Google is stepping up to the plate with regard to churning out impressive smartphones. However, they are somewhat behind the curve in some areas. That said, the company remains one of the few smartphone manufacturers who are steadily maximizing the advantages of artificial intelligence (AI).

This AI technology is evident in the Google Pixel 3. The cameras on the Pixel 3 are the greatest beneficiaries of the machine learning technology.

PROS

  • Beautiful design
  • Cutting-edge cameras
  • Impressive OLED display
  • Good performance

CONS

  • Thick bezels
  • Expensive

Appearance and Display

  • 5.5-inch OLED display
  • 2160 x 1080-pixel resolution
  • 0.15 kg (0.33 pounds)

Unlike the OnePlus 7 Pro which is on the big side with a display measuring 6.67 inches, the Google Pixel 3 has the right size (5.5-inches) and weighs 0.15 kg (0.33 pounds).

If you planned steering clear of Google smartphones because of the not-so-outstanding screen quality of the Pixel 2 XL, please have a rethink because the Pixel 3 boasts sharper pictures which look a lot more natural.

You’ll have the option of choosing between white, pink, or black colours.

The bottom holds a SIM slot and USB-C port, while the volume tabs and power button can be found on the right side of the smartphone. You won’t find a 3mm headphone jack and microSD slot on the Google Pixel 3. The  back of the Pixel 3 is made of glass (Gorilla Glass 5, to be precise).

 

Everyone (even Google) is ditching headphone jacks and microSD slots on premium smartphones.

 

The Pixel 3 isn’t bezel-less or near bezel-less as the Samsung Galaxy 10 Plus, Huawei P30 Pro, and OnePlus 7 Pro. The top and bottom bezels have a speaker each.

Don’t miss: Xiaomi Mi 9 Review

Google Pixel 3 Specifications 

Display 5.5-inch, 2160 X pixels
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Operating System Android 9 Pie
RAM 4GB
Storage 64GB/128GB
Battery 2915mAh with 18W fast
charging and Qi wireless
charging
Audio Front-firing stereo speakers
Front Camera Dual: 8MP wide-angle (f/2.2)
and 8MP (f/1.8)
Rear Camera Single: 12.2MP (f/1.8) with
OIS and EIS
Colours Clearly White, Just Black,
Not Pink
Size 145 x 68.2 x 7.9 mm
Weight 148 g
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
(2.4/5GHz), Bluetooth 5.0
BLE, GPS/Galileo/Glonass,
and NFC

Storage

  • 64GB, 128GB of storage
  • 4GB of RAM

Looking at the Pixel 3’s spec sheet, you may feel disappointed that the smartphone only has 4GB of RAM unlike many in the same league such as the OnePlus 7 Pro which has ample 6, 8, or 12 GB RAM options, the Huawei P30 Pro which ships with 8GB of RAM, and the Samsung S10 Plus which packs 8 or 12GB of RAM.

Truth is, the Pixel 3’s 4GB of RAM is good enough to handle all of its processing needs. The smartphone’s speed is quite good. It’s a shame that Google didn’t include more RAM options, however, we don’t see this as a deal breaker.

Camera

  • 12.2MP (f/1.8)
  • 8MP wide-angle (f/2.2)
  • 8MP (f/1.8)

The Pixel 2 and XL have great cameras, but the cameras on the Pixel 3 are better. Round the back of the Pixel 3, you’ll find a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, while there are two 8-megapixel (iPhone XR has 7MP) selfie cameras on the front. The difference between the front facing cameras is the aperture. The first has an f/2.2 aperture while the second has f/1.8 aperture.

You won’t find  more than one rear-facing camera on Pixel 3 even when the tradition among smartphone manufacturers  right now is packing more than one camera on the back. The OnePlus 7 Pro which has three camera systems on the rear exemplifies this.

 

The Pixel 2 and XL have great cameras but the cameras on the Pixel 3 are better.

 

The cameras are where Google packed most of the Pixel 3’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology. We love the Night Sight, and Top Shot features. There is also the HDR+ which Google Pixel 2 owners have been enjoying. We also fancy the Super Res Zoom.

Using machine learning, the Night Sight feature can tell pretty quickly, photos taken in low light conditions. It improves the colours of the photos and the details, leaving you with better images. The rear and the selfie cameras are Night Sight-enabled.

The Top Shot on the Pixel 3 is a machine learning feature which assesses images taken before and after you click the shutter button and then suggests the best image.  The  Pixel 3’s Top Shot feature is a lot more advanced than similar features you would find on some phones

If your eyes were unintentionally closed, or you were blinking them, the Top Shot feature screens all of those moments and gives you the best picture without the unintentional gestures. It simply detects good pictures using AI.

The Super Res Zoom enables the camera to take bursts of photos, and analyzes these photos to produce a photo with best quality resolution.

Other noteworthy camera features that may interest you include the Photobooth, Group Selfie Cam, and Motion Auto.

Software

  • Android 9 Pie

The  Google Pixel 3 is packed with the Google’s Android 9 Pie (as you would expect) operating system much like the Huawei P30 ProXiaomi Mi 9, Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, and Samsung Galaxy S10e. Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2XL have received Android 9 Pie update.

On the Pixel 3, you would find AI-enabled features (more on that later) such as the Google Duplex, Call Screening, and more.

Your Pixel 3 smartphone will continue to receive security and software updates for no less than two years.

Google Pixel 3 vs. Google Pixel 3 XL – Specifications

Google Pixel 3 Google Pixel 3 XL
Display 5.5-inch, 2160 X 1080 resolution OLED 6.3-inch, 2160 X 1080 resolution OLED
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Operating System Android 9 Pie Android 9 Pie
RAM 4GB 4GB
Storage 64GB/128GB 64GB/128GB
Battery 2915mAh with 18W fast charging and Qi wireless charging 3430 mAh with 18-watt fast charging and Qi wireless charging
Audio Front-firing stereo speakers Front-firing stereo speakers
Front Camera Dual: 8MP wide-angle (f/2.2) and 8MP (f/1.8) Dual: 8MP wide-angle (f/2.2) and 8MP (f/1.8)
Rear Camera Single: 12.2MP (f/1.8) with OIS and EIS Single: 12.2MP (f/1.8) with OIS and EIS
Colours Clearly White, Just Black, Not Pink Clearly White, Just Black, Not Pink
Size 145 x 68.2 x 7.9 mm 157 x 76.2 x 7.6 mm
Weight 148 g 184g
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), Bluetooth 5.0 BLE, GPS/Galileo/Glonass, and NFC Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), Bluetooth 5.0 BLE, GPS/Galileo/Glonass, and NFC

 

Performance 

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 
  • AI-enabled features

One of the Google Pixel 3’s strengths is its combination of artificial intelligence and the Android experience. The Pixel 3’s camera is the greatest beneficiary of the AI technology.

We love Google’s Call Screening feature which works with the Google Assistant. With these combinations, the Google Assistant can take your calls, and show you live transcriptions of the call’s content.

This feature is invaluable, especially when you are in a meeting. Again the Call Screening plus Google Assistant combo, can help you detect spam calls. You may not find this feature on high-end smartphones like Apple iPhone XR, Xiaomi Mi 9, Apple iPhone XS, Huawei Mate 20 Pro, and Honor View 20.

 

The Google Pixel 3 isn’t particularly eye-catching at first glance, however, its features are second to none. 

 

Ever tried to figure out what song was playing at a party or bar? You need not install a third-party app anymore to detect the title of a song you just heard. The Pixel 3’s Now Playing function can quickly identify whatever song is playing anywhere you are. It also gives you a history page with all the songs you’ve played recently.

If you are in the States, you can take advantage of Google Duplex, a feature which helps you schedule meetings with people. This feature works with Google Assistant as well. Have an iPhone? You can use this feature only if you have Google Assistant on it.

The Pixel 3’s earbuds (you’ll find them in the box) when being used, can quickly alert you when a message drops on your smartphone. But this is not the  catch. The interesting thing about the earbuds is that you can listen to the contents of your text messages without looking at your display.

As mentioned previously, Google does not offer many RAM options with the Pixel 3 – just 4GB of RAM. That said, it feels just as fast as other premium phones thanks to the Snapdragon 845 chip on the phone.

No in-screen fingerprint scanner on the Pixel 3. You’ll find the fingerprint reader on the back of the smartphone. The fingerprint sensor is responsive. You can register up to 5 fingerprints on the Pixel 3

The Pixel 3 has an IP68 rating, which means it is resistant to ingress from dust and water to some extent. The extent here means you can drop it into water up to 1.5m deep for half an hour.

Battery Life

  • 2915 mAh
  • 18W fast charging
  • Qi wireless charging

At a time when most smartphones come with never-seen-before batteries with impressive performances, Google never deemed it necessary to step up its game in the battery department with the Pixel 3.

The Pixel 3’s battery performance is no match for the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, OnePlus 7Pro, and Huawei P30 Pro which boast 4200, 4200, 4100, and 4000mAh batteries  respectively. You won’t get an all day battery life with the Pixel 3 unlike the Huawei P30 Pro which can last up to 48 hours, depending on usage.

 

 Google needs to up its game in the battery department.

 

Granted the Pixel 3’s battery performance is not the best, we’re happy that Google has included the right accessories to keep it alive. Shipped with the Pixel 3 are a fast charging USB-C charging cord, and an 18W wall charger. The Pixel 3 also has a Qi wireless charging feature.

With the fast charging accessories, you can juice up your Google Pixel 3 smartphone from 0% to 100% in 60 minutes or thereabouts.

The Pixel 3’s battery performance is not impressive. So, do not expect it to get you through the day. Make sure your fast charging USB-C cable is handy.

What You May Not Like

  • The Google Pixel 3 has only 4GB RAM option.
  • There’s no microSD card support.
  • The battery performance of the Pixel 3 isn’t as good as what you’ll find on other smartphones which have the same premium rating.

Bottom Line

Are we recommending the Google Pixel 3? Yes, of course. It wouldn’t have made the list if we weren’t happy with it.

With all the machine learning features packed into the Pixel 3 coupled with its fast performance, it is an excellent choice and a good buy any day.