If you wish to buy a Google Pixel Android smartphone in 2023 but have a budgetary constraint of $300, read this Google Pixel 3 XL White review.
While this is an older phone, the other Pixel phones are more expensive. If you are looking for a cheaper phone with an outstanding camera, this $290 might be worth it.
But how well does it stand compared to modern budget smartphones in 2023? Let’s find out!
Google Pixel 3 XL White Specifications
The primary specifications of the Google Pixel 3 XL 128 GB are:
|Operating System||Android 9 (Pie) – Upgradable to Android 12 (Snow Cone)|
|Display||6.3” (P-OLED with HDR Support, 1440 x 2960 pixels resolution)|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon SDM845 (Octa Core)|
|Graphics Processor||Adreno 630|
|Memory||4 GB RAM|
|Storage||128 GB ROM|
|Front Camera||8 MP (wide) + 8 MP (ultrawide)|
|Rear Camera||12.2 MP (wide)|
|Sensors||Fingerprint (Rear), Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Barometer, Compass|
|USB Port||USB Type C 3.1|
|Dimensions||6.2” x 3.1” x 0.3”|
|Colors||Clear White, Pure Black, Peach Pink|
|Weight||0.4 lbs (184 grams)|
|Release Date||October 2018|
|Price (2023)||$289.99 (Amazon)|
Google Pixel 3 XL White Features
Whether or not you will buy the older Google Pixel 3 XL depends on how it will stand up to newer smartphones. While you can get the current generation Google Pixel 7 for $450, it might be out of your budget. If you have a budget below $300, the Pixel 3 XL can be a good alternative.
After fiddling around with a refurbished Pixel 3 XL White, here’s what I felt and experienced:
When I held the Pixel 3 XL White in my hand and looked at it, the first thing that stood out was the display notch. However, it did not stand out in a good way. I feel it takes up way too much screen space at the top. Compared to modern smartphones, which have almost no display notches at the top, this is a negative.
Otherwise, this phone’s looks and build quality are pretty good, as expected from Google. It’s not too thick but not as slim as other smartphones on the market. It has a big 6.3” screen with thin bezels around it.
For its size, this phone is light. However, this phone can survive a few falls due to its excellent build quality. If you are looking for a budget smartphone, then the high durability of the Pixel 3 XL is worth it.
In addition, I loved the dual-tone glass tone at the back of the phone. The topmost rear part of the phone (near the ear camera) is all glass. However, 80% of the phone has a matte glass finish. I loved this dual-tone setup, which looks well and can be easily gripped in one hand.
The 6.3” OLED display significantly improved compared to the original Google Pixel 3. It’s bright, with a higher 1440 x 2960 pixel count. Packed with 523 pixels per inch (PPI), every image and video looks sharp and vibrant. This is more than the standard 480 PPI of other modern phones.
Add a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 to it, and you will get a display better than the Samsung Galaxy A23 ($245) and the OnePlus Nord N20 ($293). The Pixel 3 XL also has native HDR support, a major bonus compared to other smartphones in this price range.
While the display is impressive, the 60 Hz refresh rate weakens it. Compared to other smartphones under $300, you will not get the smoother 90 Hz or 120 Hz display. This might be a turn-off for you if you are a gamer looking for the smoothest experience possible. In my opinion, apart from the bigger display notch, this is the only Pixel 3 XL Camera White screen problem.
The Google Pixel 3 XL White runs on Android 9 Pie. Thankfully, you can upgrade this to Android 12 Snow Cone after you buy it. If you use a new phone, you will get the update to do so instantly.
The UI of this phone is excellent, which feels better due to its larger and crispier 6.3” display. However, after I checked the official Google Pixel website, I discovered that this phone would no longer be supported. Therefore, you will no longer get any OS updates. All new updates will be security updates.
This makes it harder for me to recommend this phone since no bugs and glitches will get fixed. This is one of the primary reasons I always recommend buying smartphones that were released in the last 2 years.
In addition, newer phones in this price range have better OS, which makes them run and feel smoother. However, this Google Pixel phone has a unique Call Transcribing feature from the get-go. You don’t need to download other apps to do so.
Battery life is one of the most important things to consider when buying a new phone. Since you will always carry it around with you, you don’t want it to shut down in the middle of the day.
Thankfully, the Google Pixel 3 XL has got you sorted in this regard. It has a 3430 mHz battery, which will be enough for the day if you don’t do much gaming.
However, the battery life will be much less if you constantly use your phone and play games. I tested this out, and it lasted for approximately 9 hours. I played a lot in this test and saw many 1080p videos on YouTube with 60% brightness.
This is another aspect where this smartphone fails to make a mark since other newer phones in this price range have 4000 mHz batteries, which will last much longer. However, this phone has no heating issues, prevalent in most competitors.
Both the Google Pixel 3 XL White speakers are situated at the bottom. They are loud enough to let me hear all notifications and calls while it’s in my pocket. Also, you can easily play music, since it will be loud enough for a small room.
The Google Pixel brand of smartphones has always been famous for its impressive displays and state-of-the-art cameras. After clicking many pictures and videos with the Google 3 Pixel XL White, this camera is fantastic.
Let’s start with the front camera. This phone sports a dual front camera setup, each 8 MP. Out of these two; one has an ultrawide lens. This is perfect for clicking group selfies with friends, ensuring everyone fits in the frame. Even if you opt for solo selfies, the autofocus works perfectly, blurring every inch of the background.
Regarding photo quality, it is excellent. The selfies I clicked were fantastic, making every element pop with vivid colors. Unlike other smartphones in this price range, its balancing is done right. Some phones suffered from extra sharpness, making everything appear too sharp. The color production is also excellent, retaining more of the original colors.
Coming to the rear camera, I can safely say this is one of the main reasons you should consider buying this old phone in 2023. If you compare this phone with its competitors, the Pixel 3 XL White blows them away with its fantastic picture and video quality. The only phone that can overtake the Pixel 3 XL is the Google Pixel 4!
This phone has a 12.2 MP wide-angle rear camera. The tones of each picture were perfectly warm enough, with no oversaturation. In addition, the clarity and the color reproduction are some of the best I have seen, comparable only to other Pixel phones and iPhones.
With perfectly balanced hues, every picture I took looked super realistic. This was made possible due to the AI enhancements provided by Google. If you take portraits of others, the AI ensures you look your best, smudging out pimples and freckles as much as possible, making you glow vibrantly. If you are active on Instagram, this phone will be perfect.
Even its Night Mode is excellent. Every image I clicked at night appeared well-lit, even if things were a bit dim.
All the videos I clicked were also good due to their wide-angle lens. After visiting a Tool concert recently, I was happy with all the videos I clicked. The lighting effects did not get in the way of the band members performing on stage. Plus, all the colors looked natural.
If you are a gamer or a heavy multitasker, look for something else. This is one major aspect where the Google Pixel 3 XL fails to perform.
This can be attributed to its older Snapdragon SDM845 processor and 4 GB RAM. In 2023, you will easily get better phones with 8 GB RAM at this price range.
As a gamer, I see the limitations affecting my games. I was not happy with the fact that frame rates dipped below 60 while playing games like Call of Duty Mobile, League of Legends Wild Rift, and Genshin Impact.
Apart from gaming, multitasking should not be a major hassle, as this phone can handle it well. However, I noticed some slowdowns while I had multiple apps open simultaneously.
Final Verdict: Should I Buy The Pixel 3 XL White In 2023?
Should you buy the Google Pixel 3 XL White in 2023? It depends on what you wish to do with it.
If you want a budget smartphone with a fantastic camera, I highly recommend this phone. This phone has an excellent camera that will even satisfy Instagram influencers.
However, I would not recommend buying this smartphone if you want an all-around phone with good performance. Its RAM limitations become evident while multitasking and playing games in 2023. Plus, you will not receive any OS updates either to make things faster.
|⦿ Great cameras|
⦿ Excellent 6.3” OLED screen
⦿ Decent battery life
|⦿ The notch is a bit too big|
⦿ No 3.5 mm headphone jack
⦿ No microSD support
⦿ Better alternatives at the same price range
⦿ 4 GB RAM only
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