Conspiracies be damned: the notch on the Pixel 3 XL is not the top headline at the Made by Google event and there’s plenty more to discover about the XL and the regular Pixel 3, the latest first-party Android flagships.
As it was the case from the Pixel to the Pixel 2, there’s a natural iteration going to this new generation: the extra-tall display migrates to both variants with a wide gamut thanks to new OLED panels and adaptive color profiles to bring HDR further.
The 40 percent louder and richer speakers while the entire audio package is tuned by a Grammy Award-winning engineer. Plus you can make better use of them when you get 6 months of free YouTube Music when you purchase a unit. The Pixel 3 has a 5.5-inch screen while the XL version takes the cake with a 6.4-inch flexible OLED panel with a new adaptive color profile.
The lauded Pixel 2 camera gets slight tweaks on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. It’s still got HDR+ processing and Pixel Core processing to allow apps to take output direct from the camera. On the front are two selfie cameras with an extra-wide lens tacked onto one of them for large, rowdy groups.
Google’s AI object and subject recognition engine, Google Lens, will be constantly working when the camera app is on, not just on beck and call. Super Res Zoom uses multiple-exposure pixel binning to provide better details when cropping. Pixel 3 owners who tend to splash on the shutter will be able to easily keep the best photo with Top Shot, so no more ‘bad pictures’, ever. And there’s also a flash-less Night Sight feature coming next month to pick up brightness for dark shots.
All media can be backed up to users’ Google Photos accounts for free in their original quality.
Passwords and personal data will also be kept encrypted inside a new Titan M security chip that will help you secure the OS. Flip to Shhh may seem self-explanatory for muting notifications, but the new call screening feature is meant to weed out telemarketers and spam calls.
There are three different color options: Just Back, Clearly White and Not Pink. The only thing you have to choose apart from that is whether you want the Google Pixel 3 or the Pixel 3 XL.
The Pixel 3 costs $799 for 64GB of storage and $899 for 128GB. The Pixel 3 XL is $899 at 64GB and $999 for 128GB. Buyers will get a free YouTube Music subscription for 6 months. Verizon will be the exclusive carrier to sell the phone direct to US consumers, but the Google Store has an unlocked version for all major US carriers as well as its own Project Fi carrier. The United States will get it first on October 18 while 12 other markets including Canada and the UK will get into the second wave on November 1.
Samuel Martinez contributed to this article.