Google Pixel 3: Everything you need to know!
From specs, pricing, features, and more, here’s the latest on the Pixel 3 and 3 XL.
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 mid-2019. The cameras are great, the software’s better than ever, and having been out for a few months, 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!
A simple, powerful phone with an excellent camera and simple software anyone can enjoy using.
Google’s charging a lot for its Pixel 3 and 3 XL, but it’s warranted. It’s true these phones aren’t large upgrades from their predecessors, but that doesn’t change the fact that these are exceptional phones with great software, excellent performance, good displays, and standout cameras on the back and front.
Check out our full review
Here it is, folks — the full Android Central review of the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL!
These are easily two of the best Android phones you can buy right now, 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.
- Google Pixel 3 review: Fewer features make incredible phones
- Should you buy the Google Pixel 3 in 2019?
- Should you buy the Google Pixel 3 XL in 2019?
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 There’s still 4GB of RAM and a starting storage amount of 64GB, but the Snapdragon 835 processor has been replaced by the newer 845.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. 👇
How does the Pixel 3 series compare to other phones?
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.
- Galaxy S10 vs. Pixel 3: Which should you buy?
- Pixel 3 vs. iPhone XR: Which should you buy?
- Google Pixel 3a vs. Pixel 3: Which should you buy?
Pixel 3 XL
- Galaxy S10+ vs. Pixel 3 XL: Which should you buy?
- Google Pixel 3 XL vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Which should you buy?
- OnePlus 7 Pro vs. Google Pixel 3 XL: Which should you buy?
- Huawei P30 Pro vs. Google Pixel 3 XL: Which should you buy?
- Google Pixel 3 XL vs iPhone XS Max: Which should you buy?
- Google Pixel 3a XL vs. Pixel 3 XL: Which should you buy?
Should you upgrade from an older Pixel phone?
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.
- Google Pixel 3 vs. Google Pixel 2: Should you upgrade?
- Google Pixel 3 XL vs. Google Pixel 2 XL: Should you upgrade?
- Google Pixel 3 vs. Google Pixel: Should you upgrade?
- Google Pixel 3 XL vs. Google Pixel XL: Should you upgrade?
The displays are a lot better
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.
There are three colors
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
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.
Google’s made a ton of camera improvements
The Pixel 2 and 2 XL have some of the best cameras we’ve ever seen on a smartphone, and with the Pixel 3, Google’s making the camera experience even better.
Perhaps the biggest change includes the addition of a second front-facing camera. You now have access to a regular and wide-angle lens for all of your selfies and portrait mode works no matter which one you use. Google’s 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.
Android 9 Pie is available out of the box
As you’d expect, Android 9 Pie is running on the Pixel 3 and 3 XL from day one.
This means you have instant access to gesture-based navigation, Pie’s UI tweaks, improved batter life, and more.
There’s also a new call screening feature that allows you to send your caller to a system that asks them to provide information about who they are and why they’re calling. What they say comes through in real-time and you can choose to hang up or pick up at any point.
You can download the Android 10 beta right now
While Android Pie is great, it’s not the latest version of Android that’s currently available. If you want access to the newest software possible, you’ll want to download the Android 10 beta. Doing so is as easy as registering your Pixel 3 in the Android Beta Program and downloading an over-the-air update.
There are a few bugs here and there, but if you’re OK with that, you can download and start using 10 on your Pixel 3 in a matter of minutes.
The Pixel 3a is a cheaper version of the regular Pixel 3
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.
The Pixel 4 and 4 XL are coming soon!
Speaking of Pixel phones, now’s as good a time as any to address the elephant in the room — the Pixel 3 will soon be succeeded by the Pixel 4.
In addition to the usual assortment of leaks and rumors surrounding the new Pixel, Google’s done something unheard of this year and flat-out confirmed the Pixel 4’s design and its highlight features months before we’re expecting the phones to be officially unveiled.
We’ll be treated to two phones once again (the Pixel 4 and 4 XL), and Google appears to finally be adding a second rear camera to both handsets. Furthermore, the company’s Soli chip will allow for powerful face unlock and gestures.
If you’re eager to learn more, be sure to take a look at our roundup of all the latest Pixel 4 info below 👇
There are a ton of accessories
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.
- Best Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL Accessories in 2019
- Best Car Mounts for Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL in 2019
- Best Wireless Charging Pads for Google Pixel 3 & Pixel 3 XL in 2019
- Best Cases for Google Pixel 3 in 2019
- Best Thin Cases for Google Pixel 3 in 2019
- Best Heavy Duty Cases for Google Pixel 3 in 2019
- Best Leather Cases for the Google Pixel 3 in 2019
- Best Screen Protectors for Google Pixel 3 in 2019
Pixel 3 XL
- Best Cases for Google Pixel 3 XL in 2019
- Best Thin Cases for Google Pixel 3 XL in 2019
- Best Heavy-Duty Cases for Google Pixel 3 XL in 2019
- Best Leather Cases for the Google Pixel 3 XL in 2019
- Best Screen Protectors for Google Pixel 3 XL in 2019
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 costs $799 for the 64GB model and goes up to $899 if you get the 128GB variant. For those same storage configurations on the Pixel 3 XL, you’ll pay $899 and $999, respectively.
However, those are retail prices. Now that the Pixel 3 and 3 XL have been out for a few months, it’s not uncommon to see regular discounts that bring both phones down by hundreds of dollars.