Google Pixel 3 vs Google Pixel 2

How does Google's new flagship, the Pixel 3, compare to the Google Pixel 2?

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Google Pixel 3 vs Pixel 2: Specifications

Google Pixel 3

Google Pixel 2

Product Name Google Pixel 3 Google Pixel 2
Display size 5.5 5
Operating system Android 9 Android 8
Height (mm) 145.6 145.7
Width (mm) 68.2 69.7
Depth (mm) 7.9 7.9
Weight (g) 148 143
Battery size (mAh) 2,915 2,700
Front camera (1) megapixels 8 8
Rear camera (1) megapixels 12.2 12.2
Rear camera (2) megapixels
Water Resistance IP68 IP67
Wi-Fi connectivity 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Network Category Speed Category 16 Category 15

Google Pixel 3 vs Google Pixel 2: What to look for

The Google Pixel 3 has just been announced, and while much of what made it special had leaked prior to its official reveal, it's still got plenty of promise as a powerhouse smartphone.

Then again, that's precisely the argument that Google made for last year's Google Pixel 2. If you've already got a Pixel 2, or you're eyeing one as a budget purchase, is the Google Pixel 3 a better bet?

Google Pixel 3 vs Google Pixel 2: Power

Google's followed the 2018 recipe for a flagship phone quite precisely, equipping the Google Pixel 3 with a Snapdragon 845 processor and 4GB of RAM. That's undeniably a step up from the Snapdragon 835 found in the Google Pixel 2, but where the power argument will get really interesting will be in how Android 9 ("Pie") works on the newer processor.

Google has already released Android 9 for existing Pixel 2 owners, and it's a great update that makes the Google Pixel 2 really fly. The Snapdragon 845 should outpace the Snapdragon 835, but it's not as though the Pixel 2 is a slow phone by 2018 standards.

Google Pixel 3 vs Google Pixel 2: Camera

Google has been the notable standout in the premium camera space, insisting on single-lens cameras for every single Pixel generation whereas its competitors – including those using Google's own Android operating system – have switched to dual-lens and, in some cases, triple-lens systems.

While dual lenses can give you a little more flexibility when it comes to shot selection, Google has managed to keep pace with the market with some very finely tuned software optimisations for that single lens. The original Pixel sold itself on its low-light capability, and the Pixel 2 brought portrait-style photos without a secondary depth-sensing lens to the market. For the Google Pixel 3, Google has opted to focus on features that will make your photos better via machine learning, with features such as "top shot" (which uses burst mode to pick the best photo of a bunch) and enhanced zoom via multiple exposures.

However, it's also promising to bring many of its photo features to existing Pixel 2 owners, which could well give it additional longevity in the photo-taking space. However, you will have to wait for those features to hit the Pixel 2 so, for the moment, the advantage is clearly in the Pixel 3's court.

Google Pixel 3 vs Google Pixel 2: Battery

We've seen increasing battery capacities across most premium smartphones in 2018, but that's typically been tied into larger screen sizes. Google makes its large-phone play with the Google Pixel 3 XL, which will feature a 3,430mAh battery, while the Pixel 3 makes do with a 2,915mAh battery pack. That's a small uptick from the 2,700mAh battery capacity of the Google Pixel 2, although depending on usage, you might not see all that much of a difference in real-world use.

Where the Google Pixel 3 differs from its predecessor is in the inclusion of full support for wireless charging. If you want to wirelessly top up the battery on the Google Pixel 2, you'll need a compliant case to slap onto it, but it's part of the furniture for the Pixel 3.

Google Pixel 3 vs Google Pixel 2: Pricing

The Pixel 3 will sell in Australia for $1,199 with 64GB of onboard storage or $1,349 if you want the 128GB variant. That's a slight uptick against the original launch price of the Pixel 2, which sold locally at $1,079 with 64GB of onboard storage or $1,229 with 128GB of storage. However, if you can find one to buy from a direct reseller, you should be able to score one much cheaper than that now.

Telstra was the exclusive launch partner for the Pixel and Pixel 2 generations, but this time around, Google is partnering with Vodafone and Optus to offer the Pixel 3 on contract as well.

Check out our breakdown of all available Pixel 3 contract plans.

Telstra had the exclusive for the Pixel 2 generation of phones in Australia, but at the time of writing, only the larger Pixel 2 XL is still available on contract terms. Here's what you'll pay for a 64GB Pixel 2 XL through Telstra:

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