Google Pixel 3 XL Test: Stunning Photos

A year ago the duo Pixel 2/2 XL was unanimous in the Android community. This year, Google puts the cover with the same explosive duo. Let’s discover the Pixel 3 XL, a smartphone with a giant screen that comes face to face Huawei Mate 20 Pro or Galaxy Note 9 . Is it enough to be called Google to succeed?

At the end of the year, the release of the Pixel 3 XL was quite a bit of noise especially because of the different leaks of which he was the subject. It must be said that Google does not multiply the models and that the pixels (and before that the Nexus) are expected as the Messiah. Design side, the smartphone is very large (more than 16 cm diagonally) with a chin and a large notch: very 2018. By cons the back is original since a large part is matte and high gloss. This is probably a material for better conductivity for wireless charging, but the good surprise is that it also avoids fingerprints! The fingerprint sensor is also on the back and we notice a single lens photo … but we’ll come back.

The Pixel 3 XL is dustproof and waterproof (IP68 certification). Like the HTC U11 + and U12 + the mobile is also sensitive to pressure on the slices. By tightening the device, we can launch Google Assistant. A quick access that, as for the HTC, proves to be impractical. If you often use this feature, you might appreciate it though. Note also that the smartphone does not integrate jack (the adapter is provided as the one for the OTG), nor Dual-SIM (eSIM mode is currently unusable in France) and no slot for an SD card, you’ll have to settle for 64 or 128 GB depending on your model).

Beautiful screen and top performance? Yes, but it’s a bit normal …

The screen is very nice despite the big notch with a very impressive resolution of 523 DPI. OLED technology requires, the contrast is excellent and even if the slab seems less bright at its maximum power, this is offset by anti-reflective treatment that does its job very well. A very beautiful screen, but nothing surprising for a device that costs 960 and 1060 €. Performance side, it’s the same topo and you now know the song: with a Snapdragon 845 and 4 GB of RAM you will never be disappointed whether it’s games, apps a little heavy or multitasking. Welcome to the high end of this end 2018! No need for benchmarks to see that it will be necessary to get up early to make it bend.

A camera that makes it possible to call

Let’s talk now about the feature that makes it talk about it everywhere: the photo. Even if it’s a little weird to put this feature on a device that is basically used to phone (how do you phone your phone? You were born in the last century or what?), The camera has become the center of all attention and a crucial business argument. Let’s be direct: the Pixel 3 XL (just like the Pixel 3 that we will test soon), is the best smartphone to take pictures . It has only one sensor 12.2 megapixels (fixed aperture at f / 1.8), but thanks to Google’s algorithms, the result is breathtaking, whatever the situation: low light, portrait, movement, etc. .

The Motion Photo mode lets you take a burst scene to keep the best possible shot among the 10, 20 or 30 you took. The night vision mode (the famous Night sight) can take a shot without flash in the dark (and even when it is almost black) for a natural rendering that leaves us dreamers. Certainly, you must not move (and still it is permissive) and the electronic noise is present, but you will need a reflex camera with a fixed focal length aperture to achieve a similar result. More anecdotally, the Photo Sphere mode (a kind of 3D panorama) is certainly fun, but not very long and Photobooth allows you to make funny faces or poses by letting the camera take snapshots for you .

By cons children will love the mode Playground that allows you to photograph next to characters Marvel or Star Wars with a very well-augmented augmented reality. What’s crazy is that aside from the white balance, the camera does not offer expert mode. For the moment, it’s impossible to choose the shutter delay or to set your own ISOs: Google is sure of it and it shows. By cons for selfies, Google has 2 sensors, including one that allows you to widen the angle if you have friends to get into the frame. Here too the photos are impeccable and the screen acts as a flash if the light runs out. Amateur photographers, look no further for your smartphone …

The wide angle of the second sensor on the front allows for selfies with several people without twisting …

Autonomy a little bit inward

Regarding autonomy, it’s a semi-deception. While we are average on this type of smartphone, but Google could have inflated the battery of 3430 mAh to allow us to stay away from a power outlet a little longer. In case of intensive use, you will have a hard time making up 2 days. While the recharge is fast, even in wireless mode, but on a smartphone at this price is a shame. It’s a bit better by turning off the Always On mode, which displays the time and some notifications even when the screen is “off” and there’s also the smart battery option that can be tampered with for a few precious minutes . Of course the Pixel 3XL is equipped with Android 9 Pie but it will tame the Pixel Launcher especially because of the single button “to do everything”. Nothing insurmountable, however.

In conclusion we liked this Pixel 3 XL for all of his work, but we must recognize that at this price, it’s a little strong coffee. This is the only downside that we will issue here. At 650 € he would have crushed everything in his way, but at almost 1000 € without the official hull, the bill is salty. The pros will prefer the Galaxy Note 9 . If the photo is important to you and the price is not an obstacle: go for it!

Technical characteristics of the Google Pixel 3 XL

► Dimensions:
Height: 158 mm
Width: 76.7 mm
Thickness: 7.9 mm ► Screen: 6.3 inches

► Weight: 184 g

► Battery: 3430 mAh

► OS: Android 9

► Memory: 4 GB of RAM + 128 GB of storage

► Connectivity:
Wi-Fi 802.11a / b / g / n / ac
USB-C
Fingerprint Sensor
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC
4G (LTE)

► Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core 2.8 GHz ► GPU: Adreno 630

► Camera: 12.2 MP (f / 1.8) on the back and dual 8MP sensors (f / 1.8 + f / 2.2 wide-angle)

► Resolution: 523 DPI

► Definition: 2960 x 1440

► Video: 4K at 30 fps or 1080p at 60 fps

► Release Date: November 2018

► Website: https://store.google.com/product/pixel_3

The notes of our lab:

  • Performance – 9/10

  • Design – 9/10

  • Ergonomics – 7/10

  • Functions – 8/10

  • Quality / Price – 6/10

7.8 / 10

Summary

Most:

► A smartphone cut for photography
► Beautiful performances

Cons:

► No dual SIM or microSD port
► The price too high

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