Google's new Pixel 3 XL is top notch

Google announced the brand new Pixel 3 XL yesterday at the I ❤ NY event. Although the phone was heavily leaked over the last couple of months, it still feels like a great new phone. I will just get this straight out of the way, the notch isn’t too bad, it’s the same size as the bottom bezel but isn’t as big as it looks.

Pixel 3 XL

The design and feel of the Google Pixel 3 XL is a lot better than last year, I felt last years model could often feel cheap-ish. This has been improved though, the Pixel 3 XL features a glass front and back and just has that premium look and feel to it.

The notch on the front was well leaked before launch, Google is following the on-going copy Apple trend for the notch. The notch is not as bad as it appears, though, it is a little deep and can cut a bit more content than others. It is distinctive when compared to other notches though.

The screen is miles better than last years controversial panel. It seems that the viewing angles have been improved, along with the colours and brightness. The new panel is a 6.3-inch QHD+. While it is not as saturated as Samsung’s panels, it really is much sharper and clearer.

Pixel 3 XL

The camera quality is what I expected it to be really, it’s still the best camera in the smartphone market. What makes it special is that it is still through one lens (12 Mega-pixels with f/1.8). The portrait shots also seem to have been improved, the cutting is a lot better, leaving you with a full head shape.

There are a couple of new features added to the camera too; Top Shot, Digital Zoom (improved) and a new Night-shooting mode.

The top shot is used when you feel that you have taken a bad photo, the phone will pick a better shot that’s available. It does this by taking a lot of photos instead of just the one, giving you choice to pick the best photo available.

The new Digital zoom feature uses new software to lose less quality when digitally zooming. Google claims that this is the same technique astronomers use with their telescopes.

The night-shot mode enables amazing low-light photos, it brightens up the whole background/scenery of the photo. Giving you bright images in the dark with hopefully great quality.

Pixel 3 XL

The Pixel 3 XL features two front-facing cameras (both 8 megapixels), the one is a wide-angle camera and the other is a standard telephoto. The wide-angle camera features a 97-degree field of view with a f/2.2 aperture, the standard has a 75-degree field of view with a f/1.8 aperture.

Wireless charging has also arrived, featuring fast wireless charging with fast standard charging too.

The biggest feature Google is pushing is called call screening. When you receive a phone call on your phone, you have the option to press the screen button. This will make an AI voice talk to them, instead of you talking to them yourself. The screen will show you in real time what they are saying to you, allowing you to respond with the AI voice through text responses.

It looks to be a feature we didn’t know we needed, if it works as well as advertising, this could be a pretty big feature.

To summarise

The new Google Pixel 3 XL manages to pack a larger screen into pretty much the same size as last years model. The phone starts at £839 (64GB) in the UK, going up to £969 (128GB).

It has the bog-standard flagship specs of 2018, Snapdragon 845, Adreno 630 and 4GB RAM (could be higher).

The Google Pixel 3 XL is definitely a great phone but if you don’t like the notch, the Google Pixel 3 is also a great option.

*Final opinions will be made when I have more time with the phone and to have the chance to test it fully.