Review Cellular strives to provide unbiased, comprehensive, up-to-date smartphone and cell phone plan reviews. We use our extensive knowledge of the marketplace and user feedback across the web to provide valuable insights. Let us do all the digging so you can make an informed decision.
Disclosure: Review Cellular is reader supported. When you buy through links on this site, we will earn an affiliate commission. Thank you for your support.
**This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
Google Pixel 3 is the successor to the Pixel 2, which was released in November 2017. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL were first announced on October 9, 2018, and released in the market on October 18. Google has made some significant improvements to the Pixel 3 over its predecessor. Thus, Pixel 3 has some new tricks up its sleeve that are not only impressive but quite useful. The Pixel 2 camera provided excellent photo quality, so we should expect the Pixel 3 to be just as good or better.
Though the Android phone has a successor now, the Google Pixel 4, it remains an attractive choice – and comes with affordable pricing these days.
The Pixel lineup is considered the best among Android smartphones as Google utilizes machine learning and AI to improve performance and ensure a better software experience. While the hardware specs of the Google Pixel 3 might not dazzle you, the magic lies in the exceptional software optimization offering smooth performance. So let’s dig into the in-depth Google Pixel 3 review to see if it’s a good fit for you today.
Google Pixel 3 arrives in a classic white box with its picture on the front and branding on the top right. The edge of the box has a side view image of the device. The back of the box has the #teampixel slogan. Opening the premium package reveals the Pixel 3 packed in a transparent protective sheet.
Below the smartphone, you get the SIM ejection pin, quick start guide, and stickers. You also get the USB-C cable, USB-C earphones, USB-C to USB-A adapter for fast transfer, and USB-C to headphone jack adapter. There’s also an 18W fast charging adapter in the box.
YouTube content on this site is displayed using an Elementor Pro Video Playlist widget under YouTube Terms of Service https://www.youtube.com/static?template=terms. Trademarks, copyrights, brand names and images displayed in this embed are the property of their respective owners, and are for identification purposes only.
Google’s Pixel 3 phone has a subtle yet modern design that puts it head-to-head with other flagship smartphones. You get to see reduced bezels, which is an improvement. However, the top and bottom bezels are still noticeably thick to host the dual front-firing speakers and dual cameras for selfies. It is available in three stunning colors – Just Black, Clearly White, and Not Pink. We received the Just Black variant, but all of the colors look amazing.
Ditching the aluminum back for Corning Gorilla Glass, the Google phone looks super-premium and facilitates wireless charging. Similar to Pixel 2, it has a dual-toned backside as the top layer is somewhat glossy, whereas the remaining 80% is matte. The glossy top has the rear camera with the LED flashlight, whereas the matte surface has the fingerprint sensor. Google Pixel logo appears near the bottom edge.
The device is very well-balanced, measuring in at 5.73 x 2.69 x 0.31 inches, with rounded edges, and an 18:9 aspect ratio. The best part? We could effortlessly use it with one hand and comfortably store it in the pocket. We recommend using a case for the phone to prevent scratches on the matte surface. The power and volume rocker buttons are on the right edge. The Just Black variant has the black colored power button; while the Clearly White variant has a mint colored power button, and Not Pink has an orange power button. A SIM card tray and USB Type-C port are on the bottom edge. Overall, the design is excellent and has IP68 certification, which means it is waterproof to a certain depth and can withstand dust and dirt.
With the Pixel 3, Android users can access some cool features that weren’t available in the Google Pixel lineup previously. One of them is the Night Sight, which dramatically improves the low-light photography performance of the device. Pixel 3 features the following smartphone cameras:
In the era where it is now common to see smartphones with a triple camera system, the Pixel 3 has a single rear camera. It’s incredible to see the device doing such a great job with just one camera when some devices struggle even with multiple cameras. Google has been able to achieve this feat because of its next-level machine learning and AI technology.
Photos clicked with the 12 MP primary camera came out looking great. The camera has excellent depth of field, and automatic HDR ensures a spot on dynamic range. Portrait mode also worked well, and we didn’t feel the absence of a depth camera. Portrait mode is better at recognizing everyday objects. Color reproduction was good, and we didn’t think the images were oversaturated, which is a common problem with some cameras.
The front selfie cameras also produce great results. Google has named the ultra-wide selfie camera as the Group Selfie Camera because it can capture more in the frame, reducing the need for a selfie stick. Let’s talk about the new features; Thanks to Top Shot, you can capture clear images with no blur even if the subject moved or blinked during the shot. There is no telephoto lens, but Super Res Zoom aims to mitigate some problems when getting closer to the subject. The feature is automatically activated when you zoom in more than 1.2x and reduces noise in zoom shots.
From concerts to campfires and camping trips, Night Sight effectively takes low-light photographs without the need for flash. As a result, the device can capture incredible details and color in dimly lit conditions. In terms of photography, Pixel 3 is a tough competitor for devices like the Apple iPhone XS and Galaxy Note 9.
Pixel 3 also receives an upgrade in terms of display. The 5.5-inch OLED screen comes with a resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels. It also has reduced bezels and an 18:9 aspect ratio. Content on the screen appears sharp, and color reproduction is accurate. Streaming videos and playing games on the device is fun because of the high definition clarity.
By default, the device is set to adaptive mode. You can change it to natural mode for natural colors or boosted mode, which also produces decent colors. As the screen is OLED and has a pixel density of 443 PPI, we could see the content on the screen under daylight. Overall, we have no complaints regarding the Pixel 3’s display.
The Pixel 3 features a 2,915 mAh battery that will last you through the day. During heavy use, the device may need to be recharged before the end of the day. However, it comes with a fast charger that can refill over 40% juice within 30 minutes. The two-toned glass back also makes the device wirelessly chargeable. Moreover, the Adaptive Battery feature of Android 9 Pie limits the power to apps that you rarely use, further increasing the battery life.
The Google Pixel 3 is available in two storage options – 64GB and 128GB. If you only use the device for primary tasks, 64GB will do the job for you. But if you download a lot of apps and games, go for the 128 GB variant. There’s no option for expandable storage, but the Pixel gives you free unlimited cloud storage to store pictures on Google Photos, which is a big plus.
We have three words for the Pixel 3 performance: Fast, Smart, Easy. The device has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and 4GB of RAM. You might wonder why the flagship-level device does not have more RAM, but the difference isn’t noticeable during actual performance. It is because of the excellent optimization of the Pixel phones.
The main advantage of the device is the pure stock Android experience. The interface is clean and clutter-free, and there was no bloatware to be found. You can get the best out of the Google apps on Pixel devices. For instance, apps like Google Assistant and Google Lens work seamlessly. You can quickly access Google Assistant by slightly squeezing the edges of the device. Whatever tasks we threw at the device, it handled with ease, whether it was a graphic-intensive game like PUBG Mobile or scrolling through social media feeds and switching between apps.
Call Screening is one of the most talked-about features that we definitely love. It can help you get away from spam, and other unwanted calls while also giving you real-time transcriptions. Digital Wellbeing is another cool app that we recommend using to limit your screen time and set a reminder for various apps. It will help you to save time and avoid scrolling through apps endlessly. Your Pixel can also turn into a Google Home device if you choose to buy the Pixel stand. In our opinion, Google Pixel 3’s performance will satisfy most users.
Pixel 3 has all the bells and whistles most people expect in a premium smartphone, plus some generous extras. The display is beautiful, with striking color saturation and high contrast for easy viewing in every situation. Along with a great display, Pixel 3 has a fast processor, all-day battery life, and excellent support for the Google Assistant. The cameras capture breathtaking shots with advanced technologies like Night Sight and Super Res Zoom, which are difficult to match with other smartphones of 2018. For those who want a compact device that can be carried around easily and takes beautiful photos in all conditions, Pixel 3 is the right choice.
Google Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL were released together. Pixel 3 has a 5.5-inch screen, whereas the Pixel 3 XL has a 6.3-inch screen. On the other hand, the Google Pixel 2 Xl came out with Android 8.0 Oreo, 6-inch display, and Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, but the Pixel 3 came with Android 9.0 Pie and Qualcomm Snapdragon 845.
Yes, the Google Pixel 3 supports wireless charging, thanks to the glass black.
With a 2,915 mAh battery, the Pixel 3 will last through an entire day on normal usage. However, after heavy use, you might need to recharge the device at the end of the day.
Google Duplex is an AI-based technology that can make calls on your behalf using human-like voice to schedule appointments, confirm reservations, and much more.
With IPX8 resistance rating, the Google Pixel 3 is water-resistant but not waterproof.
The Google Pixel 3 was released on October 18, 2018.