The Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL have perhaps been the most-leaked phones in recent memory, so the amount we can say we know — even more than a month before its launch — is astonishing. We essentially know exactly what its specs will be, what both phones will look like, what changes they’ll bring, when they’ll launch, and even some software features.

Here’s a look at everything we’ve learned about both phones so far…

What’s new with the Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL?

As is the case every year, the Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL will pack lots of upgrades over last year’s models. Many other things, however, are staying the same.

For a third year in a row, Google will be launching two phones that have identical specs and slightly different external appearances. The most obvious difference between the two is that the larger phone will have a large bottom chin and notch like other recent Android phones, while the smaller of the two will stick with a more traditional look. That said, the smaller Pixel 3 will have the rounded edges around the display — like what we saw with the 2 XL last year.

Last year’s Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL were made by two different manufacturers, but this year, that’s going away. Instead of contracting the phones out to HTC and LG, Google will — much like Apple does — have more direct control over the process in a manufacturing deal with Foxconn. That means the nuanced discrepancies I wrote about last year probably won’t happen again.

There are of course lots of things that make the Google Pixel unique. Google’s signature “glass window” on the back is back again for a third year, both of the new Pixel phones are expected to return with Active Edge (the Pixel’s squeezable sides), there’s the standard Pixel Imprint fingerprint sensor on the back, and once again, you should expect some super killer cameras.

Google Pixel 3

But generally, the phones are… flagship phones. You should expect some of the best cameras available on a phone, as mentioned, a top of the line Qualcomm processor, good displays (hopefully), a pair of front-facing speakers, and more. But the big win with the Pixel phones, as usual, is likely to once again be their software. Google is trucking forward in its quest to infuse everything about the phone with its AI prowess, and you shouldn’t expect that to change this year.

What are the Google Pixel 3 specs?

Short of actually seeing an official spec sheet from Google first hand, we have about as good of an idea you can have of what the Google Pixel 3’s specs will be. That’s largely thanks to one recent leak, in which we saw a Pixel 3 XL running a benchmarking app.

Google Pixel 3

First of all, the phone will be running the latest Qualcomm chip — the Snapdragon 845. That’s paired with the Adreno 630 GPU, 4GB RAM, and a 2,915 mAh battery. CAD-based renders of the smaller Google Pixel 3 suggest it will have a 5.4-inch display with no notch in sight.

The cameras aren’t anything surprising from a hardware perspective. The back shooter is going to be a 12.2MP rear camera, and the two front shooters are going to be 8.1-megapixels. It’s not clear which storage tiers the phone will launch with, but they’ll probably be the same as the XL — which we’ve seen both 64GB and 128GB models of floating around in the wild.

What are the Google Pixel 3 XL specs?

Like previous years, all of the Google Pixel 3 XL specs are going to be nearly identical to those of the Pixel 3. The primary difference with the larger model is that the display is obviously larger, has a notable display cutout (notch) at the top, and the phone itself is bigger. Functionally, the phone is going to be almost exactly the same.

That means there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, the Adreno 630 GPU, 4GB RAM, and a 3,430 mAh battery. The display will have a resolution of 2960×1440 and comes in at 6.7-inches (although that size might be a misreading thanks to the phone’s notch).

The cameras aren’t anything surprising from a hardware perspective. The back shooter is going to be a 12.2MP rear camera, and the two front shooters are going to be 8.1-megapixels. It’s not clear which storage tiers the phone will launch with, but we know for sure that there are models with both 64GB (the majority) and 128GB of storage space (one sole unit).

What version of Android is the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL running?’

Of course, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL will be launching with the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system, Android 9 Pie. That means lots of new OS design changes that bring it in line with Google’s Material Theme, the new (and controversial) gesture-based navigation system, a handy screenshot editor tool, AI-powered brightness and battery features, a completely overhauled multitasking screen, and Digital Wellbeing features.

Check out our video of the top 5 features in Android 9.0:

What’s new with the Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL cameras?

As mentioned, the cameras don’t appear to be anything all that special on paper. The back shooters on both phones are likely going to be 12.2-megapixel sensors, while the two front shooters are both going to be 8.1-megapixels.

Obviously, though, there are some big changes here. First of all, the dual front shooters on the Pixel 3 and 3 XL are the first time we’ve seen dual front cameras on a Pixel. We’ve been told by three separate sources that the second of these cameras is a wide-angle lens.

Some leaks from a Russian publication that already got their hands on the Pixel 3 XL (and “reviewed” it) give us some insights into some changes coming to the camera app, too. Google’s next smartphone seemingly keeps the existing options to enable or disable the Face retouching feature, but the Pixel 3 lineup will add “Natural” and “Soft,” as well as a zoom-in ability. There may be other selfie-related features in the works that we aren’t yet aware of.

A leaked animation from the Pixel Tips app showed even more of the unrelease Google Camera app, which shows how swipes to the right allow users to access different modes, as well as a “More” tab which houses miscellaneous settings and modes.

Finally, we’re told that Google is working on a new Visual Core chip that may launch in the new phones, which will bring hardware-based processing to “more than just HDR+.”

What do pictures taken with the Pixel 3 XL look like?

Glad you asked! Here’s a sampling of some shots taken with the Pixel 3 XL.

What are the Google Pixel 3 & Google Pixel 3 XL color options?

Google launches a variety of creatively-named color options when its Pixel lineup, and while we don’t as of yet have any idea what the names will be, we do at this point know for a fact that there will be at least two options for both phones. So far, we’ve seen both black and white models of that phone in very official-looking marketing renders — so those two colors are all but confirmed.

What’s still not clear is what colors other than black and white will launch. The teaser page for the Google Pixel that originated in Japan hinted at a third “mint” colorway, and further code found within the site suggested that a pink model might be on the way as well. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen any phones in either of those colors in the flesh — so that’s just speculation for now.

As noted on our Alphabet Scoop podcast, we’ve also heard from a source that Google is considering launching the Pixel 3 in a red or “coral” color, so that’s also a possibility.

What accessories will come with the Pixel 3 and 3 XL?

Every smartphone ships with some accessories, and the Pixel 3 and 3 XL won’t be any different. In addition to the usual charger brick and USB-C cable, as well as the expected headphone adapter and USB-C to USB-A data transfer dongle, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL might ship with some additional goodies.

According to the several unboxings we’ve seen of the white Google Pixel 3 XL, the phone might ship with wired Google Pixel Buds in the box. Also, from what we’ve seen, it seems likely that every Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL unit will ship with a #TeamPixel sticker along with all its usual documentation and manuals, as well as a SIM removal tool.

What accessories will be available for the Pixel 3 and 3 XL?

We don’t have any solid information on what kinds of accessories Google will be making for the next Pixels, but we can make some decent guesses based on history. Last year, Google launched the Made for Google program, and alongside that it introduced some really nice first-party cases. We got a look at a leather case for the Google Pixel 3 XL in one leaked shot, so it’s a safe assumption that that will be one of the many first-party offerings Google introduces.

Google Pixel 3 case

Besides cases, one accessory we’re very confident is coming out alongside the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL is the Pixel Stand. This will be a wireless charging stand that you can dock the Pixel 3 on to charge the device — obviously — and enable a new Google Assistant interface that for all intents and purposes transforms your Google Pixel into a Google Home of sorts.

We’ve seen the Pixel Stand both in animations and renders that showed up via our own teardowns of the Google app and other apps, as well as marketing images showing the device in the flesh.

Google Pixel Stand

Other accessory makers will most certainly be launching their usual offerings as well.

Which mobile carriers will carry the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL?

For the last two years, Google has partnered exclusively with Verizon for the Google Pixel and Google Pixel 2. If you wanted to buy the phone on a carrier plan, the big red was your only option. That’s going to be the case again, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Of course, if you want to use the phone on another carrier, Google will be selling both phones direct through the Google Store. Not only will those phones not ship with some of Verizon’s bloatware, but they’ll be eligible for payment plans and will work with all major US carriers.

How did the Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL leak so early?

Leaks of the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL go back several months, and the reasons behind the earliest leaks are the usual suspects — supply chain gaps and careless employees. But a more recent flood of leaks is attributed to a shipment of Pixel 3 XL units that somehow ended up in the hands of a Ukrainian black market dealer. You can read more about that in our story.

Who’s manufacturing the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL?

It’s widely known that Google has contracted with hardware partners for the last couple years of Pixel phones. The original Pixels were manufactured by HTC, while last year, Google split up the job between HTC and LG. This year, it’s going to be a bit different. Google is contracting directly with Foxconn, the Chinese company known widely as the manufacturer of the iPhone.

That little tidbit of information comes via Bloomberg, which means it’s almost certainly the case. And you wouldn’t be wise to challenge that, either, considering this has been the leakiest of the three Pixel phones so far. Foxconn isn’t known for keeping secrets.

When is the Google Pixel 3 & Google Pixel 3 XL launch date?

The Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL will launch at Google’s annual “Made by Google” event, which also features many annual updates for other Google hardware lines — like the Google Home and Pixel Buds, as well as the Pixelbook. According to a report from the oft-reliable Bloomberg, that event is set to take place on October 9th in New York City. Concurrent events are planned for around the world.

What will the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL wallpapers look like?

The entirety of the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL wallpaper library have leaked out, in both animated live form (thanks to an APK leak), and PNG form. You can download the entire library and use them on any phone or you want to check out the full APK (at your own risk) you can see the animated versions in action on your Google Pixel 2 or 2 XL. You just need Android Pie. Here’s a brief preview:

Google Pixel 3 wallpapers


Bonus: Is there also an “Ultra Pixel”?

Probably not.

All the latest Pixel 3 XL Leaks:

Updated 9/27: Updated to add details about Google Pixel 3 colors, wallpapers, correct some factual details taking into account recent leaks, add details on Google Pixel Stand, and more.


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About the Author

Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.