Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL Review Roundup: Big Notch, Better Display, and Fantastic Camera

Google announced the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL earlier this month, and now the reviews for the company’s newest flagship smartphones are in.

As one might expect, it looks like Google has built upon what came before, learning from its mistakes, improving where it needed to, and making an already great camera even better. It also included a pretty sizable notch on the larger of the two new smartphones, but the consensus sounds like Google has another home run on its hands.

We’ve included snippets from several different reviews of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL below. The links to each are available as well, if you want to dig further in a specific publication’s thoughts on the new smartphones.

The Verge

“So, did Google justify the notch? Sure, I suppose. But maybe not its huge size. Face ID on the iPhone seems like a better trade-off to me, but I’m not mad about the notch; the notch is fine. (It actually is, and not in a This Is Fine kind of way.) If you truly hate the notch, you can turn it off in developer settings, and Google has suggested a less-complicated setting may come in the future.

In any given photo, you might prefer another phone, but on the whole, I’m finding that the Pixel 3 is just more consistent. It gets confused by complicated lighting less often and puts more detail into the shot without overdoing it on HDR effects. Most of all: I trust the Pixel 3 more. The Pixel 2 was the best phone camera for all of last year, and it seems like the Pixel 3 will be the best camera for all of this year.”


“Make no mistake, if you’re an Android user then there needs to be a very good reason not to have the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL at the top of your upgrade list in 2018. Indeed the biggest decision is figuring out whether the Pixel 3 XL’s notch is as much of a deal-breaker as some say it is. That comes down to personal opinion, as does whether you prefer the more hand-friendly scale of the Pixel 3 or its expansive bigger sibling.

What isn’t up for question is how polished the overall experience is for both devices. Last year’s Google phones showed us just what the company could do with software. Now, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL wrap that in a far more premium-feeling design, and feel all the more cohesive as a result.”


“Up front, you’ll find that word of the Pixel 3 XL’s notch was, in fact, not exaggerated. It’s the stuff of legend. Turns out this is because of those dual front-facing cameras. Google is really committed to helping users up their selfie game here. At least that’s the immediate impact of that decision.

Dual cameras could have other benefits down the road, including depth sensing for things like augmented reality and, perhaps, face unlock. For now, however, it means taking pictures of yourself and friends at a semi-pro level.”


“The Pixel 3 phone, more than any other Google-designed phone before it, is an example of what sophisticated software can do when the hardware it runs on is incrementally improved. It’s not perfect, but that’s the thing about a phone that’s driven by its software: it will change and get better over time, even as the glass-slab-and-guts part of it stays the same.”


“One other thing I noticed is that while both Pixels have an OLED screen, colors on the Pixel 3 XL’s display appear to be just a tad “cooler” than the Pixel 3. When holding it up to the Pixel 3 side-by-side, the Pixel 3 has punchier reds and purer whites compared to the 3 XL. I’d never notice this on its own, and in and of itself, the 3 XL still has a bright and vibrant display.

As for the notch, I ended up not minding it as much as I thought I would. It’s undoubtedly the thickest notch I’ve seen, but seeing how wide the iPhone X’s notch is, the black tabs look to be about equal in size. Plus, a deeper notch (rather than a wider one) allows for more room on either side for notification icons. If you absolutely hate it though, Google is working on an update to allow you to blacken the sides of the screen and “hide” the notch, similar to how you can do it on the LG G7 ThinQ and Huawei P20.”

Sounds like Google has another powerful, features-heavy smartphone for the mass market, which will more than likely go over well despite the price increase. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are developed from a sturdy foundation, even if we are only three years into Google’s Pixel smartphone endeavor the future looks remarkably bright.

Do you plan on picking up a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL?