The Google Pixel 3 phone are a symphony of delightful software
phenomenal cameras and intelligent assistant features
but more important than the hardware or how its put to work
is the lack of any major flaws.
Truly Outstanding Handset
The Google Pixel 3 phone is not easy to say that are perfect
we’ll get to why they’re not perfect later in this review
but the top-down view of the pixel 3 is truly outstanding
handset that Google created with excellent pocket size cameras
and a bevy of a odd bass goodies that just also happen
to be really good smartphones.
There’s still a big pixel on a small pixel on both a roughly
the same physical size as last year’s pixel 2 in pixel 2 XL
with a similar kind of design language.
Taking a Closer Look at The Google Pixel 3 Range
However they’re very different beasts and pixel 3 have glass backs
to allow for while it’s charging and consequently these phones
have a very different feel compared to well pretty much
anything else out there.
Google has recreated its trademark two-tone design
by laser etching a matte pattern into the single piece
of Gorilla Glass 5 around the back and it feels fantastic
to hold most glass phones can attract finger grease
with use and feel slimy and slippery after a while not
So with the Pixel 3 series the black model have a very soft matte feel
the white and not pink versions feel a tiny bit more glossy
but broadly the same.
The glossy part of the glass blends is now into the metal frame
which now has its own glossy paint job so it feels
just like a continuation of that back panel
The whole look and feel is simple but distinctive
it’s all very Google so let’s talk displays the pixel 2 Series
was overshadowed by screen issues the smaller pixel 2
had giant ugly bezels the 2 XL had bad colors and poor viewing angles
so Google has put a lot of work into making sure both.
Phenomenal OLED Screens
The Google Pixel 3 have phenomenal OLED screens and it shows colors
a punchy but not oversaturated whites are pristine and shadow details
aren’t crushed at low brightness levels like they were
on the pixel 2 XL daylight visibility across the board is decent though
perhaps not as searingly bright as the galaxy note 9s panel.
Nevertheless these are top-tier displays and it’s great to finally
see that on the six point three inch pixel 3xl you’ve of course got
a big ol notch up top which needs to be there to make room
for stereo front-facing speakers and the dual selfie cameras
The smaller one has no notch but instead sticks all this stuff
up top in a larger bezel.
Pixel 3 Notch
The Google Pixel 3 notch is larger than average but it’s still
blunt into the background easily enough when you’re using it everyday.
The tool are screened for pixel XL can sometimes make it harder
to reach the very top of the screen.
since there’s no one-handed software mode but hey at least you do get
the extremely useful option to swipe down on the fingerprint scan
to see the notification shade.
Seriously this should just be in every large phone so Google’s
not jumping onboard in the face unlock bandwagon just yet
but pixel imprint is still here.
Fingerprint security on these phones is still very fast
For the speaker’s looking on that notch around the front
they’re significantly louder than last year’s pixels
but lacking some of the punch of LG’s excellent boom box setup
from the g7 and v40 the headphone jack still isn’t coming back
though so it’s USB C or Bluetooth.
In terms of headphones Google does include a pair of pixel Brander
USB C headphones in the box.
You can use the Google assistant with these headphones to hear
your notifications these phones aren’t really about the specs
but let’s splash them up.
Anyway it’s all fairly predictable flagship levels stuff based
around the snapdragon 845 platform based storage stays at 64 gigs
which is probably fine especially as pixel long as
you get unlimited full size photo storage through google photos
Still only 4 gigabytes of RAM which is a little harder to justify
when the competition at this price is pushing six or eight
most people won’t notice a difference but I have noticed apps
redrawing a bit more often particularly on the pixel 3xl
compared to the note 9 and 1 + 6 that’s not the end of the world
but it is just a consequence of Google’s hardware choices.
Fast Platform Updates
The Google Pixel 3 phone is much more about the software
than the hardware and of course you get the latest Android 9 Pie
with Google’s great pixel UI and the promise of three years
of fast platform updates right up to Android in 2021.
Good luck getting that kind of longevity out of anything
released this year that’s not an iPhone
The nuts and bolts of Android Pi haven’t really changed
since we saw it on pixel phones earlier in the summer.
The Pixel 3 Series adds his tighter Google integration
with one or two new features and some very nice new live wallpapers
one uniquely googly feature is the new core screen capability
which lets Google answer suspected spam calls for you giving
you a transcript of what the other person is saying in real time
as well as being technically impressive and perhaps just a little
bit creepy if you’re someone that gets a lot of spam
It could be really useful pixel three arrows are also the first
to get Gmail smart compose feature which uses machine learning
to figure out what you want to say in an email before you’ve actually typed it
There are also plenty of googly touches throughout the system UI
all the fun little animations that we know from Android Peyer here along
with some neat new animated backgrounds from Google
Each generation of pixel brings its own exclusive live wallpapers
but with Google Pixel 3 gone all out with a mix of 3d map views
rippling coastlines views of distant worlds or perhaps something closer to home
My favorites though were the abstract live wallpapers that start off
as shapes on the always on display and then bloom into viewers.
Finally Google completely reworked its taptic motors
to provide sharp pleasing vibration nudges when tapping buttons
and opening up menus.
Closing to the iPhones taptic engine as I’ve seen in any Android phone
these are some great haptics and all of this adds up to an Android experience
that’s just a joy to use the pixel 3 are the first Google phones
to support wireless charging and the fairly expensive pixels stand
Some Extra Functionality for The Pixel Phones In One Way
The pixel stand kind of turns your phone into a rudimentary smart display
you can set to cycle through your favorite photos see a summary
of the weather or upcoming appointments through Google assistance
or even have it slowly light up the screen to gently wake you in
the minutes before alarm whether all this stuff is really worth.
the pixels also charge perfectly well on any Qi compatible pad
speaking of charging it’s worth going of a battery life.
Better Battery Life
Thanks to a reasonably sized 2915 milliamp hour battery
the smaller pixel 3 gets way better battery life in the pixel 2 last year
while the ever so slight downgrade to 3430 milli amp hours
in the three XL means that battery life on that model stays
pretty much the same as it was on the 2 XL so what does that mean well
for the way I use a phone I’m getting around 15 to 16 hours between charges
with around 4 to 4 and a half hours of screen on time maybe closer
to 4 on the small pixel 3 closer to 4 and a half on the three XL
that’s not as much as you’d get from a phone with a monster battery
like the note 9 and certainly not enough for multiple days
per charge but thanks to the efficient internals and Google’s
adaptive battery features my pixel 3 experience has been largely free
from battery anxiety so much of the pixel 3 launch event focused
on the cameras and if you used any of the earlier pixels
you’ll know why they’ve had some of the best cameras
on a smartphone thanks to Google’s excellent HDR plus processing
Redesigned Camera App
The specs of the pixel 3 cameras aren’t all that different
from the pixel 2 but there are a lot of new tricks
waiting to be discovered.
The redesigned camera app makes it easier to switch between modes
including google lens and the newly unlocked pixel visual core
which is now used in all photos means that photo processing
is quicker than ever before on a pixel plus.
The new image sensor in the pixel 3 can capture wider dynamic range
than the one used in last year’s pixel 2
In case it needs to be said this is a phenomenal camera
it’s not a huge upgrade from the pixel 2 in most situations
but that’s more a testament to how good last year’s pixel camera still is
A pixel can still pull out color detail the other phones miss
Legendarily Camera Performance
Legendarily great performance in very bright or very dark scenes
thanks to Google’s HDR plus.
There is still a certain magic to the pixel camera that’s lacking
from other phones.
The biggest thing you might have noticed about the pixel 3
rear camera that seems like a bit of a weird oversight
but Google has its own alternative for zoom shots
and in a very googly way it’s all down to very clever software
when you zoom with the new zoom controls.
Get More Details
The movement of the sensor and the OIS module to resolve
more detail than a straight-up digital zoom.
The best thing about this is that works regardless of lighting conditions
which is fantastic when you consider that most phones
with a dedicated telephoto camera switch down to a digital crop
of the main sensor.
Anyway in lower light in daylight though well often in brighter conditions
you will get better results out of a phone
with a dedicated telephoto lens compared to Google’s super resume.
There are a few little other nits to pick in particular super
as gets a bit confused about what to do with clouds in some situations.
Nevertheless it is impressive just how much detail it’s possible to get
from a single camera with a fixed focal length and this feature
also helps in Google’s excellent portait mode which remains
among the best out there.
Plus now Google Photos will let you adjust the level of blur
in these shots after the fact the new top shot capability works
with the motion photos feature to record a bunch of frames both
before and after you press the shutter.
Once again using Google’s machine learning if the pic camera
identifies a better-looking frame either side of when
you actually press the shutter.
It’ll tell you and then let you process the better looking frame
in all its hdr+ glory.
I didn’t actually run across top shot all that often
but it’s one of those features
you’ll definitely appreciate when it crops up
There might be only one camera around the back.
In fact both pixel three models boast twin eight megapixel front cameras
one autofocus for tighter shots and a fixed focused wide-angle lens
for capturing more friends or more scenery.
The pixel two already had a great front camera and the extra versatility
of the pixel threes twin selfie camera makes it even more competitive
It’s yet another year when the pixel is among the very best smartphone cameras.
I do feel like Google over sold the whole super resume thing a little bit
these phones definitely could have benefited from a secondary telephoto lens.
There’s so much expectation around a new pixel phone
that it’s impossible to avoid the question of whether it’s the best Android phone
at the time of launch and to answer that I’m gonna have to hedge a little bit
yes the pixel 3 XL is an incredible phone but it doesn’t exist in a bubble.
The Competition Does Do Better
Samsung has a brighter screen Huawei gives you true telephoto zoom
with up to three times and a significantly bigger battery
Oneplus has more storage and RAM but what they can’t match the Google experience
The pixel UI with assistance the three years
of first-class software supports.
the pixel three XL might not be the very best Android phone overall
but it has the best user experience by a country mile in the case
of the smaller pixel 3 it’s a much easier decision yep.
This is the best small Android phone period and probably
will be until the pixel for next year.
Don’t ride ahead and buy with confidence if that’s what
Whichever picks will you pick up you’ll be getting
an outstanding flagship phone built around a magical camera experience
unmatched software quality and for the first time in a pixel
a top-tier display in both models.