We have definitely looked at our fair share of smartphones in recent years and have definitely noticed, along with everyone…
We have definitely looked at our fair share of smartphones in recent years and have definitely noticed, along with everyone else, the trend towards larger phones. While smartphones are generally slowly getting bigger, bigger are not always better. I have rocked Pixel 2 XL over the past year, or when Google Canada sent over Pixel 3 for review, I quickly resigned it as becoming one of the “faster” reviews. Fortunately, I was wrong. While other reviews have already been released, we have had a solid month with it and waited a little longer when we had a specific release date for the Night Sight camera feature. O offers you, our readers, a full review.
Thus, our Google Pixel 3 review looks at the smaller of Google’s two new flagships and finds that big things can still come in small packages.
Google Pixel 3 has the following features and specifications:
Briefly, the Pixel 3 series does not look much different than last year’s Pixel 2 series. Size aside, Pixel 3 has the same general shape with rounded corners and a flat back like Pixel 2 XL. A noticeable difference is the rounded edges of Pixel 3 over the Pixel 2 models. Personally, this did not really affect the comfort or durability of the device and both felt as comfortable.
The power and volume rocks are located along the right edge of the phone. While the SIM card slot was located on the left edge of the Pixel 2 smartphones, it has been moved to the bottom of Pixel 3. It is now located to the left of the USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 port on the bottom.
Rear View of Google Pixel 3.
The back of the phone is also approximately equal to the top of the device with a matte finish. The Google G icon sits centered near the bottom and the fingerprint scanner is centered n Wrap the top of this matte area. I’m a big fan of the location of the fingerprint scanner in this position, as it makes it natural and easy to unlock your phone with one hand.
Over this is a shiny black region with the only backward camera and the flash off to the upper left part of the device (when looking at the back). A little detail that is slightly different is that this glossy black region curves down the edges instead of being cut straight over for a slightly more fluid look.
The rear-facing camera and fingerprint scanner on the back of Pixel 3.
The front of the Pixel 3 sport is a stereo and stereo stereo headphone. To the left of the speaker gallery you can see the double-facing cameras – at a wide angle and the other a telecamera.
Apart from that, Pixel 3 is a solid feel with its aluminum frame and hybrid coating. Both the front and the back of the unit are made of glass with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and soft berry glass Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the back. The latest Google smartphone is also IP68 dust and water resistant, which allows you to safely lower it in up to 1.5m of water for up to 30 minutes without damaging your phone.
While the design is smooth, Pixel 3 does not look very different from many other flagships on the market today. In fact, I have a couple of people asking when I got an iPhone when they first saw it. In any event, the design works, but for the most part there is nothing here that differs or separates it from other flagships.
Back to my previous comment about discarding the smaller size. It took no more than a few days to wonder why I have been wearing a larger unit in recent years. Certainly, a 5.5 inch device is still quite big – hello I remember when 5-inch smartphones were giant – but it’s so manageable. I had often been aware of the amount of single fumbling I did constantly with Pixel 2 XL but it became something I only “managed”. I have to admit a smaller device without fumbling under one hand management gives a much nicer experience every day.
The Pixel 3 display is simply amazing. I was one of those who did not really think of or notice any problems with the Pixel 2 XL screen. When set aside, the Pixel 3 screen with its 2160 × 1080 resolution is definitely much clearer and clear with amazing color representation.
Pixel 3 has an amazing (unbeatable) display.
While Google added color modes to Pixel 2 smartphones, Pixel 3s has a new “Adaptive” mode enabled by default. Adaptive Mode “Designed to provide a vibrant, yet natural transfer of colors that most users prefer.” Two other modes – “Natural” (sRGB) and “Boosted” (sRGB + 10%) – Also included if you want to replace it To be honest, I found the default mode to be good. The device is also UHDA certifed as a Premium HDR device. Aside from normal usage, the video looked great on the device, whether it was YouTube, Google Play Movies, or those taken with the inboard camera.
Unlike the larger Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 2 does not have a notch on the top of the screen. The upper and lower edges are approximately relatively thin on each side. Interestingly, the bottom edge seems to be slightly higher than that on Pixel 2 XL while the top edge is about the same size. In any case, if the thought of a snap really bother you and is a breach of business, you do not have to worry about it with Pixel 3.
You can always always put on the display so you can see time, date and any active messages at a glance. Now you play another feature that you can activate that automatically displays the name and artist of all the tracks currently playing. The device may be heard or downloaded. It’s definitely a feature that the children have become used to since the introduction because they constantly ask me to watch my phone to see what song is currently playing on the radio or on and off.
As with all Google smartphones, Pixel 3 was released with Android 9 (Pie) with Google Assistant. As such, you also receive monthly security updates over the next two years.
Google has also included some other apps included in Android 9 on Pixel that include Google Assistant and Digital Wellbeing. Google Assistant is, of course, also available on other Android devices and lets you use your device as a digital assistant. In addition, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL feature Active Edge technology that lets you easily pinch your smartphone to launch Google Assistant instead of saying “Hello, Google” or “OK, Google” to launch it.
Digital Wellbeing is a newer Google app that not only lets you track your daily use but also limits apps to a certain amount of time each day. Other features of Digital Wellbeing include Do not Disturb, Wind Down, and “Shhh” – the ability to turn your Pixel 3 forward to enable DND mode. As far as I know, the Digital Wellbeing app is currently only officially available on Google Pixel phones.
Some other new features are also included in Pixel 3 including a call-searching feature that we could not test because this is an American single feature at the moment. Driving mode automatically launches Android Auto while driving. This helps you stay “safe and focused” while driving so you can use Google Assistant to get directions, reply to messages, play music and more without having to use your hands. Once set, immediately start Android Auto, wait ten seconds or cancel everything together (for those times you can be a passenger instead of driving).
In addition to Active Edge and Flip to silence the phone, other gestures allow you to control and respond to the device by moving or interacting with the device in a certain way. If you press the power switch twice, open the camera while twisting your smartphone twice when the camera’s app is open, switching between the front and rear cameras.
The major change to navigation on Android 9 introduced Gesture Navigation. Instead of an app box button, it will show up with the latest apps if you sweep up the Home button and continue to sweep up. Open your appliance box. I had some trouble getting the appliance to open without having to double swipe up but that’s really a minor inconvenience in the big planning of things. When you’re on the New Apps screen, you can enable multitasking view, remove apps from the list, select and copy text from one app to another, and swipe to open recent apps. Although it takes a bit to get used to it, it is a fairly fluid navigation system.
Pixel 3 also has a custom-made security chip that Google uses: Titan M.
This year with Pixel 3, we develop our investment in secure hardware with Titan M, a business-class security chip adapted for Pixel 3 to secure your most sensitive data and operating system on device. With Titan M, we took the best features of the Titan chip used in Google Cloud data center and tailored it for mobile.
Google can explain it better so you can switch to their blog post on the new security chip to read more.
Like the majority of Pixel 3 flagship devices, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor today sports. Pixel 3 also comes with 4GB of RAM and 64 or 128GB of storage space.
As far as bass performance is concerned, the device can definitely handle any apps or games that I can cast on it. If you have looked at getting a Pixel 3 or 3 XL, you may have read some posts about any performance issues. While I did not notice any problems until I read about them, it was actually quite difficult to copy them. When I was able to replicate the problems, it happened a little and far between – the biggest thing was that the camera’s app would shut Spotify, but only when you switch back and forth between the camera, another app, and Spotify in what I consider to be unlikely . On that note, Google is aware of these minor performance issues and has announced that they will release a fix sometime in the future.
Our review unit came with 64GB of storage space and a 128GB version is also available. Since the device does not have a microSD slot, you need to find out how much onboard storage you need and buy the correct version. After a month and a bit of use, I’m currently on 47% of free storage space with what I would consider normal use and app install. I’ve set my camera set to take RAW images too, but given that the device comes with free full-backup backup for two years, it’s really not a problem to clean up backed up images from your device and access them as needed via Photos app and / or online.
With stereo speakers, Pixel’s smartphones generally have had decent sound in the past. In the case of Pixel 3, this applies most of the time. When you watch video or listen to music, the sound is clear and clear, even at full volume. As you expect, there is not much in the way of bass but the sound quality is generally balanced.
One thing I noticed was, however, that if you cover one of the speakers, the sound changes dramatically. When you cover the top speaker, the sound is still quite high, but when the bottom speaker is covered, you can definitely say that the speaker is not as high. When you do not cover any speaker, and you really should not be even with normal handling, built-in sound sounds pretty decent.
Google decided to stick to a single rear-facing camera on Pixel 3/3 XL and to be honest, that’s just fine. While hardware is the cornerstone of any smartphone camera, the software can also make a big difference in photo quality. The Pixel 3 HDR + mode, which is enabled by default, does a great job to merge different exposures without noticeable delay for good, color-balanced photos.
100% unreasonable crop of an HDR + photo taken with Google Pixel 3.
Top Shot is another feature that you definitely want to enable because it allows the camera to take a series of images and is based on blur, glance and focus, will recommend the best shot from a series of photos taken at a certain time. Just like the default HDR + mode, Top Shot seems to take only one photo and recommends the best shot. You can also choose another image to save as the best image and delete the other frames if you want.
The camera also comes with other features like Photobooth Mode (lets the camera snap a photo using a smile as a trigger). The Group Selfies with the front left camera allow for a wider angle shot with the other camera to get more of you and yours Friends in your shot, as well as Playground AR mode, RAW (DNG) mode, Google lens, Motion auto focus and Super Res Zoom. Motion Auto Focus is a great feature that you can focus on, for example, someone’s head and the camera tracks it as they move and hold the focus point while taking the picture. It also works for stationary objects to relieve the inevitable human hand treatment when taking pictures. Super Res Zoom adds extra detail when using the zoom function and works quite well.
A feature that was not available when the phone was launched was Night Sight. Soon after, however, the camera application was modified and Night Sight enabled for Pixel cameras. Of course we had to test this and you may have already seen our previous posts about it. Simply put, Night Sight is really a game changer when it comes to low-light mobile photography. If you missed it, here’s a gallery from the preview.
Fortunately, Night Sight is now officially available as of last week. To be honest, I actually think that the officially released version is even slightly better than the pre-release version and really, if you have a Pixel device, you must try what I guarantee you will be surprised. Again, if you are looking for the tech magic that makes Night Sight so amazing, Google has a good blog post describing how they could accomplish this new feature.
Google Night Sight, Official App. HDR + mode top / left, Night Sight bottom / right.
Even Night Sight has also been released on Pixel and Pixel 2 devices – and as mentioned in our previous post it out – some other devices – it definitely works best on Pixel 3 or 3 XL.
As much as I would have loved to give this camera a perfect rating – after all, it’s the best camera I’ve used a smartphone so far – it’s still hard to give a smartphone camera a perfect rating. While smartphone cameras close the gap, while they are suitable replacements for DSLR or mirror-free cameras in most cases, they are not quite there to completely replace an independent camera.
No unexpected here, both reception and call quality on local LTE networks have been fantastic without any complaints. Different phone calls I make came across clear and sharp with the other party who could hear me without any problems.
Pixel 3 sports a smaller 2915 mAh battery but it has offered a good battery life. I’ve been easy to go for almost two full days on a single charge, which is really not necessary considering the wireless charge and the Pixel Stand option. However, while testing without wireless upgrades throughout the day, I could consistently get between 3 and 5 hours on the screen and have between 30-50% battery remaining at the end of the day. Considering normal use everyday, which consisted of some photography, streaming music, email checking, online surfing, watching some movies and playing 30 to 60 minutes of play, Pixel 3 would have minor issues that will give battery life throughout day. 19659060] Accessories
In the case of accessories, Pixel 3 has a quick-connect adapter, USB-C to USB-C cable, Pixel USB-C earplugs and a USB-C to 3.5mm headphone adapter. The basic accessories that you expect work as they should. With the quick-connect adapter, you can connect a USB-A cable to Pixel 3, while the USB-C to 3.5 mm headphone adapter allows you to use your favorite pair of wired headphones or earplugs.
While some will still complain about no headphone jack, the fact is that it’s the way for Dodo. Fortunately, in addition to the adapter, Google has also included its Pixel USB-C earplugs. Unfortunately, I found earplugs to be an odd fit. While they were not uncomfortable, they were not too comfortable and did not seem to sit in my ears like other earplugs. The plastic sheath thread strikes easily. As for sound, they are but there is not much at the base end, but they are clear and sharp. A feature that worked well was the Google Assistant feature. By pressing and holding the button on the remote control, you can use Google Assistant as you normally would. When you hear a message bell when wearing earplugs, you can press the button to hear the message.
We will also watch the Google Pixel 3 Case and Pixel Stand in other reviews later this week but will not include them here because they are not included in the purchase of the device as USB-C earplugs are.
With a MSRP from $ 799USD / $ 999CAD, Pixel 3 is definitely priced up there with other flagship devices. Fortunately, if you act soon enough, Google currently has a purchase one, get a 50% discount for Black Friday at the time of this review.
In terms of value, pricing is in line with other flagships, Google would do well to let it down to try to gain more market share. Considering the camera quality, building quality, and fact you run pure Android with guaranteed monthly security updates, you get great value given the “normal” pricing of smartphones these days.
In addition, it’s also possible to buy 6 months of YouTube Music Premium on Google for a limited time.
If you’re on the market for a new smartphone, ] Google Pixel 3 is a great device, especially when taking into account newer features like Night Sight. If you’re still rocking a Nexus or an original Pixel device, Pixel 3 will be a great upgrade. Google Pixel 3 is definitely an improvement over the Pixel 2 smartphones. But most features have come, or will come to Pixel 2 and 2 XL as well, so it’s a little harder to justify an update if you do not want or need the latest and best Google
A Nice thing about Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL: The only thing you get out of 3 XL is the larger screen (complete with a notch) and a little bigger battery. As such, you can be sure that you get the same performance, quality camera and build quality no matter what device you choose to download. To be honest while I loved Pixel 2 XL, I have grown to love and prefer the smaller size of Pixel 3.
$ 799 + USD / $ 999 + CAD