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The Pixel 3 XL leaks aren't stopping: More info on USB Type-C Pixel Buds, Google Camera update

The leaked Pixel 3 XL prototypes still apparently hold plenty of secrets about Google's next flagship.

Published onAugust 23, 2018

Google Pixel 3 XL prototype leak
  • More details have emerged about the leaked Google Pixel 3 XL units obtained by multiple Russian media publications.
  • The devices seem to be prototype units with non-final software, but do contain a lot of features and design elements that are expected to make the final product.
  • The latest reports detail Camera app changes and the bundled Google Assistant-supported USB-C earbuds.

The recent flurry of Google Pixel 3 XL leaks will no doubt go down as one of the most stunning and comprehensive early product reveals of all-time, and it seems the leaks aren’t stopping any time soon.

Mobile-Review’s “first look” at the Pixel 3 XL confirms that what we’re looking at is in fact a pre-production prototype. The publication says the software is far from final and that there are iffy design elements, like a gap between the edge and back panel, that absolutely won’t make the final product.

Alleged specs of Google Pixel 3 XL will have you laughing out loud

The site also notes that the rear is “plastic,” but we’re guessing this is the same two-tone glass/plastic-coated finish we saw on the Pixel 2 series.

In fact, the final Pixel 3 XL may be so similar in design to its predecessor that it actually fits into cases made for the Pixel 2 XL, according to Rozetked.

As well as comparison shots picturing the Pixel 3 XL prototype alongside the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and the HUAWEI P20 Pro (above), Mobile-Review has also shared camera shootout comparisons and explored the newly updated Camera app, which now has a carousel slider for all the camera modes instead of the existing hamburger menu.

Elsewhere, several Settings screenshots show off a “Google Lens suggestions” toggle, an option to store videos “more efficiently” in HEVC format, and an “Automatic” setting for the display. Unfortunately, there’s no sign of any special face unlock feature which seems a dead cert for the final product given the inclusion of two front-facing cameras.

Mobile-Review also touches on the bundled earbuds. The Pixel Buds-lookalikes are USB Type-C earphones with a remote that consists of a volume rocker and a separate button for call/playback control. According to the leaked manual, the same button can also be held to summon Google Assistant.

But what about the million dollar question: how on Earth did all these Pixel 3 XLs get into the hands of Russian media publications in the first place? Mobile-Review says that an “anonymous well-wisher” reached out and offered to send over the prototypes back in early August “without any conditions and free of charge.”

Google Pixel 3 XL earbuds leak

It’s worth noting that there’s evidence which suggests that the leaks allegedly started with a Ukranian black market merchant who’s been selling the devices anonymously for $2,000 a go via Telegram.

Regardless of the truth behind how the leaks began, however, it’s certainly been a ride to watch almost every aspect of the larger third-generation Pixel come to light ahead of its expected reveal in October.

Google is expected to launch plenty of other exciting products besides the Pixel 3, of course — including potentially a new Pixelbook and as many as three Pixel smartwatches — but it’ll be interesting to see if the search giant alters its plans at all following such a blowout.

What do you make of the Google Pixel 3 XL prototype? Do you think there will be any major changes between now and October? Let us know in the comments.

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