Google Pixel 3 Review

The Pixel 3 is a great phone.

After using the Pixel 3, here are my thoughts:

What I love

Post processing for Google Photos on Google Pixel 3. Very good integration with Google Photos app
  1. Buttery smooth UI. Pure Android on it runs very smooth.
  2. Pixel 3 (smaller one) is the ideal size for a phone. Not too big or small.
  3. Super lightweight, and I like the feel of the polycarbonate body.
  4. Fantastic haptic feedback when typing on the keyboard with SwiftKey. Been very productive blogging on this phone.
  5. Camera on Pixel 3 and the Night Sight and HDR+ is phenomenal.
  6. Google Pixel buds (Bluetooth headphones) sound good and work very well. Good sound, lightweight. Pair seamlessly. Not sure if they’re worth the money, but they work very well.
  7. Super solid phone: the best Android phone I’ve ever used (superior to Samsung), in terms of pure Android, as well as the computational technology in the camera.

What I hate

No bueno things:

1. I hate Google Discover

Distractions I see when I swipe left from home screen. I have no idea how to turn this off.

When you swipe left, you see all these spammy notifications from Google; content they think you want to read. It’s a bit creepy; it knows your preferences too well.

2. Lack of ability to customize

I wish I could hide this. I can’t.

Lots of stuff that Android doesn’t let me remove. For example the top notification thing, and you cannot remove the bottom search box for Google:

Sneaky UI from Google: you cannot remove this search box widget. Thus you get more addicted to using Google for anything

3. User interface doesn’t really make sense

There is a center home button and a back button.. But no button on the right, which used to be the spot to see all your apps?

Problem is Google is copying Apple iPhone X user interface (swipe from bottom). But it doesn’t really make sense on Android, which used to be a “3 button system”.

When you swipe from bottom. You cannot change the app drawer on bottom or the Google search bar


  1. It is starting to get creepy how much information Google has on you. I hate how Google is starting to subtly manipulate your behavior. Their algorithms are too good, and they “nudge” my behavior in ways which distract me, instead of helping me focus. Thus, Google (and android) devices are built to distract you and serve you more specific advertisements.
  2. If you want the best smartphone camera, the Google Pixel 3 is excellent.
  3. User interface of iPhone and IOS is still better and more simple.
  4. If you prefer Android, get the Pixel 3 over a Samsung phone. Pixel 3 doesn’t have Samsung bloatware, and is a cleaner experience.
  5. I hate the ability that stock Android is so user-hostile, in the sense that you can barely customize it. Even simple things: you cannot remove certain widgets. I thought Android was supposed to be the software that allows for more customization and freedom?

Practical ideas

Apps drawer for Pixel 3
  1. You can have both a Pixel 3 and iPhone Xs (if you are a power user). Night Sight on Pixel 3 is superior to iPhone Xs night shooting.
  2. If you prefer Android over ios, the upsides of Pixel 3 Android are still better than Samsung or OnePlus or other competition. Stock Android on Pixel 3 will always run smoothest, and have the best compatibility.
  3. Ultimately, the iPhone is a better phone than the Pixel 3 (or any Android phone). Thus if you want just one phone for everything in your life, buy an iPhone.

Suggestions for Android and Pixel team

  1. Allow for more customization
  2. Perhaps offer Pixel users the ability to not get tracked? Or pay a monthly fee ($10 a month) to use Google services without getting served advertisements in Google Chrome mobile?
  3. Simplify the Pixel 3 Camera app, and allow users to move around menus and buttons.

I ultimately believe in open source, and open systems. It is a bit concerning to see how with Android and Google we are losing more ability to customize our settings (less freedom and control). Also, concerning how the algorithms of Google know us too well; which will subtly modify and “nudge” our behavior.

Thus I won’t keep this phone.

More thoughts on technology to come.