Google Pixel 3 XL – Battery life
After a period of stagnation, 2018 has been the year battery life on phones has taken a good step in the right direction. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Huawei P20 Pro and Huawei Mate 20 Pro all have huge 4000mAh or bigger cells and impressive endurance.
It’s a shame, then, that the Google Pixel 3 XL lags behind, barely offering a full day of heavy use. This is a phone that really drained power when streaming music or video, especially when doing so over a Bluetooth connection.
The battery life is the one piece of the Pixel 3 XL that has disappointed me, especially when compared to other similarly sized phones. It’ll still get most people through the day, with about four hours of screen-on time and a modest workload. Push it hard with multiple email accounts, video watching and snapping pictures with the camera and you’ll hit red comfortably before bedtime.
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Streaming an hour of video on Netflix ate through between 9-11%, with about 30 minutes of Asphalt 8 taking the battery down approximately 9%. These are slightly better results than the Pixel 3, but not as good as the iPhone XS Max. I expected the XL to last a lot longer than the smaller, but in reality it doesn’t.
At least it charges very quickly. With the included wired USB-C-to-USB-C plug and charger you’ll go from 0% to 100% in roughly 90 minutes. If you’re charging wirelessly via the Pixel Stand, expect it to take just over 2 hours.
Wireless charging makes its Pixel debut here and it remains my most requested flagship phone feature. I’ve got charging pads dotted around my flat and the office and it makes topping up so much easier.
Google announced the Pixel Stand alongside the Pixel 3 XL, and it acts as a wireless charger with some extra functionality. It can give a briefing in the morning, makes the time more visible and there’s a nifty alarm feature that’ll try and wake you up slowly through bright colours on the screen. At £69/$79, it’s not cheap, but it’s a nice addition that does what it’s meant to do very well.
Why buy the Google Pixel 3 XL?
Look past the notch and the Google Pixel 3 XL is an excellent phone. One that focusses on important aspects, notably the camera, and foregoes cramming in features people aren’t going to use.
It’s not flashy, but with a camera as good as this it doesn’t need to be. If a phone is your primary way of taking pictures then you really need to consider the Pixel 3 XL.
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Sweetening the package further are wireless charging, a lovely screen, clean Android and a price tag that, while expensive at £869/$899, undercuts the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, iPhone XS Max and Huawei Mate 20 Pro. If only the battery life was a bit better.
A stunning camera makes this one of the smartphones to beat in 2018.