The Pixel became a fan-favorite for its compact size and unchanged hardware from its larger sibling. The Pixel 3 retains all of that while managing to offer a significantly larger screen and vastly upgraded cameras.
Reasons to upgrade to the Pixel 3
The smartphone industry has moved to taller 18:9 displays over the course of the last 18 months, and with phones in general getting bigger, there's a noticeable shortage of compact devices. That's where the Pixel 3 comes in. Although the phone comes with a larger 5.5-inch display, the overall dimensions aren't all that different from the first-gen Pixel.
That makes the Pixel 3 ideal for one-handed use, and the switch to the 18:9 form factor has allowed Google to trim the bezels while offering stereo speakers and dual front cameras. The Pixel 3 has all the trimmings of its larger sibling but in a much more compact form factor, making it the perfect upgrade from your Pixel or even the Pixel 2.
|Category||Google Pixel 3||Google Pixel|
|Operating system||Android 9 Pie||Android 9 Pie|
Gorilla Glass 5
Gorilla Glass 4
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Pixel Visual Core
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 821|
|Rear camera||12.2MP, 1.4-micron, PDAF
|12.3MP, 1.55-micron, PDAF
|Front camera 1||8MP, auto focus
f/1.8, 75-degree lens
|8MP, f/2.4, 1.4-micron|
|Front camera 2||8MP, fixed focus
f/2.2, 97-degree lens
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11ac 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, NFC, GPS||Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS|
|Charging||18W USB-C PD
|Security||Fingerprint sensor||Fingerprint sensor|
|Dimensions||145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9mm
|143.8 x 69.5 x 8.5mm
|Colors||Just Black, Very White, Not Pink||Quite Black, Very Silver, Really Blue|
The design at the back has also been updated, and while it feels like metal to the touch, it is in fact Gorilla Glass 5 with a finish that's designed to mimic a metallic back. The glass back facilitates wireless charging, and Google's $79 Pixel Stand accessory unlocks new functionality. Elsewhere, the Pixel 3 comes with IP68 dust and water resistance. And while there isn't a headphone jack, Google is including a pair of USB-C earbuds in the box with every Pixel 3.
The Pixel 3 is a considerable upgrade from the Pixel in almost every category.
The camera always dominates the conversation when talking about new Pixels, and it's astounding what Google has managed to achieve with computational photography. The Pixel 3 has a single rear camera with an imaging sensor that's unchanged from last year, but Google's advances in image processing mean the phone is able to take better photos.
It's up front where we see most of the changes in this area. The Pixel 3 has dual 8MP + 8MP cameras at the front, with the secondary sensor enabling wide-angle selfies. The front shooter on the Pixel 2 was already the best in the business, and with the addition of the wide-angle lens the Pixel 3 solidifies its position at the summit.
The perfect upgrade
The Pixel 3 delivers upgrades in all the right areas.
Google hasn't altered the formula too much with the Pixel 3. You're still getting a phone with a compact size, but the switch to an 18:9 form factor facilitates a larger display, and unlike the Pixel 3 XL, there's no annoying notch to deal with. Couple that with the fantastic cameras on offer, and the Pixel 3 is an easy sell.
Comes up short
It's time to make the switch to the Pixel 3.
The Pixel has plenty going for it, but it just doesn't hold up next to the Pixel 3. If you're rocking the Pixel, the Pixel 3 is the upgrade you've been waiting for.
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