Google Pixel 4 XL vs Google Pixel 3 XL: should you upgrade?

Google Pixel 4 XL vs Google Pixel 3 XL: should you upgrade?

Just a few weeks ago, Google launched the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. After a new phone launches, many people ask “is it worth the upgrade from last year’s model?” The same thing goes for the Pixel 4 XL this year. So, let’s go through the similarities and differences to see if it’s worth the upgrade.

Pixel 3 XL Pixel 4 XL
Display Fullscreen 6.3” display
QHD+ OLED at 523ppi
Fullscreen 6.3″ display
QHD+ flexible OLED at 537 ppi
Ambient EQ
Smooth Display (up to 90 Hz)
Processor Snapdragon 845 Snapdragon 855
Storage and RAM 4GB RAM
64GB or 128GB UFS 2.0
64GB or 128GB UFS 2.1
Dimensions and weight 76.7 x 158.0 x 7.9 mm
3.0 x 6.2 x 0.3 inches
184 g
75.1 x 160.4 x 8.2 mm
2.9 x 6.3 x 0.3 inches
193 g
Battery 3430 mAh 3700 mAh
Rear Camera(s) 12.2MP dual-pixel
f/1.8 aperture
16MP Telephoto
f/2.412.2MP Wide
1.4 μm
Front Camera(s) 8MP wide-angle and normal
FoV cameras
Wide-angle: f/2.2 aperture, 97° FoV
Normal: f/1.8 aperture, 75° FoV
8 MP
ƒ/2.0 aperture
Biometrics Rear-mounted fingerprint 3D facial recognition
Charging 18W/2A USB Type C charger
Qi wireless charging
18W/2A USB Type C charger
Qi wireless charging
Headphone Jack No No
Speakers Dual front speakers Stereo earpiece, bottom
Colors Not Pink, Just Black, Clearly White Oh So Orange, Just Black, Clearly White
Price $900 at launch, $600 now $900
Software Launched with Android 9, upgraded to Android 10 Launched with Android 10


The Pixel 3 XL and Pixel 4 XL are pretty similar. The software is pretty much the same with the only new features coming from the new Pixel Neural Core or Motion Sense. Both devices are basically the same size, coming in at barely a 2-millimeter difference. The Pixel 3 XL and Pixel 4 XL both come with 64GB or 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage. A QHD+ OLED display is constant across both models as well.

The main rear cameras are almost the same with a f/0.1 difference in the aperture.  Both the Pixel 4 XL and Pixel 3 XL have an amazing wide-angle front-facing camera. Along with all of this, both support Qi wireless charging and 18W/2A fast charging over USB Type-C. Both the Pixel 3 XL and Pixel 4 XL have amazing sounding stereo speakers.

Pixel 4 XL XDA Forums ||| Pixel 3 XL XDA Forums


The Pixel 4 XL has only a single front-facing camera, though it is 90 degrees, so it’s still pretty wide. Speaking of cameras, Google added a second 16MP telephoto camera to the back. The Pixel 4 XL also has a Project Soli sensor in the top bezel of the phone for Motion Sense. It is used for air gestures for controlling music and detecting when you are reaching for the phone. Google also swaps the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor for an Apple-style 3D facial recognition setup. As for the display, it comes in at 6.3-inches, but it is also at a taller 19:9 aspect ratio. The display also has a 90hz refresh rate for extra smoothness. To help this smoothness, Google also threw 2 extra gigabytes of RAM bringing it from 4GBs to 6GBs.

As for speakers, Google has switched from dual front-firing stereo speakers to a downward-firing and earpiece speaker combo. While this would normally be a little annoying because the sound quality might be lacking, the Pixel 4 XL speakers blow away the stereo front-firing speakers from the Pixel 3 XL.  The Pixel 4 XL does have a slightly larger 3700 mAh battery. Even though it has a bigger battery, the Pixel 4 XL has pretty similar battery life. That’s to be expected with a new 90hz display and radar technology. Lastly, the Pixel 4 XL comes in an all-new Oh So Orange color, but this is a limited edition color.

Is it worth the upgrade?

Even though there might be a decent amount of differences and changes, both Pixels are way too similar to make it worth the upgrade. With the only major upgrades being the telephoto lens, 90hz, motion sense, and extra RAM, it’s not really worth the price. If you were interested in getting it, Google is only offering up to $295 for the Pixel 3 XL.

For $605, the Pixel 4 XL really isn’t worth it coming from the Pixel 3 XL. Even though it’s not worth it, there will still be some interest. If you’re looking to upgrade and trying to decide between the Pixel 4 or Pixel 4 XL, I recommend checking out our article on the smaller model.

About author

Max Weinbach
Max Weinbach

Former Contributor to the XDA-Developers Portal.

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