Lovers of baby Android phones rejoice, Google has answered your prayers with the Pixel 3. For the aboriginal time in years, you no best accept to accomplish the best amid abundance and performance. The Pixel 3 ($799.99 for 64GB or $899.99 for 128GB) has the aforementioned top-of-line specs and appearance as its above sibling, the Pixel 3 XL, including accomplished camera achievement and some actual air-conditioned new functionality like alarm screening and automatic biking booking (once Google Duplex is released). If you appetite a pure, AI-driven Google acquaintance in a one-handed anatomy factor, the Pixel 3 is the buzz to buy and our Editors’ Choice.
Google is activity for a added avant-garde attending for the Pixel 3. The absolute aback is glass, but best of it uses a proprietary matte accomplishment while the top is larboard glossy. The advanced is adequate by a area of Gorilla Bottle 5. Blush options board black, white, and a actual ablaze blush that Google calls “Not Pink.” The bezels accept been slimmed bottomward from the Pixel 2 and the buzz now has a accepted 18:9 aspect ratio, maximizing awning absolute acreage about to its size. That said, there’s still some notable bezel on the top and basal to board the front-firing stereo speakers.
The buzz measures 5.7 by 2.7 by 0.3 inches (HWD) and weighs 5.2 ounces, authoritative it decidedly lighter than the Apple iPhone XS (5.7 by 2.8 by 0.3 inches, 6.2 ounces) and aloof a little beneath than the Samsung Galaxy S9 (5.8 by 2.7 by 0.3 inches, 5.8 ounces). The absolute affairs point over its above affinity (which measures 6.2 by 3.0 by 0.3 inches and weighs 6.5 ounces) is aloof how acquiescent it feels in your hand. I begin it accessible to adeptness above the awning and to the top to collaborate with notifications and added elements. It’s one of the best adequate phones to use with one hand.
Despite actuality covered in bottle and accepting a bland blanket forth its aluminum sides, the Pixel 3 doesn’t feel glace acknowledgment to its soft-touch finish. The white archetypal we activated didn’t aces up fingerprints or scratches while we acclimated it, but you can consistently bandy on a case if you’re worried. Google’s characteristic t cases (not included) are a decidedly nice option.
As far as ons and ports go, there are no surprises here. There’s a USB-C anchorage on the basal for charging aing to a SIM agenda slot. There’s no abundant storage, which has consistently been the case for Google’s Pixel/Nexus line. The fingerprint sensor on the aback is aural accessible reach. And you won’t acquisition a 3.5mm headphone jack, but you do get a USB-C dongle forth with a brace of active USB-C Pixel Buds.
A somewhat annealed adeptness on and aggregate rocker are on the appropriate side. The aloft is blithely black (lime blooming in the case of the white Pixel 3), authoritative it angle out from the blow of the phone. Bifold acute it allows you to bound barrage the camera. The accepted software ons are gone, replaced with action navigation. Annexation up on the home awning and continuing to bash brings up the app drawer; annexation up already enters multitasking and annexation to the larboard or appropriate lets you annal accessible apps; annexation appropriate on the home on and bound absolution lets you about-face to the antecedent app. It takes a little bit of accepting acclimated to, but I bound grew to adore it.
Like on the Pixel 2, actuality you accept Google’s Active Edge, which incorporates a clasp sensor on the abandon of the buzz to bound barrage Google Assistant. It’s acknowledging and doesn’t activate accidentally already you calibrate the clasp sensitivity, and there’s acceptable haptic acknowledgment aback it activates. It’s not reprogrammable to barrage a altered app, but you can additionally clasp to blackout timers, alarms, notifications, and admission calls.
Like added flagship phones, the Pixel 3 is IP68 waterproof, acceptance it to survive in over bristles anxiety of baptize for 30 minutes. It stood up to a absolute ablution and rinsing-off in the kitchen bore after issue.
The Pixel 3 has a 5.5-inch 2,160-by-1,080 OLED affectation that’s thankfully chargeless from the affliction of a notch. The resolution works out to a brittle 443 pixels per inch. While we’ve been seeing higher-resolution screens afresh (like the 570ppi Galaxy S9), the Pixel 3 is still affluence aciculate for the size. It’s brittle abundant to calmly apprehend text, watch videos, and comedy games, and you won’t apprehension any absolute aberration in accuracy amid the two devices. The one affair to agenda is that, while the awning is certified to abutment HDR content, it doesn’t do any upscaling as we’ve apparent on phones like the Sony Xperia XZ3 and the midrange Nokia 7.1
Likely demography heed of complaints from aftermost year, Google has accustomed the Pixel 3 several awning blush modes from the added blush authentic Natural to a richer, added saturated Boosted. By default, it’s on Adaptive, which I acquisition offers the best of both worlds. Viewing angles are abundant and accuracy is aerial abundant to calmly see the awning outdoors and alike beneath absolute sunlight, barring some reflectivity.
Like aftermost year’s Pixels, the Pixel 3 has an OLED console that gives it dense, aphotic blacks and makes it accessible for the always-on awning to appearance the time, date, and notifications after sucking up too abundant power. If you abode the buzz on a Pixel Angle (a $79 10W wireless charger), the Pixel 3 transforms into a acute display, like the Google Home Hub. With the accession of a abstracted app, it can be enabled to affectation account headlines, agenda appointments, and aeon through albums in your photo gallery. It becomes decidedly advantageous aback you set up morning or bedtime routines, in which Google Assistant will barrage into a conference and accord you updates on cartage altitude and weather. It can additionally collaborate with the Nest Hello to automatically appearance you video footage aback addition rings your door.
The Pixel 3 is accessible anon from Verizon, Project Fi, and unlocked. It supports LTE bands 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/29/32/66/71, acceptance it to assignment on all carriers including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. It has Cat 16 LTE, 4×4 MIMO, and can abutment eSIM for assertive carriers and markets.
We activated it on Verizon, the champ of our Fastest Adaptable Networks testing this year. In midtown Manhattan, the buzz delivered accomplished arrangement achievement with top speeds of 51.2Mbps bottomward and 37.6mbps up.
Other connectivity protocols board dual-band Wi-Fi, NFC for use with Google Pay, and Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless listening.
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Voice calls are excellent, with bright transmissions through the earpiece and solid babble abandoning for approachable calls. Voices came above artlessly in testing, after the automatic bend we about apprehend aback babble abandoning bliss in. The alone accomplishments babble that bled through was from the complete of loud construction.
One of the best absorbing new appearance on the Pixel 3 is alarm screening. Aback you accept calls from alien numbers, Google gives you the advantage to accept the alarm screened. On the caller’s end, this after-effects in an account of what’s accident and a appeal for you to explain the purpose of your call. The receiver afresh gets the account as argument on their hand. The articulation archetype for this is quick and accurate, I can see this account actuality actual advantageous to clarify out robocalls and spam.
Already Google Duplex is formed out, the buzz will be able to do alike added in the alarm department. Google Assistant can booty over calling duties for you, sparing you from the banality of tasks like scheduling beard accessories and authoritative banquet reservations.
As far as added audio goes, the front-firing stereo speakers may not be room-filling at best volume, but they were added than acceptable to allure the absorption of my colleagues aback announcement Iron Maiden. The Pixel 3 supports 24-bit audio with the included Pixel Buds. The Pixel Buds are adequate to wear, arise with an adjustable ear loop, and accommodate with Google Assistant. I begin audio affection to be robust, with a brittle and authentic range, admitting the LG G7 with its committed cloister DAC still provides added customization for audiophiles.
Performance is aggregate you’d apprehend from a flagship buzz in backward 2018. Like its above sibling, the Pixel 3 is powered by a top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, with 4GB of RAM. That isn’t as abundant as some added new phones that arise with 6GB or 8GB of RAM, but it’s still abounding for multitasking and high-end gaming.
In the PCMark Assignment 2.0 test, which measures accepted achievement in a array of tasks like web browsing, and video and photo editing, the Pixel 3 denticulate 9,358, college than any added buzz we’ve tested. The Pixel 3 additionally had some of the fastest admiration I’ve accomplished aback it comes to ablution apps and scrolling web pages. Demanding amateur like Asphalt 8 and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds were bland as er, with hardly any anatomy drops.
Battery activity is solid. The buzz clocked 7 hours and 57 account in our test, in which we set awning accuracy to best and beck full-screen video over Wi-Fi. That’s on par with the Pixel 3 XL (8 hours and 10 minutes), admitting neither can bout the Galaxy Agenda 9, which outlasted our 12-hour array analysis with abstract to spare. The included 18W adapter lets you fast allegation the buzz and supports USB-PD 2.0. You can additionally use wireless fast charging with the Pixel Stand, and the buzz will additionally assignment with added Qi-certified wireless chargers.
Camera achievement is area the Pixel 3 absolutely stands out. It “only” has a distinct 12.2MP dual-pixel camera with optical angel stabilization, aloft the bifold or amateur rear sensors we’re seeing on added arch phones. Despite this, it has one of the fastest, best acknowledging sensors we’ve tested, with accomplished post-processing and low-light capabilities. We put it to the analysis in a shootout adjoin the iPhone XS Max, the Galaxy Agenda 9, and the LG V40 ThinQ. While the Pixel 3 didn’t necessarily arise out on top in every setting, it took the best consistently acceptable shots, capturing the best detail in a array of arduous scenarios.
In the aloft shots, the Pixel 3 focused fast and captured awful abundant images with basal babble and blur. Aback it comes to capturing altar like copse and buildings, the Pixel 3 is true-to-life, capturing capacity like shadows, textures, and crevices after ever cutting them like the LG V40 or oversaturating colors like the Agenda 9. That said, we’re absolutely accepting bottomward to minute capacity here—all four phones are absurd shooters.
Super Res Zoom bliss in automatically aback you zoom in added than 1.2x. Essentially, it increases the resolution of an angel college than what you’d about be able to accomplish after a telephoto lens, after the graininess and artifacts from a authentic agenda zoom. To analysis this, we zoomed the Pixel 3 2x on a alarm tower, which fabricated for solid after-effects you can see below.
When it comes to low-light shooting, the Pixel 3 afresh holds its own. In the dim ambience of PC Labs, the buzz consistently focused with reliable accuracy and basal noise. Unlike LG’s Super Bright Camera, the Pixel 3 doesn’t use pixel binning to amalgamate pixels, attention capacity rather than brightening the attempt as a whole. To me, it’s a advantageous trade-off, admitting shots on the V40 may attending clearer to some eyes.
The advanced set of cameras abide of a brace of 8MP accepted and wide-angle sensors. The closing can breeze with a 97-degree acreage of view, giving you a added faculty of your ambience aback demography a selfie. The sensors are aciculate and authentic aback it comes to blush reproduction and bark tones. Best interestingly, while it appears to accept baloney in the viewfinder, with post-processing the aftereffect is removed, aspersing the characteristic fish-eye aftereffect we commonly see on wide-angle cameras.
Like aloof about every added buzz on the bazaar these days, the Pixel 3 can booty bokeh shots, abashing out the accomplishments and putting a beginning article into focus. It’s able to do this for both the advanced and aback camera. With either set of sensors, the aftereffect is a brittle shot, with a about accomplished appliance of the becloud effect.
Also admirable of acknowledgment is Playmoji, Google’s branded AR stickers. Not alone do they arise realistic, but they additionally accept the adeptness to acknowledge to the environment. For instance, if you add Iron Man into a scene, he’ll apperceive aback you’re demography a selfie and point and beachcomber as you breeze the shot. As time goes on, the Pixel 3 will use apparatus acquirements to advance things you can add to your AR scenes.
The Pixel 3’s rear camera is able of recording 4K video at 30fps and 1080p at 60fps. In both cases, video is bland and stable, buoyed by a mix of optical and cyberbanking angel stabilization. We begin video to be smooth, with basal jittering or anatomy drops.
The Pixel ships with Android 9.0 Pie, the actual latest adaptation of Google’s adaptable operating system. The buzz is chargeless from bloatware, and comes with the agreement of two years of updates at the actual least. We’ve already covered abounding of the changes Pie brings, including the redesigned action navigation, affiliation with the Pixel Stand, bigger Google Assistant, and appearance like alarm screening and the accessible Google Duplex.
One affair we haven’t mentioned is Agenda Wellbeing. It’s a new console in the Settings card that shows your accessory usage, what apps you’ve accessed, and gives you options to bind your phone’s authority over your activity by absolution you set a accord aeon afore bedtime, attached interruptions and graying out the awning to abash use. Over time the buzz uses apparatus acquirements to accept what apps you use and accent them over others aback it comes to anamnesis and power.
Since this is a authentic Android buzz it alone comes loaded with Google apps. Our 64GB archetypal had 51.11GB accessible for use. That’s affluence of amplitude for apps and photos, abnormally back you get absolute Google Photos billow accumulator for life.
The Google Pixel 3 has fast performance, accomplished camera capabilities, and advantageous AI functionality that goes above what we’re seeing in added Android flagships. It’s $100 beneath than the above Pixel 3 XL, doesn’t accept the confusing awning notch, and shares about all the aforementioned accouterments and software features. It’s additionally one of the best adequate Android phones to authority in one duke that we’ve apparent in some time. All of this earns the Pixel 3 our Editors’ Best as not alone the best “small” Android buzz you can buy, but artlessly one of the best Android phones, period.
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