Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL Review and More!


#1

For those who purchased Pixel 3 or 3 XL, here is a few Tips, Tricks and my basic review. Please feel free to add suggestions for the Tips and Tricks you’ve found!

Pixel 3 XL has a sweet camera front and back. Coming from a Samsung S7 Edge I found Android 9 in Pixel to be simple and elegant. The Night Vision feature on the camera is amazing, especially if you like to take pictures of the night sky. Phone came with earbuds or as they call them Pixelbuds, Wall charger, and two adaptors. One adaptor for Pixelbuds and one to use to transfer contacts, data, apps, pictures, texts, etc to Pixel.

Tip: Save yourself a lot of grief, use the built in transfer software and sync features of Google. After preliminaries of starting the phone, it asked if I wanted to move old phone to new phone. I received step by step instructions to connect both phones together and use one of the adaptors previously mentioned. In a matter of a few minutes all of the information on Samsung was now on Pixel! Easy Peasy.

I opted not to have pictures and videos moved as they’re on an SD card that’s larger than my storage capacity on Pixel. More on that later. I was very impressed that it even moved my personal ringtones, notifications all compatible apps and even entered some login information for certain apps.

Some may find storage to be an issue with Pixel 3. Actually after coming from a phone with SD card, I’m rather relieved Pixel doesn’t have one. After having fried SD card after an OS update and having to purchase a high heat SD card to replace the old one. The process of removing the phone’s case and then opening the slot to get to SD card and have SIM card fall out was getting old fast.

Trick: With Pixel I can transfer my photos easily using the USB C adaptor that came with the phone and attaching an SD card reader, I can transfer photos directly to SD card for storage. No need to use a computer to make the transfer.

The battery is the longest lasting battery I’ve ever had with a cell phone. Using the wireless charger stand, is quick and simple. It charges even through the case. This I purchased separately at Best Buy for $39! Google Assist will take commands while the phone is charging, for example: play music, latest news headlines or just about anything you ask it to do.

Another additional thing I needed to purchase was a charger that could accommodate USB C! These can easily and inexpensively be found on Amazon.

Since this is a BYOP, I had an extra Republic Wireless SIM card lying around that I used. If you don’t have a Republic Wireless SIM card lying around, you will need to purchase one separately for BYOPs. You will also need to download and install the Republic Wireless app:

So far Pixel has a strong antenna and can hold a signal, which is saying a lot considering my location. I’m still in the process of testing the phone and how well it will hold a signal, especially in some of my area’s known dead zones.

Update: Works great! Really holds on to a signal on know area were Samsung S7 Edge would drop a call using GSM SIM.

Tip: Use the VPN service by Google when away from home WiFi. Was able to make WiFi calls and Google connects automatically. Under WiFi Preferences, turn on Connect to Open Networks. You’ll see a notification icon with a G and key, this confirms WiFi Assistant VPN.

Call quality is crisp and clear on WiFi. I’m also really enjoying the Call Screening feature as I do get more than my fair share of Spam callers. Love this feature I put them on speaker phone so I can hear the Spammer hang up!

Updates for the phone come immediately, (have had two already!), no longer do I have to wait for a quarterly update or even wait a year or more for OS update. This was one of the biggest reasons for moving to Pixel.

You can also explore Google’s help pages for Pixel 3: https://support.google.com/pixelphone/?hl=en#topic=9153446

TIP: Since Google Assistant is totally integrated in Pixel phones, you can set your alarm clock to read you the weather and news! How to setup a routine with you clock:


#2

I came from the 1st Gen Pixel XL to a Pixel 3.

I can say I really missed dual front facing stereo speakers, last I had that was on my old Moto X Pure and I had yet to find any phone that could beat them. On the Pixel XL, while the down firing speaker was better than other phones like it, I very rarely wanted to play music or vids unless i had headphones or a Bluetooth speaker hooked up. Now, with the P3, i play things much more as the speakers sound very good.

I am a bit annoyed that Google chose to make them by design unbalanced, in that the top or left speaker is a bit lower volume. This effect is more noticeable on the 3 XL. No idea why they would do such a thing.

I miss the AUX jack. Stupid design choice to remove a hardware functionality and make it a “dongle phone”. Worse decision than the screen “notch” thing on the larger XL version. At least that can be mitigated with a change of settings.

The camera is just as good to better as the 1st gen Pixel. I honestly can not tell any big quality difference in the daytime pictures, but it does process photos much faster. Low light photos, however are far better as well as video stabilization. One thing I have noticed, the raised lens design of the P3 tends to collect tons of dust/lint/particles from my pocket where as the flat design of the 1st gen Pixel never did. I now always have to blow off the lens before I take a picture.

Pixel Buds. Terrible. One size does not fit all. If you have huge ears, then they will fit you. Even so, seem very uncomfortable. They equate to those free airplane earbuds to me. Very glad I did not buy the wireless version.

I really do like the Pixel 3. Wanted the smaller size and wireless charging. Yes, I am being quite nitpicky with the things I have mentioned…but for $1K i spent on it…I feel I ought to be. It is the most money I have ever spent on a phone…ever! It cost more than my Dell Precision 4K laptop computer or 55in living room TV.

Tips and tricks? On any Android phone, I go into the Developer Options and change the 3 animations speed/scale factors to .5x to make things a bit zippyier.