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Google's brand new flagship phone - the Pixel 3 and its bigger sibling the Pixel 3 XL is now available in Singapore. The Google Pixel 3 & 3 XL is an upgrade to the hardware that is found in Pixel 2 & Pixel 2 XL.

Having the Pixel 3 XL in my hands for a review, the experience of using it so far is more than delighted. 

First Look

The Pixel 3 XL spots really attractive curved corners and with the white review set, the power button is coloured lime green. At first, I thought that the lime green button glows in the dark but, it does not. The fingerprint reader is at the back, around 3 cm away from the top and place right in the middle. For me, the index finger can easily reach the button with minimal effort. The Pixel 3 XL spots the same USB type C connection with no headphone jack again like its predecessor.

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL spots a 5.5 inch and 6.3 inch OLED display respectively. The experience on the Pixel 3 XL with 6.3 inch OLED display is pretty impressive. Videos look a little bigger, details look much clearer on the Pixel 3 XL. Typing out parts of this article is also a breeze.

As smartphone makers tries to max out the screen estate available, "the notch" is seemingly the trend these days. As much as I would love to be bugged by the notch, in reality, it does not seem to hinder my use of the phone.
Most of the apps I used on the phone could take advantage of the extra estate next to the notch. This includes YouTube which could zoom to take advantage of the extra estate on the side of the notch. But there are a couple of them, this include games and streaming video apps that could not zoom out to fit the screen. The extra estate just remains dark whenever I use those apps. So, it is back to the 16:9 aspect ratio we are familiar with.

The colours looks brilliant on the default adaptive mode on the Pixel 3 XL, something that Google did paid attention to in Pixel 3 series. This looks much better when compared to the natural colours of the Pixel 2 series. It is not overly saturated nor under saturated which makes it is pleasing to the eye.


The two front facing cameras makes it easier to take better selfies. The photo booth mode works well and makes it simpler to take selfies while holding onto the phone. Besides testing the front cameras we tested the rear cameras. The Google lens can recognize objects pretty well and pulls the text from photos effortlessly.

You can check out some photos taken using the Pixel 3 XL on a variety of conditions here. Do note that Pixel 3 XL does support RAW files so pro-sumers can post process their photos on a compatible software.


The sound, is fantastic. The clarity is there with the included two stereo speakers gave a great experience when watching videos and listening to music. As it is frontward facing, the music is loud enough given a reasonably noisy room.

Intentionally or not, if there are more bass or the volume is too loud, the vibrations coming from the speakers are quite pronounced You can feel the light vibrations due to the speakers when holding the Pixel 3 XL.

The Pixel 3 XL comes included with the USB-C earbuds. The earbuds give a smooth clean sound and is light and comfortable on the ears, that is if you don't mind the cable loops. However, if you are using it on a daily commute to work on a bus or train, you might want to up the volume past the recommended maximum.

Operating System and App Usage

Google uses its latest operating system Android 9 Pie on the Pixel 3. This means as a user of the previous Android 7 and 8 OS, there is some getting used to fore me. There is a lot of gesture-oriented controls in Pixel 3. Swiping up to bring the recent apps, and further to get the app drawer. Swiping on the finger print sensor to pull down the notifications. Switching between apps by swiping left and right on the on-screen bottom bar.

Just one thing that I could not get used to, doing two things at a time. In order to open the multi-task feature, I have to tap on the app icon on the recent apps screen to activate it. Would love to see the multi-tasking made simpler to access, but it would be okay to leave it this way with the other gestures in place.

Introduced together with Android 9 is the digital well-being module (in the settings menu). It has included a setting category dedicated to it. The tracking is quite accurate with a dashboard to see how much time you spent on the apps. You can go into a graph for the time spent on the various apps on different days, set up do not disturb and turn on night light (reduced blue light mode) or grey scale mode.

To me, the digital wellbeing module seems like a more detailed breakdown of your app usage, which is currently tracked together with your battery life. I would definitely prefer this as it even includes a timer to allow you to limit your screen time.  

Battery Life

The battery life on the Pixel 3 XL is pretty good for a day to day working phone. It spots a 3430 mAh battery. That is a pretty weird number, as I would expect 3400 mAh or 3500 mAh. But weird number aside, I used the Pixel 3 XL for some gaming, some YouTube streaming, surfing webpages, using social media and it last me thoughout the working day with a pretty decent battery life by the time I get home. Do note that individual results may vary and the review is done using a combination of 4G network and the WiFi available at workplace and home.

Pixel Stand
 The Pixel Stand that is launched with the Pixel 3 series comes packaged separately in a box. One thing to note is that it comes equipped with a separate USB-C charger. One thing I spotted on both the Pixel 3 XL and Pixel 3 charger equipped with my review set is that they are similarly power rated. So technically, you can leave one at home and one in your bag or office. With that said, the decent battery life on the Pixel 3 XL should reduce the need to look for a wall socket out on the street.

The Pixel Stand may look flimsy at first but it is quite well constructed. The charging is pretty fast, with an hour of charging yields about half charge. When the Pixel 3 rests on the Pixel Stand to charge, you can set it to display photos from your Google Photos albums. You could also set a sunrise alarm which slowly brighten the screen in warm sunrise colours before the alarm goes off.

All in all, the Pixel 3 XL is one of the flagship phones out there with a very decent battery, great hardware and software combinations. If you like the vanilla Android experience plus the flagship specs, Pixel 3 series is likely to be one contender in your list of choices.

You can check out the phone at or in stores at Singtel or Starhub.

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