The Google Pixel 3 is promising to give you the best smartphone camera in 2018 – or at least that’s the bold title Google intends to claim thanks to its machine-learning camera smarts.
It has a big, color-rich OLED screen, yet one-hand-friendly dimensions and a fairly reasonable price. This makes it the perfect size for most people looking for a new Android phone without stretching their grip or their wallet.
The highlight, however, is the rear-facing 12.2MP camera and two front-facing 8MP cameras. The second selfie camera is optimized for wide-angle selfies, enabling you to get an entire group shot without cutting people out of the picture. To this day the Google Pixel 2 camera still amazes us, and the Pixel 3 building off of that success gives us high hopes for our forthcoming camera tests.
Is it that much better than the Google Pixel 2? We’re currently exploring this phone in a hands-on and laying out the specs below. Here’s what we think so far.
Release date and price
The Google Pixel 3 release date is Thursday, October 18 in the US, and November 1 in the UK and Australia. Availability of the phone is also slated for Canada, France, Germany, Japan, India, Ireland, Italy, Singapore, Spain, and Taiwan.
Pre-orders begin around the world today. The US Google Pixel 3 price starts at $799 for the 64GB version, while the 128GB edition is $100 more at $899. Google’s larger Pixel 3 XL is also a $100 premium, in case you’re considering the larger screen size.
In the UK the price is £739 (64GB) and £839 (128GB), while in Australia you’re going to be paying AU$1,199 for 64GB and AU$1,349 for 128GB. We’ll have more Pixel 3 prices as the shipping date nears.
You’re paying for the more expansive screen and machine-learning camera here, and the fact that flagship smartphones cost more in general. It’s certainly a jump in price. In the US, for example, last year’s smaller Pixel started at $649. And now it’s $799, so you’ll be shelling out $150 more
The Pixel 3 retains Google’s familiar two-tone design – the back has shiny glass at the top, while lower 80% has a matte finish. There’s a more seamless transition between the two textures, but it look hasn’t changed dramatically.
But the Pixel 3 series uses different materials this year. The entire back is made of soft-touch glass using Corning Gorilla Glass 5. It’s the same strengthened glass that protecting the front screen, and it’s all sandwiching an aluminum frame with that has a hybrid coating – that’s the only bit of metal you’ll find on the outside.