back to article Spoiler alert: Google's would-be iPhone killer Pixel 3 – so many leaks

The launch of the Google's Pixel 3 has become the leakiest since an Apple employee left a prototype iPhone 4 in a bar. After a batch of Pixel 3 test units were stolen and went on sale on the black market, the trickle of photos and benchmark scores over the summer became a flood. The latest revelation leaves Google with little …


  1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Bring back Nexus

    1. James 51

      Actually I'm quite happy with my Gemini. Roll on Sailfish 3 on the primary boot...

      1. PiltdownMan

        My only gripe with my Gemini PDA, is that when browsing in landscape mode, the web page headings can take up over 50% of the screen estate, making most web sites very cramped. Is there something I'm missing?

        But, agreed, bring on Sailfish 3...

    2. GingerOne

      After having Nexii 4, 5 & 5X I can thoroughly recommend a BQ Aquaris X Pro. A Spanish brand, made in China. Similar pricing to the old Nexus phones, a very clean Android experience and regular updates :)

  2. Artem S Tashkinov

    Couldn't care less - give us Nexus back.

    OnePlus stopped being an option when they decided to charge at the very least $500, and besides I have apprehensions in regard to their firmware.

    1. Timmy B


      "I have apprehensions in regard to their firmware."...

      What apprehensions?

      1. Google

        Perhapds their stance on user privacy?

        "OnePlus is tracking users actions without anonymizing data" -

        "a new report says that there's still a OnePlus app that can grab data from the phone and send it to servers in China without a user's knowledge or express consent. " -

        1. Timmy B

          Interesting. I hadn't heard of this. But on further reading it's for Chinese customers only so I'm not too worried. I wonder how many other phone companies have to do stuff like this in China too?

        2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

          "OnePlus is tracking users ... grabbing data"

          You're on Android. Complaining about an OEM slurping your personal data is like complaining about damp patches from under a capsized boat.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            At least I know where to disable the Google apps.

          2. Chronos

            You're on Android. Complaining about an OEM slurping your personal data is like complaining about damp patches from under a capsized boat.

            OEM Android, perhaps. Since the Orange San Fran, no OEM firmware has survived the unboxing here at Chronos Towers, although that has presented its own unique set of purchase research issues.

            Of course anyone buying into the Pixel range is going to get rogered sans lube but, then, the Pixel isn't aimed at us. Far better to go with the BQ¹ mentioned by another commentard or something similar that can be freed from the data fetishists. It's a 'phone, not a fashion statement.

            By the way, "glass back" is a derogative meaning lazy bastard over here. Devices with glass backs do not inspire confidence.

            ¹ These folks are a pretty geeky company. They also make 3D printers and consumables - and they're very good.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. CJ_C

      Brand new Nexus 5 (and other models) still available on ebay £125. Nexus 5 on Ubports works for me

    4. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      I originally posted this eight months ago but then deleted it when it turned out that none of the EMUI 8-dependent OpenKirin ROMs could operate the goofy dual camera setup without crashing. Quite the fatal flaw. This was corrected following the recent release of EMUI 9, allowing me to finally use the phone, and I haven't had any noteworthy issues since. With the benefit of hindsight, I might have gone for a Nokia 8 instead.

      The Nexus 5 was almost perfect IMO. No nonsense, powerful at the time and reasonably priced. It should have had more storage and the speaker and camera could have been better but what are you going to do.

      Mine was really showing its age so I gave up and went down the alternative route of buying a cheap(-ish) 2017 model Huawei and putting an OpenKirin custom ROM on it. It was a bit of a faff (edit: which turned into an eight month long wait for one that worked properly...) and involved paying for an unlock code, but now I've got a 128GB (+µSD) ~5" phone with a reasonably modern 8 core big.LITTLE SoC, 50% more battery capacity and yes, a headphone socket for less than the Nexus 5 cost originally. And, importantly, vanilla Android rather than Huawei's EMUI nonsense.

  3. K

    "Pixel sales have been unimpressive"

    Its simple really, Google's success with devices was down to us Nexus Fanbois / Geeks, and we were used to paying mid-range prices, in return we were happy to be guinea pigs for the new versions of Android..

    By dropping the Nexus brand, they alienated their loyal users, and are having to rebuild their user bases from scratch - but news flash, most people don't want to spend £600-800 on a handset!

    1. Rainer

      Re: "Pixel sales have been unimpressive"

      > but news flash, most people don't want to spend £600-800 on

      > a handset!

      I'd say most Android users don't want to spend that kind of money.

      iOS users on the other hand...

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Micro SD slot ?

    Nope, then bye.

    Oh and it will be far too expensive, I leave that sort of thing to iTards who have no idea about value for money.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Oh and it will be far too expensive, I leave that sort of thing to iTards who have no idea about value for money."

      Considering the prices that second-hand iGear fetches and the general longevity of said devices (notably in software terms), especially in a 'hand-me-down' environment, I'd say the 'iTards' have a pretty good grip on the concept of 'value'.

      Without resorting to Google or other Internet lookups, someone name me off the top of their head a 'droid phone that has the same longevity - in both hardware and software terms - as the average iPhone? There may be one, or even several, but it's a pretty tough call, and definitely not a mass-market answer.

      To be balanced: my honest opinion is that if you're a techie and/or want a phone that can bend entirely to your will, get a 'droid, preferably a mid-range priced one. If you're a non-techie and/or need to rely on a phone that 'just works' (relative to most 'droids) and can't be arsed to keep twiddling with it then get an iPhone, preferably a mid-range priced one. Leave the £1000 handsets of either type to those with money to waste.


      1. cambsukguy

        There isn't a mid-range priced iPhone - although there is a mid-iPhone-range priced iPhone.

        My phone is 4 years old, gets updates monthly, works better than when I got it and has a removable battery (replaced for £9 for an original part), very good camera, even by today's standards, hi-res screen, even by today's standards, huge SD card capability, even by today's standards, Qi charging (today's standard).

        The list goes on, it cost £330 at the time and would sell for maybe £75 at best, like that will happen.

        It therefore represents much better value than even a mid-range iPhone, whilst actually giving me the features I require (see above list). A removable battery and an SD card are not techie requirements really.

        There are features that I would like (e.g. IP68), but I am not paying the premium asked for something that 'nice-to-have'.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Now I'm curious what phone you are using Cambsukguy. Most 4 year old phones I know don't get updates anymore. Let alone monthly ones.

        2. Rainer

          Which vendor still supports Android on a four year old phone?

          And you have to ask: who is making money on this phone, and how?

          If you're not paying, you're probably the product, not the customer ;-)

          1. Martin an gof Silver badge


            Now I'm curious what phone you are using Cambsukguy. Most 4 year old phones I know don't get updates anymore. Let alone monthly ones.


            Which vendor still supports Android on a four year old phone?

            Here's a clue. My nearly five-year-old Moto G (the original one) still gets regular updates via LineageOS. There's a new build out every Wednesday and I tend to install them monthly.

            It could do with a better camera, but in all other respects it suits me well (though I still hate on-screen keyboards). Even the non-removable battery hasn't been a problem yet. With careful management it will last me six or seven days, though I could squeeze as many as ten when it was new.


            1. Chronos

              Here's a clue. My nearly five-year-old Moto G (the original one) still gets regular updates via LineageOS. There's a new build out every Wednesday and I tend to install them monthly.


              Moto Gs less than or equal to v4 are built like brick outhouses, reliable, fast enough for anything but gaming and have more accessories than you can shake a stick at. Mrs Chronos has a Moto E. It's not as fast as a G but it still runs Nougat, gets an update a few days after AOSP vulnerability day and doesn't spy on her.

              Even replacing the "built-in" battery for a G is a doddle.

              I made the mistake of buying into the Wileyfox hype with the Storm (which just got Oreo from Lineage - not bad for an obsolete model that, before they went TITSUP¹, they disavowed ever producing) when I really should have bought a Moto. Lesson learnt.

              ¹ Total Inability To Secure Useful Profits, mainly due to titting about on Twatter and Farcebook instead of dealing with issues. And no, the bloody magnetometer still doesn't work and the LEDs behind the softkeys winked out one by one, never to return.

          2. Cuddles Silver badge

            "If you're not paying, you're probably the product, not the customer"

            You have the incorrect tense. Assuming the person you're replying to is not a criminal, they did in fact pay for their phone. It's not a question of who is making money; someone already made money. That is how buying things works.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        A droid with the longevity of an iphone?

        Well let's see.. My android phone was uptodate for about 2 years. As it was about 1/10th the cost of the iphone, I make that about 20 apple-years

    2. JDX Gold badge

      How wonderful it is to know an AC considers SD so important. This will shock the world of phone makers.

      "value for money" is entirely subjective.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >"value for money" is entirely subjective.

        It's entirely objective and people recognised that centuries ago with things like opportunity cost.

        A £2 bag is equally capable of carrying potatoes as a £50,0000 Louis Vuitton handbag and possibly more durable. One is value for money and the other vanity, the £2 bag also has a substantially lower opportunity cost with £49,998 change available to be knocked off a mortgage or some other useful purpose.

        I'm afraid you've failed the interview as my financial advisor.

    3. MogKupo

      Where's my PADD


      I change my phone once every 3-4 years and get a good but not too expensive one each time

      last 3 have been SGS Note 2, LG G3 and currently the Huawei P10 (though that's the first and last phone I'll buy from them after they've treated us so shabbily re unlock codes etc. I got my unlock code from them when they were legitimately supplying them and do not appreciate threats of a bricked phone on update if it's rooted)

      I really can't see why anyone would buy an iPhone given they have eye watering 4 figure prices now, or for that matter a pixel for the same reason. Did have a Nexus tablet once, excellent device but that's all.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I used Android for years, loved that I could bend them to do what ever I pleased. The Nexus line was the pinacle for me. Yes, every Android firmware update I ever got fixed one thing and broke another. WiFi bug fixed > battery life killed, battery fixed > cell reception killed etc etc. Worth it because my Nexus 5x was a decent phone at a great price.

    However, I still recommended iPhones to everyone else (non techies) as they just worked and the overall experience was worth the silly pricing.

    But paying Apple prices for the Android 'experience'? Paying Apple prices to be tracked 24/7 by Google? Paying Apple prices to a company who went from ‘Don't be evil' to 'fsck it, give us your money'? Really??

    1. RyokuMas Silver badge

      Re: Confused...

      "‘Don't be evil' to 'fsck it, give us your money'"

      Well, I guess it makes a change from "give us your data"...

      1. MiguelC Silver badge

        Re: Confused...

        A hint: it is not instead of your data...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "iPhone killer Pixel 3"

    I think that idea is wrong in that it assumes that there is a significant crossover between Android and iPhone owners and buyers. The market looks to me far more rigidly segmented.

    Android users make the choice between keeping their existing phone, upgrading to the makers newer offering, or changing to a different Android maker's product

    iPhone users choose between keeping their existing iPhone or buying a newer iPhone.

    I doubt many existing users change between platforms and new users are influenced by peer pressure, family, and gender.

    1. CheesyTheClown

      Re: Mistaken

      I agree. Though this past year, I have started purchasing or renting films from Google Play and Windows Store. This is because Apple makes it difficult for me to even understand which account I’m paying from. Sometimes I buy a film on iTunes and it pulls from my PayPal... other times it pulls from my credit card. Google and Microsoft are easier to manage.

      I buy iPhone because Apple makes one or two models a year and updates seem to come for years after they stop selling the model. That makes me feel as though there is a return on investment. Or it did. But since around the time Jobs kicked off, the iPhone has become progressively worse. In addition, my entire phone seems hellbent on trying to sell me shit. I mean seriously,

      I’ve bought most of the songs I like already. I have about 2000-3000 tracks in my iTunes catalog. If I were to pay for Apple Music, I would need to listen to an average of about 15 new songs a month... every month for it to be profitable. That means I’d have to listen to 180 new songs a year to make it cheaper than buying the songs I like outright. I’m not that guy. Most of what I listen to is old. I don’t even turn the stereo in my car on. I have no interest in listening to music to simply hear noise. I don’t want Apple Music. I will never want Apple Music. Why the fuck can’t I open my music player and not be constantly attacked about buying Apple Music?

      Then there’s the headphone jack. I have two laptops, an iPhone and a TV at home. Bluetooth sucks for that. Why would I ever want to spend my whole life pairing my headphones. It’s easier to just plug and unplug. Also, I depend on corded headphones to make sure that I never leave my headphones or telephone behind.

      Apple is sooooooooo far from what I came to love about them. But what does it matter if I’m just someone who used to spend $7,000 a year with Apple. Now I have a Surface Book 2 and am willing to switch to Android if Google releases a high end phone with a headphone jack. I’m willing to pay $1200 for a Google branded phone (won’t buy knock offs made by companies who don’t write the OS). It should be small enough to fit in my pocket but large enough to read. It should have edges so I don’t have to move my fingers to read text... none of this curving off the edge shit. It should also be easy enough to unlock that I don’t need to look at it or pick it up to see if I want to pick it up. Thumb print is fine.

      Basically, I want an iPhone 6S Plus but with Android. I have a top spec iPhone X sitting on the coffee table collecting dust. I’m back on my 6S Plus... the last good phone Apple made... but Apple apparently doesn’t run unit tests on the 6S Plus anymore.

  7. fishman


    Remember - The Essential Phone was the first smartphone with a notch. And it runs Android.

    1. JohnFen

      Re: Notches

      Yep, which was one of the reasons the Essential phone was something that I would not buy.

    2. Phil Kingston

      Re: Notches

      Sharp had a notched display that beat Essential to market by a few days. Not that it matters.

      I prefer to see the display as having two extra areas rather than having something taken away. Glass half full.

      My this year's handset has ears. The remainder of the screen is 2:1 and the presence of the ears really had zero sway on my decision to buy it. I genuinely don't see why people are upset about it.

    3. Steve Evans

      Re: Notches

      The notch is one stolen "feature" I'm happy they credit to the iPhone ;-)

  8. IHateWearingATie

    Just bought a Pixel 2 for £440 (Currys clearing down their inventory I suspect) to replace my wife's borked S6.

    I use a Pixel 2 as a work phone and its really good (i.e. it does all that I need to and doesn't do anything that annoys me) so I thought I would get her one to match.

    Much as I loved samsung phones in the past, not very happy paying £6-700 for a phone.

    Pixel 3? Don't see any reason to wait for it.

    1. BigAndos

      I bought the original Pixel XL 128GB second hand for £350 back in the spring, cracking phone for the money. It does pay to be a generation behind those that must have the latest shiny shiny!

  9. imanidiot Silver badge

    Fscking notch...

    I don't WANT a notch. It's ugly and it doesn't add anything. Even the slim bezels are not that much of a plus. It just means the glass is closer to the edge so it's more likely to crack if you hit it wrong. I've got a nice big crack running across my screen from dropping it about 3 inches in the wrong place, hitting it just so on the corner of something hard. That never happened on my older phone that had a bit of a bezel.

    1. CheesyTheClown

      Re: Fscking notch...

      And, you can’t hold the phone one handed and read shit without constantly moving your fingers.

  10. Gene Cash Silver badge

    > Google killed off the audio port last year

    I just bought a not-top-of-the-range Moto G6 because the "higher" models didn't have a jack.

    And I'm also surprised to see almost all of Motorola's range have SD cards, and some even have removable batteries.

    However, my G6 is SLOW AF. Holy cow, it crawls, compared to my Nexus 6P.

    1. TheGreatCabbage

      Unfortunately the Moto G lineup doesn't seem as good value as it used to be. I do remember my Moto G4 being pretty good, but wasn't impressed with the G5's launch because I think they actually downgraded the SoC.

      I was shocked to find that the Poco F1 is only £300 with the best SoC available (Snapdragon 845), 6GB RAM, 64GB storage minimum, dual cameras, dual SIM or micro-SD support, a headphone jack, and a good fingerprint sensor. It puts the pricier Moto G6 models to shame.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Today's Nexus

    For those that liked the Nexus, I think Android One fills the same need.

    The Xiami Mi A2 is extremely cheap, and not far off par with the 1000 pound flagships.

    1. GingerOne

      Re: Today's Nexus

      Indeed, Android One does seem to be the way to go now. In particular the new Nokia looks quite good (6.1?)

  12. John Robson Silver badge

    iPhone 8 a four year old design?

    That's a bit of a stretch...

    The iPhone 6 is, so it's in the *body* of a four year old design (which means that cases etc still fit), but there is a *little* more to designing a phone than drawing a rectangle and rounding off a few corners.

  13. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    I have a great design idea...

    I have a great design idea: Create a phone where the screen is slightly smaller than the casing, so creating a border around it.

    Not only will this alleviate the need for a weird screen shape to account for the "notch", but it also makes the device more comfortable to hold, without fingers obscuring the screen, or causing annoying "mispresses"

    As a triple bonus, the screen will be less susceptible to cracking around the edges.

    A winning idea, no?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I have a great design idea...

      Brilliant idea.

      And while you're at it, make the overall size convenient to hold and comfortable for making phone calls, and not like holding a tea tray up to your face.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I have a great design idea...

      It is a winning idea, like replaceable batteries, SD card reader, and headphone jack. Obviously phone manufacturers will do the opposite.


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