Google has unveiled its much anticipated flagship devices at its annual ‘Made by Google’ hardware launch event. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL come as the successors to last year’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The Pixel 3 XL is the higher-end variant among the two. Let’s find out what the devices have to offer:
Display & Design:
The Pixel 3 and 3 XL are nearly identical, except for the screen size. The Pixel 3 sports a 5.5-inch OLED bezel-less display bearing FHD+ resolution. The 3 XL, on other hand sports a large 6.3-inch display with QHD+ resolution. There is an Always On display feature that will show important details at a glance without users having to turn on the screen. Corning Gorilla Glass 5 is layered on the top that ensures protection against accidental damage and scratches. Both the phones are IP68 certified for water- and dust-resistance.
In terms of design, the Pixel 3 sticks to a more traditional look with top and bottom bezels. The Pixel 3 XL on the other hand features a notched display. The rear panel on the Pixel 3 and 3 XL closely resemble its predecessors. The design switches from metal to glass but still features a two-tone design with the bottom half coated in matte paint. The devices will ship in three color variants – Clearly White (with a mint colored power button), Just Black, and Not Pink (with an orange button). The Black and White ‘Panda’ colour option has been shown the door this year.
The one standout feature of the Pixel devices is the camera. Both the newly launched devices don’t feature a dual rear camera setup. The rear camera is a 12.2MP shooter with f/1.8 aperture. The camera offers dual pixel phase detection and optical+electronic image stabilisation. Up front, Google has fitted dual cameras on both devices comprising of 8MP sensors, one of which is a wide-angle lens. As for video recording, both the devices shoot in 4k at 30fps. Google has added Fused Video Stabilisation that ensures smooth video recording while walking, running and moving around
Google has redesigned the camera app interface to make it smarter. The various new modes include ‘Top shot’ which will snap pictures before and after users press the shutter button ensuring the best frame. The ‘Photobooth’ feature ensures the best selfies with the help of the wide-angle front camera. The ‘Super res zoom’ is an AI assisted zoom feature that lets users click the subject from a long distance. The Playground mode is an AR enabled feature that lets you create and play in the real world around you with Playmoji characters. The cameras on both phones are backed by AI and Machine Learning capabilities that aids clicking better pictures even in low light. The Pixel 3 and 3 XL also support a RAW file format in addition to JPEG for photos. Another feature is the integration of Google Lens in the camera, which can recognise pictures and provide information.
Hardware & OS:
Under the hood, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL are powered by Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 processor. Both the devices pack 4GB RAM and Adreno 630 GPUs. Google’s latest devices will offer the same storage options i.e. 64GB and 128GB as seen on the Pixel 2 and 2 XL. There is no microSD card slot for further storage expansion. However, Google offers free unlimited storage for photos and videos on Google Photos.
On the software front, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL will run the latest Android 9.0 Pie out of the box. The new devices retain the Active Edge feature, which allows users to access various features and functions by pressing the edges. Google has introduced Gesture Navigation on Android 9.0 that makes navigation around the device and apps easier as well.
Battery & Connectivity:
The battery capacity on the Pixel 3 has a 2,915 mAh capacity. The Pixel 3 XL draws its power from a 3,430 mAh unit. Both the phones offer fast charging capabilities and claim to offer seven hours of usage with a 15-minute charge. Adaptive Battery, a default app, optimises the battery by prioritising your usage. The newly-launched devices are also the first in Pixel family to support wireless charging. Google has announced its own wireless charging stand dubbed as the ‘Pixel Stand’. The Pixel Stand turns the device into a digital frame displaying favourite photos from Google Photos while charging.
As for connectivity, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL will not feature a 3.5mm headphone jack. A upgraded USB Type-C to 3.5mm dongle is provided for those who prefer using 3.5mm headsets. This year, Google has decided to bundle a pair of USB-C earbuds in the box. Other connectivity options include nano-SIM, Bluetooth 5.0, W-iFi, GLONASS, and NFC.
Pricing & Availability:
Google announced that the Pixel 3 base variant will carry a price tag of Rs 71,000. The 128GB variant costs Rs 80,000. The base variant of Pixel 3 XL will retail at Rs 83,000 and the 128GB is priced at Rs 92,000. Both the devices are up for pre-orders starting October 11 and will ship from 1st November