this all might be a clever fake.

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This may be the Pixel 3 XL straight from the box.


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Separately, a Telegram user @LuchkovCH also “leaked” photos of the Pixel 3 XL and dropped a YouTube video here. In it, they walk through the Settings menu, launcher and running benchmarks. There’s a look at the (notched) front, familiar-looking back and what looks like a single USB-C charging port.  

Confirmed: Pixel 3 won’t be the first to get Android Pie

Countering speculation that Google would introduce its latest operating system on the Pixel 3, the company released Android Pie to the existing generation of Pixel phones on Aug. 6. The Pixel 3 is likely, however, to be the first phone running Pie right out of the box, if that matters in any way.

Android Pie mostly focuses on behind-the-scenes improvements designed to make Android phones work faster while saving battery life, but it also paves the way for the Pixel XL’s notch. 

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Android P gives us a hint about the upcoming Pixel 3.


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Rumor: The phone could have wireless charging

XDA Developers found evidence in an Android Pie beta release that points to support for wireless charging. This rumor dovetails with another — that the new Pixel may have a glass back that would be more conducive to wireless charging. 

Google has made wireless charging phones before (like the Google Nexus 6 and Google Nexus 5), but stopped in 2015 with the launch of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. Perhaps it’s bringing the feature back, however, due to the wireless charging capabilities of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.

Rumor: Pixel 3 XL will have front-facing speakers

According to a recent case leak from Gizmo China, the Pixel 3 XL will purportedly flaunt two front-facing cameras. The apparent leaked images also show that the speaker will be located on the front bottom bezel and the fingerprint reader will still be located on the back below the camera.

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Rumor: Pixel 3 XL will have two front-facing cameras, new display

In addition to the notch, Bloomberg posited that the Pixel 3 XL will have an edge-to-edge display and two front-facing cameras. The smaller Pixel 3, however, will have neither of these things apparently.

The German news site WinFuture, which has a pretty reliable record with tech rumors, also reported that Google will partner with Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn (the same company that makes iPhones) to build “new display hardware.”

Rumor: A premium Pixel will battle 2018 iPhones

Tech blog Droid Life reported that Google will have three new Pixel phones in the pipeline for 2018. This trio could include a mysterious higher-end version — perhaps intended to compete with the $999 iPhone X — in addition to the standard and XL models. As a reminder, the 64GB Pixel 2 starts at $649 and the Pixel 2 XL starts at $849 (£799 or AU$1,399).

That noted, frequent tipster Evan Blass tweeted that, according to a “reliable source,” Google will deliver a Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL — as well as the next generation of Pixel Buds and a Pixel-branded watch. If he’s right, we’re back to looking at two phones, not three. The Pixel 3 XL might have to take on 2018’s iPhones on its own.

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Rumor: Or maybe Google will make a cheaper Pixel instead?

Google is said to be developing an inexpensive “midrange” Pixel for emerging markets that could debut this summer, according to Economic Times.

It’s not clear whether Google would bring this budget model to the US; the timing doesn’t sync up with the Pixel’s usual October debut. But such a phone would certainly make an interesting foil to Apple’s rumored iPhone SE 2, which we could see in September, when iPhones usually launch.

Other rumored Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL specs

  • Octacore Qualcomm CPU (perhaps Snapdragon 845)
  • Adreno 630 GPU
  • 2,960×1,440-pixel resolution
  • Wired version of Google Pixel Buds connecting via USB-C 
  • Confirmed: Support for Android Pie 
  • 4GB RAM
  • 2,915mAh battery that supports wireless charging
  • Available at least two colors: black and white

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