Sign in with Microsoft

Digital Wellbeing is a suite of tools to help you understand how you use your phone.

  • Flip the phone face down to turn on Do Not Disturb with the new Shhh gesture.
  • The Digital Wellbeing Dashboard shows you how much time spent on different apps.
  • Set timers for how much time you want to spend on an app.
  • Wind Down mode to turn your phone screen to grayscale and turn on Do Not Disturb.

Build etc

Colours Clearly White • Just Black • Not Pink
Build Aluminium frame covered with rear, soft touch, Gorilla Glass 5 and front Gorilla Glass 5
Squeeze me Pressure sensitive Active Edges
Dimensions XL 158 x 76.7 x 7.9mm x 184g
3 145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9mm x 148g
IP Rating 68 2m for 30 minutes
Pixel 3 XL

What’s missing

Missing Memory expansion slot compensates with  Free Google Photo cloud storage
Micacast (Chromecast only)
No status LED bit AOD display makes up for that
Face recognition
[email protected] video record

Camera

Rear Camera 1
Primary
12 MP dual-pixel image stacking
1.4μm, f/1.8, FOV 76°
Sony Exmore RS IMX363 4032 x 2034 sensor
Autofocus and dual pixel phase detection
Auto HDR+ and dual LED tone flash
Optical and electronic image stabilisation
Shoot RAW or JPEG
Capable of [email protected]
Quad flash and spectral and flicker sensor
Rear Camera 2 N/A
Rear Camera 3 N/A
Selfie 8 MP dual: Sony Exmor IMX355
Auto HDR+
8MP, f/2.2, FOV 97°
8MP f/1.8, FOV 75° Autofocus phase detection
Capable of [email protected] with

Before you laugh at a single lens, with what amounts to fairly average hardware specifications, consider that the superseded Pixel 2 rates 98 on the DxoMark. Only recent flagships like the Huawei P20 Pro, Apple iPhone XS Max, HTC U12+ and Samsung Galaxy S9/Note9 best it.

Google says it does not need the second depth lens because of its expertise in machine learning technology. It says Pixel phones extract enough depth information from the camera’s dual-pixel sensor and then run machine learning algorithms, trained on over a million photos, to produce the desired photo effect.

HDR+ captures eight frames and merges them into a single image that for colour and light than a single frame could express.

OIS and EIS are amazingly good. Shots I felt sure would be blurred are crisp. Read on for why!

Pixel 3 XL

The secret camera sauce!

Pixel Visual Core (PVC) Chip. Version one was in the Pixel 2. This is proprietary hardware meaning only Pixel 2 and 3 have it. It comprises an A53-ARM 426MHz processor, 512MB LPDDR4 DRAM and an eight-core Image Processor Unit connected to the SoC by a PCIe bus. Call it a photo supercharger!

All the PVC APIs and software are part of Android Oreo or later. So, while other Qualcomm 845 based smartphones may use its Spectra 280 image processor, Pixel 3 XL has a hardware and software advantage. And it is just that.

Camera modes include Panorama, Portrait, Camera, Video, photo-sphere, slow motion, photobooth, Google Lens.

Google has nailed it with one lens – it takes two or three for others to get it right.

AI

Pixel 3 XL

Top Shot is all about automatically taking a bracket of shots and having AI analyse the perfect one! When you upload to Google Photos, the bracket comes along with it allowing you to make manual selections later.

Super Hi-Res Zoom uses AI to fill in the details despite Pixel 3 XL not having an optical zoom. It is very good.

Night Sight produces almost day-light like shots in low light by recognising the subject and ‘colourising’ it. Suffice to say the low-light results we saw are amazing if a little colourful. This feature is not yet available here. We won’t go down the ‘skin-tone’ rabbit hole yet.

Pixel 3 XL
Pixel 3 XL

Playground Playmoji characters react to each other and you. New Playmoji packs coming soon include characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and everyday fun like Sports, Weather, Pets, and Signs.

Google Lens work in real-time on URLs, emails, phone numbers, addresses, and QR codes. Long press to identify plants and animals, copy text, clothes and furniture etc.

Google claims its front camera has a 184% improvement in wide-angle terms for more expansive selfies.