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Equipped with a 5.5-inch display, deep integration with Google's software platform, an impressive single rear-camera and a new secondary front-facing shooter, the Pixel 3 is one of the best phones available.

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The phone starts at $799 (£739, AU$1,199) for the 64GB model and costs $899 (£839, AU$1,349) for the 128GB variant.

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The larger Pixel 3 XL has a 6.3-inch display. Besides the size and battery capacity, however, the phones are pretty much the same.

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Measuring 5.7 by 2.7 by 0.3 inches (146 by 68 by 7.9 millimeters) and weighing in at 5.2 ounces (148 grams), the smaller Pixel 3 is one of the more comfortable phones to carry around in your pocket or hold in your hand.

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It has a "flexible" OLED display with a 2,280x1,080 pixel-resolution and 443 ppi.

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Compared to last year's Pixel 2, the Pixel 3 has a larger screen and thinner bezels.

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The top and bottom bezels are notably narrower than last year's iteration. The Pixel 3 still has dual front-facing speakers, however.

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Another look at the Pixel 2 and 3.

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A few shots of the Pixel 3 and its edges.

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Like last year, the Pixel 3 doesn't have a headphone jack.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

One of the biggest draws of the phone is its camera. While many rival companies are outfitting their phones with two or more rear cameras, the Pixel 3 only has one.

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The phone has a 12.2-megapixel rear shooter.

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The Pixel 3 takes impressive low-light photos, records steady video and pulls off solid portrait photos.

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Its wide dynamic range handles varying lighting and exposures particularly well, at times producing images that look better than real life.

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On the front are two 8-megapixel cameras. With the second wide-angle camera, you can include more content in each frame.

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The camera is skillful at taking portrait photos too, and offers options to tweak the blurriness and focus of these portraits after you fire the shutter.

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New camera software also aims to improve photo quality. Top Shot, which works when you take moving "Motion" pictures, looks for smiles and open eyes to recommend the best image in a series.

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Running Android 9.0 Pie out of the box, the Pixel 3 uses gesture navigation to get around. For recent apps you'll need to flick up at the bottom of the screen and slide apps upward to quit. Getting to the app drawer requires a second flick or one long swipe upward.

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Like its predecessor and the HTC U11 before it, squeezing the Pixel 3's sides launches a specific action. In this case, it opens Google Assistant and it can silence an incoming call.

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The Pixel 3 also comes with a free YouTube Music subscription for six months, unlimited cloud storage for photos and is usually the first to receive software updates as they roll out from Google.

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New to the Pixel line (but not to older Google phones like the Nexus 5) is wireless charging.

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Instead of plugging in a cord, the phone can juice up on any Qi-compatible charging mat. Google's selling its own Pixel Stand wireless charger too.

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Though Google still left off the headphone jack, the company did include wired USB Type-C earbuds with the Pixel 3 for the first time ever.

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They're meatier than Apple's earbuds, but all in all, they're quite comfortable and fit snugly in my ears.

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The Pixel Buds can also launch Google Assistant on the phone.

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The Pixel 3 is rated IPX8, meaning it can survive in about 3 feet (1 meter) of water for 30 minutes.

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In my dunk tests, the phone kept on ticking after I placed it in a 3-gallon bucket for 28 minutes, twice.

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The center-rear placement of the fingerprint sensor for unlocking the phone is on the back of the phone.

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The Pixel 3 isn't the only great phone available, however. The Galaxy S9 (left) features a slightly longer battery life, a headphone jack and expandable memory. The iPhone XS (right) has FaceID for unlocking the screen and digital payments, and the 256GB model of the iPhone XS costs comparably "cheaper" than the Pixel 3 in terms of storage.

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Still, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL are some of the best phones you can buy. They may not be as luxurious-looking as the iPhone XS or Galaxy S9, but they are first-class and give extra perks from Google.

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US residents can preorder the phones now with shipping starting on Oct. 17. If you're in the UK or Australia, you can preorder now with phones arriving Nov. 1. More markets will be added Nov. 1.

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