• Pixel 3 Review, Part 3: Early Wrap-up & Verdict

    The original plan for today's post was to walk you through the steps for unlocking the Pixel 3's bootloader, installing TWRP and rooting with Magisk. Instead, I'm wiping my data and sending the phone, stand and two cases back to Google. I'll explain in detail below, but here's a quick summary if you don't care to read that far:

    The Great:
    - size
    - camera
    - haptic feedback

    The Good:
    - front-firing speakers
    - wireless charging

    The Bad:
    - hardware/software bugs
    - Google's launcher
    - Google's gestures
    - price

    Save for the glaring omission of Night Sight, the camera delivers everything you could ask for in terms of still images. The haptic feedback, especially on the software keyboard, was an unexpected pleasure. And if you're looking for a premium phone you can comfortably use with one hand well, there just aren't a lot of other options out there right now. Wireless charging and front-firing stereo speakers are also very nice to have.

    My biggest issue with this Pixel is that it feels like an unfinished product. Someone on some podcast somewhere said that Google treats their customers like beta testers—which is fine if you're getting free email but unacceptable for an ultra-premium piece of hardware. I may not be a fan of Samsung's extra apps, and their flagships may, over time, slow down to the point where they require a factory reset every few months, but at least when I poke around on one I feel like I'm using a finished product. That's just not the case with this Pixel 3. If it were really finished then I wouldn't have to install a hacked camera apk to access Night Sight, for example...

    Another example of unfinished business: that issue I wrote about earlier, with swiping across the rear fingerprint sensor. Turns out that it's not just me; other users are reporting the exact same problem with their Pixel 3s on reddit. Also, even after a software update I still can't get a dark background on my app drawer, despite the settings promising me that I can.

    But the single most frustrating thing about the Pixel 3 by far is its garbage implementation of gesture controls.

    What we're looking at above is the app switcher on the Pixel's native launcher. Every single time you swipe up you will be faced with this screen, even if 9 times out of 10 all you wanted to get to was your app drawer. If you swipe up with the index finger of your free hand (the one that isn't holding the phone) then you will mercifully see this screen but for a brief moment before you get to your apps. But if, on this perfectly-sized one-handed phone, you attempt the same gesture with the thumb of your phone-holding hand, guess what? The launcher will, for no good reason, dump you here at the app switcher, making you swipe up a second time to get to your apps. That's just dumb.

    Another launcher (like Nova) will at least provide the option of an app drawer button, but you'll still be forced to use Google's gestures elsewhere. Why? Because you just paid $1,000 CAD to be an involuntary beta tester for Google, that's why!

    If you love Google Assistant to the point where you want to see it everywhere, maybe this is the phone for you. Or perhaps you have young children, and want to have the best available smartphone camera with you at all times—if so then by all means give the Pixel 3 a try. Me? I'm just not willing to fork out this much cash for an unfinished product.

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Pixel 3 Review, Part 3: Early Wrap-up & Verdict started by acurrie View original post
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