If you were hoping Google wouldn’t go the trendy route of using a notch at the top of its phone displays, I have some bad news for you. A leak from earlier in the week suggests the Pixel 3 XL will feature an iPhone X-like screen cutout.
The leak – deleted from its Weibo source, but still up on SlashLeaks – purports to show screen protectors for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Notably the Pixel 3 XL has a notch up-top, while still maintaining a somewhat chunky bottom bezel.
Credit: Weibo (via SlashLeaks)
This is akin to Huawei’s approach with the P20 Pro, except Google seems to be using that space for the front-facing stereo speakers. Still, it looks a little smaller than the bottom bezel on the Pixel 2 XL.
While screen cutouts have been a matter of contention ever since they first appeared on the Essential Phone, I’ve grown to appreciate them; as they do give you more screen real estate than using a full-length bezel. Besides, most notched Android devices give you the option to hide the cutout with UI; it becomes practically invisible on OLED panels with their pitch blacks.
The smaller Pixel 3, meanwhile simply looks like a smaller device with much narrower bezels than its predecessor. This one doesn’t use a notch, so it should be less divisive than the larger phone.
To give you an idea of what these new design may look like, Phone Arena cooked up some neat renders of the front of the device, based on the leak.
Credit: Phone Arena
I dig it.
Perhaps more interesting is that the protectors seem to have cutouts for two front facing cameras. That’s surprising, as Google has so far avoided using dual cameras even on the back of the device. If it has two cameras on the front, you can bet it’ll at least have two on the back.
That said, in my experience Google’s single-camera portrait mode is already better than any dual camera system, save for perhaps the iPhone X. While a second camera could surely help depth-sensing, I’m hoping Google has the sense to use super-wide-angle or telephoto lenses on any additional cameras; that would offer a lot more flexibility than a sensor that’s only there to help portrait mode.
But I have to reiterate, this is an early leak, and we probably won’t have concrete details about these phones until the end of the summer. For now, take this leak with a grain of salt.