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First look at the Google Pixel 3 XL

Google is back at it with the beautiful and powerful Pixel 3 XL, with a great camera and some serious software to make you smile

Google announced its new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones this week, and we've been lucky enough to get our hands on the bigger of the two flagship devices, 6.3-inch the Pixel 3 XL (the smaller of the two sports a 5.5-inch display, comparatively). So far, I like it a lot. Google’s made this one mostly out of glass, which now allows for wireless charging. It’s also IP68 certified, so it can take a dunk up to a meter and a half for a half hour no sweat.

Google was a little conservative on the hardware updates (save for a substantially improved OLED display, which is just incredible), but paid a lot of attention to its new software and features to really draw people’s attention. A couple of standouts include some significant updates to the Pixel family’s already stellar cameras, such as Top Shot (which uses AI to help you select the best frame from a series of pics) and Night Sight (that is said to magically take a completely black image and make it bright - U.S. only for now).

A lot of buzz, however, has been generated from another new software feature, this time from Google Assistant. The “Screen call” option, when getting phone calls, gives you the ability to do just that – use Assistant to gather info on the call like who’s calling and what they want – before you decide to answer, quick reply or mark as spam. This feature is only available in the US at the moment. Oh, and then there’s the notch, which is now becoming standard on many smartphones, like the iPhone XS. But if that ain’t your cuppa, don’t worry, Google’s (kinda) hidden a way to turn it off. Available November. 1.