Android Phones

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL: All you need to know

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are the best smartphones that Google was able to come up with in late 2018. The two are supposed to carry the search giant’s software message to the rest of the Android fraternity and that they do quite well.

Still, the Pixel 3 pair isn’t perfect in a way or the other, but it’s also perfect in another way or two. If anything, it depends on what you really want and for many Android diehards, software (and timely software updates) is king. This is what you get with the Pixel 3 on top of what is one of the best cameras in any smartphone.

Of course, there is more to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL and in this post, we have a summary of what we think you need to know about them, whether you already own one or you have plans to buy one, especially now that Google is throwing around discounts left, right and center.

Latest news

April 18, 2019: Rather than through the usual Settings section, Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL users can now find their system updates in the Google Play Store. At the moment, this feature is limited to those taking part in Android Q beta and have already upgraded to the latest beta 2, but we expect it to be made available to others in future.

It had been in the rumor mills that Google will bring this feature to the Pixels and now it seems to have materialized. We’ll keep an eye on it and let you know when the feature is available to all Pixel 3 owners. Meanwhile, you can read more about it here.

April 16: 2019: After years of Verizon exclusivity, the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are said to be coming to T-Mobile very soon. The Magenta carrier will reportedly have the device in stock, probably beginning May 2019.

The same report also mentions that T-Mobile will carry the upcoming Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a handsets. Google is expected to unveil these two at next month’s I/O 2019 tech show. There’s more to this story here.

March 19, 2019: Reports coming in suggest that in future, probably after Google releases the stable version of Android Q, Pixel 3 users will be able to remap the Active Edge. The feature is already there in Android Q beta, but currently disabled. One has to jump through a few loops in order to get it, but even so, its presence there suggests it could be part of the stable version.

Once enabled, Pixel 3 users will be able to assign other AI apps to the Active Edge, where squeezing the sides won’t necessarily wake up the Google Assistant as it should be the case. You can read more about this story here.

Specifications

Pixel 3

  • 5.5-inch 18:9 FHD+ OLED display
  • Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Pixel Visual Core co-processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB or 128GB storage
  • 12.2MP main camera
  • Dual 8.1MP + 8.1MP selfie camera
  • 2915mAh battery
  • Android 9 Pie
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, NFC, Rear-mounted scanner, Fast charging, Wireless charging, IP68, Stereo speakers, Active Edge, etc.

Pixel 3 XL

  • 6.3-inch 18:9 QHD+ OLED display
  • Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Pixel Visual Core co-processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB or 128GB storage
  • 12.2MP main camera
  • Dual 8.1MP + 8.1MP selfie camera
  • 3430mAh battery
  • Android 9 Pie
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, NFC, Rear-mounted scanner, Fast charging, Wireless charging, IP68, Stereo speakers, Active Edge, etc.

Apart from their physical sizes, display screen, and battery capacity, these two phones are one and the same.

Google Pixel 3 features

Most smartphone buyers look at the specs sheet of a phone and that’s it. While the one above does the trick, it’s always a great thing to know more about what features you are dealing with in order to make the most out of your little fortune.

Google Pixel 3 phones have a bunch of great features that have been baked right into the software, some of which Google talked about at the launch event. While Pixel features are mostly about the camera, among them Top Shot and Group Selfie Cam, the Pixel 3 has some more features as well, among them Flip to Shhh, Google Duplex and Call Screen.

You can read more about these features below:

While at it, you may also want to check out these comparisons:

Price and availability

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL go for $799 and $899 for their respective base models. However, Google has been throwing around discounts, with the popular one shading off a cool $200 for both phones.

That said, you can easily get yourself the smaller Pixel 3 at $599 and the XL at $699, but you must be buying one from the official Google Store. Best Buy and Verizon Wireless also have the Pixel 3 pair in stock, but they are not always in sync with the Big G when it comes to these offers. On lucky days, you can also bump into some amazing Pixel 3 offers from Verizon and Best Buy.

Tips and tricks

Stock Android isn’t always the best when it comes to features and UI tweaks. What Google does with its software is to keep it simple and easy to use, which means there aren’t so many hidden tricks. Still, it doesn’t mean you don’t get to do some interesting stuff with your Pixel 3 device.

In fact, there is quite a lot you can do, but with the help of the details below:

Software update

Although stock Android doesn’t pack as many features as the likes of Samsung One UI or Huawei EMUI, it comes with the promise of timely software updates. Besides the camera, this is the ultimate selling point of the Google Pixel 3, with the search giant promising up to three major OS upgrades, beginning with Android Q.

To keep track of what’s happening with Pixel 3 software and updates, we have the pages below:

While at it, you might also wanna check out the following:

Best cases and accessories

To keep your Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL safe from scratches or any other form of destruction in cases of accidental falls, you need a good case. There are plenty of good cases out there, but we have selected only a few of them for you.

Of course, there is a flurry of other accessories that you can pick up to improve your overall experience with either Pixel 3 phone, which we’ve also shared below.

Google Pixel 3 cases and accessories

Google Pixel 3 XL cases and accessories

Also, check out our wider coverage on some of the coolest accessories you can buy for the Google Pixel 3 here → Best accessories for Android.

Problems and solutions

Google is still very young in the hardware business, which is the core reason the Pixels have had several issues along the way. The story is true for the Pixel 3 too, which have had a share of their own problems since their launch. The good thing is that Google is always available to address these issues, either through software updates or replacing the faulty unit in cases where updates are unable to solve the problem.


Do you own the Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL? What’s your experience using either phone?

Each one Reach one Teach one. Football Droid. Email: hillary@theandroidsoul.com