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Pixel 3 Hands-On: We’re Already Convinced This is a Huge Upgrade

by Brandon Russell | October 9, 2018October 9, 2018 12:12 pm PST

Google on Tuesday introduced the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, and we went hands-on. The devices are a big leap over last year’s releases, both from a design standpoint and in the many software updates. But these devices come at a higher price, too.

As is plain to see, the Pixel 3 XL’s notch is gigantic—there’s just no other way to describe it. The good news is the more minimized bezels make the 6.3-inch display feel positively massive without the footprint feeling unmanageable, which is a good thing.

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Speaking of the display, it looks great in person, giving us a much better impression than the Pixel 2 XL’s display did last year. When that device launched, the screen was plagued by issues, so hopefully Google has cleared things up this year.

While the back of the devices look similar to last year, they feel much more premium thanks to the move to glass, which now features a matte finish to achieve the two-tone look. With glass, Google was able to add wireless charging, a first for Pixel devices.

As you’d expect, the phones are quite fast and had no problem running through Android 9 Pie. We weren’t able to test out the many new software features Google introduced with the Pixel 3, so we’ll report back when we get our hands on review units. We’re especially intrigued by call screening, which will allow Pixel 3 owners to easily screen spam calls.

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Overall, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL seem like a major upgrade over last year based on design alone. Yes, the notch is huge, but it’s not a big deal when you start using the device. And the small Pixel 3 seems like the right balance between design, specs, and features.

We just wish the orange power button was back in the white model.

You can pre-order the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL starting today with shipments expected to go out on October 17. Prices start at $799 for the Pixel 3 and $899 for the Pixel 3 XL.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.

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