Pixel 3 in all colorsSource: Android Central

Ever since 2016, Google's Pixel phones have been among the best in the Android space. With the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, things aren't any different.

Released in October 2018, the Pixel 3 series remains a special device, even now in late-2019. The cameras are great, the software's better than ever, and having been out for a while, it's not uncommon to find big savings, thanks to semi-regular deals and promotions.

From the latest news, our best accessory recommendations, and much more, here's everything you need to know about the Pixel 3!

Camera, phone

Google Pixel 3

A simple, powerful phone with an excellent camera and simple software anyone can enjoy using.

While it's since been succeeded by the Pixel 4, the Pixel 3 still brings a lot to the table. The design holds up, the display is easy on the eyes, and camera performance continues to be top-notch. It's also running the latest build of Android 10 with guaranteed updates coming in through October 2021.

You can now buy the Pixel 4!

Pixel 4 XL sitting on a treeSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

Speaking of Pixel phones, now's as good a time as any to address the elephant in the room — the Pixel 3 has since been succeeded by the Pixel 4.

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The Pixel 4 and 4 XL offer meaningful upgrades in a lot of areas, including a buttery-smooth 90Hz display, face unlock, Motion Sense hand gestures, and a second rear camera that allows for impressive telephoto shots.

Google's Pixel 3 is chugging along just fine at this point in time, but if you want the latest Pixel experience that's on offer, the Pixel 4 is now the way to go.

Google Pixel 4: Everything you need to know!

Check out our full review

Here it is, folks — the full Android Central review of the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL!

These are two top-tier Android phones, and no matter if you opt for the regular or XL model, you'll be getting a fantastic display, an excellent software experience, and some of the best cameras on a smartphone in 2019.

They may not look like much on the outside, but these are two really special phones.

Here are the specs

If you've got a Pixel 2, a lot of the specs for the Pixel 3 and 3 XL will look very similar. There's still 4GB of RAM and a starting storage amount of 64GB, but the Snapdragon 835 processor has been replaced by the newer 845.

For a full rundown on both phones, check out the link below. 👇

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL specifications

How does the Pixel 3 series compare to other phones?

Pixel 3a XL and Galaxy S10+Source: Android Central

Google's Pixel phones serve as an example of how Google thinks Android smartphones should look and feel, and as such, it's a lot of fun to stack them up against the competition to see how they fare.

We've pitted both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL against a bunch of other handsets, as evident by the list below.

Pixel 3

Pixel 3 XL

Should you upgrade from an older Pixel phone?

Pixel 3 XL and Pixel 2 XLSource: Android Central

Now that we've compared the Pixel 3 and 3 XL to phones from other companies, how do they stack up against Google's previous offerings with the Pixel and Pixel 2?

There are some obvious improvements, but if you're rocking something from the Pixel 2 series, upgrading may not be a necessity.

Check out any of the versus below to see what we mean.

The displays are a lot better

Pixel 3 XL and Pixel 3Source: Android Central

Shortly after its release, one of the biggest controversies that popped up for the larger Pixel 2 XL was its poor display. We have an LG-made OLED panel once again, but the year-over-year difference is huge.

Google's touting 400+ nits of brightness for both phones, 2X less burn-in potential, and less color shifting.

There are still three different color profiles to choose from so you can fine-tune your experience, and out of the box, both the Pixel 3 and 3 XL have been optimized so that their displays look identical next to one another.

For an extremely detailed analysis of the Pixel 3 XL's display, check out DisplayMate's full in-depth review in which it received a top A+ rating.

The Google Pixel 3 addresses our biggest complaint with the Pixel 2: its display

There are three colors

Pixel 3 in all colorsSource: Android Central

Google's probably the best when it comes to naming its device colors, and for the Pixel 3 we have Just Black and Very White. However, our favorite has to be a pink hue that's been aptly named "Not Pink."

All three colors are available for both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL no matter where you decide to buy them.

An all-glass back brings wireless charging support

Pixel 3 XL on a wireless chargerSource: Android Central

For the Pixel and Pixel 2, Google used a mixture of aluminum and glass on the back of its phones. With the Pixel 3, Google shook things up by adopting an all-glass construction.

There's still an etched section near the top that adds a nice matte finish that allows for more grip and fewer fingerprints. Google's also integrated Qi wireless charging support and selling a new Pixel Stand wireless charging accessory that'll charge the Pixel 3 + 3 XL and put them into a new "dashboard" UI that shows a slideshow of pictures on Google Photos and various Assistant info.

The Pixel Stand is a $79 wireless charger for Pixel 3 that unlocks special display modes

Google's made a ton of camera improvements

Pixel 3 XL in all colorsSource: Android Central

The Pixel 2 and 2 XL had some of the best cameras we'd ever seen on a smartphone, and with the Pixel 3, Google made the camera experience even better.

Perhaps the biggest change included the addition of a second front-facing camera. This allowed access to a regular and wide-angle lens for all of your selfies and portrait mode works no matter which one you use. Google also integrated an algorithm to remove any distortion caused by the wider lens.

Other changes include:

  • 40% faster HDR+ processing
  • Improved detail retention while zooming
  • Night Sight mode improves low-light shots
  • Top Shot mode captures multiple frames before and after your picture and then recommends an alternative shot compared to what you actually captured

Along with all this, Google Lens is also built right into the Pixel 3's camera app and works automatically when it detects something.

The phone is now running Android 10

Pixel 3 XL running Android 10Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central

When the Pixel 3 was first released, it shipped with Android 9 Pie. These days, however, the phone is running the latest and greatest build of Android 10.

All of the expected Android 10 goodies are available on the Pixel 3, including the new gesture navigation, dark mode, and more.

The software experience on the Pixel 3 is as good as you'll find, and it's still going to get better as time goes on. The Pixel 3 lineup comes with three years of guaranteed updates, meaning it'll keep getting new software through October 2021.

Android 10: Everything you need to know!

The Pixel 3a is a cheaper version of the regular Pixel 3

Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XLSource: Alex Dobie / Android Central

The Pixel 3 and 3 XL are flagship phones through and through, but what's a person to do if they want 80% of the Pixel experience while spending hundreds of dollars less? That's where the Pixel 3a series comes into play.

Released in May 2019, the Pixel 3a and 3a XL are trimmed-down versions of the Pixel 3 and 3 XL in every single way. They have a lower-end processor, a plastic design instead of a glass one, and a lower-resolution display. However, all of those cutbacks also result in considerably lower price tags.

What's really exciting about the Pixel 3a handsets is that they have the exact same rear camera found on the flagship Pixel 3. In other words, pictures look phenomenal and worlds better than what's capable on other similarly-priced devices.

The 3a and 3a XL are two of the best value offerings in the Android space, and for our more budget-conscious readers, are definitely worth a look.

Google Pixel 3a: Everything you need to know!

There are a ton of accessories

Pixel 3 XL in a Bellroy leather caseSource: Android Central

The Pixel 3 and 3 XL are great phones, but you can make them even better with a good collection of accessories.

Whether you're in the market for a heavy-duty case, screen protectors, or something else entirely, here are a few helpful links to get you started with outfitting your new phone.

Pixel 3

Pixel 3 XL

Here's where you can buy it

If you want to pick up the Pixel 3 for yourself, it's available for purchase right now. The regular Pixel 3 had a retail price $799 for the 64GB model and went up to $899 if you got the 128GB variant. For those same storage configurations on the Pixel 3 XL, you'd pay $899 and $999, respectively.

However, those are retail prices. Now that the Pixel 3 and 3 XL have been out for a hot minute, it's not uncommon to see regular discounts that bring both phones down by hundreds of dollars.

Camera, phone

Google Pixel 3

A simple, powerful phone with an excellent camera and simple software anyone can enjoy using.

While it's since been succeeded by the Pixel 4, the Pixel 3 still brings a lot to the table. The design holds up, the display is easy on the eyes, and camera performance continues to be top-notch. It's also running the latest build of Android 10 with guaranteed updates coming in through October 2021.

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