After a rocky start with the Pixel 1 (which remains one of the ugliest phones made this decade), a big—but still not fully realized—improvement on the Pixel 2, the Pixel 3 came out and finally made good on Google’s homegrown phone initiative. And unlike phones from Samsung or Huawei, the Pixel 3 achieved this not by hitting users over the head with tons of cameras or far-out hardware; it did it in the most Google way possible: With nifty software, intuitive design, and AI-powered smarts.
But at the same time, the Pixel 3 is also one of the most frustrating phones of the year, because, for all of its upgrades and additions, it’s not difficult to see a number of small tweaks that would have made it so much better. And if you step back and look past the Pixel 3 itself, there are a lot of issues that show Google still has a long way to go before it can truly call itself a world-class phone maker.
If you just look at the Pixel 3's specs, its price doesn’t make any sense. Sure, you get a Snapdragon 845 processor, which is the same chip found in every other flagship Android phone. But both the standard $700 Pixel and the $750 Pixel 3 XL—which have already been discounted $100 to $250 in the three months since its launch—only get 4GB of RAM.
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