A handful of images said to be depicting one of Google's Pixel 3 XL prototypes leaked online earlier today, having been obtained by one source from Russia. The photographs that can be seen in the gallery below are almost entirely in line with all previous reports about the upcoming Android flagship and add more credence to the possibility that the final product will feature a relatively thick display notch. The screen cutout clearly houses two sensors and is hence much larger than similar panels that have already been commercialized by the likes of LG, ASUS, and OnePlus earlier this year.
The purpose of the second front-facing camera is still unclear but if Google was only planning to equip its next flagship series with a regular two-lens imaging system, it would have likely been able to deliver a significantly thinner lens. Previous speculation pointed to some kind of a depth-sensing solution or at the very least an infrared scanner being part of the Pixel 3 package. The handset will also run some variant of Android 9 Pie out of the box, as evidenced by the fact that it features a pill-shaped button on the bottom of the screen. While the original Pixel line was used as a launch vehicle for Android 7.1 Nougat, last year's Pixel 2 devices shipped with Android 8.0 Oreo, so it remains to be seen whether the currently available stock version of Android will be the one that ends up being pre-installed on the Pixel 3 series or if Google will have Android 9.1 Pie ready in time for the release of its new handsets. One of the leaked images also confirms the return of the Active Edge functionality from the Pixel 2 line which allows users to squeeze the edges of the device in order to launch certain apps or activate actions like taking an image.
Even though previous rumors indicated the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL might have glass backs, the new leak doesn't appear indicative of that possibility, revealing a handset with a matte white rear panel and a conventional-looking circular fingerprint reader. A single back camera is still included, with Google continuing to resist the trend of multiple-camera setups, which is yet another indication that the second front-facing sensor of the Pixel 3 XL isn't a regular imaging module. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are rumored to be announced on October 4 and should start retailing by the end of the same month.