Google Pixel 3 release date, price, news and rumors

Google Pixel 3

The Google Pixel 3 release date is probably not too far off as its predecessor was launched back in October 2017. Google Pixel 3 leaks are beginning to gather pace, and we're analyzing each one as it comes in and updating this article to keep you in the know.

The Google Pixel 3 is set to be an ideal smartphone for pure Android fans and camera enthusiasts, simply because the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were great.

There's going to be more Pixel to love in 2018, as according to Google Pixel 3 rumors the search giant may be readying three different models. 

Pixel 3 leaks describe the inevitable normal-sized Google Pixel 3, a screen-refined Google Pixel 3 XL, and a cheaper Pixel phone.

Every Google Pixel 3 rumor points to another machine-learning beast of a smartphone – one powered by the Android Pie update from day one. It's time to separate fact from fiction with a deep dive into its potential release date, price and design.

Cut to the chase

  • What is Google Pixel 3? The next pure Android flagship from Google
  • What will Google Pixel 3 cost? Likely upwards of $649 / £629 / AU$1,079
  • When is the Pixel 3 launch? Likely another October 4, 2018 launch event

Google Pixel 3

The Google Pixel 3 will have to improve on the Pixel 2

Google Pixel 3 release date

We fully expect the Google Pixel 3 launch date to be October 4 again. Evidence relies on a Canadian Google ad looking for influencers mentions this date, and history tells us that new Pixels phones have been unveiled on October 4 100% of the time.

Yes, October 4 is when we got the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL in 2017, and again, the same date was used for the original Pixel and Pixel XL. Google clearly likes to stick to a schedule.

An early October launch event would put the Google Pixel 3 release date in October (last year, it was October 19), and it might not be alone. Google is reportedly going to launch the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL with an official Google Pixel Watch that runs Wear OS, the new name for Android Wear.

We could also get a lower-cost Pixel model that's been rumored to be in the works. It's said to be launching as earlier as July or August, according to the first report we saw, but others claim it'll be closer to early 2019 and debut with the mid-range-focused Snapdragon 710 chipset.

The theorized October 4 Google Pixel 3 release date makes sense – Apple will have announced the iPhone 9 and iPhone 11 by early September (if those predictions are correct), and it'll then be Google's turn to show us its next smartphones.

Google Pixel 3 price

The Google Pixel 3 price is a bigger mystery simply because smartphone prices have been climbing higher in the last twelve months. 

Just look at the Note 9 price and the iPhone X price. There's room for Google to start charging more, but no sign that it definitely will.

The Pixel 2 started at $649 (£629, AU$1,079) at launch, and the Pixel 3 will have a similar price, and may edge slightly higher. 

Google Pixel 3 design leaks

New Google Pixel 3 leaks give us wildly different designs based on various leaked renders from factory CADs (computer-aided designs). And they show both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL from all angles.

You can see them below and will note that they both have just a single-lens rear camera (something that's also seen in a leaked case picture), but that they seemingly have dual-lens front-facing cameras and - in the Pixel 3 XL's case - a notch.

There's no sign of a display notch on the Google Pixel 3 though.

The design on the rear of the phone looks similar to the Pixel 2, with a two-tone finish and a fingerprint scanner.

As well as the images, the same source says that the Pixel 3 will have a 5.4-inch screen and dimensions of 145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9mm, with the phone widening to 8.6mm where the camera sticks out.

Image 1 of 3

The Pixel 3 XL is shown with a notch while the standard Pixel 3 is without (credit: OnLeaks/MySmartPrice)

The Pixel 3 XL is shown with a notch while the standard Pixel 3 is without (credit: OnLeaks/MySmartPrice)
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The two phones look similar from the rear (credit: OnLeaks/MySmartPrice)

The two phones look similar from the rear (credit: OnLeaks/MySmartPrice)
Image 3 of 3

The Pixel 3 XL looks significantly larger than the Pixel 3. Credit: OnLeaks/MySmartPrice

The Pixel 3 XL looks significantly larger than the Pixel 3. Credit: OnLeaks/MySmartPrice

Those renders match up with things we'd heard previously. For example, a report talks about the Google Pixel 3, with 'people familiar with the matter' saying that the Pixel 3 will look a lot like the Pixel 2.

They go on to say that the Pixel 3 XL will have a bezel at the bottom of the screen, and that both phones will have an upgraded single-lens rear camera and could be built by Foxconn for the first time (that being the company that builds iPhones).

The claim that the Google Pixel 3 won't have a notch has been echoed elsewhere, with the source (@OnLeaks, who's reliable as leakers go) adding that the Pixel 3 screen is roughly 5.3 inches - sizes which are roughly the same as we've heard elsewhere.

Another source also claims that at least one Pixel 3 model will have a notch, and that it will use an OLED screen provided by LG. The Pixel 2 already uses OLED screens, so this is no surprise.

Screen protectors supposedly for the two phones have also leaked. You can see them below and they match the design rumored above.

Google Pixel 3

Proof the Google Pixel 3 won't have a notch? (credit: SlashLeaks)

(Image: © SlashLeaks)

Google itself may also have slightly shown off the Pixel 3, as illustrations in the Android Pie show a phone with an edge-to-edge display - though this could just be a placeholder.

In any case, the images don't give away much, and don't quite match up with the other leaks we've seen, but you never know, they might be representative of the final phones.

Google Pixel 3

Is this a hint of the Google Pixel 3 design?

We've also seen the Pixel 3 name mentioned by Google. Specifically, a mention of Pixel 3 has been found in code on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) site, which all but confirms it's in the works.

The Google Pixel 3 names have yet to be confirmed, but last year's report that three new Pixel phones might be in the works came with codenames: “crosshatch”, “albacore” and “blueline”. 

It’s worth noting also that all these code names are types of fish, which was true of previous Pixel handsets as well.

Google Pixel 3 specs

The Google Pixel 3 specs aren't as exciting as the camera potential, but we know it'll be faster than before if these internal components prove to be the real deal.

The Pixel 3 XL (and we assume the Pixel 3 will have matching specs) will reportedly use an octa-core Qualcomm chipset (almost certainly the Snapdragon 845), an Ardreno 630 GPU, and use 4GB of memory, according to the unconfirmed benchmark leaks.

Gone are the original Pixel days that saw Google introducing a souped-up chipset from Qualcomm (like it did when premiering the Snapdragon 821). But the 845 chip has proven to be plenty fast in other flagship phones.

Google Pixel 3: what we want to see

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL got 4 stars and 4.5 stars in our reviews respectively, so there’s still room for improvement, and adding the following features to the Google Pixel 3 would be a step in the right direction.

1. Smaller bezels

The Pixel 2 has sizeable bezels, hopefully the Pixel 3 won't

The Pixel 2 has sizeable bezels, hopefully the Pixel 3 won't

From the iPhone X to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, many 2017 flagships have all but eliminated bezels, but not the Pixel 2.

This is a phone which still has quite large bezels above and below the screen, and while they serve a purpose (housing the front-facing speakers) we’d like to see them worked on for the Pixel 3.

Hopefully Google and its manufacturing partners will find a way to significantly slim down the bezels without sacrificing speakers on the front.

2. Customizable Active Edge

Active Edge on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL lets you squeeze the sides to launch Google Assistant. It’s a handy feature, but unlike on the HTC U11 that’s all it does and it can’t be re-mapped.

For the Pixel 3 we want the feature to return, but we want it to be context-sensitive, so for example if used in the camera app it would perhaps take a photo, and for the core functionality to be customizable, so you can use it as a shortcut to whatever app or feature you want.

3. Camera app improvements

The Pixel 2 has a great camera, but the app is far from perfect

The Pixel 2 has a great camera, but the app is far from perfect

Despite just being a single-lens one, the camera on the Pixel 2 is among the best you’ll find on a smartphone, but the software could use some work.

For example, we’d like gesture controls for timed photos and the ability to switch between the main and selfie cameras with a swipe, like you can on Samsung and LG phones.

They’re little tweaks, but they’d make using the camera a little faster and a little more pleasant.

4. A return of the headphone jack

Despite taking a dig at Apple for ditching the headphone jack when launching the original Pixel, Google has also got rid of it for the Pixel 2, which is a decision we’d like to see reversed for the Pixel 3.

We don’t expect that to happen, if anything ever more handsets are going to start removing the port, but for many users it’s an inconvenience and the benefits of its removal just don’t seem overly compelling.

5. Wireless charging

The Pixel 2 range has reasonable battery life and supports fast charging, but doesn’t have wireless charging, which is a major omission, especially now even Apple is supporting it.

We expect wireless charging to become a lot more popular in the next year, thanks to the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, so it will stand out even more if the Pixel 3 doesn’t support it.

6. Screen improvements

The screens on both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL show room for improvement

The screens on both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL show room for improvement

The standard Pixel 2 has just a 1080p screen, which isn’t particularly sharp for a flagship in 2017, so we’d like to see it upgraded to QHD for the Pixel 3.

The Pixel 2 XL meanwhile is sharp enough, but in our review we found that the viewing angles aren’t great and nor is it especially vibrant, so we’d like to see work done to improve those aspects for the Pixel 3 XL.

7. Better water resistance

The Pixel 2 range sports IP67 certification, which means it can survive being submerged up to 1 meter deep for up to 30 minutes.

That should be plenty, but these are flagship phones we’re talking about and some rivals offer more. The Samsung Galaxy S8 for example has IP68 certification, meaning it can be submerged 1.5 meters deep for the same duration.

It’s a small change, but one that could at the very least give buyers more peace of mind that their expensive purchase is fully protected against rain and spills.

Check out our review for the Google Pixel 2 below: