We’re used to major leaks happening in the weeks leading up to a smartphone release, but its rare to see one as substantial as the Pixel 3 XL leak that just hit the web today. Russian site Rozetked was able to acquire what appears to be a production Pixel 3 XL via an anonymous source over a month before its expected announcement in October – let alone its actual sale date.
Assuming this isn’t some fantastic fake, Rozetked shows off the device in full working condition and uncommonly non-blurrycam quality, confirming several other leaks so far. Let’s recap:
- There’s a giant notch on the screen and a fairly substantial chin
- The phone has a glass construction that enables wireless charging
- It comes with wired USB-C Pixel Buds
- It has a Snapdragon 845 (duh)
— Rozetked (@rozetked) August 22, 2018
Unfortunately the report is light on other details. We don’t know if Google has improved the the display quality, what the speakers are like, or what that second front-facing camera does. There’s nothing on new software features other improvements; it’s not clear if this is because the software on the phone isn’t final or the leaker is holding back.
One thing Rozetked does show off is the new camera, but it’s hard to tell how well it compares to the Pixel 2 considering much of Google’s image quality comes down to the software. On one hand some of the new photos look fantastic. On the other hand, without knowing the actual lighting conditions, I’m not convinced any of these are photos I couldn’t get from my Pixel 2 XL. You can still see some nasty graininess on the dark portions of some images.
On the other, other hand (I have three hands, apparently), it’s likely the photo software isn’t final. In particularly the author cautions that portrait mode works rather poorly at the moment, which is odd considering Portrait mode on the Pixel 2 is one of the best around.
Basically, take the new images with a grain of salt for now. But hey, the Pixel 2 still has my favorite camera on a smartphone nearly a year later, so as long as there’s some improvement, I’ll probably be happy.
Such an early leak is a big blow for Google, but the Pixel’s best features are usually tied to its software, not hardware. Here’s hoping the company will impress us come October.
Published August 22, 2018 — 16:09 UTC