Google's latest Pixel 3 and 3XL phones impress us once again.
In addition to delivering an exceptional camera that we expect, Google added new software features and a deeper integration to its Google Assistant platform, all in a minimalistic and polished design.
First, let's start with the camera.
Last year's Pixal had one of the best cameras you can get on a phone and this year, it's no different.
It still takes excellent real-life photos, records steady video and close-up solid portrait photoes with only one rear lens.
This time around though, new software aims to improve your photos.
The camera reportedly uses machine learning to do things like, look for smiles and open eyes to choose a best shot, and it combines several photos to put together super detailed zoomed in pictures.
Google also improved the cameras low light capabilities but, this specific feature isn't available on the phone just yet Since these features all work in the background you can't exactly turn them on to see if they're working.
But the new photobooth feature detects smiles and changing faces to fire the shutter.
And I can definitely tell that the Pixel 3 still takes brilliant photos.
Other new features like a second wide-angle front-facing camera, motion autofocus tracking, and adjusting the blur on portrait mode.
All help to elevate your photo-taking abilities.
Google's digital voice assistant, Assistant, is embedded thoroughly into the overall user experience as well.
There's about a billion ways to access it including squeezing the phone's edges.
And if you don't launch it, its prompts come up anyway in some inevitable fashion.
The most compelling new feature is call screen which answers calls on your behalf.
As the conversation unfolds between the system and the other line, you could see a transcript of the conversation in real time and decide whether or not to block the call or answer it.
It's totally freaky but I find it useful if it means I don't ever have to talk to a telemarketer ever again.
As part of its well being initiative, the Pixel gives you info about how you're spending your time on the phone.
It let's you limit app usage and turns the screen to grey scale around bedtime to reduce eye strain.
All of these features are wrapped up in a refined design.
Though the pixels don't look as premium as a new iPhone or Galaxy phones, they don't feel as cheap as a predecessor The Pixel 3 is one of the most comfortable phones to hold in a hand and small tweaks, like the slimmer bezels elevate the aesthetics.
The Pixel 2 XLs notch is deep and you can especially see it around the notification icons.
In the end though, I got kind of used to seeing it.
And there's a strong possibility that Google will release an update that let's you hide the notch altogether.
The phone is still water resistant and it doesn't have a headphone jack.
The upside though, is that for the first time ever, it comes bundled with wired USB type c pixel buds.
Plus there's wireless charging.
FYI preliminary battery testing for continuous video playback on airplane mode put both phones at around 15 to 16 hours, which is on par with this year's iPhones but it doesn't quite edge out the Galaxy S9 and Note 9.
Starting at $800 for the Pixel 3 and $900 for the 3XL, Google's phones can cost about $100 cheaper than its rivals Including the iPhone XS or the Note 9 in the 3 XL's case.
It's true that they're not the most luxurious looking flagships and the extent of assistance capabilities can be a little unsettling at times, but with their brilliant And easy to use cameras plus extra perks that come from being a google phone.
Like unlimited photo storage and timely software updates.
The Pixel 3 and 3 XL are a top match.
And they remain one of the best Android phones you could buy.
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