The only honest review of the Google Pixel 3XL
If you’re looking to buy a Google Pixel 3XL or any of the Google Pixel 3 and you’re tired of scrolling through the internet to try to find one legit review (we see you affiliates), here’s for you.
Of course I’ll put some links to Amazon, because it is still a good phone and I’m happy to take a commission if you buy it, but that’s in no way influencing what I'm writing.
Believe it or not.
There’s a few things I wish I knew before I bought that phone and a few good surprises I'm sure you'll be happy to know about.
So, let’s cut the bullshit and dive right in my review of the Google Pixel 3XL.
- Google Pixel 3 XL : Info and Specs
- What to like about the Pixel 3XL ?
- What not to like about the Pixel 3XL ?
- Google Pixel 3 vs Pixel 3xl vs Pixel 3a
- Google Pixel 3 XL Review - Sum Up
- Should you buy the Pixel 3 XL ?
Google Pixel 3 XL : Info and Specs
Release date : November 1, 2018
Price : around 750$ (22,900฿)
Colors : Clearly White • Just Black • Not Pink
Specs : visit Google website
What to like about the Pixel 3XL ?
I would imagine that if you’re interested in the Pixel 3, you’re either here for the camera or for the best version of Android.
And I won’t lie, if like me that’s your 2 main criteria, you’re gonna love this one.
The camera is definitely the best part of the Pixel 3XL.
It takes a bit of work to get used to it and to learn when to use the different options but it works like magic once you figured it out (tons of tutorial on Youtube).
And if you know how to edit photos on Lightroom, you can do some incredible work with raw photos.
Bonus : The large angle for selfies is insane.
Google Pixel 3 night sight
The photos are great all the time, even at night.
I clearly bought it to take pictures in clubs and bars or and it didn't let me down. It's really living up to the hype.
Google Pixel 3 night sight will make any night photo look like it is daytime. I'm not even exaggerating.
Only issue with the night sight function : it's not always automatic.
Sometime it turns on when it's not suppose to or doesn't turn on when you expect it to.
Always make sure it's on when you need it.
Because like many I grew tired of having 2 apps for everything.
The app from Google and the one from the phone maker (yes I’m talking about you Samsung Pay, Samsung Mail, Samsung Browser...).
With the Pixel you have the purest Android with only what you need and the popular apps from Google.
The Google Pixel 3 Android is at clean as it comes and that's one of the best thing about the phone.
No more outdated version of Android.
I was tired of looking at new features coming out that I couldn’t have even though I paid 700$ for my phone a year ago.
No more of that, with the Google Pixel 3XL you’ve got the latest Android updates. At least for a few years.
I don’t use it that much but every time I do it gets the job done.
I also have a Macbook and an iPad and its crazy how much Siri sound really dumb compare to Google Assistant.
From adding reminders to routines, answering questions, making jokes, identify what you’re listening to… Google Assistant is amazing.
Earphones and Speakers
Not something I was expecting or cared about for that matter. But the Google Pixel come with some pretty good earphones. Nice sound, USB type C, fit right in your ear.
The Pixel 3 also have 2 front speakers. They're pretty loud for a phone and as for the earphones the quality is surprisingly quite good.
A nice surprise.
What not to like about the Pixel 3XL ?
The Pixel 3 is not perfect, no phone is.
And even though I don't regret buying it, there's still a few things you need to know before you think about making this investment.
Because yet, at this price, that's an investment.
Not enough RAM.
Damn that phone can be slow, and at this price it’s frustrating.
My last device was a Samsung S7 I bought in 2016 and overall it was way faster than the Pixel 3 when I bought it in 2019.
Sometimes it's so slow that you need to close all apps or even restart it so it goes back to normal.
I really hope Google add more memory in their future flagships and bring some software improvement.
This one is falling short.
Not enough storage
I took the 64go version and I kinda regret it.
Photos and apps are way bigger than they used to be and even if you sync your photos to Google Photo in a regular basis, you quickly get to 50go.
With no external storage, you have to keep an eye on the cache of your apps and sync your photos and videos often to avoid your phone from getting even slower;
Probably not an issue for most of you, but if you can, get the 128go version.
The battery is the reason why I picked the Google Pixel 3 XL instead of the Pixel 3.
If that’s the best they can do with the battery, I can’t imagine what it’s like with the classic version.
To give you some context, I spend a lot of time on my phone. Probably too much.
But like a lot of people, I sometime have to work on the go.
And I also spend way a ton of time on Facebook and Instagram.
With that kind of use, expect 6 hours at most. And no more than 8 hours of screen time with a normal use.
It’s not terrible, and you can go way longer with the battery saver on.
But I still hope their AI will be more efficient to help the battery be more efficient in the future.
Apparently the Pixel 3 battery life become better as you use it thank to their new AI.
Update after 6 months use : I do feel like the Pixel 3 battery life is getting a bit better with time. It's not life changing but you do feel it.
Still, if you use your phone a lot on the go, the Pixel 3 Xl battery life will probably not last you a day.
You better have an external battery or the charger with you.
A fingerprint reader somewhat useless
Maybe it’s just me, but half of the time the fingerprint reader doesn’t work.
I thought the placement of the fingerprint reader would be the issue but you quickly get used to pick up the phone and your finger fall right on the spot.
But still, half of the time, even with my fingers clean and dry, however I place it, it doesn't unlock the phone.
So yes, the Google Pixel 3XL have a fingerprint and I do like to have it as an option to unlock my phone.
I just hope it would have work more seamlessly.
The Big Notch !
I had to talk about it because everybody talked about that over and over when the phone came out.
If you want my opinion, it doesn’t bother me at all and I don’t even pay attention to it.
It doesn’t really hide anything in the apps or when you take pictures.
So yes, the Pixel 3XL notch is fat and you can't miss it.
But is it bothering ? No.
In fact, it will probably bother you less than you think.
Of course it's not a good thing and you can't turn it off or really hide it, but it shouldn't stop you from buying a Pixel phone.
Google Pixel 3 vs Pixel 3xl vs Pixel 3a
Unless you need the bigger screen or the bigger battery because you're often on the go like me, don't buy the XL version.
The classic version is cheaper, smaller, and have the same memory and camera.
It's not really worth to pay the extra money for the XL.
For the Pixel 3a version it's a different story and it depends where you live.
Depending on the deal you can get in you country (and if it's available at all), the Google Pixel 3a can be a really good deal, especially with the same camera as the regular Pixel 3.
Without hesitation, buy the Pixel 3a if you can and save you money for the next Google phone with no notch, a better battery and maybe even 5G.
Google Pixel 3 XL Review - Sum Up
All around, the Google Pixel 3XL is a great phone and one I would recommend… if you want a clean android and great photos.
Other than that, the Samsung Galaxy S10 or the One Pro are probably a better value for your money and sell at around the same price.
Or if you're looking for a cheaper phone, go for the Google Pixel 3a, and keep your money for the next generation that come out soon.
Should you buy the Pixel 3 XL ?
Honestly ? Really honestly ? No.
Because we’re already in August when I write this lines and the new Pixel 4 is gonna come out in only 3 months.
So you should probably wait for it.
The notch doesn’t bother me, but I wouldn’t mind wait 3 months for a new phone that doesn’t have it.
They will also probably improve the battery life as well and add some new cool features to the camera.
So yeah, the Google Pixel 3XL is great, but at this price point, you don’t want to change your phone every year.
And if you're gonna be stuck with a smartphone for 2 or 3 years, buy one that just came out.
Unless you find a really good deal for the Google Pixel 3.
Update November 2019 : Now that the Pixel 4 has come out and have an even bigger notch, I would probably look for Google pixel 3 xl deals and save money for the Pixel 5 next year.
If you can get the Google pixel 3 xl at a price around 500$, it's worth it.
And then you save to buy a Google Pixel 5 with 5G in 2020.
Buy a Google Pixel 3 XL on Amazon
Where to buy the Pixel 3 XL in Thailand ?
Well, if you want to support my blog I would definitely say Amazon ahah (and I’ll buy you a drink with the commission).
More seriously, if you're living or staying in Thailand, avoid Lazada and Shopee.
They are like Amazon except that they have a terrible customer service. If everything is fine with your phone or any order, you’re lucky. But if there’s any issue, good luck to have them to do anything about it.
In Thailand, you can find all Google products including the Google Pixels on Thai Nexus Man : https://www.thainexusman.com/en
That's where I bought my Google Pixel 3 XL unlocked and where I'll buy my google products from now on.
They have most of the Google products, at a good price and they're 100% legit with a serious customer service.
And they can do same day delivery in Bangkok.
A : Yes, the Pixel 3 is well worth your money.
Is it perfect ? No.
But it has the purest and latest version of android, a great battery and amazing cameras (back and front).
A : In box you have the Google Pixel 3 phone, a pair of earphones, a USB-C Charger with fast charging, and an adapter to transfer your data from your old phone.
A : No dual sim with the Google Pixel 3XL. It would have been really great though.
A : Nope, no 5G for the Pixel 3. No 5G on the Pixel 4 either.
I guess we're gonna have to wait for 2020 to have a Google Pixel that feature 5G.
A : Google Pixel 3 is rated IP68 so it's water resistant.
It's not waterproof though. It will resist to sweat and the tain but I would drop it in a pool if I was you.
A : Pixel 3 was released on 1st November 2018.
A : The Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL are built by Foxconn according to WCCFTech
That's it for that honest review of the Google Pixel 3XL, I hope it helped.
If I missed anything or if you have any question, drop me a comment below.