- UPC: 0767023336058
If you want the peak of Android right now, you need a Pixel 3 or 3 XL. I like the smaller size of the Pixel 3 which is more comfortable to use with one hand and to carry in my pocket. The Pixel 3 does not have the fastest processor, most RAM, most storage, etc. but it does have high specs in most categories and is the Android phone where the hardware is most smoothly integrated with Google's software. The good: the camera really is as good as everybody says. It creates beautiful images, is fast, great in low light, and easy to use. The fingerprint scanner is zippy and accurate, and being able to swipe down on it to show notifications is a nice touch. The squeeze-for-Assistant feature is handier than I thought it would be, especially when walking. The screen is crisp and clear with those deep OLED blacks, but it seems like I need to keep the brightness pretty high in normal use. People say the Pixel 3 battery life is not stellar, and while I agree, it is fine to get me through the day or longer with normal use--I don't have battery anxiety with this phone. It requires a special charger (currently only Google and Belkin make compatible ones) to quick-charge wirelessly. It will charge at a lower rate with other wireless chargers, though, and seems to charge quickly enough plugged into my other two high output wall chargers. I haven't tried the wireless charging yet. This phone is a joy to hold. The size, shape, contours, and textures are all a pleasure. Unfortunately once I put a case on it to protect from my children and from accidental drops, that gorgeous tactile experience is mostly gone along with it's slim profile. One thing to watch for is that many of the unlocked Pixel 3s have their bootloader locked because they were originally sold by or destined for Verizon. Sellers may not know or care, so do your homework if it matters to you. Mine has OEM unlocking disabled, but unless you plan to root the phone I don't think you'll mind that one bit. It's still unlocked for other mobile carriers and was a breeze to get activated on T-Mobile. Aside from the camera there are not a lot of mind-blowing features here, but there are many, many thoughtful little things that make using this phone easier and more pleasant. The list price of $799 strikes me as a bit high (but only a bit), but on sale or refurbished you can get a great value for your money.
The internal speaker and microphone did not work. Only if I turned on the external speaker could I hear the caller, and the caller also could not hear me, unless I turned on the external speaker. Even then, the volume was low and difficult to hear. The ring was also too quiet. I looked online and found this is a fairly common issue with the Pixel3, both 3 and 3xl models. I bought one of each and they both had this problem. The article had several troubleshooting tips, none of which worked. The last one was a factory reset, and I gave up at this point, and returned both phones. Having spent the better part of a day loading, configuring, and troubleshooting was enough for me.
The camera on this phone is much improved over what is found in previous generations of phones. It takes great pictures, even in low light situations. Everything else about the phone is snappy and quick, including the fingerprint reader which is super convenient. The OLED display and the features that it enables are excellent and a welcome upgrade. It's always updated to the latest Android OS and security updates. There are good options for screen protectors and cases. I went with the Spigen Hybrid S clear case with a kickstand.