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Google Pixel 3 Review – The Best Android Phone In 2018

Google launched 2 smartphones(Pixel 3 & Pixel 3 XL) in 2018, people are amazed by the powerful single-camera set and the stock Android user experience which made Pixel 3XL became one of the Best Android Phone in 2018.

 

Google considered there are still people out there who want a cheaper phone, so they introduced again in May 2019 with Pixel 3a & Pixel 3a XL.

 

I love the idea that Google tries to allow all of us could experience the powerful Pixel 3 with different budgets, and it does help to mitigate the overprice issue of Pixel 3 first launched in 2018 with the not-so-flagship specs.

 

Earlier this week, Dxomark scored Pixel 3a with 100 scorings which are only 1 score less than the world-famous Pixel 3. It only means that Google didn’t downgrade the camera performance in the cheaper edition of pixel 3 family.

 

So, Let’s follow Blablaphones for a better dive. ūüôā ūüôā ūüôā

 

 

Product: Google Pixel 3 
Display: 5.5‚ÄĚ FHD+ flexible OLED¬†¬†at 443 PPI
Chipset:¬†Qualcomm¬ģ Snapdragon‚ĄĘ 845
RAM: 4 GB
Storage: 64/128GB storage
Camera:  12.2 MP Dual-Pixel
Front Camera:  8.0 MP(wide-angle)
Battery: 2,915 mAh(18w fast charging, Qi wireless charging)
Other Features: Built for VR to work with Google Daydream View headset / 3 years of OS and security updates

 

Product: Google Pixel 3 XL
Display:¬†6.3‚ÄĚ QHD+ OLED at 523ppi
Chipset:¬†Qualcomm¬ģ Snapdragon‚ĄĘ 845
RAM: 4 GB
Storage: 64/128GB storage
Camera:  12.2 MP Dual-Pixel
Front Camera:  8.0 MP(wide-angle)
Battery: 3,430 mAh(18w fast charging, Qi wireless charging)
Other Features: Built for VR to work with Google Daydream View headset / 3 years of OS and security updates

 

 

Product: Google Pixel 3a
Display: 5.6‚ÄĚ FHD+ (2220 x 1080) OLED at 441 PPI
Chipset:¬†Qualcomm¬ģ Snapdragon‚ĄĘ 670
RAM: 4 GB
Storage: 64 GB storage
Camera:  12.2 MP Dual-Pixel
Front Camera:  8.0 MP
Battery: 3,000 mAh(18w fast charging)
Other Features: Minimum 3 years of OS updates

 

Product: Google Pixel 3a XL
Display: 6.0‚ÄĚ FHD+ (2160 x 1080) OLED at 402 PPI
Chipset:¬†Qualcomm¬ģ Snapdragon‚ĄĘ 670
RAM: 4 GB
Storage: 64 GB storage
Camera:  12.2 MP Dual-Pixel
Front Camera:  8.0 MP
Battery: 3,700 mAh(18w fast charging)
Other Features: Minimum 3 years of OS updates

Design & Display


The notch design of Pixel 3 & Pixel 3 XL is mocked by everyone, and it’s even thicker than we expect. As for the bottom, chin is also something went the opposite direction of the entire smartphone industry since other competitors are trying so hard to make bezel-less phone.

 

For the design of Pixel 3a & Pixel 3a XL, both with thick bezel on the top and bottom, it’s giving a retro feeling that we used to see 3 or 4 years ago. It’s weird that Google didn’t make the design more up to date, but use the old Android style.

 

Hmm.. not a big fan of the design on Pixel 3a & Pixel 3a XL.

 

For the design on the back of Pixel 3 family, they all look the same to me. It remains the two-tone design, shiny finish on the top with camera while the lower part is matte finish. The style hasn’t changed dramatically from the previous generation.

 

In other words, there’s no HUGE breakthrough for the design.

 

PPI for Google Pixel 3 family:

  • Google Pixel 3:¬† 443ppi
  • Google Pixel 3 XL: 523ppi
  • Google Pixel 3a: 441ppi
  • Google Pixel 3a XL: 402ppi

 

For Pixel 3 & 3XL, the body is made by Corning Gorilla Glass 5, but for Pixel 3a & Pixel 3a XL, they are made by plastic. In earlier stage of smartphone industry, plastic design always gives a cheap & unpleasant feeling. Smartphone manufacturers turned to metal and glass for a more premium look after that.

 

But, Google’s compromise isn’t to deliver a cheap sense of feeling on¬†Pixel 3a¬†&¬†Pixel 3a XL, you cannot even tell the matte part on the back of both phones are plastic. It’s something that Google makes¬†Pixel 3a¬†&¬†Pixel 3a XL in the right way.

 

There are 3 colors to choose for Pixel 3 & Pixel 3XL: Just Black, Clearly White, and Not Pink.

 

There are also 3 colors to choose for Pixel 3a and 3a XL: Just Black, Clearly White, and Purple-ish.

 

Camera


Google Pixel 3 family gets the same camera performance, and it ROCKS!!!

 

By its super-powerful software enhancement, google camera makes each photo that you take with Pixel 3 family look JUST amazing.

 

“AI+Software+Hardware = Google” I love this concept that Google hardware SVP Rick Osterloh said in the launch event in New York City on 4th October 2018.

 

Pixel Visual Core

There’s no accident that Pixel 3 got the best camera when they add Pixel Visual Core inside. It’s a sophisticated combination of “AI+Software+Hardware”.

 

When you press the shutter, Pixel takes a burst of several short exposures and combines them all together with the algorithm for a photo with more detailed, brighter, and more colorful.

 

Pixel Visual Core is Google-designed imaging chip that could read and analyze complex images out of Google’s data center and show them on your phone. And, it makes Pixel 3 faster and smarter.

 

Top Shot

You don’t always take the photo on the best moment, right? I think everyone missed the perfect shot all the time if you don’t hit the shutter at the exact right moment. Top Shot solved that problem.

 

Google uses machine learning to analyze millions of photos and develop a smarter camera.

 

The camera takes 90 shots between 1.5 seconds before and after the shutter key is pressed. You could easily to choose the best moment from the 90 shots and share with any social media apps.

 

So, even if your timing isn’t perfect, you could scroll through the other alternates and pick one to be your best shot now!

 

To activate Top Shot, you need to enable Motion Photos on the circle at the top of the viewfinder. To make it consistently on, just select “Motion On” instead of keeping it “Motion Auto”, then all is done!

 

 

Super Res Zoom

Everyone who ever tried to take photos in a concert or something far away knows that camera on our hands has terrible zoom.

 

This technique is using the smarter camera to shot a burst of photos, each is a bit different, taking advantage of the natural tiny movements of your hands.

 

And, Google understands us and crops high-resolution images and upscales them which is another proof that Google tries to fix this long-lasting pain of our camera experiences by its famous software enhancement.

 

Now, you could get closer to your photos and look at those details shown on your phone then frame any part of the photo in a way you want!

 

Night Sight

Night Sight is the most-wanted feature that all the smartphone users really yearn for many years.

 

Let’s go through again for all the photos that you took in a concert, a party, and a campfire on the beach? The previous generation smartphone uses flash to light up the environment which also makes the photo very unnatural, right?

 

Google promises us that Night Sight on Pixel 3 works so well and you don’t even need flash again!

 

Based on the content of our photo, Google camera uses machine learning to choose the right color for us which makes it the best single-camera & low-light camera in 2018 while other competitors were trying to add more physical cameras to absorb more lights for the same results.

 

I really like this idea that Google could make this happen so soon with only one camera, but I kinda hope what if Google add one or two more cameras to compete with other smartphone manufacturers.

 

Night Sight was in the ‚ÄúMore‚ÄĚ tab to locate this amazing & mind-blowing feature, and Google updates its camera with version 6.3 which made the “Night Sight” a default feature when you launch camera app. Just swipe left and you will find it.

 

The 2nd camera on the front

Google adds one more camera for the front camera that allows you to take a group selfie easier than ever.

 

The 2nd camera captures 184% more of the scene than iPhone Xs. Now, Pixel 3 is able to fit everyone in the selfie photo instead of cutting someone’s head or with a selfie stick.

Google Lens

Google makes the camera more than just taking pictures. Pixel 3’s camera is the combination of Google search engine and Google assistant.

 

For example, you launch camera app and point it at the menu with a telephone number and the Google lens will call the restaurant for you. Or, you point to a movie poster with URL then it will bring you the website.

 

Google lens could even be more stylish. You could use Google lens on the shoes or the sunglasses your friends wear to find them online or browse for a similar style.

 

Other minor features:

  • When you pose funny faces, the camera will directly take the selfie photo
  • Tap on the screen for some moving objects, the camera will focus them as long as they are in the frame.
  • You could adjust the background blur as much or little as you want
  • Free and unlimited storage on Google Photos with original quality and 4k videos(WOW)

 

Call Screen


Let’s say you are in a meeting at work or a romantic dinner with your partner, you cannot or don’t want to pick up the phone. Just tap the screen button, your Pixel 3 will answer for you.

 

It will directly transcribe all the conversations in real time on your screen like what we message our friends. You could decide to pick up, send a quick reply, or mark the call as spam.

 

Battery


When Google has the super-powerful camera, we all know it connects with the data center for boosting the photo performance with more details. I feel the battery runs out much more than I expected.

 

I know the smart Pixel 3 battery could be charged with Qi wireless charging and learn users behaviors and limits battery for apps you use less often.

Compared to ASUS zenfone 6’s 5000 mAh battery, Google please hear my prayer to upgrade the battery in 2019.

 

Batteries on Pixel 3 family:

Google Pixel 3 Battery: 2,915 mAh(18w fast charging, Qi wireless charging)
Google Pixel 3 XL Battery: 3,430 mAh(18w fast charging, Qi wireless charging)
Google Pixel 3a Battery: 3,000 mAh(18w fast charging)
Google Pixel 3a XL Battery: 3,700 mAh(18w fast charging)

 

Google Apps


Another good user experience on Pixel 3 is the compatibility with all Google services that we are using, including google search, google map, Youtube, Gmail, drive and etc.

 

They all work so well that I cannot ask for more.

 

Downsides


Top#01 RAM

It’s very obvious that 4 GB RAM is not enough for a flagship like Pixel 3 in 2018 while others do 6 GB or more. We know that Google might be the top for its software performance, but for the hardware, they might need to run faster.

 

Google is super strong to make its own apps simple and easy to run with only 4 GB RAM, but other unicorn apps aren’t so friendly to work with.

 

Most complaints on the internet all mentioned that Pixel 3 lagged when they tried to run the most-used apps, especially social media.

 

Top#02 Pricey

Pixel 3 was first launched with the price starting from USD$899 for 64 GB version and USD$999 for 128 GB version. It’s the same price with iPhone Xs, but the whole experience I prefer an iPhone Xs.

 

The overpricing issue causes much criticism that Google launches 2 new phones in 2019 first half with more affordable prices to fix it which are USD$399 for Pixel 3a and USD$479 for Pixel 3a XL.

 

So, if the camera performances are the same between the expensive Pixel 3 XL & the budget Pixel 3a, would you rather pay more for a Pixel 3 XL or the cheaper one?

 

Top#03 Wait for Pixel 4?

If you got a Pixel 2, the Pixel 3 won’t have a huge gap between old device and the current one. It’s better that you wait until Pixel 4¬†launched this October in 2019 and consider to pick one of pixel family.

 

It might get some new and very cool stuff that blows our mind again just like “Night Sight” wow all of us in 2018. For example, the camera set(dual-camera or triple camera?) and the top right corner on the front which we don’t have any clue yet.

 

>>>Check the Latest Price on Amazon<<<

 

Conclusion


I love Pixel 3 for its world-famous and amazing camera performance and don’t forget it only gets one camera. Pixel 3XL became so QUICKLY one of the Best Android Phone in 2018.

 

It’s hard to imagine if Pixel 4 is with a dual-camera set, the camera performance will be ahead of the rest competitors and will top Dxomark mobile list?

 

(All photo: Google)

 

I hope you enjoyed this review and if you have any questions about Pixel 3 review or want to leave your own personal review, leave a comment below.

 

You may also like:

01.Google Pixel 4 LEAKS ‚Äď 4 Rumors You Should Know!


Google Pixel 3A

USD$324.95
8.4

Design

8.0/10

Camera

9.0/10

Battery

8.0/10

Build Quality

8.0/10

Performance

9.0/10

Matt Lin

12 Comments

  1. Very interesting thank you. I like how they are built for using with Google Daydream VR headset.

    I like how the pixel phones have the best camera. That is good to know because camera is important in a phone.

    That’s pretty cool how they take 90 photos in 1.5 seconds and then you can select your favorite from those. Thanks for this for you and I will keep it for future reference when looking for phones.

    • Hi Charles,

      YEAH! Since Google bought hTC in 2017, they are making greater phones by the experience from hTC.

      Pixel 3 is the first phone that Google launched and “wow” the whole world with its night sight feature which tops all the other phones in the smartphone market.

      Glad you like my article, hope you like it and enjoy ūüôā

  2. To be honest, I never heard about this series at all when it came out but reading through this review about it right now.

    Wow! This google pixel 3 has got some very nice features. The one I like most is that whenever you smile, a snapshot is taken and that is simply great to know of.

    The pricing seems very cool too.

    • Hi RoDarrick, 

      Yes, Google is making a phone with all the experience from hTC which used to be the top#1 Android smartphone manufacturer in the world.

      If you care about the price, I would recommend the Pixel 3a or 3a XL. The camera set is basically the same as the normal Pixel 3.

  3. When I heard about Google making new phones with the android OS back in 2018, I was ecstatic and I wanted to see what they were, I was quickly disappointed though with the price because they claimed to help those with very little.

    Although the phone’s are worth the money comparing them with other phones like Samsung and iPhone, they didn’t go through with their claim. The camera though is fabulous and I can’t really explain how awesome it is.

    It’s expected though since it’s Google. Pixel 4 is going to be awesome since alot of people have spoken about the upgrades they want. Maybe some more camera at the back for more quality who knows, we’ll wait and see.

    Great post.

    • Hi Henderson,

      The price of Google Pixel 3 is a bit disappointing, and I feel the same way as you did.

      Yeah, I cannot wait for the Pixel 4 since Google first admits it will come with a rectangle camera set on the rear, and the front camera seems a bit different compared to all the other smartphones in the market.

      Anyway, thanks for pointing Pixel 4 out loud here. It’s very nice to know that someone like me is excited about the next phone from Google!

  4. I love pixel 3, and the RAM of the phone is very much okay.

    Although when I heard Google was making a lesser version of pixel 3 I thought it wouldn’t be very good. But surprisingly it was okay as well and also affordable, that very thoughtful.

    I’m currently using a pixel 3 phone and hope to get a Pixel 4 phone when its out.

    • Hi Dane,

      Yeah, RAM is something that people concern a lot when they first know the price of Pixel 3 since it’s labeled as a flagship phone in the market.

      For the Pixel 3a & 3a XL, to be honest, I have the same doubts as you did since the cheaper version must sacrifice many things for the lower price.

      But Google keeps the same camera features for the cheaper versions for Pixel 3, at least they did it right! Let’s wait and see for the next phone Google is launching in Oct 2019.

  5. This post post couldn’t have come at a better time for me.

    I’m currently researching androids as it’s time for me to upgrade.  I have heard some pretty amazing things about Google 3 and the camera feature so your review has cleared a few things up for me.

    I love the fact that you can point the camera at places or things and it will call or take you to the website. that’s flipping amazing.

    I also like the fact that the flash is removed for night pictures.I’m still a little torn on the Google 3 or 3a but you’ve certainly cleared up some other questions I had regarding this adroid.

    Thanks!

    • Hi Tracy, 

      Yeah, the smart camera on Pixel 3 is based on the algorithm of Google’s world-famous search engines, that’s the reason why it’s delivering a precise website that you want to look for.

      If I were you, I might go for the cheaper version of Google Pixel 3a just to try whether I could switch easily to Android(I guess you are currently an iPhone user?).

      And, if you feel it’s ok, you might go for Pixel 4 after Oct 2019 which will definitely blow our mind again this year.

  6. I’ve heard about Pixel3 products when I wanted to get a new phone for my niece.

    Although the price was cool, it was beyond what I budget for. Eventually, I got a Pixel 3a for my niece. And I want to comment google for maintaining the camera quality of Pixel 3a despite the fact that the overall specs are lower compared to Pixel 3.

    All pixel 3 features are amazing and I can’t wait to get it in my next phone shopping.

    • Hi Stella, 

      Yeah, if the price is an issue for you, you might consider getting a Pixel 3a or Pixel 3a XL as an alternative. They all get the same camera with the original Pixel 3, and the specs are ok for daily chores.

      For the next generation of Pixel, you may check the leaks I summed up in this article. I hope it cold give you a better idea whether go for it or not later this year!

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