large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Google wanted the Pixel 3 to have a notch − here’s why it’s missing

The Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL have, at long last, finally been unveiled. And apart from the obvious size disparity, there’s one immediately noticeable difference between the two models.

The standard Pixel 3 is notchless, whereas the larger 3 XL has a fair hefty notch.

Read more: Best smartphone

Well, it turns out that Google wanted the smaller version of its new flagship to have a notch, but it simply wasn’t able to squeeze one in.

“With the [Pixel 3], it turns out the space is just too small when you put the wide-angle lens in,” Google’s vice president of product management, Brian Rakowski, told TechCrunch.

“It’s a narrower phone, so you have room for an icon or two, whereas on the bigger phone everything you need for the status icons is up there, and it’s a very good use of the space.”

Related: Pixel 3 vs Pixel 3 XL

For context, the Pixel 3 has a 5.5-inch display and a 145.6 x 68.2mm profile, while the Pixel 3 XL has a 6.3-inch screen and a 158 x 76.7mm profile. Those 8.5mm, it appears, make all the difference.

Similarly, Daniel Bader, the managing editor of Android Central, says: “Google told me that if they’d been able to put a notch in the smaller Pixel 3 they would have and only didn’t because they didn’t have room for the cameras and the speaker in the narrower hardware.”

With flagship handsets seemingly getting bigger by the year, we wouldn’t be hugely surprised if Google released a pair of notched Pixels in 2019.

Read more: Best Android phones

Of course, there are several slightly less obvious differences between the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL too. The larger handset has a sharper display, with a 2960 x 1440 resolution and pixel density of 523ppi (compared to FHD+ and 443ppi), a bigger, 3430mAh battery (compared to 2915mAh on the Pixel 3) and, of course, a heftier price tag.

The Pixel 3 XL starts at £869, whereas the Pixel 3 starts at £739. You can pre-order them here.

Do you have a preference? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @TrustedReviews.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.