First Non-XL Pixel 3 Photos Leak, Showing Off a New Design

Posted on August 31, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 10 Comments

The non-XL version of the Google Pixel 3 is going in a decidedly different direction, design-wise, from its predecessors. And unlike with that of its bigger sibling, this design is very good news indeed.

As you probably know, the Pixel 3 XL has leaked all over the place, multiple times, and it’s highly likely that Google won’t be able to surprise anyone by the time it’s officially announced in October. Sadly, the design sucks, to put it mildly: The Pixel 3 XL will have the biggest and chunkiest-looking notch in the industry. There’s no kind way to say it.

This is an issue for me, personally, as I’m eager to upgrade past my very buggy Pixel 2 XL, which Google has had to replace twice under warranty so far. The issue, of course, is that I love the device’s camera and Project Fi compatibility. But with the Pixel 3 XL having such a terrible design, I’m not sure this next phone will be the ideal upgrade.

And that’s where the (non-XL) Pixel 3 comes in.

This device hadn’t really leaked at all yet, beyond some specifications information. But this week, we finally got our first concrete look at the smaller Pixel 3. And not only does it feature a different design from the original Pixel and Pixel 2. It is actually a very attractive design, one that mimics the look and feel of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S9 products. But smaller.

And now I have something new to think about. Something less expensive, too. Which would be nice.

Based on the leaked photos, the Pixel 3 will feature curved display corners and small bezels, again, like those Samsung handsets. Previously non-XL Pixels had squared off display corners and large “forehead” and “chin” bezels. That there is no notch will be great news for many as well.

The back of the device is also different from any other Pixel or Pixel XL; yes, it still features the signature Pixel glass upper panel (which is ideal for antenna connectivity), but the lower corners of that glass curve down into the edges of the device, mimicking its front design.

It’s a really nice look. And not only is it more attractive than the Pixel 3 XL, it’s more attractive than any previous Pixel as well. Its closely familial relation, design-wise, perhaps, is the Pixel 2 XL, albeit only from the front. The glass panel on the back of that device is squared off, as with all other Pixels.

The question for me is whether the smaller size will be an issue. I do tend to like larger phones, after all. But thanks to the tall and thin 2:1 aspect ratio of the 5.5-inch display, this phone may be the perfect compromise. That display is 2160 x 1080, by the way, which is similar from a pixel density to the OnePlus 6T, which has a larger 6.28-inch 2280 x 1080 display.

As important, the camera in the Pixel 3 will likely be identical to that in the Pixel 3 XL.

So maybe I’ll be saving a bit of cash this fall for a change.


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