Rumor Roundup: Everything We Know So Far About Google's Pixel 3

Everything We Know So Far About Google's Pixel 3

Although marked by initial scandals, many regard the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL as some of the best Android devices money can buy. With that precedent set, all Android users should be excited for whatever Google is cooking up with its third Pixel device, as their 2017 offerings have set the bar rather high.

As it's still early in the year, rumors about the Pixel 3 are a bit thin. That being said, there's still plenty to sink our teeth into. Whether you want to know what chipset the Pixel 3 will be packing, or you want to know when you can get your hands on the device, our roundup has all the latest news and rumors.

Specs

  • OS: Android 9.1 Pie
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
  • GPU: Adreno 630
  • RAM: 4 GB LPDDR4X
  • Storage: 64 GB or 128 GB
  • Display: 5.3" (Pixel 3) or 6.2" (Pixel 3 XL)
  • Resolution: 2160 x 1080 (Pixel 3) and 2960 x 1440 (Pixel 3 XL)
  • Display Notch: Yes (Pixel 3 XL)
  • Speakers: Dual front-facing stereo
  • Rear Cameras: 12 MP
  • Front Camera: Dual 8 MP
  • Battery: N/A
  • Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, rear-mounted
  • Misc: Active Edge, USB 3.1 Type-C

Another OLED Display from LG

According to a report from D Daily, LG will once again supply the display for the XL model of the Pixel. The report indicates that Google will once again use the POLED display created by LG in the Pixel 3 XL. We expect that the smaller Pixel 3 will also sport an OLED display, but one manufactured by Samsung (like last year's Pixel 2).

The report comes as no surprise as Google reportedly invested $875M in LG Display. So more than likely, Google is hoping for a return on their investment.

A Larger Display

According to OnLeaks' sources, both the Pixel 3 and 3XL will house larger screen than their predecessor. The Pixel 3 will jump from 5" to 5.3" while the Pixel 3 XL will increase from 6" to 6.2". For our readers with smaller hands, don't panic. Leaks indicate a reduction in the forehead, chin, and side bezels, resulting in smaller overall device despite its larger display.

The Pixel 3 XL's 6.2 inch display. Images by GregglesTV/YouTube

One with a Notch & One Without

The Android world is up in arms at the moment over the ever-increasing list of smartphones gaining the iPhone X-style notch. While Google hasn't given us as much of a lead as, say, OnePlus when it comes to notch-status, there's a decent chance the Pixel 3 will sport one.

Android P, the upcoming successor to Oreo, contains a notch-preview feature for developers, openly embracing the "new" trend in the Android community. While that in itself is not confirmation, its obvious Google is aware of the current design changes.

But after several leaks showing what appears to be the front panel, we can now say with some degree of confidence that Google will include a display notch — on one phone. Apparently, Google's tip-toeing the line of the controversial display notch by providing their users a choice: The Pixel 3 will not have the notch while its big brother will.

Image by Steve H./Twitter

Furthermore, rumored images of the tempered glass protector for the Pixel 3 and 3 XL from Slashleaks back up this rumor, showing the use of the notch for the Pixel 3 XL. According to the images, the smaller version will use a forehead-chin design instead.

Image by Slashleaks/Twitter

For those wondering how large the notch will be, thanks to @OnLeaks, we know its dimensions. The notch is 0.94 inches horizontally and 0.32 inches vertically. It will house dual front-facing cameras, an ambient light sensor, and the top half of the front-facing stereo speakers.

Image by Steve H./Twitter

Front-Facing Stereo Speakers Return

Based on the leaked screen protectors images from Slashleaks, it looks like once again the Pixel will be one of only a few flagship Android phones sporting front-facing stereo speakers (only the Razer Phone had it last year). The image clearly shows cutouts for what appears to be speakers grills.

Another Single Lens Camera, but Dual Selfie Cameras

According to Ice Universe, Google is following the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mantra when it comes to their cameras. Despite the industry standard of dual cameras lenses and a recent push towards triple rear cameras, it appears Google believes it can continue to lead the charge with a single lens. While Ice Universe only mentions the 3XL, leaks indicate the 3 will also utilize a single lens as well.

Image via Ice universe

Honestly, it only makes sense, as the Pixel 2 and 2XL have been described by numerous critics as the best smartphone camera on the market, beating the best offerings from Samsung and Apple. Additionally, because the Pixel relies so heavily on machine learning software to enhance camera quality, a second lens might not be necessary.

However, what's interesting is the rumored dual front-facing cameras in both the 3 and 3XL. Typically, OEMs include dual cameras to achieve portrait mode, but Google was able to accomplish this with a single lens in last year's model, including the smaller front-facing camera. Therefore, we're speculating that Google might be implementing 3D facial scanning using the two cameras similar to what the LG V40 is supposed to include. And since Google typically avoid gimmicky features, we would expect that Google will directly challenge Apple by making it both as accurate and secure as Face ID.

Made by Foxconn?

Unlike previous years, Google isn't leveraging their OEM partners with the actual manufacturing of the upcoming Pixel. Instead, this will be the first Pixel that Google is creating on their own, opting to use a contract-manufacturing company for the actual production. According to leaker Roland Quandt, Foxconn will be manufacturing the Pixel 3, the same company which manufactures the iPhone each year.

With Foxconn at the helm, Google will have exclusive control of all aspects of the phone, not just the software. After Google spent $1.1 billion to acqui-hire HTC employees who previously worked on the Pixel, we expect Google to be much more hands-on with the next device. Now, its looks like this will be a true Google phone for the first time.

Image by Roland Quandt/Twitter

OS: Android P

While most Android devices aren't even running Android 8.0, we expect the Pixel 3 to be among the first to run Android P. Google hasn't unveiled a specific 9.0 release date for any phones, but it would make sense that its own devices would get it first, as evidenced by only Pixel devices having access to the Android P preview.

Chipset: Snapdragon 845

The Pixel 2 currently uses the Snapdragon 835, which, while powerful, is already outclassed by the 845 found in the Galaxy S9, Sony Xperia XZ2, and every other non-Huawei Android device coming out this year. It only makes sense, then, for the Pixel 3 to come packed with the latest and greatest from Qualcomm.

Leaker Quandt confirmed the Pixel's usage of Qualcomm's latest 800-series chipset in a tweet, for both devices.

Three Pixel 3 Models?

According to Droid Life, Google could be making as many as three Pixel devices this year, carrying the codenames "crosshatch," "albacore," and "blueline." Two of these devices are expected to be premium devices, which could mirror 2017's Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

While we don't expect Google to release a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL at a reduced cost, rumors suggest this third device could be a mid-range Google phone. According to Economic Times, Google is planning to push a new phone in the Indian marketplace, aimed to compete with other mid-range smartphones. Whether this new device is branded as a Pixel 3 or something else entirely is yet to be seen.

Verizon Exclusive

Once again, it appears that Verizon will be the exclusive carrier partner of the Pixel 3. The past two iterations were exclusive to the number one US wireless carrier (though not technically if you count Project Fi), and according to Bloomberg, the Pixel 3 will be no different. However, like the previous iteration, Google will still offer a GSM-unlocked version on their website that will work on almost any network on the planet.

Release Date

Google's past two Pixel devices were both unveiled on October 4th, so its safe to say the company will reveal its next flagship product in the same month. The Pixel was released Oct. 20, while fans picked up the Pixel 2 Oct. 19, both of which were the third Thursdays of each year. If Google wants to keep things consistent, the Pixel 3 might be released Oct. 18.

However, according to credible leaker Roland Quandt, Google is aiming for a timeframe of August–September 2018, which would put it at the same time as the next iPhones. At this release date, the Pixel 3 could better compete against the next iteration of iPhones rumored to come out that same month.

What do you think about all the rumors for the Pixel 3? Any thoughts on the notch or the fact that LG's producing the panels again? Let us know in the comments below.

Cover image by Phone Designer/Twitter

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