As we move into the second half of the year, Google’s 2018 Pixel phones are getting increasingly leaky. After some screen protectors and blurry photos of the black 3 XL, we now have an even clearer look at a white Pixel 3 XL. The new leak confirms Google’s total embrace of the display notch, as well as the glass back.
The new leak seems credible for several reasons. For one, it looks like the past 3 XL leaks, but the photos are of better quality. The device is also missing the standard Google logo on the back, but it has a circular icon in the same place. We see this same shape in most Google prototype hardware. So, that’s a match. The tipster also notes that the phone will not boot because Google remotely disabled it. This is something Google is known to do with prototype phones.
So, if we accept that this phone is the real deal, what does it tell us about the Pixel 3 XL? Well, it really drives home how gigantic the display notch is. In one of the leaked photos, the tipster has a white background on the screen. We can clearly see that the notch is at least as tall as the Essential Phone’s notch, but it’s also extremely wide. That means the Pixel 3 XL will limit how many notification and status icons you can have visible. The height will make the status bar area about twice as tall as usual. As we’ve pointed out, making the status bar taller to accommodate a notch effectively eliminates any space-saving gains you get from the notch in the first place.
The white background also shows how large the bottom chin is on this phone. It’s basically unchanged from the Pixel 2 XL. The iPhone X manages to eliminate all the bezels by folding the display controller back behind the OLED panel. Google either can’t or decided not to do that for some reason.
Around back, the leaked device still has a single camera sensor. Many phones have moved to a dual camera setup, but the Pixel 2 was still the best mobile shooter even without a secondary sensor. In a dramatic reversal, the new Pixel phone appears to be glass. The bottom section has a matte look, and the top third is glossy. The division replicates the glass inlay on past Pixel phones, but it’s a single panel. This could mean wireless charging is making a comeback on Google phones after being absent for several years.
We’ll have all the details of this device, as well as the smaller Pixel 3, when Google announces them this fall. If it sticks to tradition, the event will be on October 4th.
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