Google Pixel 3: Battery Life And The Verdict
Since the introduction of Android 7 Nougat, and even more so with Android 8 Oreo and 9 Pie upon us, our battery life testing has become a bit of a challenge. Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, Google's mobile operating system is getting more aggressive at killing tasks that are consuming significant power and haven't had any user interaction. As a result, our usual PCMark Android battery test now fails on many phones, depending on how they're configured. The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, unfortunately, haven't been playing nice here and have shutdown the test multiple times. We were, however, able to get some numbers from the more synthetic AnTuTu Tester, and have some relevant comparison data.
The 2,915 mAh and 3,430 mAh batteries in the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL aren't the largest in their respective categories, but they are fairly stout. As such, both phones offer up better-than-average battery life that bests phones like the Galaxy S9+, but they can't quite hang with the the leaderboard here. Still, battery life is very good on these phones -- in real-world, day-to-day use, you can absolutely make it through an entire day, and then some. They also charge relatively quickly (about 15% every 18 minutes), so topping off or their batteries when you have access to an outlet won't take very long.
The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are strong follow-ups to last year’s Pixel 2 family. Upon Google’s initial announcement, the specifications and features of these phones didn’t seem terribly impressive, in light of competing flagships based on the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor. Having only 4GB of RAM, no expandable local storage, and only a 12.2MP camera seems odd for a brand-new flagship smartphone being introduced in late 2018. This may sound cliché and a bit over the top, but having actually used the phones and with the benefit of that experience, the end result is that these devices are more than the sum of their specifications. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL offer strong performance, competitive battery life, and they take some of the best pictures of any smartphone on the market – bar none. They also offer the added benefit of clean, Android installations that’ll get updated before virtually every other smartphone, and their build quality is top notch. If you buy a phone based solely on the specs, it may be easy to overlook the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, but you’d be doing yourself a disservice. These are great smartphones.
Pricing here is somewhat competitive as well. The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL start at $799 and $899, respectively, for the 64GB models. That’s not cheap when you consider phones like the One Plus 6 are available for hundreds less, but in the overall landscape (and certainly compared to Apple's iPhone XS), the new Pixels aren’t the most expensive flagships either. Ultimately, Google seems to have balanced things nicely with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. If you’re in the market for a new smartphone, do yourself a favor and check them out.