Other than price and size, Google's flagship phones of 2018, theand , are essentially the same device. Currently priced at $397 and $499, respectively, the phones are much cheaper now that the and are available. But even though they're two years old, they still , receive prompt software updates from Google and are equipped with reliable . So if you're deciding between the two, read on to see which one is best for you.
Starting at $397, the Pixel 3 is the best route to go if you want to save the most money. Its 5.5-inch display also make it the more pocketable and comfortable phone to hold in your hand. Lastly, it doesn't have an on-screen notch running at the top of the display, so you can view content on your screen without a distracting tab taking away your attention.
At about $100 more, the Pixel 3 XL offers a bigger screen and a longer battery life. This is great if you see yourself watching a lot of videos or playing games, but keep in mind, the phone also has a big notch at the top. We don't think it's worth the extra $100 (for that money you can get multiple phone cases, a Google Home Mini or wireless earbuds), but if you have room in your budget, then go for it.
How we tested
Pixel 3 vs. Pixel 3 XL: What's different
Dimensions and weight: The Pixel 3 XL is bigger and heavier than the Pixel 3, measuring 6.2 by 3 inches to the Pixel 3's 5.7 by 2.7-inch body. The two phones have the same 0.3-inch (8.2mm) depth. Because of the Pixel 3 XL's larger size, it's heavier at 6.5 ounces (184 grams). The Pixel 3 weighs 5.2 ounces (148 grams).
Display: The Pixel 3 features an OLED display with 443 pixels-per-inch density, while the Pixel 3 XL is higher definition, with a pixel density of 522 ppi. Unlike the new Pixel 4 phones, they do not have a 90Hz display.
Battery: The last big difference between the two phones is the battery. The Pixel 3 uses a 2,915-mAh battery, while the Pixel 3 XL has a 3,430-mAh battery. Lab results for continuous video playback on airplane mode yielded an average of 15 hours for the Pixel 3 and 16 hours, 49 minutes for the Pixel 3 XL.
Pixel 3 vs. Pixel 3 XL specs
||Google Pixel 3||Google Pixel 3 XL|
|Display size, resolution||5.5-inch "flexible" OLED; 2,280x1,080 pixels||6.3-inch "flexible" OLED; 2,960x1,440 pixels|
|Pixel density||443ppi||522 ppi|
|Dimensions (inches)||5.7x2.7x0.3 in.||6.2x3x0.03 in.|
|Dimensions (millimeters)||145.6x68.2x7.9 mm||158x76.7x7.9 mm|
|Weight (ounces, grams)||5.2oz.; 148g||6.5 oz.; 184g|
|Mobile software||Android 9 Pie (upgradeable to Android 10)||Android 9 Pie (upgradeable to Android 10)|
|Front-facing camera||Dual 8-megapixel||Dual 8-megapixel|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (2.5GHz + 1.6GHz octa-core)||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (2.5GHz octa-core)|
|Storage||64GB, 128GB||64GB, 128GB|
|Battery||2,915 mAh||3,430 mAh|
|Fingerprint sensor||Back cover||Back cover|
|Special features||Water resistant (IPX8), wireless charging support, Pixel Buds USB-C headphones in the box||Water resistant (IPX8), wireless charging support, Pixel Buds USB-C headphones in the box|
CNET editor Patrick Holland contributed to this report.