The Finest Smartphones for 2018: Opinions by Wirecutter

Our decide

Google Pixel 3 XL

Who that is for: You need a quick, safe Android telephone with the most effective digital camera and assured software program updates.

Why we prefer it: Tons of of smartphones use Google’s Android software program, however the 5.5-inch Google Pixel three and its bigger cousin, the Pixel three XL, are two of the fashions for which Google truly controls how the software program seems to be and works—and, extra vital, how usually they get new software program updates. Which means that when Google updates Android with new options and safety updates, the Pixel telephones get them instantly, as a substitute of creating you wait months or years such as you do with Android telephones from firms corresponding to Samsung or Motorola; you’re additionally assured to get the newest updates immediately till a minimum of October 2021. And Google’s model of Android is less complicated to make use of than the variations on different telephones, since Google designs the person interface to be in step with its apps, and the telephones don’t embrace a bunch of additional, duplicative apps from the smartphone vendor.

After all, the Pixel three and three XL are additionally good in all the opposite ways in which matter: They’re quick and well-built, with OLED screens, first rate water resistance, and the most effective Android telephone digital camera we’ve examined—in some circumstances, they’re even higher than the digital camera on Apple’s iPhone XS. As of this writing, the Pixel three begins at $800 or about $33 a month for a 64 GB model, whereas the three XL begins at $900 or about $37 a month. This makes them costlier than the earlier Pixel 2 telephones, however these are nonetheless pretty commonplace costs for premium smartphones.

A google pixel 3 set next to a google pixel 3 XL on a wooden floor.
The Pixel three (left) and Pixel three XL (proper) have the identical digital camera, processor, and software program, however the XL is bigger and features a notch cutout on the high of the display. Photograph: Ryan Whitwam

Flaws however not dealbreakers: The Pixel three and three XL each lack a headphone jack and a microSD slot. In contrast to Samsung’s Galaxy S9, they don’t embrace facial recognition, both. And though the etched-glass again is nicer than the aluminum enclosure on older Pixel telephones, it’s additionally simpler to scuff and scratch than a clean glass physique. The etching makes it simpler to carry with out slipping, nonetheless.

The Pixel three and three XL are the primary Android telephones that make Google’s new gesture navigation necessary, with out the choice to make use of conventional navigation buttons or gestures. This new navigation type just isn’t fairly nearly as good as Apple’s, however we expect most individuals will be capable of alter to it.

The bigger display on the Pixel three XL has a notch on the high, to make room for the telephone’s front-facing cameras. That is turning into a typical (if divisive) design quirk on bigger telephones with edge-to-edge screens, and it might be a dealbreaker for some individuals.

To learn extra concerning the Pixel three and different Android telephones we’ve examined, learn our full information to the most effective Android telephones.

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