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Best Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL Alternatives



The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have a lot to offer and run the latest version of Android, but they’re not for everyone. Even with a bigger 6.3-inch display and one of the best cameras, some phone buyers want something else. If so, here are a few phones worth considering over the Pixel 3 and 3 XL.

Whether you don’t like the overall design or just don’t want a big notch in your screen, we have you covered. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of great alternatives with similar big screens, stock Android, great cameras, fast performance and more.

Best Pixel 3 (and Pixel 3 XL) Alternatives

  • OnePlus 6
  • Google Pixel 2 XL
  • Galaxy S9+
  • iPhone Xs Max
  • Sony Xperia XZ2
  • OnePlus 6T

These alternatives are all available now, and most of them are more affordable. It’s a short list, but these are best equipped to deliver a similar experience. Plus, other exciting phones are coming in early 2019 worth considering too.

OnePlus 6

If you don’t like the starting $899 price point of the Pixel 3 XL but still want a big screen and clean, stock Android 9 Pie software, try the OnePlus 6. You get a phone with better internal specs, a similar 6.3-inch HD display only with a much smaller notch, dual cameras, and it’s only $529.

In fact, you could almost buy two of the OnePlus 6 for what it’ll cost for the 128GB Pixel 3 XL. It’s even cheaper than the smaller regular Pixel 3.

OnePlus’ phone delivers the same 8-core Snapdragon 845 processor but with 6 or even 8GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, dual rear cameras and a 3,300 mAh battery. They have a 128GB model, too. It already runs Android 9 Pie and has a nearly stock Android experience just like a Pixel.

A few areas like battery life, the camera, and the screen are likely not as good as Google, but it’s close. Plus they offer a 128GB model with 8GB of RAM for only $579 if you need a little more oomph.

Buy the OnePlus 6 for $529

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

If you love just about everything Google is giving us with the Pixel 3 XL, except maybe the notch, consider the older Pixel 2 XL instead. It’s nearly the same experience, the same 4GB of RAM, a top-tier camera experience, and a similar huge display.

Better yet, most of the best Pixel 3 features are coming to the older Pixels in the next month or so.

With the Pixel 2 XL you get a big 6-inch Quad-HD display, dual front-facing speakers, the latest Android 9 Pie software and pretty excellent battery life. It’s as well-rounded as it gets. In fact, some might say it’s even better than the 3 XL. The only main feature you’ll miss is wireless charging, which is only a novelty and convenience at this point.

Buy the Pixel 2 XL for $649 or 699

Samsung Galaxy S9+

In my opinion, the best Android phone on the market for almost everyone right now is the Samsung Galaxy S9+. It’s not too big and not too small, delivers a beautiful 6.2-inch display, has all the best specs and features, plus dual cameras and all-day battery life. It’s an excellent Pixel 3 XL alternative if you’re ok with waiting for software updates.

Aside from the slightly smaller (but no notch) screen, the Galaxy S9+ offers the same Snapdragon 845 processor with 6GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage, plus microSD expansion options. The battery is a hair bigger than Google’s, the dual cameras are highly capable and are probably the closest to giving Google a fight, and it has wireless charging too.

Read: Pixel 3 XL vs Galaxy S9+: Which One to Buy?

You could always go with the smaller Galaxy S9 instead of the Pixel 3, or the huge Galaxy Note 9 if you want an even bigger screen and the S-Pen.

Buy the Galaxy S9+ for $739

iPhone Xs Max

Honestly, a lot of Pixel or Pixel 2 owners bought a Pixel instead of the latest iPhone in 2016 or 2017. So, if you’re looking at Google’s new phones and aren’t a huge fan of what you see, the iPhone Xs Max is something worth going back to. We wouldn’t go as far as to call it an alternative, but it’s your choice.

In September of 2018, Apple unveiled the all-new iPhone Xs Max. A massive phone with a 6.5-inch display. Yes, that’s bigger than the Galaxy Note 9, Pixel 3 XL, and many other huge Android devices.

Apple’s sleek new iPhone 10s Max still has a huge notch in the screen, so that might turn you off. You’ll also get a premium design, a dual camera setup on the back, FaceID, and pretty great battery life. Not a lot of Android users switch back and forth between iPhone or Android, and if you never have now is a pretty good time.

This is a big iPhone. Bigger than anything they’ve ever released. It’s an Apple phablet running iOS 12.

Get the iPhone Xs Max for $1,099

Sony Xperia XZ2

Sony phones had outdated designs for years, but that all changed in 2018. The Sony Xperia XZ2 might actually be a phone you’ll love over the Pixel 3. The phone was announced earlier this year, but here’s why it made our list.

Not everyone wants a huge screen, which is why Google’s Pixel 3 is only 5.5-inches. If there’s something else you don’t like about it, here’s what the XZ2 will deliver. You’ll get a 5.7-inch bezel-free screen so it looks like a phone from 2018. Then, you get the same 845 processor, 6GB of RAM, and a great camera experience.

Sony added a power 19MP camera to the back too, one that’s capable of 960 FPS slow-motion video recording at 1080p HD. You’ll also get a big 3,180 mAh battery powering a far smaller display, which is more than enough. Plus, it runs Android 8.1 Oreo and will see Android Pie eventually. It’s an idea, right?

OnePlus 6T

And finally, we have the new OnePlus 6T. This phone competes with Samsung, Apple and Google’s 2019 phones, right now. You’re getting a massive edge-to-edge screen with almost no bezel, a fingerprint scanner in the display, not to mention top-notch hardware and software.

Offering a similar 6.38-inch display with nearly zero bezels, the same specs under the hood, powerful dual cameras, and twice as much RAM at 8GB, all for $549 or $579. Plus, you’ll already enjoy Android 9 Pie, blazing fast performance, and a pretty good camera experience.

This year they added a bigger 3,800 mAh battery so it’ll probably last longer than Google’s Pixel 3 and 3 XL, too. It’s a solid choice that almost everyone will enjoy. Seriously, the OnePlus 6T might be the best phone to buy until March 2019 when the Galaxy S10 arrives.

Final Thoughts

All said and done, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are excellent phones with some amazing camera features and the latest version of Android. There’s tons of love, but again, they aren’t for everyone. If you’re not convinced, one of these phones on our list surely has everything you want. If not, consider other viable alternatives from Huawei, Pocofone, or even the LG V40. Heck, the V40 has five cameras, super loud speakers, and is a fine choice too.

In closing, if you’re still interested in the Pixel 3 XL (and you should be) here’s where to buy one. Good luck and enjoy.

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