When Google launched the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL a few months ago come with the latest from the Android world, upgraded hardware specifications, and more importantly, lots of machine learning.

Let’s take a closer look at the latest Google flagship phone, Pixel 3 XL.

Google Pixel 3 XL runs on Android 9 Pie, the latest Android OS iteration.

The new mobile OS itself is a big leap forward from the previous versions of Android, especially in terms of display and battery optimisation. The software also brings a set of Pixel-exclusive features.

Fast charger, USB type C cable, headphone jack apadter, usb type C headphones

Pixel 3 XL features Apple iPhone X-like gestures with a small pill at the bottom. The gestures are simple with a small swipe up to pull recent apps and a long one for the menu. It does take some time to get a hang of the gestures but soon enough you’ll find it more intuitive.

Pixel 3 XL also comes with Android Pie’s ‘Adaptive Battery’, one of the most important features of the OS. This AI-based feature studies your phone’s usage and accordingly limits battery usage for apps used seldom.

You’re also notified about the battery’s usage pattern and when the juice will possibly run out. When it comes to battery life, Pixel 3 XL runs for an entire day starting with 100%.

Pixel 3 XL
Key specs:

6.3-inch OLED notched display with QHD+ resolution

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor

4GB of RAM,64/128GB storage

3,430mAh battery

Price starting from £869 for 64GB Storage (Price is £769 at the time of writing for a new year special discount from Google Store) but still available from Vodafone UK on pay monthly deals.

If the phone is put through excessive use, the battery does trickle down faster and heats up a little too. For example, when I was using the Pixel 3 XL as a Wi-Fi hotspot for almost an hour the phone started to heat. It isn’t alarming though.

Delving further into its performance, the Pixel 3 XL runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor. As expected from a flagship smartphone, the Pixel 3 XL runs smooth across regular apps like WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook. Also with a RAM size of 4GB, Pixel 3 XL still offers solid performance.

Welcome to the big notch

We also played the most popular smartphone game, PUBG Mobile, on the Pixel 3 XL. PUBG Mobile is optimised for phones with low specs and the opposite. We played PUBG Mobile with the highest graphics and frame rate option. The game runs effortlessly smooth on the Pixel 3 XL and never stutters even though it heats up a little bit, and yes it plays Foritnite with no problems at all.

We got some consistently good results in the game proving that the Pixel 3 XL can be of a big advantage when it comes to smartphone gaming.

The Pixel 3’s dual front speakers are very impressive and were a delight when streaming videos and shows.

With the Pixel 3 XL’s camera performance where software does most of the magic. A small recap – Google Pixel 3 XL features a 12-megapixel rear camera with autofocus, dual pixel phase detection, OIS and EIS, and f/1.8 aperture. On the front, it features dual 8-megapixel cameras (wide-angle and normal sensors). Google Pixel 3 XL delivers impressive results in daylight. But there’s more to the camera.

A little while ago the Google Pixel 3 XL added a feature called ‘Night Sight’ feature, the mode amplifies the quality of images taken in low-light.

The Night Sight mode on the Pixel 3 XL essentially brightens up your photos taken in low-light. We tried this feature in the darkest background we could find and the result was amazing. Not only does it brighten up the photo, it doesn’t miss details either. You can refer to the camera samples shot in normal mode, with flash and with Night Sight on.

Speaking about aesthetics, the only issue with the Pixel 3 XL is its weird looking notch. We’ve all made peace with the notch which wasn’t that big of a deal to begin with. But the notch on the Pixel 3 XL is just not right. In fact, the dual camera sensors along with the speaker look like a bad smiley face. Unlike most smartphones, this one doesn’t have an option to hide the notch. There is a workaround to it though.

Google continues with the subtle two-tone colour design on the Pixel 3 series.

Camera Samples

Normal Camera mode on
Night Signt Mode on
Normal Camera mode on
Now with Night Sight on

As you can see the night sight mode does amazing work with just one camera.

Verdict

A stunning camera makes this one of the smartphones to beat in 2018.

Pros

  • colourful display
  • One of the best camera on any phone
  • A slick version of Android
  • Much-improved design over the Pixel 2 XL

Cons

  • Can Scratches very easily
  • Not a 100% fan of this style of notch
  • Battery life not as good as similarly sized rivals

Like to say a big thank you to Vodafone for the review sample