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Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL: Rumored specs, features, leaks, price, October 9 announce date


Tomorrow is the big day — and to say the cat is out of the bag would be an understatement. Over the weekend, with just days to go before Google’s Oct. 9 event in New York City, Engadget posted a full unboxing video showing what appears to be the real deal: The forthcoming Pixel 3 XL, in all of its leaked glory. 

How to watch: Google’s Pixel event on Oct. 9

We expect to get the official announcement tomorrow. But the torrential flood of leaks — like, so many leaks that we’re starting to wonder if they were intentional — has already formed a remarkably vivid picture of what we can expect. In addition to adding a few new details to our picture of the Pixel 3 XL — a 6.3-inch display, 128GB of storage and bundled USB-C headphones — the Engadget video corroborates much of what we’d seen before. 

And we’d already seen a lot before — including a full-fledged multimedia showcase posted by Russian bloggers earlier this year and a prototype Pixel 3 XL found in the backseat of a Lyft a few weeks back. Last week Google slyly acknowledged the massive rumor mill with a series of teaser illustrations.


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If even half of the rumors are true, Google will be hard-pressed to conjure much surprise at the phone’s official introduction. But there may be other opportunities. The latest version of its Android operating system, known as Android Pie, has compelling new features — such as multiplayer AR and enhancements to its already-superior voice assistant — that will likely be integrated in the Pixel 3. (Apple has showed off its own multiplayer AR at the iPhone XS launch and brought Siri a much-needed makeover with iOS 12.) And the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL may be more different from one another than in previous years — chiefly due to the iPhone-like notched design that Google is rumored to have given the larger model.

Read: Everything we expect at Google’s Oct. 9 event

Again, the company hasn’t formally announced the Pixel 3 phones, so most of what we think we know is based on the voluminous rumors. 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 Android integration, 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, Oct. 8: This post was originally published on June 10, and will continue to be updated with news and rumors about the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. The price originally quoted above has been removed because it was the price the pre-release phone was selling for in Hong Kong, not the intended retail price.


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

According to Bloomberg, Google plans to unveil new Pixel phones in New York on Oct. 9. The general timeframe follows 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: New camera feature

According to the leak by Front Page Tech’s Jon Prosser, via Twitter, the Pixel 3 will include a camera feature called “Top Shot” that captures photos of people at the exact right moment. 

Rumor: New UI tricks 

A purported Google marketing video, first posted by MySmartPrice and embedded below, shows several new features that may be coming to the Pixel 3. The video shows familiar Pixel navigational elements —  swiping down for notifications and squeezing the sides to launch Google Assistant — and new ones, like long-pressing the power button to take a screenshot. And there are other new tricks: someone uses the Pixel’s camera to recognize and draft an email from a business card. Another instance shows the phone recognizing a restaurant name in an email, and offers the option to make a reservation.

Rumor: Google to unveil new Pixel Stand charger

In addition to the new phones, Google is said to have developed a new wireless charger called the “Pixel Stand,” according to MySmartPrice. A purported image shows a white dock with an orange bottom and a small “G” logo that’s connected, ostensibly, to a USB-C cable. MySmartPrice says that the Stand will turn your Pixel into a smart display with access to shortcuts for music apps, the Google Assistant and notifications.

mysmartprice-pixel-stand-pixel-3

MySmartPrice

That noted, XDA Developers found evidence in an Android Pie beta release that points to support for wireless charging. And if the new Pixel ends up with a glass back — that’s another rumor — it would be more conducive to wireless charging. Google has made wireless charging phones before (like the Google Nexus 6 and Nexus 5), but stopped in 2015 with the launch of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P.  

Rumor: Pixel 3 XL gets a notch, Pixel 3 does not

Traditionally, the Pixel and Pixel XL have been nearly identical — except for the size difference. That may change this time around.

Google is rumored to have bestowed the Pixel 3 XL with an iPhone-like notch to accommodate an updated camera system. The first leaked photos gave us our first look at the larger model, after which an anonymous Reddit user delivered purported images of the smaller Pixel 3, via 9to5Google. And now we have a pic of what leaker Evan Blass says is both handsets, side-by-side.   

The images are consistent with earlier leaks, showing a Pixel 3 XL that has a notched display — and not just any notch, but a big, deep notch — and a Pixel 3 with a more traditional layout. We know that Android Pie supports phones with notches, so, conceptually at least, this checks out. 


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Rumor: Pixel Bud-like earbuds included

Those Russian bloggers supposedly got their hands on the Pixel 3 XL from a Ukrainian black market dealer. And the unboxing videos they posted showed a pair of earbuds with a meaty, Pixel Buds design. If the package is real, this would be new; the Pixel 2 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.

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: It won’t be the first Android Pie device

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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Rumor: Pixel 3 XL will have front-facing speakers

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


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Rumor: Two front-facing cameras and a new display for the Pixel 3 XL

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 has three new Pixel phones in the pipeline for 2018. This trio could include a mysterious higher-end version — perhaps intended to compete with the $1,000 iPhone XS — 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).


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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 the $1,099 iPhone XS Max on its own.

Rumor: Google has a cheaper Pixel 

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, depending on the price, such a phone could make an interesting foil to Apple’s new $749 iPhone XR.


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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
  • Multiple colors including black, white and the new pinkish “sand”


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