For months, experts and fans have been speculating about what the Pixel 3 could look like, based on rumors and clues inside Android P. We may not have to wonder any longer, though.
A pair of images of a device believed to be the Pixel 3 XL have emerged on the XDADevelopers forum. From these pictures we can see the front and back of the device, and what looks to be a very deep notch at the top of the handset, enclosing the earpiece between a pair of front-facing cameras.
The bottom also looks to sport a larger bezel or "chin," as many rumors have suggested. However, it is important to note that the pictures come with zero attribution whatsoever — so it's quite possible they could be fakes.
In either case, the phone here is shown in Fastboot Mode, revealing various aspects of the hardware. We can see the device is code-named "crosshatch," which correlates with reports to date, and that the baseband version hints at Qualcomm's latest flagship processor with the abbreviation "g845." There also appears to be 128GB of storage onboard, but just 4GB of RAM — which is 2GB less than the Galaxy S9+ or the base model of the OnePlus 6.
At first glance, the backside appears to be very reminiscent of the Pixel 2 duo. There's a glossy component at the top, with a matte surface below and a large single-lens rear camera with a flash and sensors alongside it. The fingerprint sensor is in about the same place as the Pixel 2's, and even the Google logo (which appears to have been spoofed the conceal the identity of this test device) is in the same place.
However, further inspection reveals that there's actually no seam or break between the glossy and matte materials. In fact, the matte section looks almost as though it's been painted on, and it doesn't run the whole way around the perimeter of the back, nor does it meet flush with the frame.
That would seem to indicate that Google is moving to a glass back for the Pixel 3, and seeking to make it evocative of previous models, which employed both metal and glass for the back, through the use of some clever industrial design. If Google's chosen to go this route, it's probably been done to enable wireless charging — something many of the Pixel's competitors from Samsung and Apple already support. No Pixel device has ever been compatible with wireless chargers, though Google's Nexus 4 from all the way back in 2012 was compatible with the Qi protocol.
This is easily the most exciting Pixel 3 leak we've seen to date, but again, it's unsubstantiated. Even if it's true, it brings up so many more questions. There's also the smaller Pixel 3 to wonder about, which has been rumored not to receive a notch. As we get closer to the inevitable launch in the fall, we expect many more leaks like this to develop. And if this is actually an early prototype of the phone, it's possible the final product could end up looking very different.