Hands on with the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL


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It’s one factor to absorb each leak about Google’s new Pixel Three and Pixel Three XL Android telephones and knock the bigger system’s thick notch from afar, however one other to truly maintain them in your arms and attempt to make some sense of the design selections and options which can be the results of them.

These are clearly the recent telephones of the second, and from my transient time with them, they actually really feel good within the hand. However is there something compelling concerning the Pixel Three telephones past their glass surfaces? Sure… in case you’re actually into taking pictures.

Google spent barely a minute speaking concerning the design and precisely zero seconds on the Pixel Three’s specs. As an alternative, it used the whole lot of the telephone portion of its #MadeByGoogle occasion to concentrate on the telephones’ new digicam capabilities.

And boy are there many. 

Digital camera function overload

The Pixel Three’s are the primary Pixel telephones with wi-fi charging.


So let’s discuss concerning the cameras. Each the 5.5-inch Pixel Three and the 6.Three-inch Pixel Three XL have the identical set of cameras: a 12.2-megapixel rear digicam and twin Eight-megapixel selfie cameras on the entrance.

Google proved with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL that it might compete on cell images with out pushing arduous on (with, say, a dual-camera system or optical telephoto lens) and as an alternative depend on software program, through AI and machine studying, to do what the digicam lens and sensor could not do on their very own.

Whereas the demo space at Google’s occasion was removed from a very good place to check cameras, photographs with the Pixel Three regarded good. I imply, they did not look worse than on Pixel 2.

Both phones have dual 8-megapixel cameras on the front. One for regular selfies and the other a wider angle for group selfies.

Each telephones have twin Eight-megapixel cameras on the entrance. One for normal selfies and the opposite a wider angle for group selfies.


Google says there’s higher dynamic vary for pictures taken with the Pixel Three due to its third iteration on HDR+. With the Night time Sight function (I did not get to check this as a result of it was daytime), the telephones use on-device machine studying to investigate low-light photographs and increase particulars by injecting extra luminance into areas like shadows. All with out utilizing flash.

It sounds spectacular and Google even took a shot on the the iPhone XS’s cameras with a comparability:

How properly it really works in apply and actually compares to the iPhone XS’s Good HDR function, which I discovered to be an enormous enchancment over the iPhone X’s common HDR function, nonetheless, is one thing I must check extra completely once I get the telephones for overview.

There is a new “Tremendous Res Zoom” function that basically crops a photograph and and sharpens the small print — a transparent option to make up for not having a secondary 2x telephoto lens like on different telephones.

A “High Shot” function is meant to make sure you get solely the perfect photographs. You already know, those with out  closed eyes or photobombers or blurriness.

Photobooth captures pictures when it detects topics have smiled or made a foolish face. There’s one other mode for video that tracks shifting topics. And the Pixel Three telephones additionally boast extra real looking AR stickers (is that basically a factor folks care about?).

The Pixel 3 has top and bottom bezels, but no notch.

The Pixel Three has high and backside bezels, however no notch.


Maybe essentially the most helpful new digicam options in addition to Night time Sight are the improved portrait mode and the generically named “group selfie cam.”

Portrait mode now helps you to regulate the depth of the background blur identical to on flagship Samsung telephones and the iPhone XS and XS Max. It even helps you to regulate the topic focus so you can also make the foreground blurry and the background sharp or desaturate the background to essentially make the topic pop. The function appeared to work fairly properly from what I might inform.

Portrait mode is more powerful than before with depth control.

Portrait mode is extra highly effective than earlier than with depth management.


The group selfie cam helps you to regulate a zoom slider to change between the common wide-angle digicam and the even wider secondary digicam for a bigger discipline of view — good for, properly, group selfies. LG’s used this dual-camera selfie trick on a few of its telephones previously, however on Pixel Three, it seems to work higher.

The vast majority of these digicam options are designed to assist customers “get the shot,” however in addition to Night time Sight, the improved portrait mode, and the group selfies, most of those really feel gimmicky. Which brings us full circle again to the query of what do folks really need from their telephone cameras? The reply: Simply sharper and better-exposed pictures. 

While you litter a telephone with too many fluffy options, folks will ignore them. Simply have a look at all of the junk inside Samsung’s digicam app. However who is aware of? Perhaps these new digicam options will develop on me.

The is… okay

Gotta love that orange power button.

Gotta love that orange energy button.


Google might need ignored the throughout its keynote, however shoppers certainly will not. The Pixel Three and three XL have good designs. They are not essentially the prettiest premium telephones, however they at the very least really feel good.  

The smaller Pixel Three is way extra usable with one hand than the Pixel Three XL. Each are a bit slippery due to their shiny sides. I really like the orange energy buttons — they simply give the telephones a pleasant pop of shade.

No headphone jack on the Pixel 3's :(

No headphone jack on the Pixel Three’s 🙁


There is a fingerprint sensor on the again, no headphone jack, a USB-C port, and louder dual-front dealing with stereo audio system. 

Each telephones are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip and 4GB of RAM, and you’ve got the choice of both 64GB or 128GB of storage (no insane 256GB of 512GB on these infants). And in case you should ask, there isn’t any expandable microSD card slot. Womp-womp!

Android Pie flies on the Pixel 3 and 3 XL of course.

Android Pie flies on the Pixel Three and three XL in fact.


Android 9 Pie is quick and snappy on the telephones as they need to be. New is wi-fi charging and there is a neat $80 Pixel Stand wi-fi charging dock that additionally does quick charging (at 10 watts), basically turning telephones inside it right into a Google House.

How do you feel about the notch on the 3 XL?

How do you’re feeling concerning the notch on the three XL?


Backside line: The Pixel Three’s look like well-built telephones. I discovered myself liking the smaller Pixel Three greater than the three XL simply because it would not have a deep notch and it is simpler to make use of with one hand. However that is a matter of private choice.

Competitors has by no means been higher

The "Not Pink" (right) is a very, very light pink.

The “Not Pink” (proper) is a really, very gentle pink.

Picture: raymond wong/mashable

Beginning at $799 for the Pixel Three and $899 for the three XL, Google’s new telephones actually are extra reasonably priced than the $1,000+ iPhone XS and XS Max.

The pricing is greater than a Samsung Galaxy S9, however Apple’s kinda received a secret weapon with the iPhone XR, which begins at $749 and comes with a bigger 6.1-inch display screen, an arguably sleeker design in punchier colours, and a extra highly effective (in apply) A12 Bionic chip.

I will need to put the Pixel Three telephones by way of the wringer to see if the cameras are actually definitely worth the ticket. In case your allegiance is to Android, these are in all probability the perfect telephones to think about getting. They don’t have any bloatware and will certainly be the primary Android telephones to get new updates. 

However even then I might wait till the tip of the month earlier than pre-ordering. The OnePlus 6T, which can virtually undoubtedly price lower than the Pixel Three, could possibly be a greater worth, and that is coming simply in time for Halloween.

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