Google Pixel Three XL {Review}: Nonetheless the head of Android?



  • The Google Pixel Three XL is priced from Rs 83,000 in India; not an reasonably priced price ticket by any means.

  • The Google Pixel launches with the most recent model of Android, model 9 Pie, together with flagship {hardware}.

  • Backed by Google’s spectacular picture algorithms, the digital camera on the Pixel Three XL is now among the many finest on a smartphone.

The world of smartphone customers has just about divided itself into two varieties: iOS and Android. And whereas the iOS phase is often represents premium consumers largely primarily based in america and Europe, Android has a stronger maintain on the remainder of the world; that is significantly true in China and India, that are the world’s largest smartphone markets by consumer measurement. Nonetheless, Android has usually been related to affordability, given its open-source nature and wide selection of related producers.

That’s the place the Pixel vary from Google hopes to vary issues. Premium and high-end gadgets on Android have at all times existed, however in 2016, Google determined to take the combat straight to iOS. The Google-branded gadgets are precisely what Android was meant to characterize, in line with Google’s authentic imaginative and prescient for its working system, and in addition offers the Android equal of the premium smartphones that Apple builds. The most recent on this vary are the Google Pixel Three and Google Pixel Three XL, which have been launched earlier this month.

In the present day, we’re reviewing the bigger and dearer of the 2, the Rs 83,000 Google Pixel 3 XL. That includes Google’s first try at a notched show, glass construct and full-fledged inventory Android 9 Pie, the Pixel Three XL is a promising gadget. However in a world the place gadgets with comparable {hardware} retail at underneath Rs 25,000, is the ‘Made by Google’ tag price its weight anymore? And is the fabled Google Pixel digital camera every part it’s made out to be? We discover out in our overview.

WATCH: Google Pixel Three XL Arms-On

Google Pixel Three XL Design and Show

I’m going to begin off speaking concerning the Pixel Three XL’s design telling you that I don’t like it. From the second I noticed the primary footage to the purpose the place I really unboxed our overview unit, I used to be completely unimpressed by the way in which the telephone appears to be like. At a time when each different premium smartphone maker is specializing in design and styling, the Google Pixel Three XL appears to be like, properly, doofy.

Let’s begin on the again. Whereas the dual-textured again has appealed up to now, it’s beginning to look a bit foolish now. That mentioned, the transfer to glass has improved the styling to a small extent. Nonetheless, it isn’t a unibody building, so regardless of the metallic body, the telephone appears to be like oddly ‘low cost’ from some angles. That mentioned, it’s one thing you’ll get used to shortly sufficient. And whereas the ‘Simply Black’ and ‘Not Pink’ colour choices have their very own attraction, I fairly favored the ‘Clearly White’ possibility for wanting completely different from anything at the moment.

Just like the Pixel 2 vary, the Google Pixel Three XL doesn’t have a 3.5mm jack for legacy headphones and audio system. The only SIM tray is on the backside alongside the USB Kind-C port, whereas the best has the facility and quantity buttons. The white possibility has an oddly-colored inexperienced energy button, which both appears to be like artsy or cheesy relying in your sensibilities. On the again, you’ve got the fingerprint sensor, Google emblem and single digital camera setup with flash.

The remainder of the body follows the standard minimalism and ease that the Pixel vary has usually been recognized for. And whereas it’s in all probability time to re-imagine the aesthetic of the Pixel sequence, the Pixel Three XL sadly sticks to a now two-year-old type.

Transferring to the entrance is the place issues get much more doofy. Whereas different Android smartphone makers want to make the notch smaller and eliminate the chin altogether, the Pixel Three XL sports activities chunky iterations of each. Provided that the notch is a compromise by its very nature, you’d suppose that Google would need to make it smaller and fewer noticeable. Nonetheless, it’s deep, strangely-shaped and makes the telephone look bizarre. Beneath the display is an equally extensive chin.

Each of those elements are the way in which they’re due to the {hardware} on them; the notch sports activities the Pixel’s entrance dual-camera setup, sensors and earpiece / prime speaker, whereas the chin sports activities a big speaker grille. Subsequently, these odd design cues aren’t for nothing, if these are options that you just really intend to make use of. And given the standard of each these options, you’re prone to discover them very helpful, whether or not it’s for higher selfies or improved audio from the telephone’s stereo speaker setup.

The Google Pixel Three XL sports activities a Samsung-made 6.3-inch AMOLED show, with a side ratio of 18.5:9 and a decision of 1440×2960-pixels, with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on prime for added safety. Given the complaints for the LG-made P-OLED screens on the Pixel 2 XL, Google has taken an excellent name going with this selection for the Pixel Three XL.

From decision to colours, there’s little or no to complain of, past the standard tendency of Samsung-made AMOLED screens to barely over-saturate colours. That thought of, it helps the telephone obtain the robust, vibrant colours that attraction to many customers. The scale helps as properly, making the Pixel an amazing large slab of succesful display that helps with gaming, watching movies and extra. Using AMOLED tech additionally lets Google proceed utilizing its glorious always-on show expertise.

Google Pixel Three XL Specs and Battery

As is normally the case with Google Pixel gadgets, the Pixel Three XL is powered by a flagship chipset. Beneath the hood, you get the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, at the moment thought of the world’s most superior cellular chipset for Android gadgets. Nonetheless, the Pixel’s annual October launch timing signifies that it’s just a few months earlier than Qualcomm broadcasts a successor and smartphone makers implement it of their newer gadgets. For now although, the Pixel Three XL sports activities the most effective chipset obtainable, if just for a couple of months.

The remainder of the specs are something however confidence inspiring. The gadget comes with an ordinary 4GB of RAM, with both 64GB or 128GB of inside storage and no scope for storage enlargement. Typical Pixel customers might not be closely affected by the shortage of storage enlargement given Google’s glorious cloud providers, however even 128GB of storage could fall quick should you wish to have a number of apps and the related knowledge with these apps. What’s lacking right here is extra RAM, extra storage and maybe beginning the storage choices from 128GB this time round.

After utilizing the Pixel Three XL for some time, I’ll admit that 4GB of RAM could also be sufficient to maintain issues operating at flagship ranges for many duties. Whereas different smartphones could wrestle to push efficiency with this a lot RAM, the inventory Android UI and pure Android framework devoid of producer additions signifies that if any flagship smartphone could make 4GB of RAM work, it’s the Pixel Three XL.

Nonetheless, as I’ve mentioned earlier than, I’ve long-term issues concerning the usability of 4GB of RAM. You’re unlikely to face any bother for no less than a yr, however past that, 4GB of RAM may fall quick. And when gadgets such because the Samsung Galaxy Notice 9 and OnePlus 6 provide as much as 8GB of RAM, Google’s insistence on making do with what’s wanted fairly than providing a security web to consumers comes throughout as pointless. A bump as much as 6GB of RAM would have been good. That is significantly related provided that I did have sure points with efficiency, however extra on that later.

The telephone sports activities a 3,430mAh battery, and comes with a bundled 18W quick charger. You will get a full cost in about 80 minutes with the bundled charger, whereas utilizing most different choices will cost the telephone fairly slowly. Relying in your use, you will get a day’s price of run from the Pixel Three XL. However take into account, the extra you utilize the big, high-resolution display, the extra you’re consuming away at that risk of a full day. I averaged a screen-on time of about 3.5 to four hours with the telephone; common at finest given that almost all Snapdragon 845 gadgets get to five.5 or 6 hours on good days.

One other small factor price mentioning right here: the shortage of the three.5mm jack signifies that Google now bundles its Pixel Kind-C headphones within the field. These are plastic, gentle, and really feel considerably low cost. The match isn’t fairly as safe and noise-isolating both, which actually put me off them. Whereas they sound alright, I wasn’t completely impressed and sometimes discovered that I acquired a greater audio expertise from a wi-fi headset, or utilizing the Kind-C to three.5mm adapter to plug in higher wired headphones.

Google Pixel Three XL Software program and Efficiency

Google Pixel gadgets are the at all times the primary to obtain the most recent variations of Android, and the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel Three XL duly launch with Android 9 Pie out of the field. Launched in August, a handful of smartphone makers (together with Google for its older Pixel gadgets) have already began rolling out updates, however the Pixels normally aren’t crushed to the excellence of being the primary telephones to launch with the brand new OS model.  And with Android 9 Pie come varied enhancements.

A few of these greatest enhancements come within the type of safety; the Google Pixel Three XL, because of its Titan M security chip, is among the many most safe smartphones made, with many of those security measures constructed into Android Pie. Other than this, a brand new gesture navigation system, adaptive battery and brightness, AI-based app actions, simpler display rotation and digital well-being are a part of the vary of spectacular new options.

Value particularly mentioning right here is the combination of machine studying into the software program, each within the adaptive features in addition to within the app actions. With steady utilization, the Google Pixel Three XL learns your utilization patterns to give you strategies within the app drawer, and in addition works in the direction of limiting battery and tweaking brightness primarily based on the apps you utilize roughly typically. In follow, this works properly sufficient; strategies akin to fast entry to the BGR India Slack channel or WhatsApp chat with my spouse tended to pop up precisely once I wanted them to.

One other nice characteristic is the Digital Wellbeing software, which comes within the type of an possibility within the settings menu in addition to a standalone app. This software is constructed into the framework of Android 9 Pie, and will probably be obtainable to all smartphone makers to combine into their software program roll-outs. It offers you fascinating insights into the way you’re utilizing your telephone, the period of time the display is on, how typically you unlock the telephone, and extra. You may as well tweak it to set limits on utilization, however this wasn’t one thing I wished to do.

On the entire, inventory Android software program is efficiency oriented, and largely does its job properly. For many issues, you’ll discover the efficiency of the Google Pixel Three XL to be top-tier. From operating a number of tabs on Google Chrome to high-performance video games, to most social media apps, to even the occasional video and picture modifying on the telephone, the Pixel Three XL labored properly. Even high-performance video games akin to PUBG Mobile labored pretty properly, however I may understand a distinction within the telephone’s dealing with of the sport on the OnePlus 6, which was only a bit higher.

And that’s basically right down to the RAM. I seen that each one of those duties labored finest once I stored clearing lively apps, protecting just one or two apps operating within the background. Pushing it with too many apps operating within the background would typically result in slight app administration points, the place the Google Pixel Three XL must relegate sure features to the background.

Switching again to the apps would present a noticeable reload delay, though I personally didn’t expertise any app administration points the place the telephone would shut off a background operate that was actively in use. Basically, it’s right here that Google ought to have gone a step additional. 4GB of RAM on a flagship smartphone at the moment – significantly one which prices Rs 83,000 or extra – must be known as out for what it’s. You’ll be able to be taught and adapt your utilization to make the telephone work properly even with 4GB of RAM, however why must you?

And past that, there are different points to the software program as properly, a few of which can get ironed out with updates; Google Pixel gadgets are inclined to endure a bit from early software program earlier than issues are ultimately sorted out. Nonetheless, different points are basic flaws of inventory Android, and also you’d maybe be higher served by producer software program that provides touches that might be just right for you.

That’s my greatest grievance with the very concept of inventory Android at the moment: it’s too bare-bones. The give attention to simplicity, minimalism and customarily not overloading the telephone with issues it doesn’t want can get bothersome past a degree. There are lots of software-based functions lacking from the Google Pixel Three XL that you’d anticipate as fundamentals on smartphones that price a fraction of the worth.

There isn’t a face unlock, do-not-disturb mode can’t particularly adapt for features akin to gaming, and gesture controls on the Pixel Three XL are restricted to 1 solution to navigate solely. Whereas an excessive amount of customizability could possibly be a foul factor, maybe too little capacity to set the telephone up the way in which you want it’s also an equally unhealthy factor.

And what’s undoubtedly price declaring right here is that the Google Pixel Three XL has particular Wi-Fi and cellular community points. The antenna merely isn’t as succesful as different gadgets, dropping to 3G the place different telephones are holding onto LTE with ease. Moreover, Wi-Fi tends to take longer to attach, significantly should you’re on a PEAP-authenticated connection, which regularly takes about 45 minutes to an hour to latch on. These points have existed because the Google Pixel 2 sequence, and nonetheless haven’t been fastened. Maybe Google’s software program isn’t all it’s made out to be, and producer UIs could also be a bonus in lots of instances.

Google Pixel Three XL Digital camera

Now we come to what has to face because the Google Pixel Three XL’s signature characteristic – its images. As has been the case from 2016 when the Pixel was first launched, the Pixel Three XL sports activities what’s, in my view, the smartphone digital camera on the planet. And whereas different smartphone makers are including twin and triple-camera setups so as to add skills, the Pixel Three and Pixel Three XL do every part with only one 12-megapixel sensor (on the rear, that’s). That sensor does every part from taking common footage in every kind of lighting circumstances, portrait photographs, in addition to zoomed-in footage utilizing Google’s new Tremendous Res Zoom, which basically pulls off optical zoom-quality photographs with common digital zoom.

Nonetheless, regardless of spending a very long time insisting that dual-camera setups have been gimmicks, the Pixel Three XL will get one on the entrance, of all locations. The awkward notch options this dual-camera setup, which Google has applied within the type of two 8-megapixel sensors. One is an ordinary wide-angle shooter with part detection autofocus (a relative rarity amongst smartphones that usually use fixed-focus entrance cameras), whereas the second is an ultra-wide angle shooter. The telephone additionally makes use of its dual-camera setup to offer you portrait photographs with the entrance digital camera.

In common daylight, in addition to in nightfall lighting, the pictures are incredible to say the least. From getting the main points proper to capturing the colours precisely, the Google Pixel Three XL does a superior job to every other smartphone I’ve used. Aside from the slight exaggeration because of utilizing HDR (which may be turned off), footage are largely correct to the fact your eyes can see. Accuracy is the key phrase right here, with out shedding out on the pure ‘drama’ that exists in each body.

Swap to close-ups, and also you proceed to see the element in every part. Even with out utilizing portrait mode, the digital camera does an amazing job of specializing in the topic and providing a pure DSLR-like blur to the background. It does all of this even when there are a mess of colours and textures within the body, displaying simply how properly the fabled algorithms of the Google digital camera are working. Gaining access to tens of millions of images as reference makes the Google Pixel Three XL’s cameras among the many most succesful at the moment.

Low gentle photographs are normally the place most smartphones let their customers down, however not the Google Pixel Three XL. I used to be capable of seize element, with minimal noise and grain even at night time. Though you’ll discover vibrant lights oversaturating, the main target areas stay correctly captured, and dimmer lights retain their pure colour and texture.

Additionally check out the ‘Tremendous Res’ digital zoom in motion. Zoomed in to about 5X, the picture beneath retains its high quality with none of the artefacts of compensation that almost all digital zoom cameras are inclined to have. It’s doable to see particular person particulars and textures within the partitions of the Taj lodge in Mumbai, and telephones with correct optical zoom wouldn’t be capable to seize this degree of element.

And at last, we check out portrait photographs and selfies. Portraits taken with the rear digital camera are glorious, retaining element and textures capably. The blur impact is nice as properly, and it might even be tweaked after you’re taking the picture. Nonetheless, I discovered that the most effective outcomes got here in letting the digital camera do its personal factor; tweaking the background blur didn’t actually assist the pictures.

Though you’ll see that there are points with the background and foreground detection within the entrance portrait shot beneath, the standard of the selfie is, as soon as once more, superior to anything available on the market at the moment. From the main points within the particular person hairs on my face to the hints of sweat on my brow, there’s little or no to fault on this picture past the iffy background detection.

The picture beneath that exhibits the ultra-wide angle sensor in motion. Merely pull the bar on the telephone’s display all the way in which out, and the entrance digital camera positive factors the flexibility to magically add extra folks into your selfie. There’s little or no warping (as is usually seen on the edges of wide-angle photographs), and shadows and colours stay correct and true to the scene.

Merely put, there’s nothing to complain about right here. The Google Pixel Three XL has, certainly, the most effective digital camera on any smartphone I’ve used so far. Its options are significant, helpful and work as marketed, with the core performance of taking good footage with the rear digital camera being higher than ever earlier than.


I actually wished to like the Google Pixel Three XL. Having been an Android consumer for some years now, I’ve at all times rooted for the Google Pixel vary. And whereas I’ll have had a shaky begin to my affair with this telephone, I grew to love it will definitely. However I by no means grew to like it.

The Google Pixel 3 XL is, undoubtedly, the most effective digital camera telephone you should buy at the moment. So if that’s your major objective, you’ll in all probability love the telephone whereas forgiving its few flaws. Nonetheless, I couldn’t convey myself to look previous these. The software program is sweet, however isn’t with out its flaws, and maybe the thought of simplicity and minimalism is just too summary an concept for at the moment’s day and age. Efficiency is sweet, however you do must adapt the way in which you utilize it to get the most effective out of it. The display is sweet, however that bizarre notch and chin design take away from what’s in any other case a superb show. And 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage belongs on a funds gadget, not a really costly flagship smartphone.

In fact, all of those flaws are made much more unforgivable by that price ticket. At Rs 83,000 onwards, the Google Pixel Three XL is an costly smartphone that doesn’t convincingly justify its worth. You’d obtain comparable ranges of functionality from smartphones half the worth of the Pixel Three XL, and should you select proper, you possibly can even succesful ranges of the very software program help that Google touts as considered one of its USPs. But when Google-brand minimalism and an unbeatable digital camera are for you, the Google Pixel Three XL could possibly be your subsequent smartphone.

You Is likely to be

Google Pixel 3 XL
Android Pie
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core SoC
Google Pixel 3
Android 9 Pie
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core SoC

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