It’s been the subject of creepshots on public transit. It’s reportedly been stolen and sold for thousands on the black market a full two months before its official announcement. And in the latest leak of Google’s upcoming Pixel 3 XL, well, someone accidentally left the thing in their Lyft. It happens to the best of us, right? It’s understandable that people with test units might be letting their guard down a bit since this phone has already been so thoroughly leaked.
The driver, a Pixel 2 XL owner himself, quickly realized that he was handling the latest Pixel; there’s no mistaking that notch. After shooting a few photos and sending them to Android Police, he returned the pre-production Pixel 3 XL to its rightful (and probably enormously thankful) owner. The phone was in a case, which will probably be a must-have accessory now that the entire back is all glass.
It’s expected that Google will unveil the Pixel 3 XL along with the no-notch Pixel 3 on October 9th at an event in New York City.
Google will unveil its Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones on October 9th, according to Bloomberg, with the event scheduled to take place in New York City. (The date and location were mentioned in Mark Gurman’s report on the upcoming 2019 iPhones.) The Pixel and Pixel 2 were both announced on October 4th in 2016 and 2017, respectively. The launch target and new event location — previous Pixel events were held in California — comes after weeks of thorough leaks, photos, and plenty of video footage of the larger Pixel 3 XL device.
We’ve now seen the phone (and its deep, deep notch), Google’s bundled USB-C earbuds, and even the packaging and included stickers from every angle. Some videos have also poked around the pre-release software for new features like added beauty effects and wide-angle “super selfies” on the front-facing camera. Just a few days ago, someone even put out a 1080p unboxing of the thing, which is embedded below. There is zero mystery left about this phone’s design and hardware, but at least we know it’ll include wireless charging capabilities.
Why is the Pixel 3 XL getting hit so hard by early leaks? 9to5Google recently reported that stolen units have made their way onto the Ukrainian black market for $2,000 apiece. Google has yet to comment on or acknowledge the situation, and it’s unlikely the company will do so before October since it pertains to an unannounced and unreleased product. But Google’s security teams are almost certainly investigating how someone managed to get a hold of (and then offload) so many Pixel 3 XL devices two months before the launch.
The regular Pixel 3 hasn’t experienced the same level of premature showcasing. A leaked glass screen cover that we first saw in May hints that it will look like a miniature Pixel 2 XL. That’s probably sounding better and better to everyone who can’t unsee the 3 XL’s notch, even if going with the smaller model probably means giving up a little battery life or “settling” for 1080p screen resolution.
We’ve been seeing a steady stream of Pixel 3 leaks since June, and even more photos and videos have surfaced today, including purported sample photos taken with the Pixel 3 XL camera. The images appeared on Russian tech blog Rozetked, which reveals basically everything about the phone before the Pixel’s official launch. The leaks show everything presumably included in the box, including USB-C Pixel Buds, a charger, and a USB-C headphone dongle.
There’s also multiple shots of the phone itself. The deep notch is still very much a part of the 1440 x 2960 display on the Pixel 3, and it’ll reportedly have a Snapdragon 845 processor and come with Android 9 Pie.
Purported sample photos from the Pixel 3 XL have been posted on Instagram user Khoroshev’s account, and the photo quality suggests that the new device will be just as powerful as the Pixel 2 XL. It’s rumored to have two front-facing cameras and a 12MP sensor rear camera.
And finally, Khoroshev posted this video of the wireless charging at work on Twitter today:
There’s no other information on its wireless charging specs, but at least we know that the feature will likely be available for the Pixel 3. Though given the amount of leaks we’ve seen over the past few months, we’ll probably know the rest of the details soon.
Google is currently testing a software fix that will fully restore the fast-charge functionality of its 2016 Pixel smartphones after users reported slower charging speeds following the recent upgrade to Android 9 Pie. Some third-party charging plugs no longer rapidly charge the Pixel XL in the same way that they did prior to Pie’s release; Google says that its own bundled charger (and others certified for USB Power Delivery) should still be delivering rapid charging as normal. Assuming the update is verified and tested successfully, it will be available “in the coming weeks.”
“We’re aware of an issue where non-Power Delivery (PD) USB-C chargers no longer rapidly charge the 2016 Pixel and Pixel XL after the upgrade to Android 9 Pie,” a Google spokesperson told The Verge by email. “The 18W rapid charger included in-box is a PD charger and does not exhibit this behavior. We are verifying a fix for non-PD USB-C chargers and will roll it out in the coming weeks.”
Most reports about the issue have pertained to the Pixel XL, but it seems Google has realized that the bug is also affecting the smaller, regular Pixel in some cases. This problem is only being experienced by owners of the original Pixels; the Pixel 2 is charging as expected.
If you’re spending a ton of money — too much, in the eyes of some — for the best Chromebook in the world, why not burn nearly $100 more for a protective case to go with it? We’re at the point where Pixelbook 2 rumors are starting to pop up, but that hasn’t stopped Tech21 from making a $90 case for the first-generation model. The company says its Evo Adapt offers “a dual-layer design and bulletproof materials” that “ensure your Pixelbook is well covered.”
Those materials are TPU / plastic and microfiber (presumably on the interior side to prevent scratches on your Pixelbook). Tech21 also says this laptop accessory contains “BulletShield,” which is “a totally transparent, ultra efficient impact absorbing material that’s actually used in bullet proof glass.” In reality, that’s just a gimmicky way of saying that it can probably take a few bumps or even a minor drop without totally wrecking the Pixelbook inside. But bulletproof? Nay.
Still, this looks like one of the better Pixelbook cases out there — and for $89.95 it’d damn well better be. It remains on your Pixelbook all the time, like Tech21’s other snap-on cases for MacBooks. Incase also sells this style of laptop protection, but for a little less money. And I’ve never considered Incase to be a discount brand, so… this thing sure is expensive.
The case works both in the Pixelbook’s regular laptop position and also when the keyboard is folded back into tablet mode. In that scenario, the way the case folds provides an angled stand for the screen, like so:
The long slot on the side for Google’s Pixelbook Pen seems a lot more secure and better than the free “pen loop” Google will give you for holding its $99 stylus. It shouldn’t wobble around with this case. The USB-C ports also remain fully accessible at all times.
I know I’ve hammered on this thing’s ridiculous price, but you know what? It seems better and more useful than the Google-made Pixelbook Sleeve, which costs an even more mind-boggling $100.