Google's latest smartphones are seriously impressive devices. Here's everything you need to know about the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL...
Stroll into your nearest Vodafone store, or head over to vodafone.co.uk, and you’ll spot two new arrivals on the shelf: Google’s latest homemade handsets, the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. And, as the flag-bearers for everything Android, we think they’re pretty special.
But why should either phone deserve a spot in your pocket? We’ve been rifling through the spec sheet to pick out five things that make the Pixel 3 range awesome…
Display: 5.5 or 6.3-inch FHD+
Rear camera: 12.2-megapixel, 28mm wide-angle
Front cameras: Dual 8-megapixel f/1.8, 28mm, f/2.2, 19mm
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, 4GB RAM
Storage: 64 or 128GB
Battery: 2,915 or 3,430 mAh
Our five favourite features
1. Those cameras
In just three years on the scene, Google’s Pixel range has developed a strong reputation for its incredibly capable phone cameras. Thankfully, that trend continues with the Pixel 3 range, with both phones able to take seriously good snaps in any condition.
Let’s start with the selfie situation. This time round, both phones sport dual front-facing cameras with 8-Megapixel sensors. That gives you the option to take wide or ultrawide selfies – the latter being perfect for gathering big groups into one shot, even without the selfie stick, and still managing to get in some of the background view to boot.
At the back there is a 12.2-Megapixel and 28mm wide-angle lens. That means you can take beautiful Portrait mode pictures with ‘Bokeh’ background blurring, excellent night shots, 4K video at 30 frames per second and optical image stabilisation.
There are some cool new software smarts in the mix too. Top Shot, for instance, will sneakily take a burst of images and automatically pick out the best one – the one where everyone’s smiling, no one’s blinking, and the lighting is the most flattering. Pixel 3’s Super Res Zoom, meanwhile, lets you zoom in without getting blurry shots; the phones actually use your hands’ natural shake to keep things crisp.
All in all? The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are both a photographer’s dream.
2. Android Pie
Being Google-made, it’ll come as no surprise that the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL offer the very latest and greatest Android has to offer, without the bloat. This year that means Android Pie, the newest iteration of Google’s mobile OS and there are new features aplenty.
First up, you’ll notice that Android’s old three-button navigation system has been superseded by a much more fluid gesture-based one using swipes instead of taps. That makes getting around – and multitasking – a breeze.
But there are also lots of tweaks built-in around learning how you use your phone. The Adaptive Battery features, for example, optimises things based on when and how you use certain apps, while App Actions predicts your usage to do things like cue up your favourite playlist when you connect your headphones. ‘Slices’ go one further, adding contextual information to app search results, like telling you how far away your nearest Uber driver is before you’ve even opened the app.
Another notable plus here is that because Google makes the Pixel range’s hardware and software, you’re guaranteed to get Android software updates first for years to come.
3. Unlimited online storage
With cameras like these, you’re going to be taking a lot of photos. Thankfully, Pixel 3 owners get free unlimited Google Photos storage, which automatically uploads and saves your shots at their original quality.
If you’re new to Google Photos, you’re in for a treat; it’s got a huge catalogue of smart features for sharing, editing and organisation. Its built in search is scary-good – search for ‘car’, for example, and it’ll show you every photo you’ve taken with a car in. Magic.
4. Google Assistant
The built in Google Assistant is always getting smarter, and it’s built right into the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL at a fundamental level, helping you keep on top of tasks and automate your admin. That also extends to the camera, where Google Lens can identify what it’s pointed at, and search for where to buy it online.
The best bit? On the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, all you need to do to call up Google’s handy helper is gently squeeze the sides of your phone.
Here are some more things the Google Assistant can help you with, everyday.
5. Wireless charging
That all-glass back allows the Pixel 3 range to support Qi wireless charging, meaning it’ll work with the vast majority of wireless chargers out there. That includes Google’s own Pixel Stand (sold separately), which unlocks a special ‘ambient display’ mode replete with Google Assistant features.
Oh, and both Pixel 3 variants are also IP68 water and dust-resistant too, which, in simple terms, means they can take a dunk of up to 1.5 metres for 30 minutes without worry. Always a bonus.
Interested? You can pick up a Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL right now from Vodafone UK, from just £49 up front and £54 per month – landing you with unlimited minutes and texts, alongside a huge 26GB of monthly data.