The Pixel 3 XL is landing on doorsteps as we speak, but how careful do you need to be with your shiny new smartphone? YouTube channel JerryRigEverything is here to absolutely wreck another phone in order to assess its durability. The Pixel comes out of it alright—it won't bend, but you might pick up some scratches.
The bend test is usually the main event in JerryRigEverything videos, but not here. The Pixel 3 XL is a glass sandwich with aluminum sides, so it doesn't even flex very much; no concerns there. People are concerned about the durability of the Pixel's etched back glass. In the video below, you can see the phone does scratch at a Mohs hardness of 4 with a bit of scuffing at level 3. Smooth Gorilla Glass scratches at a 7 with scuffing at 6.
So, what does this mean? The Pixel 3 and 3 XL are definitely more prone to scratching than most glass phones, but that should not surprise you. We've just gotten used to not worrying about scratches on our glass phones. Aluminum is about a 3 on the Mohs hardness scale. Anodization adds a layer of aluminum oxide, which is much harder. However, anodizing is primarily for corrosion resistance and color—the layer is too thin to add much durability. You've probably scratched an aluminum phone before; I know I have.
It's possible the Pixel's glass is similarly scratchy compared to aluminum, so keep that in mind. If it really bothers you, make sure to grab a case.