Google Pixel 3 Smartphone Hands on Review

On the 18th of October, the new Google Pixel 3 smarthpone will get released in the US with promises for a better camera and an improved design among other things when compared to last year’s Pixel 2 model. Here, we will go over the main changes that we will be seeing in this year’s Google Pixel 3 and we are going to compare it to its competitors.

Highlights and first impressions

Google Pixel 3 will have a lot to offer to the customers but it will also come at a moderately higher price than the model from last year. The 64GB version of the smartphone will be sold for 799$ while the 128GB one will cost 899$ – about 150$ more expensive than the cost of the Pixel 2 models from last year.

The main highlights of this model that we are going to be focusing on are its superior camera, its improved design which most users are likely going to enjoy and also it’s the fact that it can be wirelessly charged.

However, there are still going to be some cons and downsides – the increased price of the device, the not-overly-high amount of RAM that Pixel 3 has and the somewhat small size of the battery are all things that we are going to to over as well so that our review could be as detailed and as objective as possible.

Tech Specs

  • OS
    Pixel 3 runs on Google Android 9 Pie.
  • CPU
    Pixel 3 sports Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 CPU which is an improved version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 that was used in Pixel 2 devices. Both processors have 8 cores but the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 is overall faster with its 2.5 (up to 2.8) GHz. In comparison, the frequency of the 835 Snapdragon is 2.35 (up to 2.45) GHz.
  • RAM
    Pixel 3 has a 4GB of RAM which is one of the characteristics of this model which might seem a bit underwhelming to some users considering that most devices of the same class have at least 6GB of RAM. Still, supposedly, this shouldn’t affect performance too much because of Google owning both the software and the hardware for the Pixel 3 smartphone which should result in a smoother performance despite the objectively lower RAM capacity.
  • Storage
    This model comes in two versions storage-wise – the first one offers 64GBs of storage space while the second one has 128GB free internal memory. Of course, the price between these two differs – the 128GB version is about 100$ more expensive in general.
  • Battery
    In terms of battery, the phone offers a 2915 mAh battery unit which is adequate but isn’t anything impressive. It should still be enough to carry you through the day assuming you don’t overburden the device but don’t expect any wonders. Still, the 2915 mAh battery has 215 mAh more than Pixel 2 model so it’s still an improvement.
  • Camera
    One of the main highlights of the Pixel 3 smartphone – it’s camera, sports 12.2 megapixels and though this might not sound like anything special, the machine-learning software behind the camera is sure to make the best out of those 12.2MP resulting in some rather impressive shots. In addition, Pixel 3 offers two front cameras – one for regular selfies with a standard 75 degrees shot view and one for wider-angle selfies for bigger groups of people with a 97 shot view degree.
  • Dimensions/Size
    The display size is increased from 5 inches (Pixel 2) to 5.5 inches on the current Pixel 3 model despite the overall length, width and girth (145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9mm) of the phone remaining mostly the same but we will focus in more detail on the design of this smartphone in the next paragraph.

Design choices

One of the first things some users, who have already been introduced to the Pixel 2 model from last year, are likely to notice is the increase in size of the display. The cool thing here is that the device itself is almost the same in overall size compared to the model from last year. However, the thing that allows for the display to be larger is the smaller bezels at the bottom and at the top. Of course, the black space for the camera at the top and the one for the front-firing speakers at the bottom are still there but are now much smaller allowing for the increase in display size.

The panel now is almost entirely made of soft-touch glass and only the frame is aluminum. Now, this might not appeal to some customers cause the predominantly glass panel is sure to be more fragile than one made of mostly aluminum but there is a reason behind the decision to mostly use glass with this model. Pixel 3 can use a wireless charger and the glass panel is what makes this possible.

One thing that some users might not be overly fond of is the lack of an microSD card slot meaning that what you buy is what you are stuck with in terms of storage space so choose carefully between the 64GB and the 128GB versions.

As with Pixel 2, you won’t find an headphone jack on this year’s model.

Pixel 3 comes in three panel colors – black, white and pink.

Some more words about the camera

This is the other main highlight of Pixel 3 – as we said earlier, the 12.2MP offered by this device doesn’t sound astonishing but due to the software behind the camera, the pictures you take are surely going to impress you in terms of quality. A particularly impressive aspect of this model’s camera is its ability to take quality shots in low-lit or nighttime environments. The machine-learning software of the camera is also going to avoid blurriness and even closed eyes in the pictures you take.

As already mentioned, the two front cameras are also an interesting addition that will enable you to take both regular selfie pics and also a wider selfie shots for those times when you need to capture more people in your photo.

Pros Cons
Improved design and display size (compared to Pixel 2) No microSD slot
Very good camera with machine-learning software No headphones jack
Powerful processor Not too much RAM
Can be charged wirelessly

Conclusion

Though there are certainly a couple of things that some users might not enjoy about Google Pixel 3 such as the lack of microSD slot, the more fragile panel and the somewhat lower RAM capacity, there’s still a lot to like about this year’s model. It is a balanced quality device with several neat tricks up its sleeve and should be particularly appealing for people who seek a smartphone with a good camera and a wide enough display, which could still be used with one hand only due to its relatively compact size.


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