Google Pixel 3
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About the Phone
Google isn’t worried about packing top-of-the-line specifications into its phone. Nor is it concerned with supporting their “legacy” hardware features anymore. This could definitely be a dealbreaker for some. Further, there’s no headphone jack or microSD card slot. To add to this, it only has 4GB of RAM, which does raise some serious concerns regarding its future-proofing.
If, on the other hand, you care about a clean, bloatware-free user experience and routine updates above everything else, the Pixel 3 should be a good bet for you. It’s also an amazing option if you’re looking to capture breathtaking photos from your smartphones. It’s a camera king, and not without reason!
The Pixel 3 provides one of the best photography experiences. Combining Google’s intelligent software features with great sensors, the Pixel 3 creates stunning, DSLR-like images with each shot. The newly introduced wide-angle front camera is impressive for taking group photos and the rear camera has seen various modifications and improvements over its predecessor.
The flagship smartphone market has long been dominated by prominent players like Apple and Samsung. Now that Google has set its eyes on the ultra-premium smartphone segment with its Pixel series, it is now braced to compete with the likes of iPhone XS and Galaxy Note 9. Priced at Rs. 71,000 for the 64 GB variant and Rs. 80,000 for the 128 GB variant, Pixel 3 is set to deliver features that really matter to consumers. While its launch turned many heads and generated a lot of media attention, let’s see if it lives up to the hype.
When it comes to basic build and design, the Pixel 3 is not characteristically different from Pixel 2. It’s the same size as its predecessor but comes with 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 2160×1080 pixels and an 18:9 aspect ratio. Following the two-tone rear panel design found in Pixel 2, Pixel 3 has moved to glass from the earlier textured back, which gives it more fluidity. The aluminium frame between two Gorilla Glass 5 panels blends well with the overall look and appeal of the phone, and the dual firing speakers (which are now 40 percent louder than last year), remain an integral part of Pixel 3.
Sticking to the tradition, Google Pixel 3 comes without a 3.5mm jack for legacy speakers and headphones. The single SIM tray is situated at the bottom, alongside the USB Type-C port, while the right side has power and volume buttons. The back comes with the Google logo, a fingerprint sensor, and a single camera with a flash. The rest of the frame follows the minimalist pattern and simplicity that has been the trademark of the Pixel range. However, while other premium smartphones of the same scale are re-imagining their aesthetics, Pixel 3 is still playing the field on a design that is now two years old.
While the Pixel 3 has a slightly bigger screen than its predecessor, it still packs in the same 2160×1080 resolution. It does not have a bezel-less display one might have initially expected; however, its OLED panel is refreshingly sharp and bright. The viewing angles are exceptional, the colour reproduction is excellent, and the brightness more than compensates for the lack of screen upgrade. The in-built HDR support makes everything look incredibly crisp and clear, be it viewing photos, bingeing Netflix, or reading on the Kindle app.
Pixel 3 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. Its specification sheet rivals other flagship premium smartphones and is excellent for everyday use. It handles all the necessary tasks with ease and even runs graphically demanding games like Asphalt 9 without any performance lag or glitches.
Despite being lightning fast, Pixel 3 is not future proof. The Snapdragon 845 processor will be replaced by Snapdragon 855 within a few months, which makes its processor already look dated. It is tough for Pixel 3 to match up to premium smartphones, like the iPhone XS, which makes use of a custom-built A12 Bionic base on 7-nanometer architecture, and features a Neural Engine used for machine learning.
Keeping up with the standards set by previous models, Google Pixel 3 is the king of camera smartphones, and there’s no debating this. While the megapixel count of the f/1.8 aperture single camera lens remains untouched at 12.2 MP, the pixels are now bigger at 1.4 microns. This means that the upgraded camera can now collect more light, thus promising better shots, particularly in low-light conditions. This combination works perfectly well with Google’s smart software and HDR+ feature which merges eight different exposures to deliver better, sharper photos. Pixel 3 also proves terrific in capturing bokeh shots without the need for a secondary snapper, unlike Galaxy Note 9 or iPhone XS. The images are defined, more detailed, and are bursting with colours.
For most smartphones, it is a challenge to capture a good shot in low-light settings, and even iPhones struggle in extremely dim conditions. Pixel 3, on the other hand, takes low-light photography to an altogether different level by producing clear and detailed images without a flash on. As a cherry on top, Google is planning to roll out its Night Sight feature which will help users shoot even more natural-looking photos without the need of a flash. Night Sight combines multiple exposure settings to create low-light photos with singularly less noise.
The 2,915 mAH battery is no better than its competition smartphones, and lasts around nine hours on typical usage, including web browsing, YouTube, and Apple Music. To compensate, the Pixel 3 supports a USB Type-C 18W fast-charging adapter and comes with a new wireless charging feature.
Google’s vision to create a series of flagship smartphones are fast and slick, and in which software takes center stage while being backed by Google AI makes one question the intent behind Pixel 3. While it comes close to the ultimate vision, it is still not a perfect device. The camera is the phone’s major USP, and the front-facing speakers are refreshingly loud. While the screen has its features, it can still use some upgrades; the battery, if not the absolute best, is still good. Pixel 3 is the right phone for the early adopters, but it still lacks weight for it to be a mass premium seller like the Galaxy Note 9 or iPhone XS.