What will future versions of Android hold? The answer is very few makers guarantee more than the next OS upgrade and most are a few months behind in security updates. Not so with Pixel 3 XL.

Yes, there some other brands offering Qualcomm 845 and Android One.

The thing we like about Android One is it gives you a pure Android experience free from bloatware that chews up memory and resources.

That narrows the field to Nokia 8 Sirocco, Motorola Z3 (releasing soon), LG G7 One, HTC (coming soon) and others are coming. It makes sense for Google to handle the updates directly, free custom user interface and Telco constraints.

What commentators call Pixel’s Achilles heel is what Google call its strengths.

Google has made a well-tuned V8 where Android P extracts the maximum from the hardware.

Google says its single-lens camera is more than a match for dual/quad cameras especially as these also use AI to get the result you want. We agree.

And who needs memory expansion when you have unlimited photo/video storage in Google Photo cloud (with the attendant AI benefits).

Dual sims? Use Google Duo video calling over Wi-Fi for free.

GadgetGuy’s spoiler alert!

If you want a flashy giant-killer, then the Kirin 980 SoC (not Qualcomm) based Huawei Mate 20 Pro at $1599 – the first smartphone GadgetGuy has ever given a 5-out-of-5 flagship rating – is for you.

If you are a thinking person, then Google’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL will make you very happy.

Review: Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

Australian website

Google Pixel 3 XL is the third-generation, and some say it took this long to get it right. I use a Pixel 2 XL as a reference device, and I think critics are a bit harsh – it too is a great, functional, typical Google style, device.

The 3 and 3 XL are almost identical save the screen, battery and weight so don’t feel short-changed if you buy the more pocketable Pixel 3. That is a clever move by Google as often other brands make unacceptable compromises between Standard and Plus sizes (Huawei we are looking at you – the Mate 20 Lite/standard are not nearly as good as the Pro). So, we will just refer to it as the Pixel 3 XL in this overview.

In the box

  • Handset
  • Quick Switch adaptor USB-A (female) to USB-C
  • USB-C to 3.5mm DAC adaptor
  • USB-C to USB-C cable
  • Pixel USB-C earbuds and mic
  • 18W USB-C charger 5V/3A and 9V/2A

The first impression

The review unit is Just Black. It also comes in Not Pink and Clearly White.

I love the attention to detail with the soft touch matte textured Gorilla Glass 5 back that gives great grip and eliminates all but the oiliest of fingerprints. It has a full aluminium frame and fingerprint magnet Gorilla Glass 5 on the front. That is good to minimise the risk of cracks when dropped, but I recommend a tempered glass screen protector and bumper case as well.

My only niggle is that the power button is above the volume rocker and you need to remember that.