Google Pixel 3 review - Google's new all-rounder?

by 15. December 2018
As every year, Google introduced a new Pixel Smartphone at the beginning of October. The Google Pixel 3 promises to be a smartphone that leaves nothing to be desired. Top current hardware meets a well maintained Android OS with the latest Google features. For a month, the Pixel 3 accompanied me as a "Daily Driver". More in the review.



Google Pixel 3


Processor and memory
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
GPU: Adreno 630
Internal memory: 64GB / 128GB (UFS2.1)
Memory extension: no

Display diagonal: 5.5 inches
Display resolution: 2160 x 1080 pixels
Screen Protector: Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Multitouch: 10 fingers

Main Camera: 12.2 Megapixel Sony IMX363
* Aperture f / 1.8
* 4 axes OIS
* AI mode
* Autofocus
* Dual Tone LED Flash
Front camera: 8 + 8 megapixel Sony IMX355
* bokeh
* 97 ° wide angle

Dual SIM: no
SIM size: Nano SIM
eSIM: Yes

GSM: 850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz
UMTS: 1/2/4/5/8/9/19
FDD-LTE: 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/29/30/32/66/71

WiFi: 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac MU-MIMO
Bluetooth: 5.0
GPS: Yes

* Ambient light sensor
* Accelerometer
* Proximity Sensor
* Hall sensor
* E-Compass
* Fingerprint Sensor

Battery: 2.915 mAh
Fast charging function: Power Delivery
Qi store: Yes
Connection: USB-C

Operating System: Android 9 Pie
Size: 145.6 68.2 x x 7.9 mm
Weight: 148g

What's in the box

1x smartphone
1x SIM needle
1x charging cable
1x charger
2x adapter
1x headphones
1x stickers
1x user manual

Foreword: Google Pixel 3

As Google on 09. October presented the two new Pixel Smartphones, was disappointed with many fans of the smartphone series, the disappointment. Probably the most controversial design feature 2018, the so-called Notch, has made it to the Google Pixel 3 XL. Google has even gone a step further and missed the XL smartphone is not a subtle, but an oversized Notch towering far into the display.

For incomprehension also ensures the high price level of the new pixel generation. Starting prices are 849 € for a pixel 3 and 949 € for a pixel 3 XL! The following review deals with the Google Pixel 3.

Design, workmanship and delivery


The Google Pixel 3 is a very compact smartphone, which is based largely on the design of its predecessor. The housing dimensions are just once 145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9 mm, at a weight of only 148g.

Google Pixel 3 pixels stand

The pixel 3 is constructed as follows:

Although pixel dimensions of the Pixel 3 are very similar to those of its predecessor, the display diagonal of 5 inches has grown to a staggering 5.5 inches. This is made possible by the screen frame (bezel), which has shrunk significantly up and down. Conspicuous are the visibly rounded display corners, which, however, are only generated by the software by hiding individual pixels. Over a Notch we do not have to worry about the Pixel 3. It has not made it to the joy of Notch critics on the small pixel smartphone.

Google Pixel 3 front side

Above the display is the handset, which also acts as a front speaker. Parallel to this, there is another speaker in the same design underneath the display. Further design features of the front are the two 8 megapixel front cameras with wide angle and telephoto zoom, as well as the proximity or brightness sensor. A notification LED is not available. Missed calls and other notifications are instead directly on the Always-On Display appears.

Google Pixel 3 smartphone

The smartphone is available in the colors "Just Black", "Clearly White" and "Not Pink". The frame is made of aluminum. On the right hand side is the power button with the volume control underneath. An unmistakable design feature of the Pixel 3 is the color accentuation of the power button in mint green (Cearly White) or orange (Not Pink). The Nano SIM slot (single SIM) is located inside the bottom of the frame, to the left of the USB-C socket (USB 3.1). After Degree of protection IP68 The smartphone is dustproof and protected from continuous submersion.

Google Pixel 3 back side

The back of the Pixel 3 is made of tempered Corning Gorilla Glass 5, This is not only scratch resistant, but also very shatterproof. For a better grip, the majority of the back is provided with a matte coating. Since the coating is over the Gorilla Glass, it is not protected by scratches. Keys and other things that you carry around with you can scratch the coating! A small section above the fingerprint scanner does not require a coating. This surrounds the main camera, the adjacent spectral and flicker sensor and the LED flash.


The build quality of the Pixel 3 is straightforward. The smartphone is clean and composed without unsightly gaps. The SIM slot closes flush and the control buttons sit firmly in the housing with a good pressure point.

What's in the box

The scope of supply is generous and includes in addition to the smartphone a Quick-Switch adapter from USB Type-A (Female) to USB Type-C (Male), a USB-C to USB-C charging and data cable, a pixel USB-C Headphones, a USB-C to 3.5 mm jack headphone adapter, a SIM needle, stickers and a quick start guide. Matching covers and screen protectors are available as optional accessories.

Google Pixel 3 delivery


The Google Pixel 3 comes with a 5.5 inch display type POLED fitted. The Display resolution is 2160 x 1080 Pixels. This in turn results in a point density of 443 PPI and a Aspect ratio of 18: 9, Manufacturer of the POLED panel is LG.

Display settings and functions

Within the display setting, the brightness can be manually adjusted as well as there is one adaptive brightness mode, which automatically adjusts the brightness to the ambient light. On night mode filters blue light, which is considered especially sleep disturbing. This mode can be activated manually or on schedule. to color Matching 3 color profiles are available. There is a "Natural" color mode, a "Reinforced" mode for slightly richer colors, and an "Adaptive" color mode that gives colors a particularly rich and bright finish.

Other settings are the font size, the display orientation, the background, the display size, the screen saver and the inactivity display.

display measurement

Display measurements were taken using a Spyder5 colorimeter and the CalMAN analysis software. Display measurements showed a maximum luminance of 428 cd / m² and minimum luminance of 3 cd / m², The measured Black Level is expected to be included 0 cd / m² (0 Lux), which in turn is due to the POLED display technology. A POLED display is characterized by the fact that the display does not require any backlighting, but that each pixel illuminates independently. If black is displayed, the pixels are simply switched off! One of the advantages is an almost infinite contrast (0 Lux).

Brightness distribution of the Pixel 3 display

Brightness distribution of the display

The Illumination of the display is largely uniform, with no visible irregularities. The luminance deviation is a maximum of 23 cd / m², with the highest luminance at the lower edge of the display and the lowest at the upper edge of the display. The sRGB color space Pixels 3 is most likely to stop in Natural color mode. The color difference is on average at a Delta E of 3.3 and a maximum of 5.7. In the grayscale a slightly increased proportion of blue can be seen.

Display in everyday life

In everyday life, the display of the Pixel 3 leaves a good impression. The 3 color profiles offer the right color representation for every taste. Despite its comparatively low luminance, the display remains easy to read outdoors, especially in sunshine. Flat viewing angles do not lead to any serious color or brightness distortions. Worth mentioning is the dimmability of the display. With greatly reduced display brightness, the display is also very pleasant to read in the dark.


The touchscreen responds reliably and detects up to 10 simultaneous inputs. Touches are detected accurately and without input delay. The display surface is pleasantly slippery and the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 makes it particularly scratch and shatter-proof.


Qualcomm Snapdragon 845

Like almost any 2018 high-end smartphone that does not come from Samsung or Huawei, the Google Pixel 3 also uses the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip, The CPU turns off 8 Kryo 385 processor cores together, which in turn are divided into a performance cluster and an energy-saving cluster. The maximum possible clock rate is not exploited by the Snapdragon 845 of the Pixel 3. The performance cluster's clock rate has lowered Google from 2.8 to 2.5 GHz, and the 1.8 GHz energy-saving cluster to 1.6 GHz.

The graphics processor (GPU) is one Adreno GPU 630, Regarding the storage equipment, Google has for a 4GB LPDDR4X Memory and one optional 64GB or 128GB UFS2.1 data store decided. An additional extension of the data memory by means of MicroSD memory card is not provided.


Despite reduced clock rate, the pixel 3 performs acceptably in the individual benchmarks. in the AnTuTu Benchmark scores 282.000 points on average, bringing the Pixel 3 level with other Snapdragon 845 devices. Also in Geekbench The smartphone scores only slightly worse in both the Songle-Core and Multi-Core test. The measured RAM speed reaches 15.700 MB / s, The writing speed of the data memory is on average 184 MB / s, the measured reading speed reaches 760 MB / s.

Performance in everyday life

The Google Pixel 3 can handle even complex tasks. How fast the hardware is, is already apparent from the system start, which takes only a few seconds. The system runs very smoothly and apps open promptly. Nevertheless, there is one criticism. Apps are thrown out of storage too fast. After a few apps that are open at the same time, the exhaustive storage management takes effect. This is especially annoying when you have a streaming service running in the background and the opening of another app stops it. Google is aware of the problem and has already announced a fix.


With the Adreno 630 GPU, the Pixel 3 is equal to all current mobile games. Games such as PUBG Mobile are playable on highest settings without stuttering. So-called thermal throttling does not occur while playing. The temperature measured under load reaches a maximum of 40 ° C at the hottest point.

Google Pixel 3 PUBG Mobile

User Interface

When it comes to new Android versions, Google Pixel smartphones come first. The Google Pixel 3 ships with Android 9.0 Pie. System and security updates are guaranteed by Google to 2021. Annoying third-party apps can not be found on "Pure Android". The system is clean and tidy.


The main camera Google Pixel 3 smartphone uses one Sony IMX363 image sensor, the one with 12.2 megapixels (1,4 μm per pixel) dissolves. This image sensor comes with a f / 1.8 aperture and a PDAF + LDAF (autofocus). Recordings are stabilized optically (OIS) and electronically (EIS). A dual LED flash supports the main camera in the dark.

The front camera in turn uses a rather unknown Sony IMX355 image sensor, One of the sensors is an 8 megapixel sensor with f / 2.2 aperture, 97 ° wide angle and fixed focus. The other sensor also resolves with 8 megapixels using a f / 1.8 aperture, autofocus and a 75 ° wide angle.

Practical test of the main camera

Photo mode

Although the Google Pixel 3 is "only" equipped with a single-sensor main camera, excellent landscape and portrait shots can be made with it. In Photo mode, subjects are rich in detail, rich in color and sharply focused to the edges of the image.

The dynamic Range convinced. In bright image areas, there are no serious loss of detail and dark areas of the image are well illuminated. Especially fine structures are easily recognizable. Aberrations in the form of chromatic aberration do not occur. The Dual pixel phase detection auto focus focuses precisely and fast.

night mode

Its strength shows the Pixel 3 main camera in low light conditions or in the dark. If you activate the night mode, the camera AI conjures in the dark particularly detailed, sharp and colorful shots. Even if virtually nothing is visible to the naked eye, the Pixel 3 brings light into the darkness. Slurry image artifacts or strong noise Noise! From several shots with different exposure creates a recording. The recording time varies between 1 and 7 seconds.


Also impressive is the bokeh mode of the Pixel 3. The separation between sharp foreground and blurred background is fully automatic by the camera AI. To calculate the depth of field no second sensor is needed.

Objects and people extract the pixel 3 clean. Even with difficult contours, the smartphone copes well. Within the subsequent image processing, the blurring degree can be adjusted.

Top photo and pixel shift

Newly introduced with the Google Pixel 3 were the top photo feature and pixel shift. Photos Suggests the user the best picture in a sequence. In group photos or selfies, for example, the image is selected on which no one blinks. Prerequisite, however, is that the motion function of the camera is activated. In the test top photo worked pretty well and the suggestions made were all comprehensible. To criticize, however, is that only the suggestions made by Google can be stored in high quality. All other photos of the sequence are only available in 0.8 megapixels.

Pixel 3 does that Pixel Shift method advantage. As a result, the resolution of an image is increased by several, minimally shifted recordings. The camera takes several pictures simultaneously and combines them into a single picture. Superimposing multiple shots preserves more detail, as well as sharpening the shot. What sounds good in theory could not impress in practice. Especially compared to other high-end smartphones, the images of the Pixel 3 are not sharper or more detailed.


There is no optical zoom for lack of zoom lens. It is once again resorted to software-based algorithms. At the Super-Res Zoom Pixels 3 computes multiple images into a single shot. The result is impressive, but does not compete with other smartphones that rely on a zoom lens.

video mode

In video mode, the Pixel 3 also convinces by a decent recording quality. The picture convinces as in the photo mode by a high degree of detail, strong colors and a pleasant sharpness. What the video mode lacks is a 4K 60 FPS mode. If you like to shoot XPS with XPS FPS you have to be content with 60p. By the optical image stabilization Freehand filming is also becoming a breeze. In the test less convinced has the sound quality. The recorded sound is quiet and thin.

Practical test of the front camera

With two wide-angle sensors, Pixel 3's front camera is ideal for both single and group selfies. Bokeh shots with a blurred background masters the smartphone in normal and wide angle mode. The recording quality of the front camera is impressive, with natural skin tones and a pleasant level of detail.


For local LTE, the Google Pixel 3 is well prepared. The usual in Germany LTE tapes are all available. If you like to travel, you do not have to worry about mobile phones abroad. Pixel 3 can be used worldwide. The following frequencies and bands are supported:

  • mobile: 850, 900, 1,800 and 1,900 MHz
  • UMTS: 1/2/4/5/8/9/19
  • FDD LTE: 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/29/30/32/66/71

The transmission rates in mobile communications are first-class. The Cat 16 LTE modem enables speeds up to 1 Gbps. Unfortunately, Google does not use Dual SIM. Instead, you have to settle for a nano SIM or eSIM. Telephone calls can be excellently managed with the Pixel 3. The voice quality is excellent in both directions. VoLTE and HD Voice are supported.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

The smartphone can handle 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi networks. Dual AC enables particularly fast and stable transfer rates. The speeds measured in the WLAN are at a maximum of 650 Mbit / s in the download and 550 Mbit / s in the upload. Another wireless connection standard is Bluetooth 5.0.

GPS and sensors

To determine the position GPS, Glonass, Galileo and BeiDou used. A GPS fix takes place within a few seconds and is accurate to a few meters. When navigating with Google Maps, Pixel 3 is reliable. The signal is constant and without deviations.

The sensor system includes, among other things, an NFC module. Mobile payment per Google Pay or other banking apps is easily possible. A fingerprint scanner on the back of the smartphone unlocks this quickly and safely. Further sensors are an 3-axis gyroscope, an 3-axis accelerometer, a proximity sensor, an ambient light sensor and an e-compass.


The capacity of the battery is 2915 mAh, This is not very much compared to other top models, but the Pixel 3 is comparatively economical in energy consumption. With a little telephony, web surfing and YouTube, you can get along well throughout the day. Additional mobile gaming drains the battery noticeably faster, so that ½ hour is over after 2.

Fully charged is the pixel 3 after about 105 minutes. A load of 50% only takes 40 minutes. Prerequisite, however, is that you use the supplied 18 Watt fast charger. The fast charging standard is USB Power Delivery. Despite Qualcomm processor no Qualcomm Quick Charge is supported. Optionally, the pixel 3 also via wireless Qi charging function Loading. The Google Pixel Stand loads the smartphone in just under 145 minutes.

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Prices last updated on: 9. July 2020 20: 03

Final Words


Handy design
Good workmanship
Powerful hardware
Current Android OS with update guarantee
Exceptional display with hole notch
Good camera equipment with night mode
Good reception quality (Cat 16 LTE)
Precise GPS
NFC with mobile payment options


The matt back is susceptible to scratching
Rabiates storage management
No notification LED
No dual SIM
No memory expansion
No 4K60 video function
Sound quality in video recordings

First impression
User Interface
Fingerprint scanner
GPS & sensors

Even the Google Pixel 3 is and remains a niche smartphone, which will most likely not arrive with the ordinary consumers. Compared to many other high-end smartphones, the Pixel 3 is just one of many. Unfortunately, we are looking in vain for major innovations.

Those who still opt for a Pixel 3, receives a very compact smartphone with the latest hardware and a "Pure Android Experience". The fact that a smartphone does not necessarily need 2, 3 or 4 camera sensors is demonstrated by Pixel 3's Artificial Intelligence, which boasts clean bokeh shots, superb night mode and features such as top-notch photos. The Pixel 3 also benefits by its excellent mobile support, its fast WLAN connection, NFC and the Qi charging function.

Bigger points of criticism are the scratch-prone coating on the back, the brutal memory management, which Google would like to dedicate itself to in a software update, as well as the missing dual-SIM and memory expansion function.

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