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Why Google’s Pixel 3 Can Still Excite Us on Launch Day

by Justin Herrick | October 1, 2018October 1, 2018 12:30 pm PDT

With the Pixel 3 almost here, you might want to consider upgrading. Forget about all those leaks and reports that you’ve seen. Google has done an awful job hiding its high-end phone, but there will still be plenty of hardware and software features that make us excited.

Let the naysayers exhaust themselves with negativity while everyone else appreciates what’s on the horizon.

Google’s released Pixel phones over the last two years, and before that it worked with several hardware manufacturers on Nexus devices. But, in 2018, we’ll see the Mountain View-based company start a new era. Welcome, ‘Google Phone’.

The next flagship is truly made in-house. Unlike any Pixel or Nexus device from the past, the Pixel 3 will portray Google’s vision through and through.

Between hardware and software, it’ll be an experience tailored specifically for each other. That’s what we’ve desired for Android in the last decade. Finally, we’re getting it.

Don’t underestimate its push into hardware. Google acquired a large portion of HTC’s mobile division that includes talent, facilities, and patents. Now there’s an opportunity for Google to develop products based on its own vision rather than a partner’s limitations.

We’ve never seen Google have this much freedom. And, although the designs won’t be dramatically different, the new Pixel phones will take a step forward. Both models should be premium in every area. Why doubt that? Google wouldn’t roll out a flagship that lacks and can’t compete against the best of the best.

Last year’s Pixel 2 XL should be repackaged for the Pixel 3. So the base model will ship with an edge-to-edge screen that’s spacious yet easy to manage. As for the Pixel 3 XL, the screen real estate expands closer to the perimeter and gets topped off with a notch.

It’s not a bad design language, and there are some benefits. The Pixel 3 will have a single-color exterior while blending two materials. Expect to see metal and glass that flow together. Durability might take a hit depending on the amount of glass, but that’s a decent tradeoff for a premium appearance and wireless charging.

Look forward to the Pixel Stand. It’ll be a wireless charging dock that enables a special user interface on the Pixel 3. You’ll be able to receive quick information and notifications at a glance as the phone gets powered up. Other flagships? Get your juice and zip it.

The decision to be subtle and industrial shouldn’t fault Google’s hardware engineers. The Pixel 3 won’t look cheap. Take the Pixel 3 for what it is: an attractive, high-end phone.

The Pixel phones are especially unique because, under Google’s control, they have features that aren’t found elsewhere. Some get ported over to Android later on, but they’re first (and often the best) on a Pixel.

A few years ago, the Pixel rolled out with an always-listening digital assistant, Daydream, and unlimited full-resolution Google Photos backup. The Pixel 2 kept those things and added a best-in-class always-on display, Google Lens, Now Playing, and Active Edge. Seriously, all of them are pretty useful.

Who knows what the Pixel 3 will bring, but there’s been some chatter about real-time Google Lens capabilities. That would help users get visual analysis of the world around them in seconds.

In addition to exclusive features, the Pixel 3 should draw interest for its stability and software updates. Google can ensure that, for its premier Android device, the software runs as smooth as possible and gets upgraded immediately. Even though we wish Android fragmentation wasn’t a thing, it continues promoting Pixel phones as a top pick.

Google is bound to surprise us with Pixel 3-only features, and we can’t wait to see what they are.

More than anything else, the Pixel 3 can (and will) blow us away with its photography. Google doesn’t need a dual-camera setup on the backside to pull off magical shots. Maybe dual-camera and triple-camera setups are exciting on paper, but the actual results are what matter.

Google uses an algorithm that earned critical acclaim on the Pixel and industry-leading status on the Pixel 2. What does that mean for the Pixel 3? Your photos and videos should come out clear and colorful despite the environment’s conditions. The algorithm’s versatility deserves as much praise as its accuracy.

Both models are set for dual-camera setups on the front, though. It could enable facial recognition like Apple’s Face ID, or enhance selfies at the very least.

All that should indicate Google isn’t traveling down an easy path. It will serve up top-of-the-line specifications in a construction that’s well worth the price. If you want the best of Android, chances are the Pixel 3 will be the only avenue for that. So sit back and enjoy what Google unveils.

Alright, go ahead and mark your calendar. Google’s Pixel 3 event takes place at 1:00PM ET on Tuesday, October 9. We’ll be there live from New York City for full coverage.


Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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