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Finally, the new Pixel devices are here with stunning features and some of them are will only be limited to Pixel devices only. The new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 has a new improved camera system which is the best on any smartphone as of now. Also, they both are running on the latest Android Pie with zero bloats providing the smoothest and responsive software feel.
Let’s jump into a complete review of the Pixel 3 and 3 XL
At first, both the Pixel 3 and 3 XL will look quite similar to its predecessors, however, the real change will be immediately noticed once you hold the smartphones. Both the devices have the Front and Rear Glass with a metal frame in between. Although, the three-fourth of the Glass is frosted which makes it look similar to the metal back on the 2nd generation of Pixel devices. Both the models are available in three different color options which are-Clearly White, Just Black, and Not Pink.
The Pixel 3 is the lightest of the two with a weight of 148 grams while the Pixel 3 XL weighs 184 grams. Both the devices are equal in thickness at 7.9 mm. Honestly, the most comfortable to use to use out of the two is the smaller Pixel 3. It has small dimensions which makes it perfect for single hand usage while the 3 XL is bigger which makes it difficult to be used by just one hand. Although, the weight distribution is perfect of both which makes them comfortable to hold and use.
On the front, the Pixel 3 XL has a notch while the 3 has a more dated look. Above the display are the two selfie cameras, an earpiece which doubles as a speaker, proximity and ambient light sensor. The second speaker if located at the chin below the display. The colored Power button and the Volume keys are on the right while the left is just empty. At the bottom, there is a Type-C charging port along with the primary mic and the SIM tray.
Moving to the back of both the devices, there is a single camera located at the top left along with an LED flash and a Fingerprint scanner located in the upper center. Both the models are IP68 certified for Dust and Water resistance and supports Fast Wireless charging. Although, there is no headphone jack on either one of the siblings.
The main difference between the Pixel 3 and 3 XL is regarding the screen size and resolution. Obviously, the bigger 3 Xl has a bigger display and has a notch too while the smaller one, the Pixel 3 has a normal 18:9 screen. Both of them houses the OLED screens for superior display quality protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
Starting with the smaller one, it comes with a 5.5 inch OLED display which has a resolution of 1080 x 2160 and pixel density of ~443 pixels-per-inch. On the other hand, the 3 XL has a much bigger 6.3-inch display with a bumped up resolution of 1440 x 2960 pixels and pixel density of ~523 pixels-per-inch.
Words on the quality, both the screens are sharp has and has saturated colors. The viewing angles are great and both the screens are comfortably visible outdoors. On paper, the Pixel 3 XL has a better display because of the higher resolution but the smaller screen on the Pixel 3 makes up for the lower resolution. Also, the bigger one has an ugly notch up top which takes a lot of space and can’t be disabled as of now. Both of the screens support for HDR has 100I-P3 coverage and supports Always-On display mode. Overall, the display on both the siblings is equally great with one being taller than the other.
Both the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL are powered by the same Flagship grade Snapdragon 845 processor and the performance is also Flagship grade as well. It is an Octa-core chip based on the 10-nanometer architecture which can reach a max frequency of 2.5 GHz. Also, there is the Adreno 630 GPU which provides superb graphics performance.
Real world usage is simply superb with superior performance across the board. Any app or game whether it is light or intense runs smoothly on both the devices. Heavy games like PUBG Mobile, Asphalt 9 etc run at max graphics settings without any hiccups whatsoever. Overall, performance is simply flagship grade. Both the siblings come in two different storage options with 4GB of RAM. The two storage options are 64GB and 128GB and none of the variants supports memory expansion so you will be limited to the onboard storage only.
Coming to the software front, Google devices are known to run the latest iteration of Android OS with some features available to Pixel devices only. Without any exception, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL runs on the latest Android PIe OS which is completely stock with zero bloatware onboard. All you get is the default Google apps like Gmail, Google Assistant, Google Photos etc. The experience of using the stock Android on Pixel phones is simply impressive because of the responsiveness and optimizations. Of course, who can better optimize Android other than the creator itself?
While the Android Pie has all the default features like the new navigation setup, new Notification tray design etc, there are some couple of features which are only limited to the Pixel devices only. Starting off with the best feature, Google Call Screening in which the Google Assistant will answer the call for you and give you the live transcription of what the caller on the other end is saying. This helps in identifying if the call is SPAM or not and can be helpful in many scenarios. Another useful feature is the “Digital Wellbeing” which lets you monitor which apps you are using and for how long, allows you to set a limit on app usage and much more. There are a couple of more useful features which we will discuss in the camera section. Apart from that, Pixel devices are the first in line to be updated with the latest Android software
The biggest highlights of the Pixel smartphones is the Camera. Google revolutionized the smartphone camera showing its the software that matters the most. While the Pixel 2 was the smartphone camera king, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL are nowhere to capture its place. Google has still gone for a single primary camera sensor which is identical on both the new models. It is a 12.2 Megapixel sensor with f/1.8 aperture. Although, Google has stepped up the game in the selfie department introducing a wide angle sensor along with a regular sensor. Both the from camera sensors are 8 Megapixel while the regular one has a f/1.8 aperture, the wide one has a f/2.2 aperture.
The camera quality is simply Marvelous no matter if it’s day or night. The images always contain a ton of details with an excellent dynamic range in almost any scenario. There is a dedicated Night mode known as the Night Sight and with it, Google has changed the photography game forever. The shot capture in the pitch dark environment have great details and color like someone just turned the light switch ON. Also, the Portrait mode is as great as ever with excellent edge detection. The front camera also takes amazing pictures while switching to the wide angle lens allow more people to enter the frame. Portrait shots on the front camera are excellent as well. Talking about the videos, the primary sensor allows video recording in 4K @ 30 FPS with great stability through gyro-EIS. Also, the front sensor can record Full HD videos @ 30 FPS.
The Pixel 3 houses a 2915 mAh battery while the 3 XL hold a much bigger 3430 mAh battery. Yeah, the batter is small on the Pixel 3 but both the phones have great battery life. With our usual battery life test, both the devices lasted a whole day while the 3 XL last a couple of hours more. The average screen time on the Pixel 3 was is around 5 hours while on the Pixel 3 XL it’s 6-7 hours but these numbers are completely subjective. Also, both of them supports Fast 9V/2A 18W Wireless charging and fast Wireless charging too but the later is only possible with the Google’s own Wireless charging stand. With standard fast wireless chargers, it only supports standard charging speed.
Both Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL support single SIM with support for VoLTE. There is no SD card slot for memory expansion thus the user is limited to the onboard storage only. Other connectivity options on the devices include WIFI, Bluetooth and AGPS. There is a couple of sensor on both the phones including Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, and barometer.
Talking about the fingerprint scanner, it's indeed fast and accurate but there is no Face Unlock option on both the phones not even under the option of “Smart Lock”. About the speakers, they are loud even the earpiece which doubles as a second speaker is louder. The audio quality is fantastic with the sound being punchy and clear. It contains bass and treble and doesn’t distort at high volumes.
Well, if you really love the fast and stock Android experience and wants the best camera on any smartphone, Pixel 3 or 3 XL is the one to go with. The design is pretty subtle but impressive, it has some unique features like Call Screening, Digital Wellbeing etc and will always be the first one to be upgraded with the latest Android OS. The performance is simply great on both the phones and the major difference between the two is the Screen and Battery.
The Pixel 3 has a smaller display which has lower resolution and a smaller battery, however, it is the most comfortable to hold and use out of the two. On the Pixel 3 X, the screen is bigger but it has an ugly looking notch up top which cannot be disabled by software as of now. Both the phone has IP68 certification, supports wireless charging, and no headphone jack. So if you are impressed with the specs and the Camera especially, then go for it now.
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