Google Pixel 3 Review: Honest Impressions from a UX Designer

I walked into my office today to find a courier holding a very suspicious package of unknown origin. I tore open the box to find that inside was a BRAND NEW PIXEL 3!

I’m not sure why I yelled just now. Sorry about that. Maybe I just like scaring people in an open office floor plan. Anyway, I sort of knew what a Pixel was. I read something online about notches leaking, but I never expected it to leak on me.

Inside the box, a note written in blood said, “don’t be evil.” Now I’ve heard these tech guys do some pretty weird stuff at burning man, but I am not going to let a phone go to waste. I don’t even know how you throw something like that away. If I threw it in the river, It would probably turn the water into Tweets.

I decided to use the phone for a week and write down my honest impressions.

Double the camera. Double the narcissism. Copyright: Google

This phone feels years ahead of any other device. On the box, it says “a new way to see the world” in a big white font. After reviewing this phone honestly, I couldn’t agree more.

The Notch

The Google 3 Pixel’s notch is one of the notchiest notches I’ve ever seen. I mean, this is one of those phones that really makes people pay attention. I was pleased to find that my friends were very impressed with the size of its notch. More importantly, the notch offers the room for two front-facing cameras, which is absolutely essential. I guess.

Google Lens creeping on some shoes. Copyright: Google

Shop it when you see it

With the Pixel 3, Google Lens is always on and always shopping! With this feature, you now have a layer of consumerism augmented into your daily life. Why take a picture of your friend’s face when you can snap a pic of their shoes instead? Later, you can buy them online and completely shop their style. Gosh, It really seems like Google understands photography AND friendship!

I know that shopping for your friends’ clothes by sneakily taking pictures of them can feel like a strange concept. To be honest, I was a bit worried they would get mad at me for buying the same shoes as them. Eventually, I just let the invisible hand of the free market guide my thumbs, and I feel much better about it now.

Augmented reality (AR) software can be very difficult to understand and this AR experience is very, very difficult. Try not to think of it like a camera that augments your reality with shopping. Instead, think of shopping as your reality which this phone augments with photography. Isn’t capitalism fun?

Iron Man’s arc reactor is super helpful for powering cookouts. Copyright: Google

AR stickers

With the Pixel 3, now you can be a real superhero: lonely and lashing out for attention. It’s obvious from the promo video shown to the left that Google has been collecting data on millions of barbecues in order to create the perfect cookout experience. This lonely cookout with Iron Man looks like a real humdinger! Look at how much fun these two are having. Using your browsing habits, they’re able to suggest which fictional characters would be better company for your lonely cookouts. The AR sticker packs aren’t too expensive, and they’re way cheaper than having friends!

The charging stand gives Pixel 3 the perfect viewpoint for watching you sleep. Copyright: Google

Pixel Stand

With the Pixel Stand, your phone will have a nice view of your sleeping flesh prison. No longer will your Google Assistant be forced to lie facedown during the night like us pitiful humans.

With the sound-absorbing cradle made of space-age silicon, you’ll never be disturbed from sleep by the buzzing of your phone. Instead, you will be awakened peacefully by the brilliant light from the massive 6.3 inch OLED screen. I heard this new OLED (Omnipresent Light Emitting Diodes) screen is designed to pierce the depths of your soul.

The wireless charging feature feels like a request straight from the depths of my inner mammalian brain. Actually, I was just telling my mom about how I wake up in the middle of the night to check my phone. She was very concerned that my neck might get tangled up in the cord while I’m cuddling my precious glowing rectangle. Now I can pull it into bed without fear of strangulation!

PRO TIP: The wireless cradle can also function as a sort of phone holster for your nightstand. For the full effect, grab it and spin it towards your eyeballs like an outlaw in the wild west. Through extensive practice, I’ve managed to reduce the time from ding to dopamine all the way down to 30 milliseconds by going wireless. Thanks, Google!

Neverending notifications? Shake it like a salt shaker! Copyright: Google

New Shake Gesture

Tired of those neverending notifications? Pixel 3 has you covered. I have a very specific gesture that comes to mind when my phone won’t stop buzzing in my pocket, and this shake gesture is the next best thing!

I was pleased to learn that Google doesn’t discriminate against notifications of any kind. For years they have upheld the rights of corporate notifications and steadily added more and more notifications. Starting today, they have made a change in their policy in favor of the user. If you get a push notification you don’t want, you simply shake the phone and that app will be banned from showing notifications in the future.

I wish you could see your face just now. You really thought they would turn off notifications because they’re annoying? Awww…Bless. No, LOL, they didn’t do that. Instead, They came up with a completely new and mind-blowing gesture: shush mode.

Be careful when setting your phone down. You might miss a notification! Copyright: Google

Shush Mode

When you set the Pixel 3 face down on the table, it automatically goes into Do Not Disturb Mode. This idea must have taken years of R&D to develop! I’ve never seen anyone do this with a phone. Ever.

To be honest, I was terrified to use this feature. What if I placed my phone down, and someone liked one of my Instagrams? I might miss it! I can’t really look away from my phone for more than 30 seconds these days so I don’t think this feature is for me.

Thanks to Pixel 3, Narcissism is now available in group form. Copyright: Google

UPDATE: I finally worked up the courage to try this gesture out, but it happened by accident. Google Assistant kept asking me if I wanted to take a “groupie” with my friends. Sadly, none of my friends want to hang out with me anymore. Maybe it’s because I shopped all their style with Google Lens. Anyway, I was so mad that I slammed the tester phone down on the table as hard as I could. Seems like the gesture worked because it‘s not disturbing me anymore. It isn’t disturbing anyone, anymore. So it goes…

Better Battery

This iteration of the Pixel includes a real upgrade to the battery. I had this phone for a week and it didn’t explode like a Samsung phone so I’d call that a success. This battery is packed with so much lead and nickel-cadmium that you could drop it in a river and change the entire eco-system. Marine life will be “processing” the power of this phone for months!

Seriously though, don’t drop it in the water. This phone has a waterproof rating of IP67 which means I’m not legally allowed to talk about proofing or resistance to any sort of wet substance in this review. I can say that it performed well when I submerged it in a special dihydrogen monoxide testing solution that I keep in a porcelain bowl in my bathroom.

We are 100% fucked. Copyright: Google-ish

There you have it! The Google Pixel 3 will be shipping this October in three different colors: not pink, just black, and clearly white. If you want the black phone, you better act fast! I hear only 2% of Pixels come in black…just like Google’s diversity policy.

Author: Jeffrey Humble

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