Google Pixel 3 test: imperfect purity

by Kelvin

Google Pixel 3 video test

In addition to this Google Pixel 3 test, I shot a full video on the smartphone. If you find it interesting, feel free to subscribe to the channel, others will follow very quickly, with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, an ultra-powerful smartphone.

Design & Hardware

Google has chosen not to highlight the purely technical features in all of its communication, to focus on the photo. However, with its Snapdragon 845, the Pixel 3 benefits from one of the two most powerful SoCs currently (end of 2018) available on Android. Small disappointment in RAM, which amounts to 4 GB when others smartphones like the OnePlus 6T offer 6 basic (with options to 8 GB). But power is not everything, the balance between software and hardware is crucial, and, as we will see in the rest of the Google Pixel 3 test, the brand was not mistaken on this point. The proposed basic storage is 64 GB, and it will take an additional € 100 to upgrade to 128 GB (whether on the Pixel 3 or the Pixel 3XL).


Three colors are currently available, white, pink and black. I tested the white model of the Pixel 3 and the black of the Pixel 3 XL.

The screen offers very faithful colors and you will have the choice and, as its name suggests, the XL format is larger than the standard format: 6.3 inches versus 5.5 inches.

Despite the size of the upper part of the screen, no facial recognition for both smartphones, only a rear fingerprint sensor. It has a function to scroll notifications with a simple swipe, this is particularly practical on the Pixel 3 XL which is a very large smartphone.

The back is made of glass with two different surfaces. I thought it was pretty weird on the photos and videos, but the feel is premium and I was never afraid that the Pixel 3 would slip out of my hands during my test.

Its real flaw is the design of the front part on both models. On the Pixel 3, the edges are very thick (even if the front has a double sensor) and the notch of the Pixel 3 XL is unsightly, even if it is quickly forgotten in use.

In the box we find the smartphone, the fast charging block, a USB-C to USB-C cable, the USB-C to jack dongle, a USB-A USB-C adapter and headphones, which produce excellent sound and fit well in the ear.

Google has not succeeded in convincing at the hardware level and we could expect much stronger specs (if only at the level of RAM, dual SIM or a microSD slot), but the use the Google Pixel 3 is ultra fluid, proof of a care of consistency between the software and the hardware.

Another important component of the hardware is the battery, but we will see that later in the test.

Android Stock: happiness on the Pixel 3

I expected it, the Android Stock experience is really well thought out. Attention to detail, including entertainment, is there and using the Pixel 3 every day is a real pleasure. The gestures are well integrated, except that of scrolling between the apps open on the bottom of the screen, which is less practical than a direct swipe on the applications.

The overall design is really successful and on this version Google really has nothing to envy to iOS. The overlays present in most Android smartphone manufacturers are often full of complex settings, on the pure version of this Pixel 3 it is really very easy to find what you are looking for.

One of the specifics of this version is a shortcut to the 5 most recent applications when you pull down the application drawer. In everyday life it is a real time saver, as I often use the same. A second part under these shortcuts is a mixture of app and contact, and it often turns out to be a relevant choice. Either my favorite contact is displayed or the SMS conversation to which I have not answered. The second block is often a shortcut to PocketCast or Spotify, which I use very often.

Android Pie Pixel 3

Google Assistant is obviously there, and you can activate it by pressing on the lower part of the screen. On the one hand the gesture is useful, and on the other hand, Google does not force us to use a button dedicated to its assistant (hello Bixby).

An important part of Android Pie with this Pixel 3 concerns the Pixel Stand. This wireless charger (sold 79 €) is a nice surprise from my test. Not only does it allow recharging of all compatible devices on the market, but it also offers specific functionalities with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

Pixel Stand

On the one hand it becomes a Google Home with screen, which can be useful in certain situations. Then you can choose photos from your photo library and, once on the media, your Google smartphone turns into a photo screen. Finally, it allows you to wake up gently by simulating dawn for 15 minutes before your alarm. I really enjoyed the Pixel Stand test, and it will stay on my desktop, regardless of the smartphone I use.

Photo sensor

As I say in the Pixel 3 test video, I had seen and read a lot of Pixel 2 XL reviews and was really looking forward to seeing Google’s software processing in the photo. And what a slap! All modes work perfectly. The night mode is simply awesome, and you can even use it when there is light, in some cases the shots are even better.

The colors are faithful, the sharpness is amazing for a smartphone and the portrait mode very accomplished. One of the novelties of this model is the dual sensor on the front, and the selfies are excellent, the wide-angle mode can be useful in certain situations. It’s the first time I’ve taken so many photos on a phone, just for the pleasure of seeing how it looks. Some pictures with the night mode:

Google hits hard with this Pixel 3 at photo level, and shows how important software is today. We are witnessing two different approaches with the multiplication of sensors at Huawei and Samsung or an application to process data from a single sensor at Google as best as possible.

The Google Pixel 3 is the smartphone to beat in the photo in 2019.


It’s a little disappointment with this Pixel 3 test. Battery life keeps you going, but it’s not at the level of competitors like the OnePlus 6T or even older models like the Huawei P20 Pro. I find the same feeling as during the month when I had the iPhone XS in hand, I always have the reflex to take a cable “just in case”. My screen time exceeds 4 hours, but in the early evening I often find myself at less than 15% of battery.

The energy saving mode is really efficient and will save you several hours more and an update received a few days ago has already increased the autonomy of my Pixel 3. By the way, even if the battery capacity of the Pixel 3 XL is higher (3430 mAh vs 2915 mAh) in fact the smartphones may have the same autonomy.

Pixel 3 Box

Fast charging has nothing to do with the Mate 20 Pro and OnePlus 6T and it will take just over an hour and 20 minutes to fully charge a Pixel 3. The Pixel Stand is a real plus as I said a little above.

My opinion on the Google Pixel 3

With its price of € 859 (€ 959 for the Pixel 3XL), the Google Pixel 3 fits like a high-end smartphone. Facing the iPhone, the XR are closer in terms of price, and the choice between the two models is mainly made on the OS. Faced with competition on Android, it is clearly behind the last models from the main manufacturers in terms of pure technical characteristics, but the experience is very fluid.

The Pixel 3 is full of faults, but it is nonetheless pleasant to use, and I enjoyed my daily use much more than the one I had with the iPhone XS or the OnePlus 6T, which is yet an excellent Android smartphone.

His camera is out of the ordinary and is clearly the immense strength of this Pixel 3. To know my full opinion on the Google Pixel 3, see the last 2 minutes of the video at the beginning of the article, this test was so complicated to conclude that it is much simpler orally than in writing.

Google Pixel 3

€ 859

Value for money

8.0 / 10

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