When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Not only have multiple Russian-speaking bloggers appear to have gotten their hands on the unreleased Google Pixel 3 XL months ahead of its expected October debut, not only have they spoiled practically every detail you'd want to know -- read through this post for the juicy details -- but on Friday, a Russian electronics store has published a full, gorgeous video unboxing of the phone as well:
That video caps off a week in which we've already had practically a full review of this leaked device, thanks to Eldar Murtazin of mobile-review.com. In addition to a complete unboxing of the phone, he's already had time to publish a hefty camera comparison of Google's new flagship against the just-released Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and Huawei P20 Pro.
But before we dive into what Murtazin revealed, we've got to give credit to Russian blog Rozetked for the first huge leak: exposing everything from the phone's design (and its notch) to features such as wireless charging, which the site demoed in a video on Twitter.
It was also Rozetked that first shared what may come in the box with the phone. You can see a USB-C charger (with a European adapter), a Quick Switch Adapter (for transferring data from a previous phone) and included wired headphones that use the Pixel Buds design with the cords doubling as adjustable loops to keep them in your ears. (Note that the Pixel 2didn't come with any headphones.)
Unfortunately, the USB-C headphones and USB-C-to-audio-jack dongle suggest the Pixel 3 XL won't have a headphone jack -- you can't see one in any of the pictures. That was true of the Pixel 2 as well.
If you look closely at the label on the headphone jack adapter, you'll see it reads "DVT Samples," which could mean that the leaked Pixel is a Design Verification Test model -- an early sample that probably wasn't intended to leave the company.
The Pixel headphones also have an @googel.com (note the typo) email address on the label, which makes the leak seem a little more sketchy. Our email bounced when we tried emailing that address, so keep that in mind when you're considering the remote possibility that this might be a clever fake.
If you take a close look at the camera app icon (seen above) you'll notice a small paw print. We're not sure what this exactly means, but it seems to be new. Maybe the camera app has a pet mode, or maybe it's a new Pixel feature relating to Google Lens or Google Clips.
The phone that took these pictures has a 12.2-megapixel rear camera with f/1.8 aperture, according to the images' EXIF data, which is the same as the Pixel 2. The EXIF data also points to a 8-megapixel front camera with f/1.8 aperture. It doesn't identify the model of the phone, however.
Watch this: Google knows where you are
Then there was the second Pixel XL leak on the very same day: Pictures of the device were tweeted by a separate leaker, Wylsacom, who claimed they found the phone in a taxi.
The pictures gave us clear look at the phone's notch (and its sensors) and a look at the phone's settings. You can see a reference to the phone's Active Edge feature, which was also on the Pixel 2.
The leaker also posted other pictures, which point to specs such as a 2,960x1,440-pixel resolution and a specific
To start, he says his own Pixel 3 XL shipped with explicit instructions to members of Google's Pixel team about how to keep their device secure outside the office -- something that's both amusingly ironic and lends the leak that much more legitimacy.
He says it's got a high-quality OLED screen that measures 6.2 inches diagonally, which doesn't necessarily get bright enough to use in bright sunlight, and actually comes with a plastic back and a slightly smaller battery than the Pixel 2 XL, though he says he didn't have trouble keeping it charged.
Watch this: Yet another Pixel 3 XL leak
He also shows that Google's new USB-C earbuds will include a button to summon Google Assistant, corroborates specs including a Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage, that it'll still have squeezable sides (aka Active Edge) and that it will maintain the same 12.2- and 8-megapixel camera resolutions, though now with H.265/HEVC video for more efficient use of storage.
The surprising part, though, is that despite Murtazin's thorough look, he didn't find more. The phone seems fairly similar to the Pixel 2. For instance, he claims his unit doesn't seem to have any sort of face unlock option -- despite its new iPhone X-like notch.