The 5 Biggest Things To Know About Google's Pixel 3

The Next Generation

Google is ready to launch its next smartphone rivals to Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy lineups. The company on Tuesday announced the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL, which both feature larger screens, improved camera features and other changes from last year's Pixel series--such as "Call Screen," which automatically asks unknown callers to identify themselves and transcribes their response in real-time. "With Pixel 3, we've built the first phone that can answer the phone, and we've also taken the world's best smartphone camera and made it even better," said Rick Osterloh, senior vice president for hardware at Google, during the Pixel 3 unveiling event in New York.

What follows are the five biggest things to know about Google's Pixel 3 lineup.


Both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL come with bright, colorful OLED displays, as well as Gorilla Glass 5 for durability. The Pixel 3 moves up to a display size of 5.5 inches, versus the 5-inch size on the Pixel 2, and slightly increases the resolution to FHD+ (2,160 x 1,080) compared to FHD in last year's model.

One noticeable difference between the two new Pixel models is that the Pixel 3 XL will include a notch cutout at the top of the display--a la Apple's iPhones--while the Pixel 3 won't have a notch, but will have a larger bezel. The Pixel 3 XL will also get an increased screen size at 6.3 inches, compared to the 6-inch Pixel 2 XL. Its resolution will stay put at QHD+ (2,880 x 1,440).


Both of the new Pixel phones will retain a single camera system on the rear offering 12.2 megapixels. Google spent much of its event Tuesday touting the advanced camera features on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL--suggesting that the phones don't need a dual-camera to compete with the latest iPhones and Galaxy devices. Among the new features is "Top Shot," which captures numerous photos and recommends the best ones--where all subjects have their eyes open and are smiling. Another new camera feature, "Super Res Zoom," shoots a burst of photos and merges elements of the photos to present the best possible shot. The Pixel 3 camera also offers improved low-light capabilities, powered by machine learning, with a feature Google is calling "Night Sight."

Internal Specs

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL will each feature the eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 4 GB of RAM, and will have choices between 64 GB or 128 GB of internal storage. While Google didn't release battery life estimates for the new phones, the company did disclose that the battery sizes are changing from the previous generation. The Pixel 3 will include a 2,915 mAh battery, up from 2,700 mAH on the Pixel 2. But the Pixel 3 XL will actually get a decrease in battery size, to 3,430 mAh, compared to 3,520 mAh with the Pixel 2 XL. Google also announced that it's introducing a new Qi wireless charging stand in conjunction with the Pixel 3--the Pixel Stand, which holds the phone upright and automatically adjusts the user interface so that it's viewable from across the room.

Special Features

As mentioned, one of the novel features in the Pixel 3 is "Call Screen," which will ask unknown callers who they are and why they are calling. Then, their responses will be transcribed in real time--allowing users to choose whether to pick up the phone or not (and also letting users mark the call as spam).

Other new features include "Flip to Shhh," which can mute sounds and notifications when the phone is placed face down. Google Assistant can also now be triggered by squeezing the side of the phone.

Meanwhile, Google said it's enhancing security with the inclusion of the Titan M security chip, which was developed for securing passwords and the Android operating system in the Pixel 3.

Price & Availability

Google said that pre-orders are underway now for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. The Pixel 3 has a starting price of $799, while the Pixel 3 XL starts at $899--still putting it well below either the $999 iPhone XS or the $1,099 iPhone XS Max. Those prices are for the models with 64 GB of internal storage; moving up to the 128 GB models will add another $100 in either case. The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL will ship Oct. 17.