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What you need

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Google Pixel 3 XL, use our service manual.

  1. Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown, Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 1, image 1 of 1
    • Let's take a look at the tech that lies under the Pixel 3 XL's newly-notched exterior:

    • 6.3" OLED display with QHD+ 1440 × 2960 resolution (523 ppi) and Gorilla Glass 5

    • Octa-core, 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor (2.5 GHz + 1.6 GHz) with 4 GB LPDDR4x RAM

    • 12.2 MP, ƒ/1.8, OIS main camera with dual-pixel phase detection autofocus; dual 8.1 MP selfie cameras

    • 64 GB or 128 GB built-in storage

    • Qi wireless charging

    • IP68 water resistance

    • Android 9.0 Pie

  2. Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 2, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 2, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 2, image 3 of 3
    • Before diving inside, lets take a look at the sleek exterior of the Pixel 3 XL alongside its smaller sibling.

    • The new backing on these phones looks a lot like the hybrid cover from the last two generations, but this time around it's all a single piece of glass (with a partial matte finish).

    • Unfortunately glass is nowhere near as durable as aluminum, so we're hoping for an easy way to replace what will likely be a commonly-broken part.

    • Turning to the front, we spy an extra camera sitting atop both displays.

    • That's right—while everyone else has been throwing more cameras on the back, Google turned around and added an ultrawide (19 mm equivalent) camera next to the existing wide angle (28 mm equivalent) camera.

    • Exclusive to the Pixel 3 XL is a trendy little robot notch that greets us as we turn on the phone.

  3. Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 3, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 3, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 3, image 3 of 3
    • The front-firing speakers on both Pixel 3's leave the aluminum frame devoid of any speaker grilles.

    • Stacked together, it's obvious that one of these phones is a little more XL than the other, but there's not much difference otherwise.

    • USB-C charging port, SIM card slot, and 80's themed power buttons are present and accounted for on both phones.

    • Now that we've worked our way around the exterior, it's time to head inside.

    • Experience tells us that a little suction and cutting is all that's required to coax the display open, but when that doesn't work we bring out the big (heat) guns.

    • It looks like the Pixel 3 XL still uses foam adhesive, but it's far more tenacious than the repair-friendly stuff we saw last year.

    • We pull out the trusty iSclack, expecting to separate the display assembly, but the rear cover yields first!

    • This whole thing is starting to remind us less of the Pixel 3's predecessor, and more of its notoriously sticky contemporary.

    • After struggling through quite a bit more adhesive than expected, we're in!

    • Maybe Google thought the extra glue was necessary for that extra liquid IP point, but we've seen other IP68 phones that are easier to open.

    • Thankfully, the fingerprint sensor cable is long enough to avoid being torn by over-zealous openers.

    • The view inside is pretty much what we expected: a shiny new wireless charging pad, a battery, a board, a couple cameras, and a fingerprint sensor living on the rear cover.

    • Slightly less expected are metal covers over the motherboard, and a SIM tray hidden somewhere underneath the speaker assembly.

    • Google thought they'd scare us off with a few screws? Well guess what: we came prepared with a Torx bit for these screws, and 111 other bits just in case.

  4. Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 6, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 6, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 6, image 3 of 3
    • The tough adhesive trend continues, holding the wireless charging coil to the Pixel's powerhouse. But we spy some respite!

    • The battery is secured with relatively repair-friendly stretch-release adhesive. So you get at least one chance at easy removal, if your technique is right!

    • These strips didn't actually help us much, but the Pixel 3 had better luck.

    • We resort to flossing out the battery and accidentally cut a fragile ribbon cable hiding underneath! Forewarned is forearmed—a repair manual would have helped us in this arena.

    • Adhesive ordeals aside, the battery's out: the Pixel 3 XL is packing 13.2 Wh. That's actually down a smidge from the Pixel 2 XL's 13.6 Wh, and around the same as the original Pixel XL's 13.28 Wh.

    • The Pixel 3 XL still beats out the iPhone XS Max (12.08 Wh), and comes close to the Galaxy S9+ (13.48 Wh).

  5. Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 7, image 1 of 2 Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 7, image 2 of 2
    • Above the crater where the battery once lay, we extract an antenna shielding the motherboard.

    • On the south end of the phone, we battle some more adhesive to release what seems like just another shield.

    • Another trap! This shield is actually the speaker housing, which we just split in half trying to access the components underneath.

    • The speaker chamber is sealed with waterproofing adhesive, and that seal has to be broken to access any of the commonly-serviced ports on the daughterboard.

  6. Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 8, image 1 of 2 Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 8, image 2 of 2
    • With its shields down, we can finally get a look at the newest Pixel's motherboard.

    • As the board comes out, we can't help but notice generous helpings of thermal paste on its underside, to transfer heat from the hardest working chips to the metal frame.

    • It seems like a lot of paste, but powerful hardware produces a lot of heat.

  7. Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 9, image 1 of 2 Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 9, image 2 of 2
    • All this glue has us tired—let's sit down for some chips:

    • Micron MT53D1024M32D4DT-046 AIT:D 4 GB LPDDR4X DRAM layered over Qualcomm Snapdragon 845

    • Skhynix H28S7Q302BMR 64 GB NAND flash (universal flash storage)

    • Google SR3HX Pixel Visual Core (as seen in the Pixel 2 XL)

    • Qualcomm SDR845 RF Transceiver

    • Qualcomm QPM2622 and QPM2642 low and high band power amplifier module (PAMiD)

    • Qualcomm QET4100 40MHz envelope tracker

    • Qualcomm PMI8998 PMIC

  8. Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 10, image 1 of 2 Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 10, image 2 of 2
    • Maybe just a couple more...

    • Google H1C2M Titan M security chip

    • IDT P9221 Qi wireless charging receiver

    • Qualcomm WCD9340 Aqstic audio codec

    • Qualcomm QDM3620, QDM3670, QDM3671 Diversity Receive Modules

    • Qualcomm PM845 power management IC

    • Murata 1QB SS8601001, likely a WiFi module

    • Qualcomm QPM2635, likely a mid-band power amplifier module

  9. Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 11, image 1 of 2 Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 11, image 2 of 2
    • Okay just a little more, we can't help ourselves:

    • Cirrus Logic CS40L20 audio amplifier

    • Bosch Sensortec BMI160 16-Bit, 3-Axis accelerometer/gyroscope

    • Bosch Sensortec BMP388 pressure sensor

    • Maxim Integrated MAX11261 24-Bit, 6-Ch. delta-sigma analog-to-digital converter

    • Cirrus Logic CS35L36 audio amplifier

    • NXP Semiconductor PN81B NFC controller

    • Qualcomm PM8005 power management IC

  10. Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 12, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 12, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 12, image 3 of 3
    • We carefully extract the left eyeball wide angle camera, which is lightly adhered to the frame.

    • According to Google, this extra camera will let you fit more of your friends into your selfies, which makes them ... Group-ies?

    • On the back, Google is again betting that AI can help a single sensor to do the work of two.

    • Based on early reviews, they may be right. Word on the street is, this is a slightly upgraded Sony IMX363 sensor—the rest is up to the Pixel Visual Core.

    • A Knowles MEMS microphone is also seen in the top center of the case

    • The daughterboard comes out without any fuss, taking the USB-C port, SIM tray, and some antenna hardware along with it.

    • The vibration motor is a little more reluctant to leave its home, but our Halberd Spudger can be very persuasive.

    • This vibration motor is said to be improved from last year, capable of providing more precise haptic feedback.

    • The strain gauges come out looking just as huggable as ever.

  11. Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 14, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 14, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 14, image 3 of 3
    • In the name of science, we opt to dismantle our display to learn from whence it came. Its defenses are strong, but no match for heat, patience, and a can-do attitude.

    • At first, the frame's black border tricks us into thinking the display curves down to the frame. Future pryers, beware!

    • Drumroll please.... it's a Samsung! Rumors were all over the place, but it looks like Google is going with Samsung's trusty AMOLED panels this year.

    • Samsung's panels should be a little more reliable than last year's, but unfortunately this one comes with a Samsung-esque repair process as well.

    • Replacing a Pixel 3 screen will be tricky, and will most likely require replacing the whole frame of the phone.

    • Last, but not least, a display chip sitting alone on the display cable:

    • Samsung S6SY761X touch controller (as seen on the S9+)

    • GigaDevice GD25LQ80 8 Mb serial flash memory

  12. Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 15, image 1 of 2 Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 15, image 2 of 2
    • Teardown Update: since you asked, we dissected the display in the smaller Pixel 3 as well. Guess what? This one's from LG Display!

    • So it's a full reversal from the situation last year, where the Pixel 2 got a Samsung panel and its bigger sibling had a display from LG.

    • Rumor has it LG has been working hard to improve its OLED mobile technology—we're curious to see how their new display fares this year.

  13. Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown: step 16, image 1 of 1
    • Here are all the pretty parts that are packed into this Galaxy Pixel!

    • Hungry for more teardown treats? The video team is here to please with the Pixel 3 video teardown!

    • It seems like the Pixel has been hanging out with the troublemaking Galaxy line, leaving it with familiar-looking antenna assemblies, a stubborn battery, and a tough-to-replace display—manufactured by Samsung itself!

    • Not only will swapping a cracked screen require a complete phone disassembly, but you've gotta think about the back now, too. The Pixel 2 XL rear glass covered 20% of the phone— the Pixel 3 XL’s rear panel is 100% crackable. That doesn't bode well for repairability...

  14. Final Thoughts
    • The only screws are standard T3 Torx fasteners.
    • Repair-friendly stretch-release adhesive secures the battery.
    • O-rings and adhesives for waterproofing complicate repairs, but make difficult liquid damage repairs less likely.
    • Display repairs are much more difficult than previous models, requiring complete disassembly of the phone.
    • To service any component, you'll have to painstakingly un-glue (and later re-glue) the glass rear panel.
    • Front and back glass means increased vulnerability to drop damage.
    Repairability Score
    Repairability 4 out of 10
    (10 is easiest to repair)


It’s been rumored that the front stereo speakers are louder and more crisp than the 2XL. Is there a visual size difference in the speakers themselves?

Derek Champagne - Reply

The new speaker housing looks a little bigger and might be sealed better than the old one. I’m no speaker expert though, so I’m not sure how much of a difference the new design makes, or if the driver is just better.

Adam O'Camb -

To be clear, are BOTH the Pixel 3 and 3XL using Samsung screens? Please say yes.

Benoit Pronovost - Reply

I came to ask the same question, so I'm subscribing to hear the answer!

David Jordan Nestor -

Surprise: it’s a LG panel! We’ve added step 14 to reflect this. Thank you for all your patience!

Arthur Shi -

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