Google Pixel 3 XL Review

by birtanpublished on May 11, 2021

This was Lisa from mobile tech review and it's that time of year again new pixel phones are up to the pixel three and the pixel three XL from Google this is the XL model that we're going to be using in this review now the pixel three is a 5.5 inch model and the specs pretty much are the same between the two other than the size and it it doesn't have a notch and our larger pixel excelled obviously does have quite the tall notch which has been saying people have been talking about it is a six point three inch spike these are expensive phones I'm really just not thrilled about the fact that this this

Phone right here the base model of it's $8.99 so that's the same price as a surface pro 6 base model wow that's kind of crazy right hundred dollars cheaper for the pixel three the smaller one so that's $7.99 if you want more than the base 64 gigs of storage you want to move up to 128 gigs that's going to be an additional hundred dollars alright yeah so this is sold unlocked direct by Google works with most any carrier gsm and cdma it's also carried by Verizon they've been the official partner for Google and the carrier who offers it the

Trick here and some people are having a little blow-up here because they ran out and bought the Verizon version because it was easier to get ahold of right away at launch Verizon phones are sold unlocked FCC requirement because I got to have some really great 700 megahertz spectrum but what they've been doing lately with phones is you have to activate it and boot it up once with a verizon active SIM card in and first so if you're using some other carrier and you don't have an active Verizon sim to boot it up and get it unlocked and you'll actually see a little unlock

Prompt once you do that from the phone well just don't buy the Verizon mom it's also available for Google's project fight as well same hardware no matter what except for the Verizon model has a locked bootloader for those you know like to load alternative roms which probably most people don't just a couple of you pros out there who like to do that sort of thing we're gonna look at it now the phone might not look really elegant in photos or anything but kind of plain but in person I have to say that it does look very nice it looks elegant actually it's it's got a quality

Look and feel to it so that's a good thing given the price tag and pixels have gotten shall I say less homely over the years what they're doing now they have a two-tone finish this is actually a glass back we got Gorilla Glass 5 and if you do that tap on it you might think it was plastic but it's not it's frosted kind of edge glass here which makes it a little less slippery I like it some people are worried about scratching I haven't done anything to it that I couldn't just wipe and have it disappear little shiny spot up top right there it's available in your choice of

White black or what they call non pink which I'm sorry it is pink so you've got three color choices there and if you're like most people are gonna be using a case on it anyway no matter what the face is gonna be all black glass here and it's nearly edge to edge this time which is why we get the knotch and the larger one because these have two front facing camera is a standard view angle and a wide view angle for like group selfies sort of thing still at Google it's been talked about the notch here is super duper tall and this compared to other phones which isn't the

Most attractive look on a phone it is a widescreen aspect ratio OLED display and it's much improved from last generation the pixel to it particularly the pixel to excel the LG display there people weren't really happy with it look kind of washed out and not really who this time around they're using Samsung displays and this is a really nice looking display there are three different color settings you can go with you can go with the adaptive mode which is the default and there's the boosted color mode and then there's the kind of understated srgb sort of mode on this

It's not gonna look as zingy as a galaxy phone if you really like those super saturated colors and the boost and contrast and Samsung goes with with their default settings you might be a little disappointed with this but Google is doing what Apple does which is to go for a more color accurate look and something that won't maybe burn your retinas as much it's a nice enough looking display I don't look into oh my god it's amazing but I don't look at it and go oh what did they do like I did with the pixel 2x oh it's pretty nice for the price it should be right

One thing that is a little disappointing is the brightness somewhere between 400 450 nits of brightness that's not real bright for a phone it might be great on a laptop but phones typically use an outdoors and bright sunlight more often potentially so Samsung and Apple have the crazy brightness and particularly Samsung with their thousand nits of maximum brightness if you're using adaptive mode and bright sunshine so this if you live in Texas like we do when we have a lot of bright strong sunshine often it can be a little hard to see outdoors

Now last year's pixel – and pixel – Excel we're pretty darn expensive already this is getting even more so and at least they're catching above the features we expect to see on flagships which means we do have wireless charging now since we have the glass back here easy peasy you can use the pixel stand which is $79 kind of turns it into a Google home device if you don't already own a Google home and you want to speak to it from afar and ask it questions that sort of thing there's that you can use any wireless charger with us though you

Don't have to use the pixel stand with it it's also ip68 water-resistant so now you can give it a little rinse in the sink if it gets dirty like the other white one like I do you get the idea kits splash you don't have to worry it's gonna get ruined again what's new to is the two front facing cameras are eight megapixel one single one group it looks to me like it's doing a little bit of facial smoothing at least it made me look pretty good it didn't do much for the cat though the rear camera is still 12 megapixel not much has changed here it was the best camera phone last year

So how much did they need to change it we always like to see better but hey they did use a new sensor on it for a little bit of improvement they're still particularly excellent for low-light photography which we've had a lot here and like Texas normally is bright and sunny it's been doing nothing but raining and in dark for a month now so we had plenty of low-light shot and it compared to Samsung's Galaxy s 9 and Note 9 family it does be better in dim lighting even better than the iPhone and bright outdoor light you've seen some youtubers in fact play some games with

Y'all and post some pictures and saying they're from an iPhone or a pixel 3 when they weren't and it was swapped back and it they're all quite good cameras on the market these days but I would say the computational photography is very effective with the pixel 3 family of phones still it's really just nice stuff what I do miss is the portrait lens that you do get on again something like the Galaxy Note family of phones rs9 or the the iPhone 10's family of phones or the older 10 because there's only so much you can do with smart software so go use a software so you and you zoom in to try

To make those pixels look sharp and basically start like HDR they've taken several frames merging together to have most data it still doesn't look quite as good as having an actual telephoto lens you're like me and you like to take portraits of people and you like to do sort of still life or object photography the telephoto lens is handy if those aren't what you take pictures of anyway then it doesn't matter so much to you showing that HTC heritage again we have the squeezy phone feature you can squeeze the sides towards the bottom half of the phone if you want to launch

Google assistant new for the pixel threes now we have digital wellbeing which handles your do not disturb functions which we already had of course and it tries to help you be less addicted to your phone tells you just how much time you've been spending on your phone screen on time all that sort of thing lets you switch it over to grayscale mode to discourage you from using it you also have call screening this one is not really one of my favorites I know some of you love it because I find them either distracted reading transcripts of calls from people

Who have called or I'm worried about being rude to my friends and family but what it basically does is you can turn this on you don't have to use it call it on and you see a transcript of what the caller is saying so you can decide whether you want to talk to them or not also we have flipped Shh which we've seen on other phones you can flip it and it will not make any noise that's always a nice feature and you had the ambient display which I love on this and you can control what's shown on the screen for privacy reasons but it's really very nice you see notifications you see the

Time you see your icons if a new email comes in you see a little bit of the you see then the title of the email and a little summary it's useful stuff I like that especially because with this one you can't just lean over look at it and there's no facial recognition to unlock it like you'd have with the samsung galaxy family again alright the iPhone this one still depends on a rear fingerprint scanner which means picking up the phone positioning your finger correctly on the rear of the phone to unlock it as you might guess I'm more a fan of front fingerprint scanners can't

Wait so we have in display fingerprint scanners or some sort of facial unlocking that's just how I use the phone since it's a Google phone since Google forever has hated expansion storage which means micro SD cards there's a micro SD card slot so do get the size in terms of capacity that you think you're going to need there is no headphone jack here it uses the USB C port for that we've seen on on lots of phones oh well that's what's happening you do get a pretty decent set of Wired earbuds with the USBC connector in the boxes now

They're not bad and also you get a 3.5 millimeter in the USBC adapter so you can use the wired headphones of your choice thank you very much Google Apple's charging $10 for that little dongle these days again maybe a little bit of an HTC touch here we have front-facing stereo speakers but these are not HTC boomsound quality I'm sorry to say I think it's gonna maybe need some software tweaks and updates because the sound to me sounds a little bit muffled not really very loud full rich or clear in fact sometimes it just sounds downright a little bit muddy and

It really depends on what hap i'm using and what the content is that's playing again I think it's gonna need a software tweak for this speaking of sound when it comes to microphone recording people have complained about the video when it comes to audio recording not the video quality which is perfectly nice and yeah the video audio track is just not really great it sounds a little bit distant on this it's not a deal-breaker it's not horrible but for the price you just want to expect the best don't you testing and recording video 4k on the pixel free XL there's some noise from well the

Waterfalls that you can see but my voice should be clear I'm about a foot away from the phone and it's microphones right now also walking around to check the stabilization in terms of specs as the usual flagship stuff it's a snapdragon 845 which is the latest and greatest it's Android 9.0 Pi Google's usual very clean build and the phone feels fast and responsive it might not get the ultimate highest score among its competitors but and it feels very fast since it's a Google phone you're gonna get updates right away quickly and for quite some time that's one of the

Selling points always of getting one of Google's own phones and you've also got four gigs of RAM which isn't class-leading anymore but it's adequate battery life on the phone it's average it's nothing to speak about you can see the capacity of the screen for the two different models and it's not gonna beat the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 which it does have a larger battery and it just ends humongous staying power here particularly the display brightness I can see why they've limited the display brightness and why the panel doesn't get brighter because if you run it at high

Brightness boy you can see the battery life is just getting shorter and shorter in terms of runtimes but really it's about a three and a half to four hours of actual screen on time these actually turn on use time not standby time on it so it's okay it's not anything great really when it comes to a pixel phone you're buying it because you're an Android purist you believe in Google's vision of what Android should be and not the overlays and Samsung or LG or any other manufacturer puts on top of it and that is what you get here it's a very smooth very reliable experience and some

People claim that Galaxy phones slow down over time I haven't had it happen so much but hey I believe that it's happening to some folks out there and you you're not gonna have that problem typically with a pixel phone also those fast updates I mean that is nice you buy a Samsung Galaxy S 9 you're still waiting for Android Pi aren't you and who knows maybe we'll get it soon maybe not there are a couple affordable competitors out there you might be losing something like ip68 water resistance are having this level of a good camera but they're worth talking

About to the real bargain these days is the essential phone and the size is pretty competitive with the pixel three size more so than the XL but it's a gorgeous looking phone it has a very clean build of Android it gets updates very quickly – it's on the bandwagon for getting updates at issued issuing them to you right away nice nice phone and you can get it for under under $500 these days which is kind of sweet also for those of you are on GSM networks bear is the one plus six soon the one plus 60 is gonna be coming out and it looks like that one's gonna

Support CDMA carriers which means Verizon and Sprint users might be able to use it as well as t-mobile AT&T and all the GSM carriers again that one's around 500 to 600 bucks and you're getting a lot of the same goodness there in terms of it's a quite a good camera it's a beautiful display on that phone it's a very attractive design you've got the fingerprint scanner all that sort of thing so there is competition out there and that's the good thing about Android phones I'm Lisa from mobile tech review be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for

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