For the last few months, we've seen leak after leak of Google's Pixel 3 XL. Along with the phone being one of the most leaked products in industry history, it's also been met with some of the most criticism I've ever seen against a device before it was even released. The cause of that criticism? The notch.

That big, ugly, unsightly notch.

The notch in the leaks was so bad that some people tried convincing themselves that this must be Google's way of toying with us. Google had to be leaking this monstrosity on purpose and would then bamboozle us by announcing the completely bezel-less Pixel Ultra. Right? RIGHT!?

The Pixel 3 XL — and its notch — are both very real.

Nope. The Pixel 3 XL is real, and — like we've been expecting for months — it's got that big 'ol notch taking up a good chunk of the top display. It's certainly not pretty, and I won't be patting Google's design team on the back anytime soon, but as unattractive as it might be, the hate it's been causing the Pixel 3 XL as an entire product to receive is ridiculous.

Remember last year's Pixel 2 XL? It didn't have a notch, but it also had one of the worst displays for a phone in its price range at the time. Burn-in / image retention was happening after just days of use, the blue shift on some devices was far more noticeable than other OLED panels, and the colors out of the box were straight up ugly. There was no notch, but the screen itself was a hot mess.

With the Pixel 3 XL, Google basically fixed all of our complaints with the 2 XL's screen. The blue shift has been reduced, the possibility for burn-in has been cut down by 2x, and the colors look much better with excellent display profiles to give you a more saturated look or a screen that almost looks 100% true-to-life.

I don't know about you, but I'd argue all day that it's worth having a really great OLED panel with a cutout at the top over a pretty crappy one with no notch.

And you know what? The upgrades don't stop with the screen.

The Pixel 2 and 2 XL are widely regarded as having the best smartphone camera ever, and with the Pixel 3 series, Google's taken that same winning formula and made it even better. There's now a wide-angle front-facing camera to help you get more people in a shot, the new Night Sight mode promises to deliver truly awesome low-light photos, Google's found a way to vastly improve digital zoom compared to other phones, and there's even AI working in the background to capture multiple frames before and after you take a photo to then recommend a better picture than what you actually took.

Add that all together with what we've already come to love from the Pixel 2's camera, and we're likely looking at a new best smartphone camera in history.

Still not convinced? The Pixel 3 XL also brings:

  • Wireless charging
  • 40% louder stereo speakers compared to Pixel 2 XL
  • IP68 dust/water resistance
  • Unlimited Google Photo storage
  • Qualcomm's insanely powerful Snapdragon 845

Oh, and the phone can use the Google Assistant to screen calls so you don't have to waste time talking to scammers. There's a lot going for it.

Would the Pixel 3 XL be even better if it had all of these goodies minus the notch? Yeah, without a doubt. I'm far from a fan of it and think it's one of the worst implementations we've seen of a notched screen, but I also think Google crammed enough other features into the Pixel 3 XL so that you'll be sucked into everything it does right and forget about the notch after a couple days like what's been the case for every other phone.

The comments section is bound to be a war zone, but I'd still love to see what you think. Do you agree with me or think the Pixel 3 XL deserves to be taken out behind a shed and shot? Sound off down below — just watch out for the shrapnel and pitchforks.

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