Here's What We Like
- Thin Unduted Body
- Amazing Camera
- Pure Android Software
- Quick Fingerprint Scanner
- High Speaker
and What We Do not
- ] Bad Value vs. Pixel 2
- Limited Fast Wireless Charge
- Finicky Gesture Navigation
- Wide Function
- Finicky Battery Life
Google is on its third generation Pixel phones, after years of making the best Android- the units around. Pixel 3 is still the best Android device you can buy, provided you want a "clean" software experience and you're not impressed with any of the more spotty features from Samsung. It's especially true if you're looking for an excellent camera: despite the only rear sensor, Google's optics and image processing are unmatched.
But the $ 800 prize-a whole $ 150 bigger than last year is a big bummer, especially if you're an old-schooled Nexus fan used at least some sense of value. And if you're platform agnostics, Apple's latest iPhone X models (including one that's a bit cheaper) are a compelling argument against Google's latest flagship.
Please note that we are reviewing the smaller Pixel 3 with its 5.5 inch screen. The larger Pixel 3 XL has almost identical software with a larger 6.3-inch screen, including an incredible "heel" that allows its corners to rub directly against the phone frame.
Elegant look with a new glass back
Pixel 3 looks much like Pixel 2 from last year, with some small but crucial differences. On the front, the phone's screen has been stretched over and below, with the popular curved corners to minimize framing, a la Samsung Galaxy S and Notes series. Fortunately, it does not mean that the stereo speakers are out, because they are present and higher than ever. The combination is appealing, even without using any tricks to curve the glass or screen.
glass, the back panel now uses it instead of metal on the original pixel and pixel 2. It's good news about You're a fan of wireless charging (which Google itself pioneered and then abandoned a few years ago, so Apple could make it a title feature). Pixel 3 and its larger brother are all compatible with standard Qi chargers, but the fast-charging feature that Samsung devices have been running this year is unclearly reserved for Google's own Pixel Stand and similar licensed (and expensive) chargers. Google did a great deal of marking the frosted glass on the bottom of the back panel, so that Pixel's two-color back aesthetics are intact, but it's impossible to deny that the phone is more fragile now.
Apart from the crisp colored power button mint green on my white-baked phone, the rest of the device is quite discreet. A curvy, 7.9mm thin body (if you trust yourself to handle a glossy phone without a case) makes it easy to hold, and my average hands can easily reach all parts of the screen. Pixel 3 will not turn any heads, but it will also not turn them away … which can be more than you can say for the Pixel 3 XL chopper.
Sweetcake-Cutter Specs, But A Sour Note  Google seems strangely hesitant to talk about clean hardware, perhaps because most of the flagship Android phones have almost identical interiors at this time. But for the record, Pixel 3 uses a state-of-the-art Snapdragon 845 processor and a 2160 × 1080 OLED display. It's a bit wider than the standard 16: 9, so videos can either be displayed with black bars or be slightly zoomed. The built-in memory is 64GB for the input model, unfortunately, it's not possible to extend it with a MicroSD card.
There is a specification that is weirdly low: RAM. In just 4GB, only half of the memory of the latest Galaxy Note phone shakes. Having said that, I have not seen the dramatic decline in performance that others have. While it can not keep as many programs in memory as my note 8, those who need to charge it in about a quarter of a second need to. It's the kind of performance you'll probably not notice if you're not looking for it – or you hope to play the latest advanced games on your phone.
Pixel phones stick with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and why not? It's still incredibly fast and accurate, not to mention that it's easy to find on the smaller phone's frame. Google has not enhanced this with any face or iris scanning technology, but after trying both Apple and Samsung's implementations, I can not say I'm missing either. They borrowed an element of the competition's design: the headphone jacket is missing for the second consecutive year. At least Google includes a USB C to headphone jack in the box, and this year you also get some dedicated USB-C headphones.
Android 9 "Pie" is amazingly fast on the new phones, and Google's understated user interface is easy to get used to if it's a bit wet. One thing I did not like was the switch from Android's familiar three-button control schedule to two, replacing the app switching button with a swipe-up or swipe-to-the-side gesture. Technically, it can save a few fractions of a second, but I found that the nice switch between apps would be less accurate than was probably thought. (It's possible to reverse this behavior by disabling Google's Pixel launcher with ADB, but I tried to stay as close to a stock experience as I could for the review.) Between this and a less than intuitive method of using television, screensavers, this new implementation needs to work.
Pixel phones also have an odd transition from their HTC design DNA: a push-to-launch feature. Squeeze the bottom of the phone to varying degrees and you can start Google Assistant . But this is unpleasant at best, and inadvertently at worst. I was frustrated that I could not bind this feature to something like the flashlight of the phone, because it's an assistant or nothing. I turned it off after a day.
One of Pixel's exclusive features is built-in call screening, using Google's voice-to-speech magic to block unknown numbers, responding to a robot voice and showing you a live e reading of what the person (or robot) at the other end says. It's nice and tempting if you get a dozen spam conversations one day. But the function still requires your attention when a call comes in, so the only irritation it really saves you is the mechanical response. A nice trick, but not a game changer.
Android 9.0 contains some additional features that you may or may not find on other phones, if you can find someone who is driving it yet. The adaptive battery is a highlight, which automatically adjusts the amount of system resources given to specific apps based on how often you use them. It's an exciting option in theory, but not very user-friendly: it's hard to tell if it really favors you. The Digital Wellbeing series is more interesting. It lets you know when you've used a particular app too much, and you can load hours and warnings telling you to cool it. If you are interested in pampering yourself from "device dependence", Pie is happy to force.
But the clean interface and speed performance is the best reason to choose a Pixel 3 over a Galaxy S9 or similar, the interface's cleanliness and assurance of quick updates from Google. All Android competitors are still short.
Battery is just okay
Pixel 3 packs a 2915mah battery, which does not sound as much. But given that this is the smaller of the two Pixel phones offered, and it's under 8mm thick, it's really a pretty impressive piece of technology. Unfortunately, it seems that the hardware is very powerful, yet: I struggled to get a full day of use out of the phone without reaching a charger. It may improve with the Adaptive Battery software feature, but it seems to be quite consistent after a week or so. I'm skeptical.
At least getting your juice back is not difficult. The phone supports super fast 18w charging via the USB-C port, which can go from "oh my dear" to "I can make it to the last call" in about 20 minutes. However, as someone used for wireless charging for several years, I can not help miffing that Google limited fast wireless charging to those chargers for which it will be a cut. Part of Android's appeal over iOS is that it can be used with a lot of things that you do not necessarily have to get from the manufacturer. Google is trying to make its Pixel brand more exclusive as a betrayal.
The cameras Steal The Show
The third re-pixel has only a 12.2 megapixel camera on the back, even on the larger XL model. It is surprising, as there is some of a coat of arms that is happening right now, and several back sensors and lenses are the weapon of choice. Amazingly, the pixels meet or beat the latest models in the Galaxy and iPhone despite this obvious handicap.
Google's camera software can get clear, crisp photos with excellent color depth. And it does with autofocus that's incredibly fast, whether you shoot scenery or just a few inches away. The pictures from the rear camera are so good that you will not miss a zoom or wide angle option. The simple lens means that some of the more popular features, such as a "bokeh" backlash, technically cheat with software processing. But the results are so dramatic that you would be hard pressed to tell the difference.
The Night Sight feature, which illuminates bright photos immediately and to an amazing degree, is technically not released yet. But I got the chance to play with it thanks to a leaked APK. It's impressive to be sure: with a steady hand you can get a shot that is practically Photoshop Magic in about one second. There is nothing you could not do with your own right, but it looks automatic and almost directly is another highlight. It's a big plus for people who take lots of pictures in every possible environment.
Oddly, the pixels use two front cameras: one standard and a wide angle, both using 8MP sensors. These are not as amazing as the rear camera, but they are still among the best available. The ability to zoom in and out, switching dynamically between the available lenses, is particularly convenient. Selfie lovers will appreciate it. The reason is that if you want the best cameras around on any phone platform (and you're willing to pay for them), the Pixel phones are the ones to get.
Pixel 3 is a great upgrade over its predecessor and an undeniable leader in advanced Android phones under six inches. But it's also eight hundred dollars. The enhancements compared to Pixel 2, namely a larger screen, wireless charging and some other creature comforts like wireless charging and speakers, do not justify a $ 150 price increase. The fact that other phones also come with astronomical price tags do not make it easier to stomach.
 If you are looking for clean Android software with quick updates or the best possible cameras you can get in a phone, it can be worth the expense. But if you're still using an Android phone from last year (and especially one that has cameras that are still brilliant), there's very little here that requires an upgrade.
Android fierce on the fence can wait a year for a Pixel 4, or maybe explore some interesting alternatives, such as the upcoming OnePlus 6T or Razer Phone 2. iPhone lovers will not have an indisputable reason to change, so cool As the camera and call waiting features are. Someone else probably has no reason to give these phones a different look, unless they happen to enter a Verizon store.
- Here's what we like
- Thin, Bodily Body
- Amazing Camera
- Clean Android Software
- Quick Fingerprint Scanner
And What We Do not
- Bad Value Versus Pixel 2
- Limited Fast Wireless Charging
- Finicky Gesture Navigation
- Wide Function  Finicky Battery Life