We are spoiled for choice regarding Android smartphones. Google has thrown another into the mix with Pixel 3 XL, the supersized version of Google's smartphone. It also happens to be the first of the Pixel phones officially sold in Ireland.
But Pixel 3 XL comes with a supersized price tag that follows the development of the latest electronic devices to charge a corresponding amount of a mortgage loan for a device that will be replaced with a newer model in a year.
So is it worth it? Aesthetically, Pixel 3 looks a lot from the front to most of the regular smartphones: flat rectangle. If you're a fan of bigger phones, you're lucky: Google Pixel 3 XL is the same size as the iPhone Xs Max. There is a glass back with a two tone effect, and a choice of three colors – black, white and a red rose. By this time, however, I have quite forgotten what it looks like because it has been predictable in a case since I received it. I'm not willing to test the strength of that glass back.
When talking about the back, there is a fingerprint reader where the finger actually reaches natural. But the missing thing? The headphone jack. Pixel 3 XL has pulled the 3.5mm connector to force us all to use Bluetooth headphones or USB-C connectors.
The QHD + OLED screen is 6.3 inches, making it a fraction less than the iPhone Xs Max. However, it is a close thing, and it is unlikely that you will miss the small screen. What you will notice is the frame at the bottom of the screen. Where the iPhone Xs Max screen goes almost to the edge of the case, the Pixel XL 3 has a noticeable facet on the bottom. This means less viewing essentially an equal package. It is to accommodate one of the phone's dual speakers, located in the lower frame. At the top of the screen, you'll see that the chin has crept into Google's design. Like Apple and Huawei, Pixel 3 XL unevenly carries its notch and makes way for its dual-facing camera.
Pixel 3 XLs talk about the camera is excellent. While it can not compete with Huawei's Mate 20 Pro in low-light images, the 12 megapixel rear camera is well-positioned under most shooting conditions. Preset modes are easily accessible – Panorama and portrait modes are featured on the main screen with the video option – with extra features like slow motion video, a 360 photosphere feature and an AR mode that let you drop everything from Iron Man and Star Wars characters to puppies and Go for food in your frame so you can take pictures. A photo browsing mode takes pictures as soon as the camera detects a smile – or a grimace as long as you light your teeth.
There is a new digital well-being beta feature that helps you manage your screening time
The two front cameras – both 8 megapixels in resolution – have you covered for selfies. The wide-angle lens comes with f2.2 aperture and the phone has a blender on f1.8 – more light, better photographs, better selfies.
On the video side, you can rotate it up to 4K at 30 frames per second on the rear camera, but the 1080p movie is excellent and video stabilization helps keep things steady. The forward facing camera also goes up to 1080p.
There are some interesting features on the phone. There is a new digital well-being beta feature that helps you manage your screening time and the overall impact the phone has on your life. Take wind down, for example. If you enable it, it serves as a reminder that it's time to shut down the device and get ready for the bed. Not only do you get the amber screen to counter blue light, but the color drains from the screen to let you know it's time for the bed. Do not disturb to avoid unnecessary messages.
You can twist your phone so as not to interfere by turning it and placing it down. It's a small thing, but it's a reminder that phones do not have to be a feature in all awake moments.
The good one The camera is excellent, the battery life is decent, and if the chin does not bother you, the screen is good.
It's not that good No expandable storage means you have to do with your 64 GB or 128 GB choice. If you take a lot of 4K video or high quality images and want to keep them on your phone, you will eat quickly in it.
The rest Inside, Pixel XL 3 has a Snapdragon 845 chip, with 4GB of RAM. It also has wireless charging and pin gestures – you can simply touch the phone to activate the assistant or silent alarm on your phone. Perfect too early in the morning then.
The verdict Google Pixel 3XL marks the correct boxes – if you do not mind the screen.