Google Pixel 3 XL Unboxing and First Look (video)

The Google Pixel 3 was launched in Singapore recently. I have the chance to review the Google Pixel 3 XL. It has that controversial notch and there is no way (as of now) to hide it in the settings.

Check out the unboxing and first look video

Here is the full package in the box. Google has provided a Pixel USB-C earbuds that has similar features of the Google Pixel Buds (except that it is not wireless) inside the box.

What’s In the Box

Google Pixel 3 XL First Look

This is Google Pixel 3 XL with the wide and deep notch. Love it or hate it.

Close up of the notch.

On the bottom, it has the USB-C port and the card tray.

I love the way Google treated the glass back. Although it is made of glass, it doesn’t feel like it. And the most important is that it does not attract fingerprints.

The Google Pixel phone is one of the few single lens modern handsets in the market.

The fingerprint sensor below the camera is very sensitive. It is far away from the lens which is a good thing. There is almost zero chance that you will smudge the lens when accessing the fingerprint sensor. Setting it up is very simple.

There is the USB-C port and the card tray are at the bottom of the phone.

There is nothing on the top except the microphone.

On the side, it has the power on/off switch and the volume rocker buttons.

There is nothing on this side of the phone.

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Features of the Google Pixel 3 XL

Playground

This is something interesting. Again, it shows that Google is very strong in software. When you choose the Playground in the camera, you can select animated subjects from the library and place them into the screen. The phone will map the surrounding before placing the animated subjects. You can make them bigger or smaller, place them nearer or further away.

I think it is difficult to explain to you except with video. Check this out.

Google Lens

The Google Lens is nothing new for Google. However, it has been integrated into the camera. If you have been using Google Lens, you will love it more now.

Front Wide Angle Lens

On the left is a shot using the dual front-facing camera at 1x magnification. And on the right, I am using the 0.6x (or wide angle) at the same distance. Notice how much details I can squeeze in now.

Accessories

I was provided one casing for the Pixel 3 XL. In my opinion, it is really well-built. It is similar to the Pixel 2 series. Check out some of the pics taken.

Love it that there is a gap at the USB-C Port area. Now, you can take out the cover without unplugging the USB-C cable.

Here is the internal of the casing without the phone.

The internal feels like felt material. Very soft and you will know that it will not scratch or harm your phone chassis.

Here is a close up of the cover.

Summary

Google has definitely proved its point that it is very strong with its software. When all phone makers are going for dual, triple or even quad lens, Google is still maintaining its Pixel phone with just one rear lens.

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Based on the few days with the phone, I am able to attest the quality of the single rear camera. The software is able to manipulate the background to give a bokeh feel.

However, as of this testing, the Night Shot is still not ready. So, I cannot review how good it is. On the UI, I am not sure why Google “hide” the HDR+ mode inside the advance menu. You have to go into the menu to activate it.

Top Shot is something useful and fast. You don’t know how much you need it until you took a lousy picture. With Top Shot, you can “save” the picture by selecting from the group of them, thanks to Top Shot.

On the hardware part of the phone, Wireless Charging and IP68 water and dust resistant are good updates. It is too early to say if I like the phone or not. Will have to get used to the notch and the size of the phone.

I will also be reviewing the Pixel Stand on another post. Stay tuned. Let me know if you have any questions.