Google Pixel 3 XL My Case: It’s better… in case you were wondering.

The Pixel3 is a phone that has been getting as much attention, if not more, than the iPhone XS this year. Despite the fact that the attention is focused on the notch, which was clearly ANOTHER Apple-copied "feature", the Pixel 3 also boasts a new rear-glass construction and it is awesome! This type of construction allows for wireless-charging, which is a feature that most flagship phones these days have. This is the best design for the Pixel so far (There has only really been 3 designs, but hey, 3rd time's a charm right?). Coming from the original Pixel, it's a great step-up from the whole aluminum/metal look most flagships had a couple of years ago. Despite the luscious feel of the matte-glass back of the Pixel 3, like any normal person, I opted to put a case over it, and basically prevent my hands from feeling that soft, beautiful glass back.

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I was never the type to get 3rd party cases, so as soon as I settled on an image I wanted for this new case, I immediately jumped on getting another Google My Case. It's a very easy process: select your phone, choose the liner color, upload your photo, and order it! Since I got the Clearly White Pixel 3 XL, I chose the Clearly White inside-liner for the case. This is the soft part that's inside the hard-shell case a.k.a. the lifesaver of your phone. I'm not exactly sure why they had to name it "Clearly White" as well, when in reality, its not the same kind of white the phone has. The Pixel 3 has this nice glossy, eggshell white that's close to the finish of an Apple Pencil, whereas the liner looks like your usual white rubber kinda like your iPhone charging cable. Obviously it's just a marketing move to name it the same color as the phone, but no big deal... moving on!

The case has a nice matte feel to it, and is soft to the touch. Compared to the Slim-Protection versions offered for the previous Pixel models, the material of the Pixel 3 My Case obviously have more grip. I have no problem holding the phone despite moving-up to a bigger size. Compared to the Slim-Protection cases, which are solely made of hard-plastic, these don't just slip out of my pocket, and that to me is a great deal considering my original Pixel has slipped out of my pocket a bunch of times. I cracked the screen of the first Pixel I ever got because it slipped out of my pocket, only to drop face first on a computer-chair leg. The Pixel 3 My Case stays put, and at the same time, not have a sticky feel like those silicon cases.

Aside from having a slim and slippery feel, those earlier cases were also bad for overall-protection. Made of hard-plastic, and having no top and bottom parts protecting the phone, it was an accident waiting to happen. I've dropped my original Pixel at chair-high instances only, which I think is an acceptable height before damaging your phone beyond repair. You'd think that a case would also survive a fall like that, but alas, those Slim-Protection cases had, as the name suggested, a slim chance of protecting your phone and even itself. The Slim-Protection cases were offered for both the original Pixel and the Pixel 2 in the Google store, so there must be a bunch of them circulating out there, not taking care of phones. The Pixel 3 on the other hand, doesn't have this option, which is clearly a good move for Google, because why would you even bother selling an item that could not protect your flagship product.

In the short amount of time I've had the new Pixel 3 My Case, I must say I already feel confident with it. I can place the phone face-up or down without worrying about cracking anything. With the old cases, any time I put my phone on the table, there's always that annoying and scary sound of hard-plastic hitting something. The fact that there is something soft that bridges all corners of the phone is a great relief. The biggest asset of the Pixel 3 as you all know are the cameras, and what better way to protect that than to have a thick layer of plastic and rubber on all sides of the phone.

 

One drawback of having a thicker case though is the Pixel Imprint fingerprint sensor at the back of the phone. Since I started using Android with the Nexus 5X, I have grown accustomed to having the fingerprint scanner at the back. It's great ergonomically, as it sits just where I naturally place my finger when I hold a phone. The Pixel Imprint responds fast, and really functional when you swipe down on it to reveal your notifications and control panel. That is when you don't have a fat case in the way of your finger and the sensor. I've found that most of the time I reach for the sensor because of the thickness of the case. Because of its thickness, its only the tip of my finger that naturally falls into that cutout and that is not enough for the scanner to read. The slimmer cases just provided a more natural feel and with these new ones, I think there is a slight adjustment or a learning curve to get through for the Pixel Imprint to be used comfortably.

Another key difference between the old Slim-Protection cases and the My Case for Pixel 3 are the buttons. With the slim cases, there were only cutouts provided which are great for better accessibility. Launching the camera app on the Pixel only takes two-presses on the power button, and you're there. I found it a quick way to draw your phone and shoot. It's one of the best features and experiences you can get with using a Pixel phone. The new My Case for Pixel 3 kinda mitigates that. Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that the buttons are covered and protected from wear and tear, but trying to quickly launch the camera to capture a moment takes a bit more strength. I suppose that over time, the button covers would loosen a little bit and shooting would be faster. I guess its just something I have to get used to for now. Not a deal breaker, but if you're the type that keeps your phone in your pocket, I suggest holding it if you're expecting on shooting something.

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Overall, I think the Google My Case is one of the best cases you can get for the Pixel 3/Pixel 3 XL. Nothing really beats a case that's offered by the same company that made the phone. I actually have no real problems with 3rd party manufacturers. I owe it to one of them for the cheap case that was on my original Pixel, which had more time on the phone that the slim My Case because it was cheap, had great protection, and loose button covers... But it got dirty and lost its appeal when it started looking gross, while the Slim-Protection case held its color and custom-print very well.

If you're not sold on the custom design of the My Case, Google has also released the fabric cases for the Pixel 3. I genuinely feel that this is a shout out to the last of the Nexus devices, which also had fabric cases (something I really missed for the original Pixel). This is a great alternative to the rubbery/plastic My Case, but it also gets a bit gross over time... just in case you were wondering.

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