The Pixel 3 reveal is weeks away: Here’s absolutely everything you need to know about Google’s latest flagship
Uh oh. While most technology launches these days are riddled with leaks and rumours ahead of their official unveilings, this one really takes the biscuit. With the Pixel 3, well, no stone is left unturned and I certainly doubt there will be any surprised gasps during Google’s official unveiling later this year.
The latest leak? Yes, there’s another one. Well, someone accidentally left a Pixel 3 in a taxi. According to Android Police, a Lyft driver spotted the pre-production Pixel 3 in the back seat of his car and promptly took a handful of pictures.
This may have been a rather silly, and careless, accident but this isn’t the first Pixel 3 leak. In fact, this isn’t even the second; we’ve seen the Pixel 3 a total of three times ahead of its grand unveiling. The previous two instances involved a Russian website and, of course, a Reddit user with an early sample.
We also know when Google will make the big unveiling. According to Google, they’ll be hosting a big event in New York on the 9 October – roughly the same time we first caught a glimpse of its predecessor, the Pixel 2, last year. Of course, there’s no confirmation that the Pixel 3 will be the star of the show, but it’s looking pretty likely.
Ahead of the launch, and following the long list of leaks, we’ve gathered all of the essential bits of information you need to know about Google’s Pixel 3 lineup including specs, price and UK release date. Let’s begin.
Google Pixel 3: Everything you need to know
Google Pixel 3 UK release date: When will it launch?
Leaks aside, we’re most likely not going to see the Pixel 3 in an official capacity until next month. An official invitation has been sent out to journalists, and the grand unveiling is taking place in New York on October 9 at 4PM BST.
What’s more, the next flagship has been all but confirmed by XDA-Developers, who released a post on the Android Open Source Project pages which shows that a HAL – a piece of software that connects the Android operating system to the hardware – only runs on the Pixel 3.
It’s not entirely clear what the post means, but XDA-Developers has speculated the HAL update will allow the new phone to continuously scan for mobile networks. What’s more important, however, is that it confirms that the Pixel 3 will likely be called exactly that.
Google Pixel 3 UK price: How much will it cost?
If we take a look at the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL we can make an educated guess on the price of the Pixel 3. The Pixel 2 launched from £629 last year and the Pixel 2 XL could be picked up from a slightly higher £799. I wouldn’t expect both variants of the Pixel 3 to stray too far from this.
However, if some rumours are to be believed, there could be a total of three Pixel phones in 2018. Indeed, there have been reports suggesting that this third phone might be a mid-range device aimed at the developing market in India, (as opposed to a high-end, iPhone-X inspired model, which was originally rumoured). However, according to the Economic Times, it was reportedly going to be released this summer, rather than the autumn release date normally associated with Google’s flagship devices.
Google Pixel 3 specs and features: What’s special?
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
It’s quite clear that the Pixel 3 will be powered by Qualcomm’s latest flagship processor, the Snapdragon 845. Last year’s phone missed out on this super-speedy chip and, unless Qualcomm has something else up its sleeves, I expect Google will aim to have this top-end mobile processor inside its latest phone, bringing it in line with the rest of 2018’s fleet of flagships.
Memory and storage
Again, we know about the RAM and storage configurations, too. Inside, you’ll find 4GB of RAM and 64GB of non-expandable storage – just like last year’s Pixel 2.
Rumours (and those three leaks) also suggest that the Google Pixel 3 will have a notch. Larger than most, according to the leaked images, the larger device will feature a cutout in its display. The regular Pixel 3 retains the Pixel range’s current form factor. This 5.5in display features a resolution of 2,160 x 1,080 and a 2:1 aspect ratio.
A new leak hints at one major Pixel 3 flaw. A hands-on video of a Pixel 3 XL prototype, posted to YouTube by Android Police, reveals a huge 6.7in display with a conspicuously small battery capacity of 2,915mAh.
Why’s this an issue? Well, if a measly 2,915mAh is keeping the Pixel 3 XL running, will not only be smaller than the Pixel 2 XL (which came in at 3,520mAh), but also the original Pixel XL, whose battery capacity was 3,450mAh. With a battery-guzzling 6.7in display, we don’t anticipate that the Pixel 3 XL will fare particularly well in our battery benchmark test.
The third instalment of Google’s Pixel lineup is expected to feature wireless charging, according to some reports. Hot on the heels of the release of the second beta of Android Pie – which is now officially released – XDA Developers spotted a line of code in the operating system which lends itself to wireless charging.
What’s more, the Pixel 3 may have an all-glass rear, according to the leaks, a trait which optimises phones for wireless charging, particularly compared with all-metal backs.
Remember, this isn’t Google’s first wireless charging rodeo. The company’s previous wireless charging phones include the Google Nexus 6 and Google Nexus 5, although these endeavours came to a halt in 2015 with the launch of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P.
The leaks also show off a pair of 8-megapixel lenses on the front of the device, with one having a f/1.8 aperture and the other a wide-angle f/2.2 lens. It could be that Google is shooting for a more secure face authentication feature here, but that’s still unconfirmed. Little is know about the rear camera’s technical specifications.
Again, according to XDA developers, the Pixel 3 will include “Active Edge” sides. The feature, first introduced on the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL, allows you to squeeze the frame of your phone to launch Google Assistant and silence alarms, incoming calls and notifications, among other functions.
According to the site, there is “strong evidence” that Active Edge will return on both the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. As well as leaking images of a prototype, the tipster reportedly tested Active Edge on the device and confirmed it vibrates when squeezed – just like last time.
Another rumour suggests that the Pixel 3 XL will be equipped with USB-C earbuds. The rumour stems from an alleged leak, in which photos appear to reveal the handset and accompanying earbuds.
The images come from Russian blogger Канал Лучкова’s Telegram channel via Android Police, and appear to show the final production unit for the Pixel 3 XL. However, while the leaks appear to reveal a sleek, minimalistic design, it’s what accompanies the handset that really ignited conversation.
Accompanying the purported Pixel 3 XL is a pair of USB-C earbuds which don’t differentiate too wildly from Google’s own Pixel Buds, launching speculation that the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL might come with earbuds in the box. There’s precedent that adds credence to this theory; empty packaging was shipped with some Pixel 2 units last year, indicating that a similar scheme was planned for 2017 which failed to come to fruition.
Something that’s rather obvious, is that the Pixel 3 will be one of the first handsets to be powered by Android Pie. Google’s latest version of its popular mobile operating system is finally out, and available to download on Google’s older handsets, and we’ve reviewed it right here.
In short, the latest release brings a handful of new features, including an entirely revamped navigation system, AI optimisations and phone use tracking features.