The unreleased Google Pixel 3 XL is out of the bag, and there’s no putting it back now. As of Thursday, multiple Russian-speaking bloggers appear to have gotten their hands on the unreleased phone months ahead of its expected October debut — and they’re leaking practically every detail you’d want to know.
The latest is Eldar Murtazin of mobile-review.com, and he’s taking this leak game to a whole new level. In addition to a complete unboxing of the phone, he’s already had time to publish a hefty camera comparison of Google’s new flagship against the just-released Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and Huawei P20 Pro.
But before we dive into what Eldar revealed, we’ve got to give credit to Russian blog Rozetked for the first huge leak: exposing everything from the phone’s design (and its notch) to features like wireless charging, which the site demoed in a video on Twitter.
It was also Rozetked that first shared what may come in the box with the phone. You can see a USB-C charger (with EU adapter), a Quick Switch Adapter (for transferring data from a previous phone) and included wired headphones that use the Pixel Buds design with the cords doubling as adjustable loops to keep them in your ears. (Note that the Pixel 2 didn’t come with any headphones.)
Unfortunately, the USB-C headphones and USB-C-to-audio-jack dongle suggest the Pixel 3 XL won’t have a headphone jack — you can’t see one in any of the pictures. That was true of the Pixel 2 as well.
If you look closely at the label on the headphone jack adapter you’ll see it reads ‘DVT Samples’, which could mean that the leaked Pixel is a Design Verification Test model — an early sample that probably wasn’t intended to leave the company.
The Pixel headphones also have an @googel.com (note the typo) email address on the label, which makes the leak seem a little more sketchy. Our email bounced when we tried emailing that address, so keep that in mind when you’re considering the remote possibility that this might be a clever fake.
If you take close look at the camera app icon (seen above) you’ll notice a small paw print. We’re not sure what this exactly means, but it seems to be new. Maybe the camera app has a pet mode, or maybe it’s a new Pixel feature relating to Google Lens or Google Clips.
The phone that took these pictures has a 12.2MP rear camera with f/1.8 aperture, according to the EXIF data, which is the same as the Pixel 2. The EXIF data also points to a 8MP front camera with f/1.8 aperture; it doesn’t identify the model of the phone however.
Most of his pictures were taken in London, though the included power adapter is common to England, Russia and the EU.
Then there was the second Pixel XL leak on the very same day: Pictures of the device were tweeted by a separate leaker, Wylsacom, who claimed he found the phone in a taxi.
The pictures gave us clear look at the phone’s notch (and its sensors) and a look at the phone’s settings. You can see a reference to the phone’s Active Edge feature, which was also on the Pixel 2.
So, what did Eldar Murtazin have to add to these suspiciously similar leaks?
To start, he says his own Pixel 3 XL shipped with explicit instructions to members of Google’s Pixel team about how to keep their device secure outside the office — something that’s both amusingly ironic and lends the leak that much more legitimacy.
He says it’s got a high-quality OLED screen that measures 6.2 inches diagonally, which doesn’t necessarily get bright enough to use in bright sunlight, and actually comes with a plastic back and a slightly smaller battery than the Pixel 2 XL, though he says he didn’t have trouble keeping it charged.
He also shows that Google’s new USB-C earbuds will include a button to summon the Google Assistant, corroborates specs including a Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage, that it’ll still have squeezable sides (aka Active Edge) and that it will maintain the same 12.2 megapixel and 8.0 megapixel camera resolutions, though now with H.265/HEVC video for more efficent use of storage.
The surprising part, though, is that despite Murtazin’s very thorough look, he didn’t find more. The phone seems fairly similar to the Pixel 2. For instance, he claims his unit doesn’t seem to have any sort of face unlock option — despite its new iPhone X-like notch.
We’ll just have to wait and see if there’s anything more exciting in store — say, these rumored ‘super selfies’ — this October. And hopefully, the story of how these phones may have wound up on the Ukrainian black market.
Google didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Update, Aug. 23 at 2:50p.m. PT: With third giant Pixel 3 XL leak.