Google’s Pixel 3 marks the beginning of a new era for Google hardware
To understand why Pixel 3 is a big step up for Google, we should go back to see how it came to be.
In 2017, Pixel’s U.S market share was at an almost neglectable 0.7 percent. For Google, the profit from its hardware is nothing compared to its large advertising business. It is buried deep in its financial report under the “Google Other” bucket.
However, Google made a significant change in 2017 by bringing the development of Pixel 3 in-house for the first time. It cost Google $1.1 billion to acquire HTC’s design team, adding over 2,000 employees.
A year later, we have a new phone we can genuinely say developed in-house by Google that represents the company’s superiority technology advantage.
Cellphone photography or videography even at its best still can’t compete with a cheap DSLR or mirrorless camera costing half of its price. Without getting into the details of the technology, the limited space on a cell phone can’t accommodate a decent size sensor or achieve the optical of a kit lens.
However, Pixel 3 showed us what it could do in post to mimic as much as possible the feel of a DSLR camera. Most of the work is done in image processing, where Google has a deep bench of technology including Artificial intelligent.
First, the setup of the camera is unconventional.
Pixel 3 only has one rare camera, but it can produce a better quality image in a lot of ways than phones featuring dual-camera using very different imaging technology. The answer lies in the separated chip in the phone dedicated to image processing photos.
Instead of one photo, Pixel 3 takes a lot of photos at once, and process them quickly with AI so the user can get the result you want after the shots are taken.
Pixel 3 use this super HDR features to develop what Google called “super res zoom.” It’s not an optical zoom. Instead, Pixel 3 uses Google Brain’s technology and the additional shots as references to render the photo or footage and fill in the missing details too make the shot looks like it was optically zoomed in. No other phone in the market dares to trust AI technology as much. The result isn’t as sharp as an iPhone XS, but for your average consumers, the differences aren’t that much.
Pixel 3’s low light mode and portrait mode is where the camera shows its superiority with the additional photo reference. The AI will mimic the nice dynamic range and render great low light photos. For the portrait mode, the technology will allow users to adjust focal length after the shot is taken. It still doesn’t have the nice bokeh like a regular DSLR, but the nice dynamic range will make your shot looks great.
On the other side, Pixel 3 has a dual camera set up. It is a system designed to take the best selfie. You have the option to go wider to include more in your shot or go tighter.
Moreover, Pixel 4 will allow users to save photos in RAW format to include more information for more processing.
Pixel 3 gives the consumer a lot of option. The regular Pixel 3, has a 5.5-inch display with OLED screen. The Pixel 3XL has a 6.3-inch display.
Both Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have three color options, pink, black and white. The OLED screen is a massive improvement from the Pixel 2.
However, the notch on the top that carries the dual camera setup would bother some people, but for most, it’s not a deal breaker.
Another feature makes Pixel 3 great is its ability to help the users to reduce screen time. It has a do-not-disturb feature you can activate will only notify you if there is an emergency, and blocking unwanted calls automatically.
Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL will be available on Oct. 18. The 64GB configuration will come in at $799 and $899 respectively.
Dimensions: 5.73 x 2.69 x 0.31
Sim: Nano-Sim & eSim
Photo: 12.2 MP f/1.8, 28mm
Video: 2160p:30fps, 1080p: 30/60/120fps, 720p: 240fps