Pixel 3 review: perfect inperfection

Google’s new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are a number of the maximum expected smartphones of 2018, however if you happen to merely have a look at their specifications and design, I’d exhausting to understand why. Compared to maximum different high-end Android smartphones, the two Pixel 3 units are underpowered and reputedly unremarkable. But possibly that’s precisely the purpose.

Specs & Design

Below the notchless 5.5-inch show of the Pixel 3, you’ll discover a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip with an insignificant 4GB of RAM, 64GB of garage, and a 2,915 mAh battery. This yr, Google determined so as to add wi-fi charging which used to be made conceivable by means of the brand new glass panel at the again of the telephone. But those specifications aren’t the rest particular. In reality, the Pixel 3’s spec sheet may well be deemed disappointing if you happen to’d had your eye on different fall releases just like the LG V40, Huawei Mate 20 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Note 9 or the OnePlus 6T. All the ones telephones be offering higher internals than Google’s Pixel units with out an excessive amount of of a worth bump.

So, if the tale of the brand new Pixel telephones isn’t about specifications, is it about design? Looking on the Pixel 3, there’s truly no longer a lot of a distinction when evaluating it to remaining yr’s Pixel 2. The elementary measurement and form of the telephones are virtually an identical, permitting the more recent instrument to suit into circumstances constructed for remaining yr’s style. It if truth be told used my Pixel 2 circumstances for the telephone for approximately per week whilst I used to be looking ahead to my Pixel 3 cloth case to turn up. It wasn’t perfect, however it used to be higher than not anything. While I in most cases don’t use circumstances on telephones throughout my overview length, the glass again panel of the Pixel 3 made me paranoid. With hours of the primary Pixel 3 unboxings hitting the internet, a couple of experiences had surfaced that the frosted portion of the glass again panel used to be extraordinarily vulnerable to scratches. I’m normally very cautious with how I deal with smartphones and feature by no means cracked a display, however I’ve controlled to mod the glass on a couple of smartphones within the previous 18 months – one thing I’m no longer very pleased with.

On a favorable observe, the show of the Pixel 3 is much better this time round. The OLED panels used at the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL should not have any of the similar problems eventually yr’s fashions which have been the supply of many proceedings. Google has even incorporated a brand new “adaptive” colour mode which delivers upper distinction and a little bit extra saturation, making colours at the show pop just a little extra. I discovered that switching to the “Natural” colour profile produces a greater symbol when gazing video at night time, however it’s for sure no longer a large factor since converting the environment simplest takes a couple of seconds. 

The new shows additionally support out of doors visibility considerably. With remaining yr’s Pixel 2, I struggled to look the rest at the show when having a look on the telephone in direct daylight. With the Pixel 3, I will simply view the show, even with out bumping the brightness as much as its max.

Software & Performance

While the specifications and design of the Pixel 3 don’t truly have a lot to supply, the telephone’s tool is truly what units the telephone except the contest. Unlike 95% of the Android units in the market, the Pixel 3 runs inventory Android. This approach there’s no bloatware to talk of, the instrument receives Android updates at once from Google and also you shouldn’t have to fret about efficiency. Now, I say “shouldn’t” as a result of earlier Pixel units have carried out somewhat neatly, however that’s no longer truly the case with the Pixel 3.

Thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, the Pixel 3 is greater than able to maintaining with you all the way through the day. The UI is clean, apps load temporarily and the telephone can stay alongside of any recreation that you simply throw at it. But there may be one factor – the Pixel 3 struggles to stay apps open. In reality, the telephone will every now and then shut apps ever whilst they’re getting used. This occurs each day. The Pixel 3 will kill the app that’s enjoying tune within the background, shut out of Android Auto whilst I’m the usage of it for instructions and it’s even closed Twitter a couple of occasions whilst scrolling thru my feed.

Google has said that the pixel 3’s competitive RAM control isn’t what customers must be experiencing and that a repair is within the works, however it’s sudden that one thing like this made it previous Google’s high quality regulate ahead of the telephone used to be shipped out into the arena.

As for Android Pie, I truly don’t have any proceedings. The new gesture navigation gadget works neatly and I’ve to confess that I like swiping the tablet to the precise to change again to the latest app. I benefit from the different small visible tweaks and enhancements that Android Pie has sprinkled all the way through the UI just like the notification toggle that looks whilst you press the amount button, the display rotation icon that presentations up if in case you have Auto-rotate grew to become off and the combination of Gmail’s Smart Compose function into Android itself which can expect what you need to kind.

That being stated, Android Pie has additionally presented a large number of options which can be hidden too deep to be helpful or are utterly needless even if they’re proper to your face. The App Actions which might be urged proper on the most sensible of the App Drawer are ridiculously hectic. The Adaptive Battery function doesn’t appear to do a lot to support battery existence, however it does a super task at delaying notifications that I if truth be told want. While new variations of Android normally come with a large number of new adjustments, it doesn’t really feel just like the adjustments that have been presented with Android Pie aren’t as considerable as those who we’ve noticed prior to now.

One function which has gotten a large number of consideration is the brand new name screening capacity of the Pixel 3. If you’re no longer within the temper to reply to the telephone and communicate to any person from a bunch you’re no longer acquainted with, you’ll be able to have the Google Assistant display the decision for you whilst appearing a real-time transcript of the dialog at the display. It’s an creative new used of the Google Assistant which will are available in somewhat at hand if you happen to get a large number of junk mail calls.


If you’re an Android purist, you’re most probably already made up your thoughts concerning the pixel 3, however if you happen to’re nonetheless questioning why you must make a selection this telephone over some other smartphone, we now have a solution for you — the cameras. The at the Pixel 3’s major 12.2MP sensor isn’t the rest particular. It’s paired with a 28mm f/1.8 lens which options laser and dual-pixel autofocus, optical symbol stabilization and in addition makes use of digital symbol stabilization whilst recording video. But whilst the isn’t any other than what you’d in finding on competing units, the particular sauce lies hidden within the tool. Like Google has executed prior to now, the Pixel 3 makes use of computational pictures to ship pictures which might be completely exceptional. Google’s stepped issues up at the tool aspect when in comparison to the Pixel 2, however the idea that is similar. The telephone regularly captures a couple of exposures after which makes use of a couple of frames to create a unmarried symbol.

To put it merely, the Pixel 3 captures higher pictures than 99% of the smartphones which have been launched this yr. The pictures be offering higher dynamic vary, extra correct white steadiness, nice colour replica whilst additionally holding the pictures crisp and sharp. Despite simplest having a unmarried lens at the again, the Pixel 3 too can seize portrait-style pictures which blur out the background. Take a have a look at a couple of photographs that we’ve captured with the Pixel 3.

But what truly units the Pixel 3’s digital camera revel in except remaining yr’s Pixel 2 is the dual-sensor digital camera at the entrance of the telephone. While Google’s overdue to the sport in this one, it’s if truth be told one of the primary to incorporate an ultra-wide attitude lens at the entrance of the telephone. With the 19mm lens you’ll be able to now are compatible an additional pal or two to your selfies or just get a much wider view of the surroundings round you. If Google have been to incorporate optical symbol stabilization as neatly, it will be the perfect instrument for vlogging. Well… possibly no longer, because the audio captured by means of the Pixel 3 whilst recording video is really atrocious. The ambient noise cancellation that Google has applied does a super task of getting rid of background noise, however it additionally takes a major degrades the tone of the audio that you need to document. It’s most probably that Google can repair this with a long term replace, however this is a matter that the Pixel 2 struggled with as neatly.

Battery Life & Wireless Charging

When it involves battery existence, the tale of the Pixel 3 is just about the similar because it used to be remaining yr — it’s OK, however it may well be a lot better. In my two weeks with the telephone, the 2,915 mAh battery throughout the Pixel 3 is in a position to stay the telephone working for approximately 14 hours on a unmarried rate with a mixture of internet surfing, a couple of hours of Spotify, an hour or two of video thru YouTube or Netflix, a couple of quick gaming periods, random Twitter scrolling and a couple of different issues jumbled together there. The quantity is greater than sufficient for the general public to get thru a complete day, however it’s somewhat disappointing when identical units are filled with 3,500 mAh batteries which permit them to remaining for much longer. The better Pixel 3 XL does include a 3430 mAh battery, however because of its better show, its battery existence is simplest marginally higher. The incorporated 18w speedy charger which will rate the telephone from 0 to 100% in not up to 90 mins, so it’s no longer such as you’ll be glued to the wall socket if all day if you happen to simply desire a fast 20% spice up. 

As discussed ahead of, I’m no longer truly keen on smartphones with glass at the again, so it’s great to look that Google didn’t simply upload a pitcher again to the telephone and easily name it an afternoon. The Pixel 3 is the primary instrument in Google’s lineup to function wi-fi charging. In reality, Google added a brand new interface to the Pixel 3 when the telephone acknowledges that it’s at the Pixel Stand wi-fi charger — giving you easy access for your tune, notifications, Google Assistant and extra. It if truth be told provides you with most of the similar options that you simply get with the Google Home Hub, even switching over to a reside video feed out of your Nest Hello doorbell if any person’s at your door. The simplest drawback is that the $79 Pixel Stand is ridiculously pricey when in comparison to different Qi wi-fi chargers and stands.

The Verdict

I’ve to confess that I used to be beautiful excited for the Pixel 3. I’d been the usage of the Pixel 2 as my major instrument because it got here out remaining yr and had excessive expectancies for the Pixel 3. The telephone does ship a greater digital camera revel in and fairly higher efficiency because of the more recent Snapdragon 845, however it in truth doesn’t have the similar attraction as remaining yr’s instrument did. The Pixel 3 remains to be a fantastic smartphone, however it kind of feels to be missing the “it” issue which makes it a “should purchase” smartphone when matching it as much as the contest.

My emotions concerning the Pixel 3 may well be other if it used to be the similar worth as remaining yr’s style, however except the digital camera revel in and the truth that it runs inventory Android (if that’s essential to you), there’s no genuine explanation why to select u the Pixel 3 over any of its competition.


Google Pixel 3 Rating: star_emptystar_25star_50star_75star_full (X.X / 5)

The Good

  • Stock Android
  • Great selfies
  • Incredible major digital camera
  • Awesome front-facing audio system
  • Wireless Charging

The Bad

  • Mediocre battery existence
  • No headphone jack
  • Poor RAM control
  • Scratches simply

The Bottom Line

The Pixel 3 is the perfect instrument if you happen to’ve been looking ahead to a flagship smartphone with a fantastic digital camera working inventory Android.