There has been yet another Pixel 3 XL leak, this time courtesy of the Russian site Rozetked. We get to see even more pictures, confirmation of the wireless charging, and a serious conundrum about what the back is made of.
The pictures look a lot like what we saw in the previous leak, with a working Pixel 3 XL and a front notch so large it can probably be seen from space. The two front-facing cameras are still there.
After running the Russian-language article through Google Translate, we get a bit of background about how all these leaks are happening. “Google made a big mistake” the translated article reads, “and two months before the release of the smartphone, it missed a batch of finished devices.” Allegedly, there are a whole “batch” of Google phones floating around out there. A follow-up report from 9to5Google claims a Ukrainian black-market dealer is selling these ill-gotten Pixel 3 XLs for $ 2,000 a pop. This would explain why all the Pixel 3 XL leaks have been Russian-language so far (this leak, the previous leak, and another leak today from @wylsacom) and why we haven’t seen any regular Pixel 3 photos. The leaks aren’t from a factory—which would probably also produce the regular Pixel 3—and they only exist because Google lost a box of 3 XLs.
The most interesting part of the leak pertains to the questions raised about the back material. The leaker, who goes by the Twitter name “Максим Хорошев,” described the body as “Glass on top, plastic below, I guess.” I assumed the back was a single sheet of glass with a two-tone look provided by the new “etching” technique available to Gorilla Glass 6 phones. When I asked Хорошев about this on Twitter, he responded “I feel it like plastic. 3 XL very light. I see the seam.”
Glass phones are noticeably heavier than non-glass phones, so while the treatment to a material can sometimes throw you off, calling it “light” is a sign the back might not be glass. There would have to be a seam between the glass top and a plastic back, and while that hasn’t really showed up in pictures yet, the leaker claims a seam is there.
— Максим Хорошев (@khoroshev) August 22, 2018
Whatever the back is made of, we know it’s not metal, since the Pixel 3 XL contains wireless charging. Хорошев posted a video confirming this, where he was able to put the 3 XL on a normal Qi charger and the phone started charging up. There’s even a new charging animation. Rozetked has also posted some camera samples from its 3XL unit, although the camera software is so early it identifies as “QCAM-AA” instead of “Pixel 3 XL.” The pictures look fine, but when it’s this early, I can’t imagine the camera software is representative of the final product.
For now, we wait. The best guess for a Pixel 3 and 3 XL launch date are October 4, just like the previous two phones.
Listing image by Rozetked