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October 11, 2018

Should you upgrade your Pixel XL to the Pixel 3 XL?

by John_A

We’re a virtual company made up of tech experts from across the globe. With years of experience testing hundreds of Android phones, we’re here to help you make an informed decision when considering an upgrade.

Google Pixel 3 XL

Latest and greatest

xl-render-front.png?itok=QI4bzYo9

$899 at Google Store

Pros

  • Stunning cameras.
  • Fantastic OLED display.
  • Wireless charging.
  • Stereo speakers.

Cons

  • Sizeable notch.
  • No headphone jack.

The Pixel 3 XL is Google’s best phone to date. With a huge 6.3-inch screen backed by stereo speakers, the phone offers considerable upgrades from the first-gen Pixel. But where the Pixel 3 XL truly shines is in the camera department — simply put, it has the best cameras you’ll find on a phone today.

Google Pixel XL

Outdated by comparison

pixel.jpg?itok=H7jR57cG

$399 at Amazon

Pros

  • Great camera.
  • 3.5mm jack.

Cons

  • Huge bezels.
  • No waterproofing.
  • No wireless charging.

The Pixel XL is now starting to show its age, particularly when it comes to the design side of things. The 16:9 display looks ancient in 2018, and although the Pixel 3 XL sports a notch, it offers a significantly larger screen in a chassis that isn’t all that bigger than the Pixel XL.

The Pixel line always stood out for its great cameras, and with the Pixel 3 XL, Google is introducing a slate of new features that allow the phone to stand out. Chief among them is the upgrades to the camera, and the switch to the 19:9 form factor means you get a larger screen in roughly the same size.

Reasons to upgrade to the Pixel 3 XL

google-pixel-3-xl-black-5.jpg?itok=qZBAj

The Pixel 3 XL is Google’s best showing yet in the smartphone segment. The phone has Gorilla Glass 5-backed glass at the front and back, but the back has an etched texture that’s designed to mimic a matte metallic finish.

It feels like the phone is made out of polycarbonate when you first pick it up, and the unique texture allows the Pixel 3 XL to stand out in a sea of glass-backed devices. The metallic chassis of the Pixel XL is much more durable, but the Pixel 3 XL definitely looks more premium.

Operating system Android 9 Pie Android 9 Pie
Display 6.3-inch OLED2960x1440 (18.5:9)Gorilla Glass 5 5.5-inch AMOLED2560x1440 (16:9) Gorilla Glass 4
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845Pixel Visual Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
RAM 4GB 4GB
Storage 64/128GB 32/128GB
Expandable No No
Rear camera 12.2MP, 1.4-micron, PDAFf/1.8, OIS 12.3MP, 1.55-micron, PDAFf/2.0, EIS
Front camera 1 8MP, auto focusf/1.8, 75-degree lens 8MP, f/2.4, 1.4-micron
Front camera 2 8MP, fixed focusf/2.2, 97-degree lens NA
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, NFC, GPS Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS
Audio Stereo speakersUSB-C Mono speaker3.5mm jack
Battery 3430mAhNon-removable 3430mAhNon-removable
Charging 18W USB-C PDQi wireless 18W USB-C
Water resistance IP68 No
Security Fingerprint sensor Fingerprint sensor
Dimensions 158.0 x 76.7 x 7.9mm184g 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.5mm168g
Colors Just Black, Very White, Not Pink Quite Black, Very Silver, Really Blue

With Google switching to an 18.5:9 form factor, the Pixel 3 XL offers a 6.3-inch display in a chassis that’s not noticeably larger than that of the Pixel XL. The downside is that the phone has an ungainly notch; even by Android standards, the display cutout on the Pixel 3 XL is hideous. That’s the tradeoff for the dual front cameras and stereo sound.

If you’re rocking the Pixel XL, it’s time for an upgrade.

The Pixel 3 XL is leagues ahead of the first-gen Pixel when it comes to the camera side of things. Google crammed a ton of camera features on the phone, including a Night Sight feature that lets you capture drastically better photos in low-light conditions, and you can interact with more AR-themed effects.

Some of the new camera features will be making their way to the Pixel XL, but the 3 XL has an upper hand thanks to the dedicated Pixel Visual Core chip. And while there isn’t a headphone jack, Google is including a pair of USB-C earbuds in the box with every Pixel 3 XL.

Google Pixel 3 XL

Latest and greatest

xl-render-front.png?itok=QI4bzYo9

$899 at Google Store

A true flagship with the best cameras on Android today.

The Pixel 3 XL features an OLED panel that is easily the best Google put on a phone to date. You also get the latest software features, wireless charging, and a chassis that’s resistant to the elements. Combine that with the best cameras on a phone today and you get quite a potent package.

Google Pixel XL

Outdated by comparison

pixel.jpg?itok=H7jR57cG

$399 at Amazon

The two-year-old Pixel XL is showing its age.

The Pixel XL is still a great device in its own right, but the 16:9 display looks dated in 2018, and you’re getting vastly superior cameras with the Pixel 3 XL. Now is the time to upgrade to Google’s latest.

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