Google’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL weren’t a secret by the time Google announced the smartphones on Tuesday, but they still impressed. Both devices feature design and software upgrades, including major emphasis on new camera features. And for the first time in a Pixel device, Google has introduced wireless charging.
While many people are mixed on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL’s design—that notch is undeniably huge—Google’s devices have never been about that. These phones were never going to compete with Apple’s iPhone XS on the design front. Instead, Google is harnessing its machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide users with the best possible experience—and that shouldn’t be overlooked.
So, what’s new with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL? Quite a lot actually. You can read more thorough coverage in the link down below. Here, we’re focused on the best new features introduced by Google.
Say goodbye to selfie sticks
Don’t you hate when you’re taking a selfie and you have to really stretch your arm in order to get everything in the frame? And even then the lens on your phone isn’t wide enough? With Google’s new Group Selfie feature, Google says users get “184 percent more room in your photo,” so you can cram in more people and more scenery.
Similar to previous years, Google is providing Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL owners with unlimited photo and video storage in original resolution. It’s a nice perk and provides Pixel owners with peace of mind, because it means they don’t have to worry about their media being lost if their phone fails. It’s fast, automatic, and hassle-free. The only caveat, however, is that the “free” part of the deal only lasts until January 31, 2022, after which photos and videos will be stored in high quality.
Google’s AI has become more sophisticated over the past few years, and the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL will put these advancements front and center. You can quickly translate text, find styles of clothing, and identify landmarks using Google Lens, which is built right into the Pixel 3’s camera. But that’s not all.
Google also detailed a new feature that will automatically screen phone calls. When a call comes in from a number you don’t recognize, you can hit the “Screen call” button, which will then figure out who’s calling and why. You’ll get a near real-time transcript of the conversation, allowing you to decide if you want to pick up or simply ignore it.
Additionally, Pixel owners in the U.S. will soon get to try out Duplex, which will use Google’s AI to book restaurant reservations and more without you having to pick up the phone.
Google provides Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL owners with an 18 Watt fast charger in the box, allowing users to get seven hours of use in just 15 minutes of charging. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL also supports wireless charging, which is new to the Pixel line. The device will work with any Qi-compliant wireless charger, but Google is hoping you purchase the company’s new Pixel Stand.
The Pixel Stand integrates with the Pixel 3 by turning the device “into a smart visual and audio experience.” That means it’ll turn into a photo frame when idle or act as a morning light, gently brightening its screen 15 minutes before an alarm goes off to mimic the sunrise. At night, it will automatically turn on Do Not Disturb when it’s put in the Pixel Stand’s cradle.
More camera features
As expected, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL feature more advanced cameras, with new software features designed to make taking pictures even better on a Pixel. For example, there’s a new Night Sight feature that will use software to lighten dark surroundings without a flash. Photobooth, meanwhile, uses AI to recognize when you’re smiling or making a funny expression and automatically snap a selfie.
Google also introduced Top Shot, which captures alternate shots in HDR+ and then recommends the best one. When a photo is snapped, you can then look through a timeline of images and choose which one you like. It’s essentially like taking burst photos, but the software is doing everything automatically.
Google knows that it hit a homerun with the Pixel 2’s camera, so rather than rely on updating the hardware, many of the new features relate to software in the Pixel 3. We’ll see how the new camera stacks up when the Pixel 2 is released.