October 9, 2018
Google Pixel 3: What we know about Google's next phones from all the rumors and leaks
As the calendar has now turned to October, the fall smartphone season continues to heat up. With the latest Galaxy Note from Samsung and iPhones from Apple now announced, anticipation turns to what is next from other manufacturers including OnePlus, Razer and Google, all of which have events lined up for later this month.
While some of these companies have kept their phones under wraps, Google's rumored upcoming Pixels have appeared all over the internet in recent months, even popping up in the back of a Lyft.
Here's a roundup of what we expect at Google's big event on Oct. 9.
Names and design
Similar to last year, Google is expected to introduce two new Pixel phones: a Pixel 3 and larger Pixel 3 XL. Both phones are slated to get design upgrades and feature two front cameras. The Pixel 3 is expected to look like last year's Pixel 2 XL, with smaller bezels, while still maintaining the smaller form factor and 5.4-inch display—that's slightly larger than last year's 5-inch Pixel 2.
The Pixel 3 XL, meanwhile, is seen as beefing up to roughly 6.7 inches (from 6 inches) and embracing the edge-to-edge screen with a notch design Apple, LG, OnePlus and nearly every other major manufacturer except Samsung has adopted for its top phones over the last year and a half.
While notches have become common, coupling them with two selfie cameras makes for an interesting design. Here are what both phones are expected to look like, courtesy of Android Headlines.
Noted phone leaker Evan Blass has also tweeted out a closer look at both phones.
There are rumors that Google will introduce a third Pixel phone, but thus far nothing substantial has leaked.
One of the biggest standouts of Google's Pixel line is their impressive cameras and image software. Last year's Pixel 2 line, even with only one rear camera, was among the best phone cameras on the market and sets a high bar for this year's models.
According to the rumors, Google will be keeping the single rear-camera setup it used last year. The sensor is rumored to be 12.2 megapixels, in line with last year's phones, though what exact improvements will be added remain a mystery. Google is said to also be introducing an updated version of its Pixel Visual Core image chip, according to 9to5Google, but again, the improvements the new iteration will bring are unknown.
Photos said to be from a Pixel 3 XL popped up on Instagram in August by Russian YouTuber Maksim Khoroshev, giving a possible sneak peek at the camera.
Khoroshev has since posted a hands-on with the Pixel 3 XL to the YouTube channel "Rozetked" in September. While the video is in Russian, there are English subtitles.
As mentioned before, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL are both expected to have two front cameras, each of which are said to be 8.1 megapixels. According to 9to5Google, the added sensor will improve selfies on the front camera, but facial recognition capability is also possible.
As with last year, the Pixels will both feature USB-C ports, no headphone jacks and a fingerprint sensor on the back. Wireless charging has apparently been added, a welcome addition after lacking on last year's models. An unboxing by a Ukranian tech blogger, shared by Android Police, shows USB-C headphones will be included in the box, though it is unclear if Google will still throw in an adapter for using traditional 3.5mm headphones.
As with most 2018 Android flagships, the Pixels are anticipated to run on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 processor.
As one would expect, the phones will run a version of Android 9 "Pie." The "Active Edge" grip feature to summon the Google Assistant by squeezing the phone is also said to be present, according to a leaked Google marketing video of the software on the Pixel 3 that has appeared on YouTube.
A recent promo video from Google Japan also seems to back this up.
Availability and colors
Verizon is again expected to be the exclusive U.S. carrier for the Pixel 3, according to a Bloomberg report earlier this year. Google has partnered with Verizon for its prior Pixels while also releasing unlocked versions that work on any network in addition to its own Project Fi cellular service. This is expected to be the case once again.
As for colors, black and white options are anticipated, though recent rumors and a leak from Android Headlines also point to a possible pink variation. A mint green color has been rumored as well.
According to Droid-Life, Verizon has appeared to stop selling the Pixel 2 on its website which, given the timing, suggests the release for these new phones likely isn't too far away.
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