Google has just sent out an invite to the media for a “Made by Google” event in New York City on October 9th. Unless this is part of a long-running and extremely elaborate troll, that will be the event where we see the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL unveiled. This was the date predicted by reports, so no need to act surprised, but there’s nothing like a good invite for official confirmation.
We’ve already learned ton about Google’s upcoming Pixel phones thanks to a series of major leaks. Most significantly, someone in Ukraine appears to have got their hands on a pallet of stolen or “misplaced” Pixel 3 XL devices, which means that we’ve had extensive hands-on photos and reviews of the hardware. However, a lot of Google’s magic often happens in the cloud-connected software, so there still might be a few surprises.
The Pixel 3 XL has been the most widely leaked device. Thanks to the aforementioned stolen devices in Russia, as well as one phone found in the back of a Lyft, we know everything about the external design. Google is making an interesting choice to have a notch and a big bottom bezel on the phone, which makes the phone look decidedly dated. Samsung chose not to go with the notch this year, and pays the price with a slightly bigger bezel. That’s fine, but the Pixel 3 XL design just looks dated and misplaced in these images. The notch is a tiny concession to reality for companies that want to make an all-screen phone; why bother with the trade-offs if you’re already going with a big bottom bezel?
Judging by the grills on the top and bottom of the device, Google is sticking with the stereo speaker design that was a talking point for the Pixel 2 line. That’s welcome news for anyone who uses their phone to watch a bunch of video, or just listen to music on the subway because public space is irrelevant.
Around the back, Google is also bucking anther industry trend and sticking with one single camera, rather than the dual-lens (or even triple-lens) setups that are becoming common. It’s hard to knock Google’s choice here, since the Pixel 2 XL had the best camera on the market when it launched.
In terms of specs, we’re expecting to see a display with a 2960 × 1440 resolution, and the predictable Snapdragon 845 chipset. The only big remaining question is what the price will be: In a year where flagship smartphone prices have consistently creeped up to the $1,000 mark, is Google going to cash in, or continue to be slightly more affordable?