Google Pixel 3 XL is available to buy before its official launch tomorrow

Either the most baffling release strategy for a major smartphone launch we've ever seen, or the mother of all leaks

Google Pixel 3 XL

Google isn't due to take the wraps off its flagship Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones until its Made By Google event tomorrow, October 9. Despite this, the unannounced handset is already available to buy in a retail store in Hong Kong.

Although the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have already suffered a vast number of leaks, including the pre-order date, screen sizes, the three colour finishes available at launch, and the return of the squeezable frame, it's safe to say this takes the biscuit.

Read more: Google Pixel 3a XL review (early verdict): don't mourn the notch

Technology blog Engadget bought the unannounced Pixel 3 XL handset in a Hong Kong store days before the official announcement, which will be held in New York.

Editor Richard Lai filmed a detailed rundown of the specs inside the flagship phone, which roughly tallies with what we've seen in the recent leaks.

According to the Engadget video, the Google Pixel 3 XL will have 6.3-inch edge-to-edge display with a notch to house the front-facing camera, speaker and various sensors. According to Lai, the screen looks great – even in direct sunlight.

Elsewhere, the Pixel 3 XL will purportedly be powered by a top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, coupled with 4GB of RAM. This isn't exactly record-breaking by any stretch of the imagination (the £519 OnePlus 6 boasts 8GB of RAM) leading to speculation there could be a higher-end Pixel 3 XL with beefier specs.

Watch the full hands on with the Pixel 3 XL below:

According to the Engadget video, the Pixel 3 XL will have 128GB of inbuilt, non-expandable storage, as well as a 3,732mAh battery. For comparison, that's an upgrade from the 3520 mAh cell included in the Pixel 2 XL last year.

Whether the heftier battery results in longer-lasting battery life remains to be seen, since the Pixel 3 XL has a larger display than its predecessor, which will require more power.

The new flagship phone will also boast a single 12.2-megapixel rear-facing camera, shunning the recent trend of dual-lens systems. Presumably, Google still thinks its AI-powered Portrait Mode system can stand toe-to-toe with the best dual-camera set-ups, like those found on the iPhone XS and Galaxy Note 9.

On the other side of the handset, Google has decided to include a dual-lens set-up, which is capable of taking extra-wide selfies – hopefully killing the selfie stick industry in one fell swoop. Both selfie cameras are 8-megapixel, Engadget notes. 

If there are any more surprises planned by Google. We'll find out for sure at the Made By Google hardware event on October 9, 2018.

Lead Image Credit: Richard Lai / Engadget