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First week with the Google Pixel 3 XL

I've been using a Google Pixel 3 XL since last week. Here are some comments on my previous experience:


First of all, a little bit about money. This is an issue that I take very seriously, and I think that's especially important when you consider how unchecked most reviewers are about the cost of the expensive toys they normally get for unlimited credit. But I can not spend an infinite amount of money, and when it comes to buying my own equipment, which I often do, I try to be as economical as possible.

And half board is as fuel efficient as it gets, which is still Google's flagship. I've complained about the high cost of the Pixel series for each of their three years and generations, and I mourn the low prices for the Nexus 6P and 5X. But $ 500 is much easier to swallow than $ 1000. The math is so easy, even I can follow it.

Also in this case, I had $ 300 in PayPal, which I use for discretionary, typical gadget-related purchases. And a Pixel 2 XL that is not getting any younger or is more valuable as a trade-in. The timing was right.

I thought Pixel 2 XL was worth about $ 200 in trade, but that assumption was based on nothing more than a random assumption. As it turned out, my guess was exaggerated by about 25 percent: Both Gazelle and Amazon Trade-In tell me that the phone is really worth about $ 150. Well.

Regardless of the actual value of the trade, I like the idea of ​​swapping an old device for a new one, and do it whenever possible. This is especially good for expensive devices – for example, I bought an old iPad Pro and MacBook Air when I bought the new MacBook Air, and an iPhone 7 when I bought the iPhone XR – but it's as much about getting rid of clutter as anything else. A device in (at least) one device.

Especially with the Pixel 3 XL, I hope, of course, that it will be worth more if a Pixel 4 XL really makes sense this fall. Or that it takes at least longer than Pixel 2 XL. Especially since the pixel used by me 2 XL is a refurb.

Simply put, the Pixel 3 XL I bought is not worth $ 1,000. But $ 500? Absolute.

Protective Case

I really like the feel of modern smartphones, but with their all-glass designs, it's accidents that just wait to happen. Therefore, I will always cover my phones in cases to protect them and preserve their eventual commercial value. I like the cases that Apple produces for its iPhones and try to find cases that are relevant to my non-iPhone purchases. But for the Pixel 3 XL, I decided to give up on an expensive leather case ($ 40 to $ 50) – after all, it's still possible I will not even keep the phone – and can go cheap. Cheap, but hopefully effective.

The two cases I have selected are the Tuopuna Air Armor and the ESR Essential Zero Case. It's also not particularly remarkable that everyone proves that you do not have to spend a lot of money on a decent case.

Tuopona case

I prefer the ESR case as it allows the natural color of Pixel 3 XL (officially) to be "not pink" but really a brownish color) translucent. But it's not so handy, and I used the Tuopuna case more, especially when I go to the gym, so the phone does not just slip out of my bag when I use a machine.

ESR Suitcase [19659014] And regardless of your feelings about cases, you would like to have one if you go with a pixel 3 of some sort: the all-glass body is as slippery as a bar of soap, like my wife's on it It was the day before the cases, it was important. She was afraid to pick it up.


It's impossible to talk about Pixel 3 XL without pointing to this incision. It's bigger than every notch on every phone, by far. It is ridiculous so that when images were leaked from the device, a popular conspiracy theory announced that Google would only spoof the treats. There was no way to publish a phone with such a terrible design.

Well, they did. And as every Pixel 3 XL user will tell you, you'll get used to it. That applies to almost everything, not really, just not for notes. But it is true anyway. Only people like me who have different phones every year would really complain about it.

And it's also worth pointing out that despite this score, there are still more usable properties on the screen than was the case with the Pixel 2 XL. It's not much more, maybe a quarter of an inch vertically, but it's there. Anyway, I'm looking forward to Google eliminating this with an in-screen front camera in the next few pixels.


Since the Nexus 6P and 5X in 2015, Google has the best cameras in smartphones. In fact, it was not even close. (Sorry, iPhone fans, that's right.) And then Huawei passed.

Thanks to the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, which was released in late 2018, Google's Pixel series is now the second largest in photo quality. The Pixel 3 series outperforms this entry only in a range of low-light photography. With the P30 Pro Huawei has finally removed the title: Not only the performance in low light conditions is better, according to the reviewers – I will soon check the P30 Pro itself, but his 5x optical zoom is transformative. [19659004] The Pixel 3 XL has suddenly been played in the photo department as well. But consider two points.

First of all it is a wonderful and although it can never compete with the optical zoom capabilities of the P30 Pro, the Pixel 3 XL makes excellent photos in all lighting conditions. It's only a step back if you're used to using a recently used Huawei mobile phone. Second, Google is able to do this with a single camera lens, at least on the back. This is a miracle: Other manufacturers of mobile phones Huawei, rely on multiple lenses to achieve their star shots. Google uses only one and the amazing AI features. If it finally takes a second or even third lens with future pixels, this could again be a real competition. (The Pixel 3 XL has two front cameras that allow for a particularly wide super-wide mode for selfies.)

I have not done side-by-side comparisons yet, but it looks like Pixel 3 XL is one lateral movement for all pixels 2 XL. That is, do not just update for the camera. But for everyone else, without Huawei customers, the camera is a good reason for an upgrade.

Reliability issues

Given the number of problems with the Pixel 3 XL – some of them have been fixed since launch, some of them – I'm of course very excited to see how well this phone works in practice. This is doubly exhausting because my old Google phone, the Pixel 2 XL, was also a nightmare of unreliability. (I changed mine twice for hardware issues.) So I used the unofficial Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL Android Police bug fixes and problem trackers and my own handset experience as a guide. [19659004] The biggest issue I noticed with my original Pixel 3 XL has been resolved: The memory issues that caused background music from music, podcast, or Audiobook apps stopped when I got another app (like Camera) used, and apparently no longer existed Fixed in a December 2018 software update. So far – and yes, it's early – the performance has been excellent all along the line.

The audio issues I've noticed have been partially resolved. The strange vibrations that occur during audio playback are still present in the body of the device – but I think due to the switch from aluminum to glass – they no longer trigger audible distortions. The stereo problem of adjusting the volume to the right (not notched) when the unit is held in landscape mode (as in movie playback) is still present but not dramatic. Some of the other phones I have used still have mono audio, so this is acceptable. Not good. But acceptable.

The audio issue I mentioned last week – when the powerbeats stopped when I was in the gym – was possibly a user error. (Shocker.) The next day, I noticed that the volume of the earphones itself was completely down, and raising that obviously corrected that. I have since brought a few extra (wired) earphones for the gym, just in case.

The other, perhaps related, problem in which the phone seems to heat in the workplace – even in the gym – is something I have experienced again. But it does not happen very often – it can literally have happened only twice – and I could not figure out what triggered it.

I have not experienced a common problem with him, as far as I know, taken photos are not saved, but I need more time to be sure. I have not seen any other issues on this error and problem tracker page. Of course I will continue to use the phone and estimate its reliability and performance.

I'm satisfied with the Pixel 3 XL in general. I like the form factor and the clean Android image as well as the full Google Fi compatibility. The camera is, although not as HDR-happy as the Mate 20 Pro, excellent. Overall, the battery life was good, although I can already say that it does not match the Huawei. I wish Google had the headphone jack. And the return to a back-mounted fingerprint reader was nice: it's fast and works very well.

Coming soon.

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