Report: Yes, the Next Pixel XL will have a Notch, Too

Posted on May 31, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 33 Comments

A Bloomberg report claims that Foxconn will make Google’s next generation Pixel handsets. And that the XL version will have a notch.

A moment of silence for our terrible industry, please.

As I’ve noted in the past, the Pixel is a lie. That is, Google advertises its Pixel lineup as a family of devices that it makes. Previously, Google partnered with device makers to make Nexus-branded handsets. But in reality, each Pixel handset has been made by a device maker, just as was the case with Nexus. The only difference is that Google has had a bigger hand in the design.

That may be changing, finally, to the point where reality will finally align with Google’s marketing.

Last September, on the eve of the Pixel 2 launch, Google announced that it would acquire about 2,000 employees from the struggling handset maker HTC. That acquisition was completed in January, and Google said that the employees would now work in-house on future Pixel devices.

For the next-generation Pixel 3 handset lineup, Google is for the first time not turning to a handset maker for manufacturing. Instead, Bloomberg says, Google will utilize Foxconn, the China-based manufacturing giant that also makes iPhones and virtually every other consumer electronics device you’ve ever heard of.

The bigger news, at least to the wider world, is that the Pixel 3 XL, the larger of the two coming Google handsets, will feature a notch, in keeping with most 2018-era smartphone flagships. The Pixel 3 XL will also feature a nearly edge-to-edge display with minimal bezels, except at the bottom. Oddly, it will also continue to utilize a single rear camera lens, while all of the competition has long since moved to multiple lenses.

The smaller Pixel 3 will be lame looking like the Pixel 2 and will feature a more traditional smartphone look, with pronounced “forehead” and “chin” areas (top and bottom bezels, respectively). There’s no word on pricing, but both generations of Pixel handsets have been far too expensive.

Google is expected to announce the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL in October, as usual. And if history is any guide, these phones will sell poorly, and not threaten Samsung, Apple, or other market leaders. They will also come with an unusual number of quality problems, unless Google finally figures that out.

Anyway, if you’re an Android fan or user, it looks like the notch is inevitable. And for that, we can thank Apple, which formalized this transitional design element, and the entire Android market, which just can’t seem to stop copying Apple.


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Comments (33)

33 responses to “Report: Yes, the Next Pixel XL will have a Notch, Too”

  1. winlonghorn

    Honestly, let's notch and say we did! lol I know, corny joke! :)

  2. Martin Pelletier

    The Apple people must be laughing hard lately.

  3. Michael Babiuk

    Musings on the Apple iPhone X notch and Cindy Crawford's trademark mole.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say. Here is a quote from Cindy Crawford regarding her mom's opinion of it and how it shaped her career.

    "But my mother always said, ‘You know what your mole looks like, you don’t know what the scar is going to look like.’ Now it’s so much just a part of my face that I don’t think ‘Oh, how’s my mole doing today?’ But it’s the thing that made people remember me, and it made a lot of women who also have beauty marks identify with me. They set you apart."

    Yes, "they set you apart". Both Cindy Crawford and the iPhone X are similar in that both have beautiful "design attributes" - and a mole.

    The rest of the world "got over" Cindy's beauty mark a very long time ago. I would suggest that Paul and his legion of "Apple design haters" get over the notch as well.

  4. Jorge Garcia

    I think Apple's and Essential's notches look absurd...however I don't mind the LG G7's notch at all because when you "black it out" in the settings, it makes for a very symmetrical-looking phone. There is every reason to believe at this point that the pixel 3 will achieve the same balance.

  5. MacLiam

    I don't care about the notch and don't even care how many lenses a phone may sport if the camera system as a whole can produce excellent images under all reasonable circumstances.

    All I want is bone stock Android, Project Fi, and high-end specs behind a big screen. Google has had the first two covered for years now, and the third need was met -- at the time -- with the Nexus 6P. But by October we will be three years past the 6P, and it looks like Google has in the interim committed to making devices that are about 10 percent short of what they ought to be to be truly outstanding. Maybe in five months something will be released that far outshines what I fear I will see. If so I will berate myself for deficient faith and buy one. If not, I guess I will just keep looking.

    Thanks for the info. This is better than what I have seen reported on Android forums.

  6. Winner

    I'd rather have the "lame-looking" 3 and not the notchy one.

    I'd actually call the iPhone X the "lame-looking" phone, personally.

  7. GT Tecolotecreek

    Wow, Paul what a great report, best you have had in months!

    Spot on the facts if the rumors are true.

    And as a IPX owner I am laughing my a** off at all the iHaters, opps make that iCopiers.

  8. Daekar

    There they go again, making Samsung look like a bunch of geniuses. And people wonder why they own the Android world and are the only real competition for Apple.

  9. Bats

    Ya know this topic with the notch makes me laugh. It's not just Paul Thurrott who complains about this, but so many other tech bloggers out there on the web. LOL...sometimes, I think these guys just read each other's blogs and just copy and paste their content to their own and change the words a bit. (IMO, I think the blog MSPOWERUSER does that with this site.)

    I don't see why this notch is a big deal. The moment I saw it, I didn't really give it much thought. However, I was totally shocked by the reaction of the tech bloggers and like I said back then, it's really much ado about nothing. I even said that if people want to put back the black bezel, then I am sure they could so through an app or a setting. One phone company did that already. I think the company is ZTE, but I am not sure. 

    As for a the part about the Pixel being a "lie." Lie? 

    If Paul Thurrott really followed Android rather than dabble in iPhone, he would know and understand the whole story of how the Pixel came to be. Think of it this way. Let's say you're a restaurant and you're trying to create the menu. You hire an experienced and famous chef to help you create the menu you want to have. It's called collaboration. THAT is the Nexus. However, with the Pixel situation, it's like Google hired an experienced chef and said to him/her this is what we want in our menu and this his how you are going to make it and the chef makes the menu, as per Google's instructions. To me, if Google says we created the Pixel based on that last scenario, then that is NO LIE. They created the Pixel.

    In Paul's previous article that he linked about Pixel being a lie, where is the story about Google and Huawei?

    Ya know, this topic is somewhat important because....remember when Paul Thurrott tried to make the argument that Google didn't have a right to charge a premium price for their phones? That's so laughable especially when Microsoft charges so high for their problematic Surface computers. LOL...he made it seem like that because Google has no knowledge of how to make a phone, it shouldn't charge so high a price. NOW...he's acknowleding that the Pixels are being manufactured by real phone manufacturers and that it's not their total creation. LOL...I'm confused!

    To be honest, I might buy the Pixel 3 XL. However, my Pixel 2 XL has been so perfect, I don't know if the Pixel 3 XL will be a worthy upgrade. Again, being totally honest, the performances between my Pixel 2 XL and the original Pixel are so comparable that if it weren't for the 2 front facing speakers, I probably would not have upgraded.

    FYI...the Pixel 3 XL can be HAD for a much cheaper price if you wait for the holiday season. Last holiday season there were a lot of BOGO offers for the Pixel 2 XL. Therefore if anyone complains about the Pixel 3 price, then they are one of those "I have to have it now" tech me (lol). 

  10. rlcronin

    Did it ever occur to anyone that the reason for the notch spreading beyond Apple isn't so much because the other companies want to slavishly copy Apple, but because it's the state of the current art (and I use that term loosely because it's actually pretty lame) that the hardware platform manufacturers that almost all phone sellers (except Samsung) use? Almost nobody builds their own hardware. It's just not affordable for most companies. They pretty much all rely on the hardware platform design skills of another company, and there's only so much they can do to modify the basic underlying design to differentiate their phone from someone else's. Come on. Think it through.

  11. Skolvikings

    I'm okay with a notch in theory, I just don't think phone makers are implementing it correctly.

  12. djross95

    Good grief...

  13. Jester

    Unfortunately the rumor has it the XL screen is still being made by LG. Hopefully they fixed there quality issues.

  14. El Comment

    I positively hate notches, even more than 21:9 screens. It makes as little sense to me as curved displays, it's just marketing BS to justify 'newness' and higher prices.

    I'm astounded that everybody feels it must copy everything Apple does, even the dumbest ideas.

    Bring true added value such as very extended battery life, full weatherproof, fingerprint sensor under the glass, true AR with real 3D camera and such.

  15. AnthonyE1778

    I have an iPhone X, and while I do generally like the phone, the worst part is that awful notch. It's truly a terrible blight on the front of the device. Samsung, not Apple, is on the right track here with its s8 and s9 phones.

  16. JacobTheDev

    I really don't get this notch thing... it adds maybe 20px of additional space, an eighth of an inch, if that. And the spaced gained is basically useless when the notch ends up cutting off content anyway (who wants to watch a video with a notch covering a portion?). It just makes no sense, it's a stupid fad, and I hope by the time the Pixel 4 rolls around it'll be over.

  17. ibmthink

    Why have a notch when you have a bottom bezel? That's insane...

  18. Polycrastinator

    Verizon exclusive again, which I think remains a massive mistake on Google's part. They need to have these phones with all 3 carriers: one of the reasons for Samsung's success is you can get their flagship from anyone. It needs to be in carrier stores, in front of people, for them to buy them. Unlocked doesn't cut it.

  19. dcdevito

    I'll just hold onto my Pixel 2 XL for a couple years and wait until this whole notch thing blows over and eventually goes away.

  20. Stooks

    Imitation is the finest form of flattery. All of that trash talking by the Fandroids (Paul ?) and now basically all Android vendors are doing it or will be doing it.

    Meanwhile the iPhone X is still the best smartphone I have owned. The Apple ecosystem is getting better and better. I suspect next week it will get better again.

    • Andi

      In reply to Stooks:

      As long as you do it like the first notched phone, the Essential, it's OK. That is as long as you minimize the notch to allow just the camera/ear piece/ambient sensor then you have a technical pretext to employ the notch.

      If you make the notch wide, like ASUS, just to mimic the iphone x with nothing to show for it then your trolling is right. Since I brought it up, why are you here if you don't bring anything to the discussion? Your anti-"fandroid" post is pure trolling. There are plenty of apple rumor sites; no need to prop up Apple on a site formerly known as Supersite for Windows.

    • jt5

      In reply to Stooks:

      You are right about imitation. I find it amazing that something I abhor is being copied like it is- and considered a good thing. Just because it gives some more screen area- does not mean it does not stick out like a sore thumb. Oh well- I guess welcome to the new normal.

      • skane2600

        In reply to jt5:

        It's kind of funny that one of the few ideas that Apple could legitimately claim as original is so goofy and that other vendors are copying it. It's doubtful that any Android phone will sell better just because it includes a notch. On the other hand, it's not as if other vendors are scrambling to claim they invented it.

        • PincasX

          In reply to skane2600:

          So the implication is Apple is claiming they invented it. Can you point to where that happened or is this a straw man you wailing on?

          • skane2600

            In reply to PincasX:

            No, I didn't imply any such thing. Perhaps you missed the word "could".

            • Michael Babiuk

              In reply to skane2600: No, skan2600. IMO, PincasX interpreted your comment correctly.
              If you wanted to avoid any confusion about your intent, than you should have stated, "It's kind of funny that one of the few Apple ideas that I could legitimately claim as original for Apple is so goofy ..." 

              • skane2600

                In reply to Michael_Babiuk:

                Not at all. If I said "Bill Gates could legitimately claim that he was born in the US" that would not imply in any way that Gates actually made that claim at some point. I could legitimately claim the same thing about him but the only connection between the two statements would be the claim itself, not who did or did not do the claiming.

  21. Jaxidian

    > The smaller Pixel 3 will be lame looking like the Pixel 2 and will feature a more traditional smartphone look

    Everything I've ready says the smaller Pixel 3 will look like the Pixel 2 XL with a small forehead & chin, *NOT* like the Pixel 2's traditional forehead and chin.

  22. curtisspendlove

    Heh. I love that everything has a notch.

    Honestly, the notch *would* bug me if I hadn’t become so enamored with FaceID.

    I’m now to the point where I’m frustrated when my iPad asks for my fingerprint. I find myself thinking “you can see me, why aren’t you unlocked already...oh, yeah”.

    Probably not healthy. ;)