Is the Pixel 3 XL's notch really going to be a big deal?

After months of relentless leaks, tomorrow is finally the day when Google will officially unveil the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. We already know just about everything going on with these two handsets, and one aspect that's created for a lot of commotion is the Pixel 3 XL's notch.

Notches have become quite common this year, but the one on the 3 XL is definitely one of the biggest we've ever seen. It's been mocked and ridiculed nonstop, but is it really going to be a big deal when it comes time to purchase the phone?

Here's what our AC forum members have to say.

Extremely ugly! That notch and no headphone jack, no micro SD? Come on! Google is saying about the notch, "hey look, we got one too! Ours is bigger than yours!"


No headphone jack and no SD card don't bother me, but that notch does. Impressive that Google managed to put in the largest, most intrusive notch and thought that was a better design than not having a notch and just having the top bezel go all the way across. I'd rather lose that screen real estate and have a full top bezel than have a notch that size.

I Can Be Your Hero

I think it's interesting that there haven't been any sightings of the standard Pixel 3 ... AT ALL! How can a store in china be selling the XL, but not the standard ahead of release? They only have that model and only the black one? Did they contact the "Russian black market" and put in an order for 50 or something? On the notch, listen I'm in the "no notch" camp for sure. IMO, it's a lazy...


Big notch, big chin. Gross. I have an iPhone XS Max with a Note 9 and both don't have that lack of symmetry. Yes, the iPhone has a notch, but it doesn't have that big, ugly chin. Google should've made that bottom speaker a bottom-firing speaker so the display could go all the way to the edge.

Mr Segundus

What do you think? Is the Pixel 3 XL's notch really that big of a deal?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

  • There will be a lot of angry people also experiencing FOMO because they couldn't stand the notch.
  • For me yes, when watching media in landscape I don't want a chunk outta the screen.
  • Not a notch fan but 16:9 aspect ratio (of all standard wisescreen video) won't bring the notch into play.
  • To some it's apparently a huge deal. I am keeping my Pixel 2XL, so I don't really care, but I also don't get what the big deal is.
  • It's just a waste of time/effort/money. They spend extra engineering effort and jack up the cost to fit the screen around a notch but the extra screen is only useful for a few icons on the home screen. They tell you it's got a 6.3" display even though everything you'd actually want a big display for will only use ~5.8" and black out the notch area.
    If they would have been the first to try a notch on a phone in the market, it would have been one thing... but they've had plenty of time to see the negative reaction people have had to Apple's foray into the notched phone market. And they decided to do it anyway. So the "big deal" is just a sentiment of disappointment that a company you like could make such a glaringly stupid decision.
  • I suppose. I just don't think that Google and Apple are comparable. Apple is mass market to the max. For as many people as say they hate the notch, Apple still sold a ton of phones. Google on the other hand, from the jump has done a lot of work on NOT promoting Pixel for Mass market....not available through all carriers being the most glaring example. They just don't seem to care that they aren't selling phones to a bunch of people. Like I said, it's not my circus, not my monkeys....I am watching as a spectator tomorrow, and the wait begins for Pixel 4 😁
  • My biggest issue is Google refuses to innovate. They're just following other companies.
  • +1
  • A notch that big shouldn't have had a notch at all. Google screwed up the design on this camel toe.
  • Sadly, as a frequent notch defender I have to agree with you here. This exactly the wrong way to do a notch. It's way too big! It's almost like they're trolling the anti-notch people with this thing.
  • I'm not considering it at all because of the notch. It's an extremely poor design choice that screams "follower". I bet the Galaxy S10 will be the primary beneficiary of this trend.
  • If Samsung had a notch it would still sell.
    Average consumer only knows Apple and Samsung. Average Joe doesn't care about notches
  • Truth. Most people are going to buy because they want the latest phone from their favorite phone brand.
  • +1
  • I will skip phones that use this stopgap design failure. For 1000$ I don't mind skipping this and awaiting the actual step rather than this transition zone point release. From any manufacture.
  • This is a very poor design choice on Google's part. Cloning Apple's notch is a road I do not wish to travel! Why copy something that consumer's don't like?
  • Consumers don't care. See iPhone sales
  • Correction "apple consumers don't care"
  • And also, you can almost justify the iPhone notch because it needs to pack in a lot of tech for Face ID. If Google doesn't have a decent competitor to Face ID then this is an awful design choice.
  • Most android users don't either. It's just people who follow this stuff.
  • Not like they have a choice without switching to Android which isn't a great choice in itself.
  • Are saying that for iOS users specifically, or do you just not like Android at all?
  • I am saying that iOS users aren't going to be happy switching to Androd for the most part so it isn't much of a choice.
  • I would never willingly buy a phone with a notch let alone a notch that looks like a 5 gallon bucket. Even the corners of the screen aren't symmetrical all the way around. The top corners have a different roundness to the bottom corners. It's almost like this phone is an engineering alpha build that they just decided they didn't want to really finish so they shipped it that way. The display is just one of several reasons I would never own this phone. (It will be hysterical if Google tries to match the iPhone XS Max pricing but it wouldn't surprise me in the least). The regular Pixel 3 is really the Google phone to get this year. The weird skinny aspect ratio isn't ideal on a smaller phone (though the display isn't actually all that small) but at least the phone itself looks decent. It's funny how much Google let the Pixel 3XL leak to try to get people used to that abomination.
  • I'm very happy no one is going to buy this phone. I will not need to worry about getting one.
  • O____________O
  • For me? Yes. The deeper the notch, the smaller your effective usable screen real estate is, because apps do not work around the notch. They will tell you it's 6.5", but it will be closer to 6", practically speaking. I've already bought the Note.
  • It's not just the pixel 3, all the phones with a notch is ugly and not needed. Yes this includes the iPhones. The essential phone might be the only phone worthy of a pass.
  • The notch is not a big deal, to me. The notch is basically what is left over after 2/3rds of the bezel was removed. The look is certainly different, but it's not "gross" as some people (LOL) care trying to make it out to be. I know several people who have the iPhone X and they don't even notice the notch. It's not a big deal. Plus, being that this Android, I am sure someone will develop an app or a "launcher" that can fill 2/3rds of the upper area of black to virtually remove the notch. If it has happened already for phones that have the notch, it will. GAURANTEED. As for watching video, that shouldn't be a big deal either. I saw what the iPhone did with video on the iPhone X. I am sure it can be done for Android too.
  • I'd rather have a bezel - and a proper shape screen
  • I wasn't a fan of the notch at all when the iPhone brought it in. I still think it is poor design, making the reach to the top of the screen unnecessarily large from a usibility point of view. But I kind of get it for the iPhone due to the rest of the design with minimal bezels all round. For the pixel though it doesn't make sense. It has a massive chin and a massive notch and seems to just have a notch for the sake of it. It doesn't seem to add or achieve anything. I had planned to get the pixel 3xl but there is very little from all the leaks that makes me want it
  • Loving my Essential phone, still the only phone where the notch becomes unnoticeable after a day of use, because it's done right.
  • Notch is smaller due to one camera and no speaker. Tradeoffs
  • gh yu uF
  • For me, worse than the notch is the huge chin. I know it's to house the second speaker, but I'd rather have it be bottom-firing (like Note/S9 and iPhone X), and have a smaller bezell, or, better yet, a bigger screen for the same size. That being said, if I didn't already have the Pixel 2 XL, I'd probably buy it anyway for the software and the camera. The overall responsiveness and smoothness of the UI, the great camera, 3 years of quick updates, free Google Photos storage and even the little things like the always playing feature and the "squeeze to call Assistant" function all add up to the best smartphone exeprience I've ever had, but it's a shame that the price I'm paying for that is I that know I'm not getting the best looking device on the market.
  • F the notch.
  • Thanks for your insightful comment
  • Can you all just stfu about the notch already!
  • You got that right. I can't wait till all this blows over. Three quarters of the commenters were not going to buy no matter what.
  • My biggest issue with the notch is that it is large partially to accommodate that speaker. Who in the world actually cares about stereo speakers on a phone? If you watch videos on that tiny screen, please stop. If you listen to music with those crappy speakers, please stop. Buy a cheap chromebook and a pair or bluetooth headphones and experience a MUCH better time. Seriously, cell phone speakers will always suck even if they are "stereo"., that speaker takes up prime real estate.
  • One of the main purposes of the smartphone is to make your electonic entertainment Mobile, so a lot of people watch videos on their phones and use their speakers to listen to whatever the phone outputs... Also Enough people care for FFS for Google to bring them back on their phones...I personally use my FFS and love them... It just makes sense... For me a phone with a bottom firing speaker is the dumbest idea ever because you will cover it while holding the phone on landscape or have to hold it in a weird way... And since been in the military I cannot have headphones on while using the phone... Plus I'm not always carrying headphones on me while on civies, so the FFS just work perfectly and sound great when firing right at you... I really don't care if I have minimal bezels on my phone as long as they serve a purpose and in the case of the Pixel 2 XL the bezel size is just perfect and they're there for the FFS... Now that notch and chin in that new pixel is just awful design... Google could've just added the wireless charging, a headphone jack, same front display design with the FFS as the 2 xl with a samsung display, changed the design on the back to accommodate the WC, improve the camera experience, ip68, latest SoC and other internals and it would've been the perfect phone for the masses... All the features that make sense are there for everyone...
  • Most people are courteous enough to use headphones
  • I always found the headphone using as being courteous funny... Quite a few, I'm willing to even say most, have their music or media up so loud with the headphones to drown out the outside noise that people next to them hear it anyway
  • It is a big deal but nothing that could prevent me from buying one. The Pixel has one of the best experiences on Android.
  • Yes...
  • Double yes!
  • I don't think the notch will be a big deal outside of tech enthusiasts like us, therefore not the majority. I don't like the notch, but I also don't hate it with a burning passion. I'm adaptable to changing tech, did better or for worse. I'm going to give the notch a shot to see what it's like in real day to day use before making a judgment.
  • "I don't think the notch will be a big deal outside of tech enthusiasts like us"
    I agree with real0395 on this point...problem is, how many people who are NOT tech enthusiasts even know the Pixel's exist?
  • Yes, I'll give it a pass no matter what else it has going for it. Just no logical reason for it to be THAT big aside from lazy engineering.
  • You could argue Samsung is lazy for basically using the same design for three years in a row. On the other hand, if it's not broken don't fix it.
  • If they didn't put that big chin I would of upgrade from the 2 XL. But it makes no sense at all to have the chin and that ugly notch. Damn it Google!!!
  • Notch = no buy.
  • It's way, way, WAY too big... well deep. For me personally it comes down to whether the rest of the phone is good enough to compromise. I'd say it is so I'd live with it. The problem there is that Google will think they got it right if people still buy it
  • If 3xl out sells 2xl, Google did get it right.
  • So 4,000,001 then? Great...
  • The notch is a metaphor. The embodiment of a cancer that's creeps ever further into Android every time Google copies Apple rather than concentrating on the practical and forging their own path.
    Everyone who buys a Pixel3xl instead of a no-notch Pixel3 is nothing short of a chain smoker that deserves an ever deeper notch.
  • Honestly it made a lot of sense for Google to try and differentiated cells from other manufacturers, but instead it decided to basically just clone all the trends of 2018. honestly with all the engineering and Hardware connections at their fingertips they couldn't have designed a phone without a notch? For that price point?
  • Hardware is pretty new for them actually.
  • Can't speak for everyone else, but yes, it's why I picked up an S9+ this year. Every single year I wait for the Pixel to be something I want to buy, and every year there is some key feature that's missing or issue. The Pixel 2 XL was pretty close, but no wireless charging and various screen issues was a no go for me. This year it's the huge notch AND chin. Maybe next year, but I'm not holding my breath. Personally, I'm extremely satisfied with Samsung's recent phones. Just install Pixel Launcher and you're good to go. I am over the curved screen edge, but I'll take it over a notch. Samsung Pay also has me hooked pretty well.
  • Get ready for a 1080P screen on the 3XL, if you believe GSMArena's reporting. 😂 An obnoxious notch and and a smaller battery, yet now the screen is 1080P, in 2018? This is either a massive troll by Google, or they're looking for Pixel to completely fail in the next two years.
  • Notch makes no difference to me. Tomorrow October 9 I will be watching the Google show and ordering the Pixel 3xl because I like biggish screens. I like FFS and use them all the time at home instead of running to get headphones. When I want deep base or at the gym, I either use my Klipsch earphones or my Bosch noise cancellation headphones. Don't care about the notch or the double cameras on the front.
  • Not for me... Will never buy a Google phone or a phone with a notch...
  • I'm ok with Notches, I have the LG G7 - so I can't really moan. But the Pixel3 Notch is huge. It kinda takes away from the point of having it. And there's a big chin.
  • Not going to purchase "ANY" phone with the stupid notch!!!!!
  • Unibrows are bad design but a huge ball sack swaying down over the screen is inexcusable. This phone is a joke
  • Pretty simple. If you don't like it don't buy it. It's a trade off for some. I don't mind it.
  • get used to the notch. it's here to stay. that said, yes, google didn't TRY to make it less massive.
    if I get pixel3, it will be non XL, just as my 2 is. iPhone notch is invisible compared to this monstrosity notch.
  • I got use to the notch in general but the one on the 3XL is hideous.
  • Notch = never even consider buying
  • For someone like me, any notch makes an entire screen completely useless. All I see the entire time I'm trying to look at the phone is a black chunk that shouldn't be there staring at me. This one might as well go all the way down to the halfway point of the screen. Seriously. And people would still buy it. Absolutely ridiculous. I truly don't understand how any of you can stand it.