The Pixel 3 XL would be a superb big-screen phone if its notch weren’t so polarizing, but still it continues to deliver on the promise of jaw-dropping imaging performance. The Qualcomm snapdragon 845 paired with android 9.0 make the pixel 3 XL a solid performer for each and every task, in spite of how demanding it may be. But its a fact that it does not support expandable storage, does not sport an HDR10 compliant display and also does not have a secondary rear camera. The pixel 3 XL asks a large premium for the peace of mind that every time you take a photo, you’re going to have a winner on your hands.
Google Pixel 3 XL: Description
|Display||: 6.3″ (1440 X 2960) OLED Display|
|Camera||: 12.2 MP | 8 + 8 MP|
|Internal Storage||: 64 GB | 128 GB|
|Chip||: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845|
|OS (Operating System)||: Android v9.0 “Pie”|
|RAM||: 4 GB|
|Dimensions||: (158 X 76.7 X 7.9)mm|
|Weight||: 184 gms|
Google Pixel 3 XL: Build and design
Google’s signature dual-tone finish is present on the pixel 3 XL as well, however this time around, the Mountain View company has resorted to some clever tricks. The rear of the smartphone is all glass, but the bottom 3/4th of the rear has a new textured finish, making the phone feels almost like silk.
The back houses the singular camera lens along with a round fingerprint sensor. All the buttons you’d need are present on the right facet of the device. On top is a neon-orange power button, below that sits the body-colour volume rocker. The buttons are placed on a metal frame that has a glossy finish, almost making it feel like glass. The top and left facet of the frame is totally empty, providing that the SIM card slot has moved to the bottom of the phone, right next to the USB-C port.
In case you’re curious, the speaker has moved from the bottom of the phone to the bottom of the front panel. The earpiece doubles up as the second half of the stereo speaker setup, neatly snuggled between two front-facing cameras. This whole assembly means that the front of the Google pixel 3 XL is adorned with a notch, quite possibly the biggest in any smartphone yet.
It retains a very familiar design language that everybody, even non-Pixel users would be familiar with. The key highlights of the design are the IP68 rating, the new color treatments and the really nice soft textured finish on the rear.
Google Pixel 3 XL: Display
The pixel 3 XL comes with a 6.3-inch P-OLED display with a resolution of 1440×2960, having the pixel density of 523ppi. Apparently, the display on the pixel 3 XL is made by Samsung this time around. Hence, one of the biggest disappointments of the pixel 2XL gets addressed . Last year, the Pixels suffered from an awful color shift problem, an issue that appears to have been mitigated this time around. OLED displays still, generally have a color shift from yellow to blue when the viewing angles are extreme, but for regular use this isn’t going to be hampering your experience.
The pixel 3 XL’s display supports the DCI-P3 wide color gamut and is compatible with YouTube HDR. However sadly you don’t get HDR10 or Dolby Vision because the display is made of an 8-bit panel. Netflix and Amazon Prime Videos does not show the pixel 3 XL as a device that supports HDR video playback, which is a bummer provided that all flagships at this price point offer HDR10 compliance at the least. The LG G7+ which is half the value of the pixel offers not simply HDR10 compliance, but also Dolby Vision certification.
Despite the lack of HDR10 compatibility, the Google pixel 3 XL’s display is a gorgeous block to view content on. With improved viewing angles (and better-controlled color shift) watching videos streamed via any of your favourite streaming services is sure to look pleasing. The display offers 3 viewing modes- Natural, Boosted and vibrant. All of these modes offer’s excellent color reproduction. It is coupled with a maximum brightness of 650 nits. you are not going to face any disappointment while using this phone, regardless of whether or not it’s outdoors in bright light or in your room at night, in pitch dark.
Google Pixel 3 XL: Performance
You get the latest and greatest Qualcomm snapdragon 845 processor, but only 4GB of LPDDRX RAM to go with it. Consumers who love playing games may seem disappointed at the lack of 6GB or 8GB of RAM, however it’s not truly the case when it comes all the way down to the performance. As the phone does not show any signs of slowing down, when editing a batch of RAW files from a Sony A7 MarkII in Adobe Lightroom on the phone. Even gaming didn’t appear to stress the phone out, as were proven by long bouts of playing Asphalt 9 and Injustice 2. The multi-tasking window on the pixel 3 XL is smooth to scroll through and there’s not a single stutter.
We have reached a point in smartphone computing speeds where the distinction in speed between various smartphones isn’t even noticeable. When you consider the pixel 3 XL next to Samsung flagships and even the OnePlus 6, you do notice how fluid the UI on the pixel is, but that’s a given. While Samsung smartphones have been noted to slow down after some time, the pixel devices keep chugging on.
Google Pixel 3 XL: Camera
One of the most exciting things about using a pixel smartphone is taking photos. Every year, Google has amazed the world with what it could accomplish through the softwares on their smartphones.The phone features a 12.2 Megapixel rear camera, still Google has maintained that they can achieve plenty using just a single camera on the rear. As it is proven by the excellent Portrait Mode that was introduced last year.
Portrait Mode on the Google pixel 3 XL is near perfect. The background blurring is natural and even the segmentation of the foreground-background is done really well. Most times, there aren’t even any awkward blending mistakes. Google’s portrait mode isn’t restricted by distance, unlike that on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS max or even the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and this alone makes the pixel a winner. Portrait Mode permits you to shoot more than just portraits, with the end result looking really nice and can set your images apart on social media for sure.
Google also continues to improve its HDR algorithms which result in images that look incredibly stunning, but in restricted conditions. Daytime shots obviously look brilliant, with plenty of dynamic range in the final JPG with a medley of colors. However, if you’re shooting in terribly strong lighting (like the mid-day sun) with the foreground in significant shadow, expect there to be noticeable halation around the edges of the subjects. All photos shot in low light showed unreasonably low ISO numbers, and there’s nothing we are able to do regarding it. Typically, photos shot in low light tend to be underexposed, however on the pixel 3 XL, that’s not the case. Photos shot in low light are well exposed, however they do suffer from aggressive noise reduction.
The result is images that look good on a small screen, but look at them on a bigger display and you begin to notice the painting-line impact that runs across the image. What is definitely nice though is the fact that the pixel 3 XL can shoot in portrait mode even in low light since it doesn’t rely on a optical lens with a small aperture.
The Google pixel 3 XL also boasts of an improved autofocusing system, one that’s currently capable of subject tracking. This is incredibly useful and is a feature that every other flagship smartphone should implement at the earliest.Basically, if you tap on the screen to lock focus on a specific subject, you can move the camera around in any axis and the pixel will keep the focus locked. This is particularly useful if you find yourself having to recompose your shot, that everybody needs to do sometime. This feature works equally well even in low light.
Focus tracking is best for subjects that are sufficiently big to cover the focus circle. Tracking smaller subjects is tough and really fast-moving subjects like an over-energetic dog is even harder. Focus tracking ideally works well to correct the hand-movement that can sometimes make a photo go out of focus.
Overall, the pixel 3 XL’s camera setup is outstanding across the board, though it suffers in capturing good quality audio while recording video. However, the largest draw back to the pixel 3 XL camera is the lack of a secondary lens. A telephoto or secondary lens isn’t only for Portrait Mode, but also offers a unique way to capture the world.
While Google doesn’t find it necessary to have a secondary camera on the rear, they do think an additional optical setup on the front can enhance your selfies. You get dual 8-megapixel cameras on the front with f/1.8 and f/2.2 aperture on the wide-angle and ultra-wide angle lenses respectively. The wide-angle lens features phase-detect autofocus whereas the ultra-wide angle lens has is focus fixed. The idea of the setup is to offer folks the ability to take selfies not just of themselves, but also of large groups of people.
The selfies from the pixel are incredible, almost being as good as the images from the rear camera. Portrait mode also works flawlessly in both wide and ultra-wide mode. Selfies shot in bright light are fine but, in low light situations the phone is quick to apply noise reduction which ends up in a loss of detail.
There is very little to fault with the Pixel 3 XL’s front-facing camera. It works fast, is reliable and produces really good images regardless of whether they’re shot in portrait mode or not.
Google Pixel 3 XL: Battery
The Google pixel 3 XL packs a 3430 mAh battery which is a pretty standard capacity for a flagship device. On average the pixel 3 XL last over a day and a half in daily use. Counting on the phone to take lots of photos, listening to music and managing social media accounts throughout the day (besides the phone calls and constant use of WhatsApp).
A day and a half battery life is pretty damn impressive. Additionally, the phone supports fast charging over the new USB PowerDelivery 2.0 standard and while the initial 50% charges in roughly 35 minutes, a full 100% top-up will take a little over 90 minutes. The Google pixel 3 XL also supports wireless charging.
Google Pixel 3 XL: Conclusion
At Rs 83,000, the Google pixel 3 XL is the most expensive android flagship smartphone in the market right now. Even the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 offers more cameras, more onboard storage and expandable storage together with a far superior display for a way cheaper price tag. However, the real allure of the pixel lies in its stock android interface, the guarantee of timely updates and security patches and of course, in its imaging prowess. While the Huawei P20 pro continues to be the best smartphone camera in the market, the pixel 3 XL offers a camera that will definitely assist you to create social media content that is going to make several envious.