Can Google’s Upcoming Pixel 3 Dethrone the iPhone XS? (Probably Not)

Google Pixel 3 1 Credit: Engadget / Richard Lai
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Google’s annual Pixel keynote event is October 9, which means that Apple’s iPhone XS lineup will soon have some new competition.

The real question is whether the Pixel 3 lineup will turn out to be worthy rivals of Apple’s newest handsets. While we won’t know all the details until Google unveils them, there are a wealth of rumors and leaks in the Android blogosphere that give us a good idea of what to expect.

Essentially, the Google Pixel lineup is going to take a step closer to what Apple and other Android manufacturers have been putting out for the last couple of years. Expect larger displays, wireless charging, and incremental upgrades — but not massive design changes.

Google, taking a cue from other OEMs, is bumping up the display sizes on its upcoming smartphones. Both devices are expected to feature a more current display design with slim bezels and rounded corners. They’ll likely sport upgraded display tech, too.

And while the smaller Pixel 3 is expected to have a standard top bezel, the Pixel 3 XL is getting a notch. If you look at renders of the new devices, it looks like a pretty thick and clunky notch, too.

A last-minute leak of the Google Pixel 3 XL, found in Hong Kong, allegedly shows us what we can expect. Photos of the device are shown below.

Google Pixel 3 4
Engadget / Richard Lai

Design-wise, the devices will be nearly identical to their predecessors — except for the fact that the back casing is expected to go all-glass to facilitate wireless charging. It’s rumored to come in black and white models, with possible aqua and pink options, too.

As far as the cameras, which Pixel devices have widely been lauded for, Google is rumored to be bumping up the software side of the spectrum. They’re also expected to feature a second front-facing camera for wider selfie angles — though some theorizing that it might be for an upgraded portrait feature or some type of Face ID-esque facial recognition.

It’ll, of course, sport a better processor, which current rumors indicate could be the Snapdragon 845. The Pixel 3’s RAM is expected to remain 4GB, which is on par with the iPhone XS.

Google Pixel 3 2
Engadget / Richard Lai

There are also rumors that Google is going to include USB-C headphones in the box, as well as a slew of new live wallpapers.

Google Pixel 3 3
Engadget / Richard Lai

All in all, it’s a thoroughly incremental update — the Google equivalent to an “S” year. And while Pixel phones are great devices with exceptional cameras, it’s likely that Google needs something else up its sleeve to keep up with the likes of Samsung and Apple.

In addition to the Pixel devices, Google is also expected to debut a new wireless charging stand, new Pixelbooks and Pixel tablets, accessories and likely a slew of software updates at its event, which is slated for October 9.

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