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