Any time a new phone is on the way, we can typically expect the rumors to start filling in the gaps long before a company gets around to officially unveiling it. Some phones make it out into the world more intact, and with more surprise, than others. But pretty much every handset is going to have some part of its final build known to curious parties ahead of an official unveiling.
Depending on the phone, you might be looking for one, two, or maybe even a handful of differences to show up in the new model versus the old. Maybe you want/need a better camera than what came before. Maybe you're eagerly anticipating wireless charging from a family of devices that, up to this point, haven't offered it. Or maybe you're waiting to see what the rumor mill has to show you regarding the physical design of the handset.
I know quite a few people who fall into that last category when it comes to the Pixel 3 XL.
I've had three separate conversations with Pixel 2 XL owners recently, with the goal being to determine just what, exactly, they were looking for ahead of the Pixel 3 XL's launch later this year. Each one told me that they expect the camera to remain one of the best options out there, so they're not worried about that. They're also happy to hear that wireless charging is on the way.
But none of them are stoked about the incoming notch.
I've been using a smartphone with a notch for months now, and while I'm accustomed to it, I have definitely not accepted it. I think it's a remarkably stupid design decision, especially from any company that's trying to tell us "more screen, more content" and then they cut out a part of the display. Okay then.
One of those friends told me that they started to get a bit nervous regarding their upgrade plans earlier this year when the first rumors cropped up suggesting the Pixel 3 XL would sport a notch. Google building support for the "feature" basically opened the door for all Android manufacturers to adopt the design decision, but that didn't necessarily mean Google had to do it, too.
Here we are on the cusp of August wrapping up, with expectations that Google is going to announce its two newest smartphones on October 9, and that notch appears to be the real deal. The Pixel 3 XL has leaked out several times and, each time, we've seen a deep notch at the top of the screen. The rumors also say the handset will have a pair of front-facing cameras housed there, along with a front-facing speaker.
I'm sure Google is going to try to justify the notch, much the same way Apple tried with its TrueDepth camera system in the iPhone X, but I can say that I think I dislike the notch in the Pixel 3 XL more than I dislike the one in the iPhone X. That may change when I get the phone in my hand, but I doubt it.
One Pixel 2 XL owner I spoke with said they are already planning on upgrading to the Galaxy Note 9, thanks to the Pixel 3 XL leaks. "I don't have to wait now, so that's good." That really stood out to me, so I wanted to reach out to all of you and ask: Are you waiting for the Pixel 3 and/or Pixel 3 XL to launch before you make your phone upgrade for 2018? Or have the leaks so far helped you make a decision long before Google officially announces anything? Let me know!