After months of leaks, Google has today announced their latest phones the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, and they’re now available to pre-order in Australia.[toc]
To start with, Google has announced that the Pixel 3 phones are designed to be smartest, most useful device in your life. There’s a lot more to the phones than hardware, but we should check them out anyway.
Meet the Pixel 3
The Pixel 3 range is available in two sizes and three colour options with the Pixel 3 available with a 5.5” FHD+ resolution 18:9 aspect ratio flexible OLED display, while the Pixel 3 XL gets the same flexible OLED but in a larger 6.3″ 18.5:9 aspect ratio with QHD+ resolution. The displays are covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and are both UHDA certified HDR ready and the display on both phones are bracketed by Front firing speakers which are 40% louder ands richer than the 2017 Pixel 2 phones.
The phones are powerful, though there’s no surprises here with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB of RAM and options for either 64GB or 128GB of on-board storage. The Pixel 3 comes with a 2915 mAh battery while the larger Pixel 3 XL comes with a 3430 mAh battery, both of which support Qi Wireless charging through the matte glass rear on the phones which is available in three colours: Clearly White, Just Black and Not Pink.
Pixel 3 XL
The full breakdown of specs includes:
|Pixel 3||Pixel 3 XL|
|Display||FHD+ 1080×2160||2880 x 1440 Quad HD|
|Operating System||Latest Android 9 Pie|
3 years of OS and security updates
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon SDM845,|
8 core (4x Gold @ 2.5GHz, 4x Silver @ 1.6GHz)
|Rear Camera||12.2 MP|
Autofocus + dual pixel phase detection
Optical + electronic image stabilisation
Spectral + flicker sensor
Field of view: DFoV: 76°UHD 4K @ 30fps
|Front Camera||8 MP|
wide-angle and normal FoV cameras
Wide-angle: f/2.2 aperture, 97° FoV
Normal: f/1.8 aperture, 75° FoV
|Battery Size||2915 mAh||3430 mAh|
Back-mounted Pixel Imprint™ fingerprint sensor for fast unlocking
Proximity/Ambient light sensor
Android Sensor Hub
Advanced x-axis haptics for sharper/defined response
|Media & Audio||Dual front-firing stereo speakers|
|Materials||Aluminum frame + hybrid coating|
Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front
Soft touch glass (Corning Gorilla Glass 5) on the back
IPX8 dust and water protection
|Frequencies / Bands||LTE:B1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32, 38, 40, 41, 66|
UMTS:B1, 2, 4, 5, 8
GSM:850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
|Max Download Speed||LTE Category 16 (1Gbps)|
|Wireless||Wi-Fi 2.4GHz + 5.0GHz 802.11a/b/g/n/ac|
Bluetooth® 5.0 + LE
|Size / Dimensions||H: 145.6mm W: 68.2mm D: 7.9mm||H: 158.9mm W: 76.7mm D: 7.9mm|
|In the box||Charger, Headphones, USB Connector, USB A-C adapter, Documentation, USB-C to 3.5mm adapter, SIM eject tool|
The Google Pixel 3 experience is very much defined by the cameras, with the world’s smartest camera getting even better with these new phones. Google is introducing new camera features including ‘Top Shot’, Super Res Zoom”Night Sight’ and ‘Group Selfie Cam’ to the Google Pixel camera experience.
The cameras on the Pixel phones include a 12.2 MP dual-pixel camera on the rear with 1.4 μm pixel size and an f/1.8 aperture, while the on the front you get dual 8MP sensors for wide-angle group selfies – but we’ll get to that soon.
Top Shot is a feature that means that no matter what happens, you’ll always get the perfect shot. Pixel 3 builds on the computational photography introduced on the first generation Pixel to improve photos yet again. With Top Shot, the Pixel 3 camera is smart enough to know a good photo when it sees it, this means you’ll capture smiles, not sneezes and grab the look of shock at a party pefectly, suggesting what it thinks is the perfect shot – though you’ll be able to override that choice.
With Super Rez Zoom, the camera takes multiple shots noting slight differences in the shots which are then merged together to produce a photo that lets you zoom right into the shot. The technology was first developed for astronomy, but Google is now making this available on your phone.
Best of all – Night Shot is coming to Pixel and Pixel 2 phones in the coming months as well.
Group Selfies, or groufies as the term was coined long ago. With the dual camera on the front of the Pixel 3 you’ll never need to miss a great shot because of field of view again. With the 97° FoV of the second camera, you will never miss that shot again.
Those AR Stickers we saw introduced last year with AR Core are also getting a new update for Pixel 3 with Avengers stickers, and a new Childish Gambino character coming as well. The AR Stickers will now be able to appear in both your front and rear cameras, and will be rendered to look lifelike in the scene. AR Sticker characters will even react and interact with you in the photos you’re taking.
Other new features that are now in the Pixel 3 camera include Photo booth mode which quickly snaps shots when you smile or pull a face – no shutter button needed. Motion autofocus is also coming to help you track those things in your life that refuse to stand still for a photo like kids or animals, tap the person or animal you want to track and Pixel 3 camera will keep it in focus for you. Finally, they’ve updated their Portrait mode. You can now edit the depth of field, change the focal subject of the portrait or make the colours ‘pop’.
There’s more coming to Google Lens in the Pixel 3 Camera with the feature now integrated directly into camera app itself, allowing you to do things like Style Search.
The Google Duplex feature which has Google Assistant interact with people over the phone which Google introduced at Google I/O earlier this year is coming to your phone. The feature will pop up in the Screen Call screen with a button that will prompt Duplex to answer the call on your behalf, ask who is calling and why and tracribes the entire call onto screen, you can choose to pick it up if you want – basically you never have to speak with a telemarketer again.
This feature is launching on Pixel phones this month, though only in the US.
Flip to Shush
Google is also helping you to get some better work/life balance with the extension of Digital Wellbeing. Google has brought Flip to Shush to the Pixel, simply flip your phone over and it will mute sounds and notifications.
Google has implemented their Titan Security chip in the Pixel 3. It’s a big step forward in how Google protects devices and users using an on-device chip which includes support for protecting you through disk encryption, app data, login credentials and the integrity of the Operating System.
The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are available to pre-order now on the Australian Google Store with the phone expected to be available on November 1st.
As well as through the Google Store you will be able to purchase the phone through Harvey Norman and JB HiFi, and for the first time, Google has dropped the Telstra exclusivity for the Pixel phones with Optus and Vodafone both getting access to the phones as well as Telstra – though no plan information is available just yet.
Pricing wise, you’re looking at:
- Pixel 3 64GB – $1199
- Pixel 3 128GB – $1349
- Pixel 3 XL 64GB – $1,349
- Pixel 3 XL 128GB – $1,499
We’ll have hands-on with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL later this week, so stay tuned for first impressions.