The Pixel 3 smartphone is Google’s latest flagship that comes with latest Snapdragon 845 processor, a 5.5-inch POLED display with resolution of 1080×2160 or 1080P with 18:9 aspect ratio with 443 PPI pixel density, 4 gigs of RAM, storage space of 64 or 128GB, 2915mAh battery, IP68 water-resistant rating, and fast wireless charging. Camera is improved over last year by an added wide-angle front camera that allows you to take super wide-angle selfies along with wider videos. Main camera is a 12MP shooter with 1.4 micron sensor, OIS(Optical Image Stabilization), and dual pixel auto focus.
In this Pixel 3 review, I am going to give you reasons why you should buy this smartphone and also why you should not buy it.
Why You Should Buy Pixel 3?
First, the Pixel 3 is without a doubt the best smartphone photo camera as was last year’s Pixel 2. If you want the best photo camera that just works out of the box so you can take the absolute best photos in auto mode, the Pixel 3 will definitely beat most smartphones out there in bright light and especially challenging situations like low-light or scenes that require high dynamic range with a mix of bright lights and dark shadows. Videos are also very good with excellent video stabilization as Pixel 3 has both OIS(Optical Image Stabilization) and EIS(Electronic Image Stabilization). Pixel 3 definitely is my number one go-to smartphone for taking best photos possible without lugging around my DSLR or mirorless camera. It takes better photos than my Galaxy Note 9, S9, LG V40, LG G7, OnePlus 6/6T, and pretty much all the phones I have owned. I love the selfies on the Pixel 3, my favorite is the Portrait Mode on the wide-angle which is first for an Android smartphone. If you want the absolute best selfies on the planet, this is the phone to get.
Second, smartphones have become larger and larger and these days, it’s hard to find a smartphone that fits in your pocket or does not weigh down your belts. While I have been using phablets for many years now, I usually carry two smartphones so my second phone must be small and the Pixel 3 is a great “small” smartphone in the land of giant smartphones. Feels great in the hands and if you are looking for a one-handed device, this is definitely one of the best out there.
Third, Pixel 3 brings you the true and original Android experience and latest Android features without the additives from Samsung, LG, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc…etc… If you’ve never used a Google Pixel smartphone before and wasn’t satisfied with Android performance on non-original Androids, you may find yourself in a whole new level of being high on Android with the Pixel 3. Pixel 3 runs the latest Android 9.0 Pie and it is the first smartphone optimized to run the latest Google Android OS. While other manufacturers will take a few months to even a whole year to implement the new Android OS, you will be able to enjoy every Android update with near flawless optimization on the Pixel 3. In fact, when official Android 9.0 Pie came out a few months back, you could get the update within hours on the Pixel 2, updates are literally instant and you will always get updates quicker than any other Android smartphone. If you are tired of laggy performance from lack of updates from smartphone makers, this is the phone to get.
Fourth, Pixel 3 and Pixel smartphones all have ability to have bootloader unlocked and does not void your warranty. This means you can update the phone 3 years later down the road yourself to the latest Android OS when Google stops updating phone. Because Pixel smartphones are already fully-compatible with Android OS itself, you don’t need to rely on Google to update to Android Q, R, S, T, you can just root it and install a custom ROM with the update. While many phones like Huawei, U.S. models of Samsung, and most models of LG have lock bootloaders, meaning your phone will literally die after 2 or 3 years due to no more updates, Pixel 3 brings you the option to revive your smartphone so you can use it longer. Besides that, this also allows students to study about Android and mobile operating systems by gaining full admin access to their phone. The only other company that comes close to Google Pixel is OnePlus, where they also allow you to unlock the bootloader without voiding warranty. Now, Google Pixel phones are still better for customization due to fuller compatibility with Google’s new features such as A/B slots, where it works flawless on Pixel phones while OnePlus phones have some glitches you must work through.
Fifth, Pixel 3 has dual stereo speakers with a nice mix of treble and bass. You can hear more treble with the earpiece speaker on the left and nice amount of bass on the right side speaker. While a few people have complained of the imbalance, I actually find it a perfect balance of having good amount of treble and bass so I can enjoy a fuller sound along with stereo. Compared to the LG V40 or LG G7, I like the fact that there is two separate speakers for treble and bass. While not quite as loud, the combo gives you very good smartphone sound on the go and no, this is still a smartphone, if you want absolute best sound, you definitely need to buy a better headphone not a smartphone.
Lastly but not least, Pixel smartphones are hybrid GSM/CDMA smartphones that you can use on all 4 major network in the U.S. including AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, and Google’s own Project Fi. Changing networks? No problem, pop your favorite SIM card in and you are ready to go.
Of course, it does also come with an eSIM which can be used with Project Fi and does has ability to support AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon but they have not added the support yet. As a bonus, you can use it also as a dual SIM phone if you use the eSIM and another network such as Verizon like I am doing here. Although not true dual SIM as you have to switch networks, you can use two networks in one phone by switching back and forth when needed.
Also when using with Google’s Project Fi network, you will be able to read all your messages as a transcript right on the dialer! This is one of my absolute favorite features.
Why You Should NOT Buy Pixel 3
First, Pixel 3 does not have a 1440P screen. While 1080P on a 5.5-inch screen does not look bad at all, for those of you who do enjoy the extra resolution, you may be disappointed at the resolution limitations on the phone. Now, if this isn’t an issue for you, the 1080P can work out as it will give you better battery life.
Second, Pixel 3 camera is probably the best out there in auto mode with support for raw files but they are the only smartphones on the market these days that launch without any type of manual mode for both photos and videos. While most smartphones do offer manual mode(Samsung & LG phones both offer photo/video manual mode), lack of manual mode means that you can’t do much other than take photos in auto mode. For example, I love taking star photography with my smartphones with near 30 second shutter speeds, you simply can’t do that on a Pixel 3 smartphone even with a 3rd-party camera app. As for videos, manual mode can really help out in situations where exposure, white balance needs to be controlled but again, you can’t do that with the Pixel 3. Excellent OIS and EIS but lack of manual mode means you are stuck with videos that lack advanced controls. While Pixel 3 camera has the best software processing, lack of manual mode means there are better options for those of you who want to get higher on Android.
Third, Pixel 3 always launch at the end of the year with a processor that is going to last you only 4-5 months before the next year’s processor is out with a price that rivals flagships. In terms of performance per dollar value, Pixel 3 is a bit on the expensive side and at this time of the year, there are plenty of alternatives that are half the price with relatively same specs. For example, you could buy a OnePlus 6 or 6T, unlock the bootloader install Pixel 3 ROM along with Pixel 3 camera with Night Sight, it would be nearly same as a Pixel 3 but with more RAM and without stereo speakers, IP68 rating, and wireless charging. For those of you budget-conscious, Pixel 3 is definitely NOT a good deal.
Fourth, Pixel 3 only has 4 gigs of RAM. While you won’t find any performance issues while playing a game, game loading times can be much slower than phones like the Galaxy Note 9 or OnePlus 6T that have up to 8 gigs of RAM. This is not really gamer’s phone. If you tend to play high-end graphic games often, you may want to consider another phone with more RAM.
Overall, if price wasn’t an issue and if you absolutely wanted a smaller smartphone with the best photo camera, the Pixel 3 is definitely the way to go. Overall, I do really love my Pixel 3 and it is definitely my second phone that I use daily along with my Galaxy Note 9 or LG V40.
If there’s one thing I like doing with the Pixel 3 is taking photos, more photos, and more photos. While you can get the Pixel 3 camera on other smartphones, you will get 100% flawless performance on the Pixel 3, fast and furious photos really. There is no substitute for the real thing. That’s it for today, but in a sentence, I really LOVE my Pixel 3 and if there’s anything I didn’t mention in the video, leave a comment on my video or our HighOnAndroid forum and I would be happy to answer all your questions.
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