Everything You Need To Know About Google’s brand-new Phone

Google’s brand-new phone includes a robot call screener, a larger display, as well as lots of brand-new camera features.

Posted on October 9, 2018, at 12:01 p.m. ET

Today, Google is actually announcing the latest versions of its flagship phone, the Pixel 3 as well as Pixel 3 XL, at an event in brand-new York. brand-new features include a robot call screener, larger screen sizes, glass backs for wireless charging compatibility, as well as a bevy of software-enabled photography enhancements. Even if you’re not ready to upgrade your Pixel, there’s Great news: Some of the Pixel 3’s features will be available on older Pixel devices.

Here’s an in-depth look at the Pixel 3, as well as everything you need to know if you’re wondering whether the latest Android phone is actually worth the idea.

There are two phones, the smaller Pixel 3 as well as the larger Pixel 3 XL, as well as a brand-new shade, called “Not Pink.” (the idea’s pink.)

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The Pixel 3 includes a flexible OLED display with curved edges.

In your hand, the Pixel 3 as well as Pixel 3 XL are the same sizes as last year’s Pixel 2 versions — yet the screens are larger, at 5.5 inches diagonally for the Pixel 3 as well as 6.3 inches for the XL. The screen reaches farther into the corners for a nearly edge-to-edge experience, as well as its OLED display is actually flexible, so the idea curves around the edges.

The smaller Pixel 3 still has black borders on the top as well as bottom (albeit smaller ones) because according to Mario Queiroz, vice president of Pixel, an edge-to-edge screen “is actually less important just for in which consumer, based on what we’ve learned.” Sad day for the tiny-handed. If you want a truly immersive screen, you’ll have to opt for the big phone.

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as well as because Google maximized the Pixel 3 XL’s display real estate, there’s a notch at the top of the screen for the device’s front-facing cameras, sandwiched by status icons.

Nicole Nguyen / BuzzFeed News

The Pixel 3 starts at $799, as well as Pixel 3 XL at $899. They can be preordered today as well as ship on Oct. 18. The phones come in two storage sizes, 64GB as well as 128GB, as well as three colors: Just Black, Clearly White, as well as a brand-new hue, Not Pink.

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The Not Pink shade is actually what many would likely describe as…pink. yet the idea’s not a loud, hot pink. the idea’s more like a nude hue with pink undertones in which looks nearly identical to the iPhone’s 8 “gold.”

Nicole Nguyen / BuzzFeed News

The back of the Pixel 3 is actually right now made of glass to enable wireless charging with Qi-certified chargers. Part of the smooth glass back is actually textured as well as feels like a matte, velvety surface, for “gripability” as well as to hide fingerprints, says Ivy Ross, vice president of design.


The Pixel 3’s Sunrise Alarm feature.

Google is actually selling its own wireless charger, called Pixel Stand, for $79. When the Pixel 3 is actually put on the stand, the idea goes into a “display assistant” mode as well as essentially turns the phone into a Google Home, where you can use voice commands to play music, see your calendar, as well as view photos. iPhones with wireless charging (iPhone 8 as well as newer) can be charged on the Pixel Stand, too.

within the Stand, “OK, Google, bedtime” sets your morning alarms as well as turns the Pixel 3 into a white noise machine. For waking up, there’s a “Sunrise Alarm” feature available in Pixel Stand mode, where the display brightens with warm sunrise colors gradually, before your morning alarm goes off.

The Pixel 3 doesn’t have a headphone jack, yet the idea does come with USB-C earbuds.

Previous Pixel versions didn’t come with earbuds — just a USB-C to 3.5-mm audio adapter for wired headphones. The Pixel 3 will, however, ship with wired USB-C buds, as well as a second-generation audio adapter in which uses less energy.

Nicole Nguyen / BuzzFeed News

Many of the Pixel 3’s upgrades are software-based.

Looking to upgrade? The main thing to note: Besides a few hardware additions, the phones’ key brand-new features are machine learning– as well as artificial intelligence–powered software refinements.

For example, the phone’s two front-facing speakers reduce distortion at louder volumes, thanks to software work by Pixel engineers. You can also right now activate Google Lens right coming from the phone’s camera app. Lens can translate words coming from menus, save phone numbers coming from business cards to your address book, as well as add events to your calendar coming from a concert poster.

There are features to help you put down your phone, too. Digital Wellbeing, introduced at in which year’s Google I/O conference, will show you how much time you actually spend on different apps, as well as can set timers to restrict your app usage. Wind Down turns your phone to black as well as white to make the idea less appealing, as well as “Shh” is actually a gesture where you can flip your phone face down to automatically put the idea in Do Not Disturb mode. Flipping the idea back over turns off Do Not Disturb mode. These Wellbeing features will eventually come to some other Pixels, too.

One of the Pixel 3’s most mind-boggling brand-new features is actually called Call Screen. The Great news? the idea’s (eventually) coming to older Pixels too.

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The Pixel 3’s Call Screen feature.

To help you avoid calls coming from scammers, Google is actually adding Call Screen to the Pixel, a brand-new option in which appears when you receive a phone call. Whenever someone calls you, you can tap a “Screen call” button, as well as a robot voice will pick up.

Nicole Nguyen / BuzzFeed News

“The person you’re calling is actually using a screening service as well as will get a copy of in which conversation. Go ahead as well as say your name as well as why you’re calling,” the Google bot will say. As the caller responds, the digital assistant will transcribe the caller’s message for you. If you need more information, you can use one of the feature’s canned responses, which include “Tell me more” as well as “Who is actually in which?” There are also buttons to either pick up or hang up the call, so you can accept or reject the idea at any time.

Call Screen will be available on the Pixel 3 when the idea ships, as well as the feature will be available on some other Pixels “soon thereafter,” according to a Google spokesperson.

Call screen is actually an extension of Duplex, an experimental robot calling assistant feature. Google announced today in which Pixel users will be the first to try Duplex later in which year.

Duplex is actually a wild technology in which uses artificial intelligence — as well as a very convincing, humanlike robot voice — to perform phone tasks, like calling a restaurant to book a table or producing an appointment at a hair salon.

After some concern in which perhaps businesses might not want to interface having a robot, Google said in which the idea will disclose at the start of calls in which an automated system is actually speaking, as well as call recipients can opt out if they want. All Pixels (1, 2, as well as 3) will receive Duplex at the same time later in which year. For right now, Duplex will only be available in brand-new York, Atlanta, Phoenix, as well as San Francisco, yet will roll out to some other cities within the future.

The Pixel 3 is actually getting brand-new camera capabilities, too.

Nearly every “premium” (read: expensive) phone on the market includes a camera with two lenses, including the iPhone XS, iPhone 8 Plus, as well as Samsung Galaxy S9+. In a typical dual-lens setup, one lens is actually a normal, wide-angle lens, as well as the some other is actually telephoto lens, for close-ups as well as zoomed-in photos.

The Pixel 3 is actually different: the idea only has one wide-angle lens within the rear camera.

Super Res Zoom is actually Google’s software in which aims to make up for the missing telephoto lens. The machine learning–powered feature makes photos taken with digital zoom look better. Typically, photos taken with optical zoom are higher resolution, while digitally zoomed photos look grainy as well as blurry.

Here’s how the idea works: Whenever you take a photo, your hand is actually never perfectly still. the idea moves ever so slightly. Super Res Zoom uses those hand vibrations to capture the image coming from slightly different angles to get more information coming from in which scene. Those angles are used to make digitally zoomed-in photos appear more detailed as well as higher resolution.


Super Res Zoom on the Pixel 3.

yet, bizarrely, the front-facing camera does have two lenses right now. One is actually the normal 8-megapixel camera you’d expect, as well as the some other is actually a wide-angle, GoPro-style lens having a 97-degree field of view (instead of 76 degrees within the normal lens). The wide-angle lens is actually intended to show more of a scene’s background as well as subjects in group selfies. You can use the zoom adjuster to switch between wide as well as normal lenses.


The Pixel 3’s normal (left) versus wide-angle (right) front-facing camera lenses.

The Pixel 3 also has Top Shot, which is actually automatically activated when you press the camera shutter. the idea takes eight photos instantaneously with full HDR+ (or high dynamic range) as well as uses machine learning to determine which of those shots is actually best. When viewing photos, you can swipe up to see what is actually Google’s “Recommended shot.”


Top Shot analyzes the content as well as quality of photos (like whether or not the subject is actually looking at the camera) as well as recommends a shot based on in which assessment.

Photobooth is actually another addition. the idea incorporates the same technology in which’s the foundation for Google Clips, a device you’ve probably never heard of in which launched last year. When you turn on in which feature, the Pixel uses artificial intelligence to detect when people are looking at the camera as well as/or smiling, as well as will automatically snap the shutter if so.

Motion Auto Focus is actually a brand-new feature designed for fast-moving subjects. If, for example, a pet or tiny human isn’t sitting still, you can tap on the subject as well as the camera will adjust its focus as they move, so you’re less likely to get a blurry photo.

Google has always touted the Pixel camera’s low-light capabilities. While the Pixel 3 has the same f/1.8 aperture as its predecessor, a brand-new feature, called Night Sight, digitally brightens dark scenes even more. Night Sight won’t be available immediately. Google says the idea’ll roll out sometime later in which year.


Examples of images before as well as after Night Sight editing.

A lot of Pixel features are the same in in which third-generation phone.

The Pixel’s battery can still get seven hours of life having a 15-minute charge. The phone’s killer feature — free, full-resolution photo backup in Google Photos — also comes with the Pixel 3. You can squeeze the sides to activate Google Assistant. The device’s water as well as dust resistance has been upgraded slightly, coming from IP67 to IP68.

Nicole Nguyen / BuzzFeed News

The brand-new Pixel 3 won’t feel leaps as well as bounds different coming from the Pixel 2.

The screen may feel a bit larger as well as the camera is actually a bit more feature-rich, yet you may not see a dramatic difference between the third-generation as well as second-generation Pixel. Stay tuned for our full review to see if the brand-new Pixel 3 is actually worth the upgrade.

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