Overview & Price

In this Google Pixel 3 review we go over everything you need to know about the phone as well as showcasing the best Google Pixel 3 contract deals.

The Google Pixel 3 is released in the UK on November 1 2018 and the excitement is real for this phone!

The Google Pixel 3 supports wireless charging, meaning you don’t need to have a cable on you when leaving for work, you can use a wireless charging dock instead.

Google has done it again with their camera and hands down the Google Pixel 3 has the best camera in a smartphone you can buy today.

However there is nothing too amazing about the battery life or display, the phone boats some insane specifications and is very fairly priced at around £650.

The Pixel 3 has scrapped the headphone jack, which means we are forced into investing into some wireless headphone, or an adapter.

Aswell as this the Google Pixel 3 is dual-sim, meaning you can have a business number and a personal number in the same phone.

However now with the release of the Google Pixel 3a, is this device still worth the cash?

Check out the Google Pixel 3 contract deals in the UK here..

Design & Display

So the Google Pixel 3 design is similar to last years Google Pixel 2 with only a few tweaks to make it slightly more attractive. The phone is now all glass, again with the two-tone finish.

There are 3 different colours of the phone, each has a different colour power button, and for example the white Pixel 3 has a ‘mint’ looking power button, which is a nice touch to the exterior of the phone.

Another sweet touch from Google is that on the black colour phone they have painted the colour of the USB-C charging port black giving it a true blacked out design.

The phone itself feels very premium, it has quite a heavy feel too it with it being all glass now and every button feels great to press.

The Google Pixel 3 is IP68 water resistant as you would expect and with the phone now being made from Corning Gorilla Glass 5, wireless charging has also been implemented to the phone.

google pixel 3 dual sim

Image: portal gda

That being said the glass does make it rather slippy in your hand so be sure to get a case & screen protector for the phone and insurance is not a bad idea either.

One difference between the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL is that firstly the size as the Pixel 3 is 5.5” and the XL is 6.3” but the Pixel 3 does not have a notch on the display where as the XL does.

This did not bother me when using the phone as personally as my small hands cant cope too well with the XL anyway so I was happy enough using the Pixel 3.

Although if you’re a big phone kind of person the notch is pretty ugly and may be a deal breaker for some people.

The 5.5” OLED screen is fantastic and looks richer than last years Pixel 2 with more pixels per inch and a taller screen. Although it still has a bezel it is noticeably less thanks to the 18:9 aspect ratio.

Performance

The Google Pixel 3 comes in a 64GB version or 128GB but only has 4GB of RAM, which is less than expected considering most high-end flagships have at least 6 and some even have 8 now.

The phone also does not have any expandable storage either which is probably due to Google offering unlimited photo storage.

The fingerprint reader is still in a great position just like it was in the Pixel 2 and makes it very convenient to swiftly unlock your phone.

Fingerprint readers are mostly taken for granted but we noticed on the Pixel 3 it is extremely fast and allows for excellent security of the phone for saving passwords and online banking etc.

Although there is no headphone jack on the Pixel 3, it does however come with a pair of wired Pixel Buds with a USB-C connector and they are really good!

Sound quality through the Pixel Buds is great, and music sounds super clear.

The Pixel 3 does have dual front facing speakers, which are really clear, we watched the ‘Halloween’ trailer on this phone and the display coupled with the front facing speakers made for a great overall experience.

The Snapdragon 845 is the chipset used in the Google Pixel 3 allowing for very smooth and responsive navigation around the phone, this chip is used in most major flagships now and compliments the phone very well.

We found that gaming on the Pixel 3 was great and even when having multiple apps open at the same time with the brightness on full the phone did not lag a single bit.

Camera

Now onto the main event which is the camera! This bad boy is hands down the main attraction for any Google Pixel fan and if you had the Pixel 2 then you will know exactly what we are talking about when we say its awesome!

The camera in this phone is undoubtedly the best in a smartphone to date; this is down to consistency and convenience.

Think about it, you’re out walking with your dog and you spot a rare bird, so you think WOW! Lets take a photo of this magnificent beast, you are armed with a 12.2-megapixel sensor with a f/1.8 aperture which is more than capable of taking a fantastically crisp shot of the subject.

The images we captures on the Google Pixel 3 are simply stunning, you can see the detail on grains of sand and the detailing in a fine hair, this is all without an artificial look unlike the Huawei P20 Pro or Samsung S9 as the Pixel 2 does not saturate the images.

Dynamic range is very impressive and allows for real depth and professional finish consistently in all lighting conditions.

Another great feature is portrait mode which the Pixel 3 manages very well even with just one sensor, it produces reliable images every time and also gives the option to alter the blur in the background of an image.

Google have implemented a feature called ‘Top Shot’ which analyses other frames of an image you have just taken and used AI to select a better one in cases where somebody may have blinked or maybe an insect in front of the lens.

Night Sight’ is a new feature, which is a dedicated low light mode that heavily boosts brightness in order to take clearer shots in low light situations, although this is not available yet.

Another cool feature of the magnificent Pixel 3’s camera is ‘Super Res Zoom’ which uses the rotation of your hand when taking a picture to stitch together a higher resolution image from that zoomed photo, essentially allowing you to take better digitally zoomed photos.

google pixel 3 wireless charging

Image: Tony Webster

Google lens has also been slightly improved as now without even taking a photo you can simply point the lens at a restaurant menu or a landmark or something that has caught your eye and it will automatically search it for you and find a telephone number or email address for you to grab information from.

This is super convenient when you see something your interested in but don’t have time to write down the number or are curious to find out what a certain flower is called.

Shush Mode’ is a new feature that sets your phone to silent when you leave it face down on a table, this can be really helpful for those who are constantly checking their phones because when in a meeting or at a family dinner.

If you leave your phone face down and someone calls you it will not keep buzzing repeatedly and stops you from checking your phone.

Although this feature does get overridden if somebody calls you more than 3 times for emergency purposes.

Another awesome feature is call screening feature which allows you too rather than accept a call, you can literally see what the caller is saying through your Google Assist and decide to either answer, reject or send to call screen where you can see a live transcription of that call.

Battery Life

The Pixel 3 has a 2915mAh battery, which is an improvement from last years Pixel 2 as it had a 2700mAh.

Now we did notice that the battery life on the Pixel 3 is not the best, however it would last you a full day with conservative use but when using it normally we found we needed a charger handy to keep the phone topped up.

Additionally there are also some pretty cool battery settings which limit the power of apps you don’t really use to ensure they are not zapping all of the power.

Like we mentioned previously the Google Pixel 3 does support wireless charging now which is great and can work with any Qi charger.

Google have also launched their ‘Pixel-Stand’, which works as a wireless charger but also triggers Google Assist and essentially works like a Google Home, although this does cost an extra £61.

Overall the battery life of the device is impressive, the fact that the Google Pixel 3 supports wireless charging is awesome, as we no longer need to rely on a wired cable.

You will love our Google Pixel Stand review if you are considering the Pixel 3, it acts as a great accessory to the Google Pixel 3.

Summary

This phone is simply awesome! With an incredible camera, which is like having your very own Nikon D850 DSLR in your pocket, locked and loaded ready to take consistent high quality shots at any place or time, what’s not to love about the Pixel 3?

Well the battery life is not ideal and users will need to go steady, as they will find themselves constantly reaching for a charger if using the phone intensely.

One of our favourite features of the phone, is that the Google Pixel 3 is dual sim, meaning you can have 2 numbers in one phone, ideal for work purposes.

Value for money on the Pixel 3 is second to none as it is priced very fairly and can assist you in almost any way.

The phone is easy to recommend as it really is giving the Samsung Galaxy S9 and iPhone XS Max a run for its money.

We kind of wished the Google Pixel 3 had of kept the headphone jack, but in 2018 it was to be expected that we would be forced into purchasing wireless headphones.

However if your someone who tends to consume quite a lot of power on your smartphone you might want to opt for the XL with its slightly larger battery life.

We do recommend checking out our Google Pixel 3a review before making a purchase decision, as this may be a better, cheaper decision for you.

You can also check out the best Google Pixel 3 contract deals in the UK at the top of this post.

Full Spec Below:

Launch:

Body:

  • Dimension: 145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9mm (5.73 x 2.69 x 0.31 inches)
  • Weight: 148g (5.22 oz)
  • Build: Front/back glass (Gorilla Glass 5), aluminium frame
  • Sim: Nano-SIM card & eSIM
    – IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins)

Display:

  • Type: P-OLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colour
  • Size: 5.5inches, 76.7cm² (-77.2% screen-to-body-ratio)
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2160 pixels, 18:9 ratio (-443 ppi density)
  • Multitouch: Yes
  • Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass 5
    – Always on display
    – 100% DCI-P3 coverage
    – HDR

Platform:

  • OS: Android 9.0 (Pie)
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon (10 nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (4×2.5 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4×1.6 GHz Kryo 385 Silver
  • GPU: Adreno 630

Memory:

  • Card slot: No
  • Internal: 64/128GB, 4GB RAM

Camera:

  • Single: 12.2 MP, f/1.8, 28mm (wide), 1/2.55″, OIS, dual pixel PDAF
  • Features: Dual-LED flash, Auto-HDR, panorama
  • Video: 2160fps@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps, 720p@240fps, 1080p@30fps (gyro-EIS)
  • Dual:
    -8MP, f/1.8, 28mm (wide), PDAF
    -8MP, f/2.2, 19mm (ultrawide), no AF
  • Features: Auto-HDR
  • Video: 1080p@30fps

Sound:

  • Alert Types: Vibration; MP3, WAV, ringtones
  • Loudspeaker: Yes, with stereo speakers
  • 3.5mm Jack: No
    – Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
    – Type-C to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter

Comms:

  • WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot
  • Bluetooth: 5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD
  • GPS: Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO
  • NFC: Yes
  • Radio: No
  • USB: 3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector (PowerDelivery 2.0)

Features:

  • Sensors: Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
  • Messaging: SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
  • Browser: HTML5
    – Fast battery charging 9V/2A 18W
    – Qi wireless charging
    – MP4/H.265 player
    – MP3/WAV/eAAC+ player
    – Photo/video editor
    – Document editor

Battery:

  • Non-removeable Li-Pro 2915 mAh battery

Misc:

  • Colours: Clearly White, Just Black, Not Pink
  • Price: As seen in above post

Tests:

  • Performance: Basemark OS || 2.0: 3903 / Basemark X: 44369
  • Display: Contrast ratio: infinite (nominal), 4.350 (sunlight)
  • Camera: Photo / Video
  • Loudspeaker: Voice 77dB / Noise 71dB / Ring 81dB
  • Audio Quality: Noise -71.7dB / Crosstalk -70.1dB
  • Battery life: Endurance rating 69h