Google Pixel three evaluate: The perfect Android telephone?
“Slick software program, distinctive A.I. options, and an exquisite digital camera make the Pixel three irresistible.”
Lovely OLED display
Implausible digital camera
Slick software program
Distinctive A.I. options
Lower than common battery life
Google’s Pixel three got here close to the top of a yr that was filled with gorgeous smartphones. There was a basic air of skepticism forward of the discharge. The broadly leaked design seemed dated subsequent to the iPhone XS, the spec sheet appeared missing subsequent to the Galaxy Word 9, and the one lens digital camera appeared restricted subsequent to the P20 Professional, however the Pixel three proved that there are nonetheless some issues Apple, Samsung, and Huawei might be taught from Google’s distinctive strategy to the smartphone market.
Together with the brand new yr a recent wave of smartphones has washed ashore able to push the Pixel for the very best Android telephone title. Beginning at $799, the Pixel three is $150 costlier than its predecessor, making its sibling, which begins at $899, much less of a leap. You may learn our Pixel three XL evaluate to search out out what we consider the larger Google telephone, however earlier than you determine to go giant, enable us to clarify what makes the Pixel three so compelling.
The best smartphone dimension
Design is vital, and but it generally appears like Google’s strategy to is somewhat too laidback. The Pixel three XL’s ugly, deep notch and the massive bezels that flank the Pixel three’s display have been roundly derided. Google is behind the curve right here. For those who’re going to have a notch, there shouldn’t be such a thick bezel on the backside; when you shrink bezels down, you’ll be able to match bigger screens in with out making handsets too massive. If it’s a alternative between notch and bezels, we favor the bezels of the Pixel three.
All of the prejudgment of the Pixel three was primarily based on its seems, however our opinion instantly softened after we held one in our hand. This can’t be correctly conveyed by way of phrases or images alone, so we strongly counsel you attempt to lay fingers on one your self. The Pixel three is the proper dimension and weight for a smartphone. Of all of the telephones we’ve used over the past yr, the Pixel three is the best to make use of one-handed and probably the most comfy to deal with.
Simon Hill/Digital Developments
It’s gently curved with a shiny body sandwiched by glass. Google’s signature two-tone design has been retained on the again, with a small shiny part on the high which homes the digital camera module, and a matte part for the underside 80 p.c which has the centrally-placed fingerprint sensor close to the highest.
The intelligent half right here is the again of the Pixel three is in truth one steady piece of robust Gorilla Glass 5. The etched end is a particular method we haven’t seen earlier than. It feels gentle to the contact and it doesn’t choose up any seen finger smudges or prints that are such a typical blight on glass smartphones.
You’ll discover the facility button on the correct edge with the amount rocker beneath. On our white evaluate unit, the facility button is mint inexperienced, however there’s a black model with a black energy button, and a pink model with an orange energy button. Other than that there’s simply the USB-C port on the underside edge with the SIM card tray subsequent to it. No room for a MicroSD card right here and no three.5mm audio jack.
The Pixel three is the proper dimension and weight for a smartphone.
The Pixel three is a really related dimension to the iPhone XS, measuring in a contact taller, however not fairly as vast. Whereas Apple has packed a 5.Eight-inch show into its handset, the Pixel three’s show is 5.5 inches. The twin lens front-facing digital camera is embedded within the left facet of the highest bezel and there are central stereo audio system high and backside. The audio system are 40 p.c louder than the Pixel 2, and so they sound way more dynamic, and the sound can simply fill a room.
All of the main telephone producers have switched to OLED screens of their flagships now and we’re glad they’ve. The upper distinction ratio actually tells, particularly in low mild and darkish situations the place true black stands out and backlights trigger issues.
With a 2,260 x 1,080-pixel decision, the Pixel three show is sharp and legible. Google has made some severe effort right here to enhance on the shows in final yr’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, after the latter got here in for some severe flack. We’re happy to report that this yr’s telephones are pixel good.
Inserting the Pixel three side-by-side with the iPhone XS, it’s not possible to decide on between them. The Pixel three display is superb. Google has upped the saturation after complaints in regards to the extra pure show tuning in final yr’s telephones, and we predict it seems a lot better. It’s additionally value noting that you may nonetheless dip into the show settings and change again to the extra “pure” colour profile.
Gaming at the hours of darkness, watching a film on the prepare, or studying on a park bench – no matter you’re doing the show seems nice and it adjusts routinely to swimsuit the setting.
What excites us most in regards to the Pixel three is the groundbreaking synthetic intelligence (A.I.) inside. The Pixel three can do issues no different telephone can. Loads of these A.I. smarts reside within the digital camera, which we’ll get to quickly, however Google Assistant is rising extra helpful by the day and there are different genuinely useful options in right here that add as much as an important expertise.
The scourge of spam calls might have you ever dreading your ringtone, so Google’s Name Screening characteristic can be welcome. It permits you to use Google Assistant to reply a name for you, after which you will notice a dwell transcription of what the caller is saying. Inside the first 5 seconds, it’s straightforward to inform whether or not it’s a real particular person attempting to succeed in you or a robocall. You may mark it as spam if it’s the latter. You may even use this characteristic when you’re in a gathering or busy as a option to see why somebody is looking, although it would really feel somewhat unusual for the particular person on the opposite line. Both method, this has rapidly turn into one in all our favourite options on the Pixel three. It has additionally rolled out to the Pixel 2 and a couple of XL.
The Pixel three isn’t more likely to excite you at first look, however it’s a smartphone with hidden depths.
We tried out Google’s Duplex characteristic, which lets you ask Google Assistant to e book a desk for you or arrange an appointment. It’s accessible on the Pixel three in additional than 40 states now and it’s set to roll out to any gadget working Android 5.zero or up very quickly. You’ll even have the ability to apply it to the iPhone if in case you have Google Assistant put in. Sadly, there’s no information on worldwide availability but.
The intelligent Now Enjoying characteristic, which identifies the music that’s enjoying wherever you go on the lock display, has been improved with a historical past web page that permits you to evaluate the monitor record. Meaning you’ll be able to return and discover out what that tune from final night time’s celebration that’s now caught in your head was.
For those who plug within the wired, USB-C earbuds that include your Pixel three, then Google Assistant will pop up and inform you when you have got a textual content message, supplying you with the choice to listen to it. It’s also possible to ask any of the standard array of questions to search out out in regards to the subsequent prepare, your schedule, the climate, or pay attention to a different monitor.
Talking of music, you get six months of YouTube Music without cost with the Pixel three, after which it prices $10 per thirty days.
Slick, speedy software program
On paper, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and 4GB of RAM seem distinctly common, however we haven’t encountered any points with efficiency within the Pixel three. This can be a slick, responsive smartphone that fortunately fires up and runs no matter apps or video games you select.
Whereas the Snapdragon 845 is ubiquitous, many different high smartphones have 6GB or 8GB of RAM, together with the comparatively low-cost OnePlus 6 and the Asus Zenfone 5Z. We will perceive why folks may need anticipated Google to pack in additional RAM, however we’re assured the overwhelming majority of persons are going to be proud of the pace of the Pixel three.
The benchmark outcomes are precisely what you would possibly anticipate:
AnTuTu 3DBench: 277,559
Geekbench four CPU: 2,343 single-core; Eight,260 multi-core
3DMark Sling Shot Excessive: three,488 (Vulkan)
That places the Pixel three on the similar degree as most different 2018 Android flagships, together with the Word 9. We don’t suppose you’ll see a discernible distinction, and the truth that the Pixel three is unencumbered by a producer UI, like Samsung’s Expertise, signifies that it feels quicker and slicker.
You received’t be shocked to search out the most recent model of Google’s cellular working system on the Pixel three. Android 9 Pie provides plenty of little enhancements, from extra expansive notifications to digital wellbeing checks designed that will help you hold your telephone use beneath management. It could take somewhat interval of adjustment to get used to the shortage of basic navigation buttons and choose up the brand new gestures, however anybody switching from one other Android gadget goes to really feel at dwelling right here.
Take a look at our Android 9.zero Pie evaluate for a deeper dive into what it has to supply.
Because the developer of Android, Google will push safety updates and bigger characteristic updates out to the Pixel vary first. Meaning software program replace speeds on a par with Apple, negating one of many massive criticisms of the Android ecosystem: Safety and fragmentation. The Pixel three is assured to get software program updates for at the very least two years, and safety updates for 3, which is greater than we are able to say for a lot of different Android flagships.
Pixel good images
Our reigning digital camera telephone champion was the Pixel 2, however Google has improved on the Pixel 2 and a couple of XL cameras within the Pixel three and three XL. As soon as once more, each sizes of telephone have an similar digital camera setup.
We’re very proud of the digital camera to date, in truth it’s our choose for better of the yr.
The principle digital camera boasts a single lens rated at 12.2 megapixels with an f/1.Eight aperture. The front-facing digital camera now consists of two Eight-megapixel lenses, one with an f/1.Eight aperture and a wide-angle companion with an f/2.2 aperture.
However you have to look past the to search out the thrilling adjustments. Google employs machine studying and A.I. to reinforce your images in numerous intelligent methods. The HDR+ operate, launched within the Pixel 2, stitches collectively totally different exposures to reach on the very best shot. It makes a return right here, however Google has added some additional options within the form of Prime Shot, Tremendous Res Zoom, and Night time Sight.
Prime Shot captures frames earlier than and after you press that shutter button after which identifies and discards the blurry pictures or the pictures the place folks seemed away or blinked. You may faucet to broaden the menu and evaluate the pictures your self, however we’ve but to discover a higher shot than the one prompt. The picture high quality does take successful right here for images that aren’t the unique, nonetheless.
Tremendous Res Zoom is designed to wring higher element out of images the place you’ve zoomed in. Digital zooms usually lead to very noisy pictures, however Tremendous Res Zoom helps to cut back the noise and get outcomes which might be nearer to these you’d anticipate from a devoted telephoto lens able to optical zoom, like those you’ll discover within the iPhone XS and the Galaxy S9 Plus. It’s good, however it doesn’t fairly match up. Zoom in additional, and the Pixel three usually has probably the most element.
Left: Night time Sight off, proper: Night time Sight on Julian Chokkattu/Digital Developments
Night time Sight is an evolution of the HDR+ strategy that stitches collectively much more pictures to enhance the already first rate low mild efficiency, combining frames to enhance colours and select particulars that may normally be misplaced. It’s accessible as an replace to the Google Digital camera app and it makes an enormous distinction, and works with each the front-facing and essential cameras.
Cameras have come far within the final couple of years and choosing the very best may be very subjective, however the Pixel three will get our vote. We now have a number of in-depth digital camera comparisons, however these pictures, taken with the Pixel three and the iPhone XS, present the distinction in strategy taken by Google and Apple.
Left: Pixel three; Proper: iPhone XS.
Whereas we see the same high quality and excessive degree of element in all these pictures, there are placing divergences. The Edinburgh Fortress photograph was taken on sometimes wet, misty day and the Pixel three is way nearer to how the scene seemed in actual life, however the bluish tinge launched by the iPhone XS arguably makes the scene extra enticing.
For the indoor shot in a bar, the Pixel three photograph is way brighter and clearer, however veers dangerously in direction of overexposure in a few areas. The iPhone XS shot is softer, however not fairly as sharp.
One of many essential strengths of the Pixel three cameras, each back and front, is the portrait mode. The leads to totally different environments with totally different mild ranges are by no means lower than wonderful.
The Pixel three takes portrait images that you just wish to share, and most of the people are shocked and delighted by the outcomes, although it isn’t good. For those who look very intently on the edges of the topic, you’ll generally see areas the place the blur ought to have been utilized however hasn’t been.
The front-facing digital camera can be able to portrait pictures, making use of that bokeh blur after the actual fact each bit as efficiently as the primary digital camera. Every portrait shot is introduced as two images: The unique, with out the blur, and the second with the blur utilized.
One of many greatest upgrades within the Pixel three is the introduction of a second wide-angle lens, triggered with a straightforward to succeed in slider within the digital camera app subsequent to the shutter button. You may see that group selfies or selfies the place you wish to slot in some background are a lot simpler to seize with the wide-angle choice.
Pleasingly, not like another wide-angle choices we’ve used, there isn’t lots of noticeable distortion within the corners or noise creeping in with the Pixel three. It’s a well-thought out characteristic that’s straightforward to make use of and it really works properly.
We’re very proud of the digital camera to date, in truth it’s our choose for better of the yr, although it does have some significantly stiff competitors. Learn our full information to Pixel three images for much more information.
Earlier than we transfer on, it’s additionally vital to notice that you just get free, limitless cloud storage for all of the images and movies you’re taking together with your Pixel three of their unique, fine quality decision with Google Photographs. That’s a beneficial perk.
Battery life is the Achilles’ heel
For those who’ve been studying together with a smile, accelerating in direction of placing in an order for a Pixel three on the finish of this evaluate, then that is the purpose the place we slam the brakes on. Sit down, take a breath, we’ve some unhealthy information: This smartphone lacks stamina.
The Pixel three has a 2,915mAh battery. We had been disenchanted with the battery life within the Pixel 2, however hoped that the slight leap in capability from 2,700mAh, coupled with a extra environment friendly processor and software program, would possibly lead to an honest leap in stamina. Sadly, that hasn’t been the case and the Pixel three is giving us battery anxiousness somewhat too often.
On a busy day you’re going to be trying to find an outlet lengthy earlier than bedtime. After a reasonably busy day of blended use, with loads of photograph capturing, beginning at Eight a.m. we managed to crawl to 11 p.m. however the Pixel three’s battery proportion was into single figures after we plugged in. Our companion, utilizing the iPhone XS and taking all the identical images, nonetheless had 38 p.c within the tank.
On a busy day you’re going to be trying to find an outlet lengthy earlier than bedtime.
A lot is determined by how you utilize your telephone, however we regularly discovered the Pixel three was low sufficient by early night that we’d plug in for a fast cost if we had plans to exit.
The excellent news is that Google consists of correct, USB-PD, quick charging equipment within the field, offering an 18W wall charger and a USB-C to USB-C charging cable, not like another producers. Meaning you’ll be able to go from 17 p.c to 42 p.c in 15 minutes and it took simply 50 minutes to hit 100 p.c.
There’s additionally Qi wi-fi charging at quick, 10W speeds with any wi-fi charging pad or stand that helps it. Google is promoting its personal Pixel Stand wi-fi charger that it says will cost the telephone the quickest, however it does a lot extra than simply cost.
A couple of months in, battery life continues to be the primary drawback we’ve with the Pixel three.
Value, availability, and guarantee data
The Pixel three is at present accessible on the market, and prices $799 for the 64GB mannequin or $899 for the 128GB mannequin. It’s a Verizon unique within the U.S., however you should buy it unlocked from Google and use it with any main service. You could find out all the main points in our Pixel three shopping for information.
It has a regular one-year guarantee within the U.S. and a two-year guarantee in Europe. For those who’re unfortunate sufficient to come across a producing defect, your Pixel three can be repaired or changed freed from cost.
The Pixel three isn’t more likely to excite you at first look, however it’s a smartphone with hidden depths. Google provides the very best Android expertise hands-down, distinctive A.I. options which might be unmatched elsewhere, and a digital camera that captures fantastic images. The trade-off is boring design, although it feels quite a bit higher than it seems, and a worrying lack of stamina.
Is there a greater different?
Possibly. We’re impressed with Samsung’s Galaxy S10 vary, notably the Galaxy S10 Plus, which has a beautiful design, a spectacular display, and an improve to 2019’s flagship processor — the Snapdragon 855. However it’s costlier. For those who just like the sound of the Pixel three, however desire a bigger display, then the Pixel three XL provides a lot the identical in a much bigger, uglier bundle. One other, newer choice is the OnePlus 7 Professional, which delivers wonderful at an affordable value.
How lengthy will it final?
We predict the Pixel three will final you three years when you take care of it. Google has assured well timed software program updates for at the very least that lengthy. You must get a case to guard the glass, however the telephone is IP68 waterproof, so you have got some water safety.
Do you have to purchase it?
Sure. If you would like the very best Android expertise and you favor one thing you should utilize one-handed, the Pixel three is tailor-made for you.
Up to date on March 11, 2019: We’ve added our ideas after just a few months of utilizing the Pixel three.