Google Pixel 3 Review: What You Need to Know Before Buying

Woman typing on her smartphone.
After months of anticipation, Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel XL are fresh on the market. But are they worth buying? Here’s our review.

Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel XL have finally hit the shelves.

Along with the newest iPhone, this is one of the most anticipated smartphone releases of the year.

According to Google, this version from the Pixel series is the best one yet.

Google is aware that Apple and Samsung are currently dictating smartphone trends, and that they have big shoes to fill.

Customers’ expectations are getting higher and higher with every new release.

Wireless charging, top-notch camera, software features and user interface are only some of the areas manufacturers have to pay special attention to.

The main question is how much bigger, faster and better smartphones can get until a new piece of technology replaces them.

Given the fact that today’s mobile devices are designed to be replaced in two, maybe three years, Google Pixel 3 may be the last phone you will buy.

Design

Cellphone on blue background.
The device is slim, meaning users have to be extra careful while holding the phone. However, most of the mobile phones today have a similar problem.

Both Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are available in three colors—Just Black, Very White and Not Pink.

The back of the phone is smooth and silky, and it perfectly fits in hand.

The entire construction of the phone is made out of glass. The display size of Google Pixel 3 is 5.5 inches, while for the XL version it is 6.3 inches.

The device is slim, meaning users have to be extra careful while holding the phone. However, most of the mobile phones today have a similar problem.

For that reason, using a silicone mask is recommended.

The size of Pixel 3 is perfect for the pocket, and it can be handled with one hand, while the XL device might be too big and it is more difficult to type and use the apps with one hand.

The overall impression is that Google Pixel 3 has an elegant and smooth design that can be compared to the competition.

Camera

When it comes to the front camera, Google added a second lens to it to allow users to take wider and neater selfies.

Let’s face it, for a lot of smartphone buyers, quality selfies are one of the most important factors while deciding which phone to purchase.

The phone also features another camera without a wide-range feature. Both cameras are 8.1 megapixels.

Rear 12 megapixels camera is equipped with dual autofocus. According to some reviews, Google Pixel 3 has a better camera than the iPhone.

The device manages to perfectly capture details. The portrait mode will make you feel like a professional photographer.

What makes the camera stand out is its quality software and machine-learning process. It has functions for low light mode, video stabilization and zoom.

One of the coolest features is the Playground. It allows users to add animated characters into their videos.

That way, you can have Iron Man himself be the star of your party, among other Marvel characters.

Cellphone taking a picture.
The phone also features another camera without a wide-range feature. Both cameras are 8.1 megapixels.

Given the facts, if you’re looking for a phone that can make photos look like they were taken with a professional camera, Google Pixel 3 or its XL incarnation are solid choices.

Battery

Google Pixel 3 features 2,915mAh battery, while the XL version is equipped with a larger, 3,430mAh. The battery is strong enough to get you through the day without the need to recharge.

A positive side of having a big phone, except for the large display, is more space for a big battery.

If you use the phone frequently throughout the day, Pixel 3 might require recharging. However, Pixel XL will probably be up to the task.

Wireless Charging

Google Pixel 3 offers a wireless charging option. You simply put the phone on a stand, and it will start charging.

In this mode, you can use the device as Google Home. It will respond to your voice commands, and change the interface of the device.

However, this luxury is not cheap. The price of the dock is $79. Luckily for users, wireless charging is projected to become mainstream for the new generation of smartphones, and that will probably make it more affordable.

Specifications

Google Pixel 3 has OLED display with the resolution of 1080 pixels by 2160 pixels at a PPI of 443 pixels per inch. The display size is 5.5 inches, which makes it perfect to handle.

The phone is available in two version—with 64 GB and 128 GB of RAM. It utilizes 2.5 GHz octa-core (4×2.5 GHz + 4×1.6 GHz) processor.

Unfortunately, similar to the iPhone, internal storage space cannot be expanded.

The device accepts only one nano-SIM card, while connectivity is usual for high-end phones and it includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, USB OTG, USB Type-C and GPS. Google Pixel 3 also uses both 3G and 4G connection.

The fingerprint sensor, gyroscope, barometer, ambient light sensor, accelerometer, proximity sensor and compass are only some of the features Google offers to its clients.

Google Pixel 3 operates on the latest Android 9.0 platform.

Performance

The back side of the cellphone.
The overall performance is high above other devices, thanks to the improved scheduler and the latest version of the Android operating system.

Google Pixel 3 is one of the high-end smartphones with the best performance thanks to its kernel scheduler and Qualcomm software.

When it comes to browsing and video editing, Google Pixel 3 is the number one among other Android phones.

However, if we talk about writing, the device took the second place, just behind LG G7.

During the photo editing test, Google Pixel 3 has shown high responsivity. However, it came third, after Xiaomi Mi MIX 2s and OnePlus 6.

Data manipulation score, on the other hand, is very high and far above competitors.

The overall performance is high above other devices, thanks to the improved scheduler and the latest version of the Android operating system.

User Interface

The Google Pixel 3 user interface allows users to switch between the screens and apps quite fast, similar to the iPhone X.

The theme is standard for Google phones. Apps are easily accessible on the home or one of the other screens, and you can rearrange them according to your preference.

The home button is now in the shape of a bar, and it is smaller than with the previous version.

Overall, Pixel 3’s interface is intuitive and straight-forward.

Available Accessories

Google Pixel 3 comes with the wireless charging dock that turns the phone into Google Home.

As already mentioned, this outstanding accessory comes in handy, but it is not cheap.

USB-C Pixel earbuds are available via Google Store. Also, there is a great number of cases and screen protectors available just for any other phone.

A fancy case can give your phone not only protection but an entirely new look. If you are worried that it will make it bulky, you can feel relieved.

Today’s cases are thin and designed to improve the grip.

Bugs

Even though Google Pixel 3 and its XL version are high-end smartphones, there are several bugs that need to be fixed:

  • Double notch bug on Pixel XL appears on the right side of the display after the restart. The company announced in late-October that the issue is expected to be fixed soon.
  • Some pictures were not saved to Google Photos.
  • Many users have also reported that sound can be distorted on Pixel 3 XL. Google has not addressed this problem yet.
  • Both versions have issues with RAM management. Devices tend to force-quit apps if you open several at a time. Google has said it will make the fix in a future update, likely in December.

Price

If you want to purchase Google Pixel 3 (64 GB), you will have to pay $799, which is still significantly cheaper than the latest iPhone. The 128 GB device will cost you up to $899. For Pixel 3 XL, users have to cash out $899 and $999 respectively.

If you want to purchase Pixel 3 (64 GB) via Verizon, you will have to pay $33.33 per month, and for 128 GB it would be $37.49 on a monthly basis in a duration of two years.

Given all the numbers, the device is not cheap, but it is a high-end phone that provides a top-notch user experience.

Users’ Reviews

Most users are satisfied with Pixel 3 and its XL version. The camera is listed as the best feature, along with wireless charging and Google Home mode.

However, Pixel 3 received better reviews than Pixel 3 XL due to the design of the notch. To be clear, there are no objective problems with it, but users just say it’s too big and messes up the phone’s aesthetics.

Some users even say that the camera is the only good thing about this device, especially given the price. However, looking past the negative reviews, most users are generally satisfied with the product and its specs.

Pros and Cons of Purchasing Google Pixel 3

Pros

Cons

Smooth design High price
Top-notch camera There is no facial recognition feature
Wireless charging Battery life could be better
The device utilizes the newest Android version 9.0 The display is dimmed by default
The device can screen your calls

The Bottom Line

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are the latest additions to Google’s smartphone family.

Some of the best features these devices have to offer include three cameras (two with double lenses), wireless charging and the Google Home mode.

The device can even screen your phone calls and show them to you as text messages. That way, you can see the message caller left, and you can decide whether to respond or not.

However, there are some notable bugs regarding RAM and sound distortion that still need to be fixed. The device isn’t cheap, but it’s still a more cost-effective alternative to the newest iPhone.

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