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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Comments (10)

10 responses to “First Non-XL Pixel 3 Photos Leak, Showing Off a New Design”

  1. Albatross

    This phone is very much on my radar. I'm coming from a Oneplus 5, and I would like to have a phone that is lighter in the pocket. The newer Oneplus phones are getting bigger and heavier since the 5. I'm excited about the PIxel 3, and it should make a nice companion for my new Pixelbook.

  2. ReformedCtrlZ

    I really wanted to like the Pixel 3, but after using the Essential - the top bezel just does not look good on this phone. I'm hoping it looks better in person than in pictures, because otherwise I'll be sticking with the PH1 for another year. One more reason to hate that Essential wasn't able to get things together for a second generation phone.

  3. ggolcher

    This phone will definitely be replacing my Nexus 5X. It's time.

  4. Chris_Kez

    Maybe with the 4th generation we'll finally get the feeling that this line is designed by a single team with a coherent vision.

  5. JacobTheDev

    I haven't had nearly as many issues with my Pixel 2 XL (screen's not the greatest, but that's all), and considering that and the giant idiotic notch on the Pixel 3 XL, I'd been planning on skipping this generation... This brief overview changes things. It's definitely a nice looking phone, and depending on what other new features this thing has, I may actually end up picking it up.


    Hopefully everyone avoids the Pixel 3 XL like the plague, instead opting for the Pixel 3, and Google will realize how stupid the notch is for next generation. ?

  6. HellcatM

    Paul I have a hunch. I hear Google may also have a third Pixel phone (Probably not the Pixel name) coming out. My thought is that its in case the T-Mobile/Sprint merger happens. I'm also going to guess that if this is true that this phone will be as big as the Pixel 3XL but with out the notch.


    I'm saying this because I think in 2019 the merger will go though. Its not a far fetched thought because look at all the other mergers that went through, including the latest with AT&T and Time Warner.


    So why would the Verizon one have the notch and the T-Mobile/Sprint one not? Well right now I'm guessing Google has an agreement with Verizon that they can't bring out a Pixel or Pixel XL phone on any other carrier (other than their own Fi network that is) so if what I'm saying is true they have to come out with a different phone. I'm thinking the Pixel phones aren't selling really big on Verizon, so Google is thinking bring out the new design in case the T-Mobile/Sprint merger goes through and name it something other than Pixel (unless they keep the Pixel name but not use 3). Now if they do this and the merger goes though they can bring out a phone that will work on the merged networks and since they already have Fi which already works on these two networks it'll be that much easier for them. They may be betting Samsung, LG and apple aren't working on phones for the merger...at least not ones that will be ready right away...so Google will have a leg up above the rest. They will have the first phone that works with both networks and hopes to sell millions. The different look without the notch would be a big selling point for them, and since its a Google phone with pure Android it'll have a better experience and faster updates. I'm also wondering the Pixel 3's have 4GB instead of 6GB of RAM like the 2XL's, I'm thinking this new phone will have 6GB RAM (if not 8GB). This phone (if its real) will be a much better phone in every way (maybe even camera?).


    This is just a hunch and I have heard nothing other than from other blogs that they hear that Google is working on a third device. I'm just in my head putting 2+2 together. I could be 100% wrong.

  7. Winner

    This definitely looks like the one to get.

  8. UbelhorJ

    That looks ... normal. I'm coming up on two years with my OnePlus 3T, so I'll at least give this one a look.


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