Google Pixel 3: What we know so far

Google's Pixel 3 is shaping up to be a remarkable phone, or at least that's what Google hopes for its own in-house flagship phone

Google Pixel 3 at a glance

When does the Google Pixel 3 come out? Launch expected around October 2018
What’s new about the Google Pixel 3 No notch, Snapdragon 845, Android P
How much will the Google Pixel 3 cost? Expected around $1,100-$1,300 likely exclusive to one carrier.

Picture: XDA Developers

What is the Google Pixel 3?

Google provides the Android operating system that runs the vast majority of smartphones sold today. It's also got a long history of providing its "own" phones, starting with the affordable-but-now-discontinued Nexus line and now with its new Pixel phones.

Google Pixel phones are meant to provide something of a blank slate for other manufacturers to live up to, and we're already seeing early hints of what to expect out of the search giant this year. 2018 will be a critical year for Google's in-house phone ambition, having spent billions acquiring much of HTC's design team to meet its own phone aspirations.

While it's entirely likely that the new Pixel 3 will be produced by an outside manufacturer such as HTC, LG or Huawei, there'll be even more Google DNA onboard.

That being said, of the new Pixel phones, the Pixel 3 is the handset for which the least overall information has been leaked to date, with much of the focus on the larger and more expensive Pixel 3 XL. The Pixel 3 XL is expected to have a "notch" display after leaks of both screen styles in the Android P beta with an edge-to-edge display, but it's not expected that the smaller Pixel 3 will have those features.

That points to a more regular phone design with on-screen bezels, most likely in a smaller form. Some rumours suggest that the Pixel 3 might not even be the smallest and cheapest new Pixel phone.

It's been rumoured that Google is working on a more affordable Pixel, harking back to its Nexus roots. However, there's not a lot of information around the cheaper Pixel 3 phone and some suggest that Google may hold back on launching it until 2019.

Google always makes its Pixel phones into premium devices, which in 2018 means we can expect a Snapdragon 845 under the hood with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM. Again, we'd expect higher specifications for the Pixel 3 XL, but the Pixel 3 shouldn't be a slouch, thanks to the other part of its package, namely Android P.

Google has already released a beta of Android P for existing Pixel owners, as well as a range of other phones, and it's shaping up as a slick upgrade to its operating environment. New Pixel phones are typically engineered to take the most advantage of Android updates with a guarantee to see a couple of years' worth of upgrades. For many buyers that's reason enough to invest in a Pixel 3.

2017's Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL featured a version of HTC's "Edge Sense" that gave them squeezable sides to invoke the Google Assistant, and given Google's HTC investment, we'd expect to see that feature shift forwards into the Pixel 3. The HTC U12+ expanded on Edge Sense with tappable sides, and that may come through to the Pixel 3 as well.

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Will the Google Pixel 3 have a good camera?

The Pixel 3 will be a premium flagship, so a good camera is a must, but exactly how Google achieves that is still something of a mystery. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL both used a single camera and lots of software smarts to generate quality images that matched the performance of 2017's premium dual lens phones, and for the smaller Pixel 3, that's still a distinct possibility.

Indeed, some leaks suggest that Google has experimented with single lens models of even the Pixel 3 XL, so it may well be that Google stays the course (and bucks the trend) by opting for a single camera across the entire range.

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Will the Google Pixel 3 have a good battery?

There's no reason to suspect that the Pixel 3 won't have a solid battery capacity. Where Google has some catch-up work to do is in the wireless charging space, because the Pixel 2 notably didn't have wireless charging capabilities.

But that could be about to change, with code in the Android P beta suggesting that Google may be working on a wireless charging dock of its own. It's not as though Google needs manufacturers to make docks, so it's fair to assume that it has some kind of wireless charging feature for the new Pixel phones in mind.

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Will the Google Pixel 3 be water-resistant?

It would be surprising if it wasn't, given that the Pixel 2 has an IP67 water-resistance rating. Given that HTC upped the water resistance on the HTC U12+ to IP68 and the close ties between HTC and Google, we may even see improved water resistance for the Pixel 3.

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When will the Google Pixel 3 be available in Australia?

We should see the Pixel 3 in Australia fairly closely after its expected launch in October. Depending on precisely when Google's ready to lift the secrecy veil on the Pixel 3, that would suggest either an October or November availability time frame.

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How much will the Google Pixel 3 cost?

We can expect premium pricing, but probably not in the same range as the full Pixel 3 XL. Based on prior Pixel handsets, we'd expect somewhere in the $1100-$1300 price point outright, depending on internal storage configuration.

The Pixel 3 will almost certainly be available on contract terms as well. Every single Pixel generation has been a Telstra exclusive so far and while there's no rumours to go off, it's likely that this will remain true for the Pixel 3 as well.

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Google Pixel 3 Specifications

Product Name
Google Pixel 3
Display Size
Expected 5.3 inches
Snapdragon 845
Expected 64GB/128GB with no microSD support
Operating System
Android 9.0
Front camera
Rear camera
Expected $1100-$1300
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