- Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is great, but it’s not perfect.
- There are four things about the Pixel 3 phones that Google needs to change to make the upcoming Pixel 4 the closest thing to a perfect smartphone — and it mostly has to do with performance, battery life, and appearance.
- The Pixel 4 is expected to be announced in October.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Google’s Pixel 4 is soon approaching — probably in October — making it a questionable time to buy a Pixel 3 if you’re in the market for a new phone.
Even at the current $200 discount for the Pixel 3 ($600) and Pixel 3 XL ($700) from Google’s online store, I have some reservations about recommending Google’s latest smartphones. And it’s partly because of those issues, combined with the fact that it’s a phone from 2018, that the Pixel 3 phones sit at the No. 8 spot on my list of top 20 smartphones, rather than the top pick.
Even when the Pixel 3 was brand new, it didn’t quite make the cut as No. 1 smartphone. It cost the same as other top Android smartphones back in 2018, but it lacked in several key areas, like design and performance.
Google, if you’re listening, I’ve come up with a few ideas on how to get the Pixel 4 to the number one spot when its released.
Check out the four things about the Pixel 3 that needs to change in the Pixel 4:
Most importantly for Pixel users: Battery life.
Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider
The Pixel 3’s battery life is flat-out unimpressive, unfortunately. I switched back to the Pixel 3 XL after using the OnePlus 7 Pro for over a month, and I was stunned by how poor the Pixel’s battery life is.
I think it’ll last a typical day, but I’m not entirely sure. That’s because I generally charge the Pixel 3 XL while I’m at work because the battery percentage runs down surprisingly quickly.
Meanwhile, the battery life on the OnePlus 7 Pro runs down way more slowly than the Pixel 3 XL, and I never feel like I need to charge it during the day.
Google needs to change the screen bezels and notch situation.
Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider
I like the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL’s overall design, and I don’t mind the comparatively large screen bezels. Even the massive notch on the Pixel 3 XL doesn’t bother me.
But I know bezels and notches bother a lot of smartphone users, especially when phones like the Samsung Galaxy S10 stand right next to the Pixel 3 in a store. Based on design alone, it’s easy to understand why anyone would pick up a Galaxy S10 over a Pixel 3.
So, it’s important to the user that a phone looks good. But it’s also important for Google if it wants to be serious about its smartphone business. The company can’t rely entirely on its clean and superior version of Android, amazing AI-based features, and outstanding camera. Google really needs to package its amazing software in an equally amazing shell.
The next Pixel needs better specs — specifically, more RAM.
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
For a smartphone that cost $800 for most of its lifetime, the Pixel 3’s specs don’t impress.
The Pixel 3 came with the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor that other 2018 Android flagships had when it was released, and that’s totally fine. But the Pixel 3’s performance feels limited because of its middling 4GB of RAM. To compare, other Android flagships in 2018 sport at least 6GB of RAM.
RAM makes a big difference. It helps make the phone feel faster by keeping the apps you often use running in the background, so that when you come back to the app, it feels like you never left. With limited RAM, the Pixel 3 noticeably feels slower than other 2018 Android flagships.
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