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A Weekend With The Pixel 3 XL: The Camera Proved Its Worth

They differ in price, design, size, and battery life, but the one thing they all boast is a 12.2-megapixel dual-pixel rear camera. Along with this powerful camera comes a host of cool photo-shooting features to make you appreciate it even more. Whether you prefer the budget Pixel 3a, which only costs $300, or want to splurge for the Pixel 3XL, which costs around $900, you get to enjoy the same camera features.

A weekend with the Pixel 3 XL: The camera proved its worth

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It's hard to believe that nighttime landscapes like the one above were taken with a phone camera. In low lighting conditions, the Pixel's camera shines. Use Night Mode for dim outdoor and indoor scenes, from viewpoints enjoyed at midnight to fancy, Michelin-starred dishes that are usually cloaked in dark mood lighting.

No longer do you have to cut off an important part of a gorgeous sweeping landscape thanks to the Panorama feature. Like most camera panorama programs, it doesn't do well when multiple people move within the frame, so you'll need to be careful about when you use it.

Take a series of photobooth-like photos without ever touching the shutter button. On Photobooth mode, the camera detects smiles and other changes of facial expression, as well as changes in lighting and motion, to automatically take photos.

Although the new Pixel 4 looks like a great phone with its Motion Sense gestures, improved dual cameras, Face Unlock and faster Google Assistant, the Pixel 3 XL is still a very good value, especially since it's going for less these days.

Night Sight also works wonders with the front cameras. Normal camera mode picked out some detail in the below selfie but the overall quality is dark. Turn on Night Sight, and the result is a bold and bright pic.

If there's one are where the Pixel 3's camera falls behind the iPhone XS, it's video. In our in-depth video shootout, Apple's phone captured clearer and crisper footage in most situations along with better nighttime footage and audio quality.

Among big-screen phones, the Pixel 3 XL is the one to beat when it comes to camera performance and AI. The iPhone XS has a nicer design and more pure performance through its A12 Bionic chip. And the Note 9 has the Pixel 3 XL beat for productivity with its S Pen. The new Huawei Mate 20 Pro and its three rear cameras also show a lot of promise.

So this one really comes down to a matter of want over need. If you want it, it's well worthwhile, and you'll certainly see enough of a difference to justify the change. But you definitely don't need it, and if you aren't feeling the urge to get something new, there's really no reason not to stick with what you've got.

This year once again the Pixel 3 series are taking the design cues from the last year phones. The Pixel 3 XL has the trendy notch design whereas the Pixel 3 has the bezel-less design like the Pixel 2 XL. Another good thing is both the devices have full glass rear, however, it has two tones finish with different textures. The top portion featuring rear camera and flashlight comes with glossy finish whereas the bottom portion has a matte finish. Both the devices are waterproof and also lacks 3.5mm headphone jack.

The Pixel and Pixel 2 both have 5-inches display with Full HD screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Both the devices aspect ratio are 16:9 and the pixels density is 441 pixels-per-inch. Despite being entry-level models both have OLED display panel. So you don't have to worry about deep black and colors accuracy.

The Pixel XL was featuring a 5.5-inches display with 16:9 aspect ratio. The OLED display screen resolution was Quad HD and the pixels density was 534 pixels-per-inch. With the Pixel 2 XL, Google stepped up their game by introducing bezel-less design. The Pixel 2 XL features a 6.0-inches display with an aspect ratio of 2:1. The OLED display features QuadHD+ screen resolution of 1440 x 2880 pixels and pixels density of 534 pixels-per-inch. Despite the fact, the Pixel 2 XL has a larger display but still, it retains similar pixels density like the Pixel XL.

This year Pixel 3 has a 5.5-inches display panel with a Full HD+ screen resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels. The display aspect ratio is 2:1 that's why Google fits 0.5 larger display in the same compact body like the predecessors.

The good thing is Google always bring similar camera setup on both Pixel and Pixel XL. Unlike Apple who brings new goodies exclusive to the premium models only. Both the Pixel phones have a 12.3MP sensor on the rear side. The aperture is f/2.0 and pixels size is 1.55µm. It features laser and phase detection autofocus. Up front, the selfie snapper is an 8MP module with f/2.4 aperture. It has fixed focus and pixels size is 1.4µm.

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL retains similar camera setup like the predecessors. The rear sensor is 12.2MP with laser and phase detection autofocus. The pixels size is 1.4µm and aperture is f/1.8. The front-facing camera was exactly same like the predecessor. Google brings new software goodies with the Pixel 2 lineup instead of bringing new camera sensors. For instance, despite having a single sensor on the rear and front the Pixel 2 brings support for portrait mode shots with blurred background.

The Pixel 3 lineup also has a single camera on the rear side. The primary sensor remains 12.2MP with f/1.8 aperture and 1.4µm pixels. The single cameras still support portrait mode shots but now you can adjust depth manually. A Night Sight mode is introduced to enhance the capturing capabilities in low-light scenarios.

Like the similar camera's setup, both the standard and phablet model has similar hardware under the hood. The Pixel and Pixel XL have the Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 chipset with 4GB RAM. The base variant has 32GB storage whereas the top of the line model has 128GB storage. Both the devices lack support for memory expansion via MicroSD.

Google claims the latest Pixel 3 series audio setup is 40% louder than the predecessor. The Pixel 2 was the first-pixel lineup phone with dual front-facing speakers. In terms of audio performance, Google is bringing significant improvements since the first version of Pixel phone.

The Pixel was pre-installed with Android Nougat 7.0 straight out of the box. The devices have few exclusive features including Pixel camera, launcher and first smartphone with Google Assistant. Since then the devices are receiving new updates pretty quickly and currently running on the Android Pie.

The Pixel 2 lineup was introduced with Android Oreo. Like the original Pixel phones, it also brings few exclusive features like the squeezable frame, improved Pixel launcher. The Pixel 2 series is also currently on the latest Android Pie.

In the camera department, Google brings improvements with each new iteration and the chances are high the latest gen will be the best amongst all and even it could beat the P20 Pro who is currently ruling the camera segment. Feel free to share your views in the comments section below regarding the Pixel 3 vs Pixel 2 and Pixel series in the comments section below. Stay tuned for more comparisons.

The OnePlus 6 represented a dramatic improvement in camera performance for OnePlus phones, which had been a sore point for the company up until then. With the release of the device, OnePlus went from having uninspiring image quality to a respectable showing across the board, even in low light. The OnePlus 6T, released in November as a mid-cycle refresh of the OnePlus 6, shipped with the same camera hardware, but with software improvements in the form of improved image processing algorithms as well as the new Nightscape mode for better photos in low light. At the face of it, OnePlus seems to enjoy a comfortable position at the top of the affordable flagship segment.

The samples do show that the quality of digital zoom could be improved, as it has a detrimental impact on detail even in daylight. The lack of a telephoto lens with true optical zoom makes itself felt here.

At 100% resolution, the photos still show inferior detail compared to photos taken by "best-of-the-best" smartphone cameras such as the Pixel 3 XL. This means that despite having more megapixels, the OnePlus 6T has no advantage in actual spatial resolution. However, fine texture and natural detail in trees, leaves, branches, grass, etc, is still well-maintained, and noise is kept in check for the most part. Some samples do show processing artifacts at the edges, but corner softness is not an issue. Thanks to HDR auto, dynamic range is a major plus point, and it works well in daylight. Due to improved processing, the camera can even take good photos when pointing it directly at the sun.

An affordable 5G phone with a large 5,000mAh battery for all-day battery use that quickly charges thanks to 18W fast charging is plenty convincing. There are phones out there with better camera performance, especially those with ultra-wide lenses and great software processing (we see you Samsung and Google). But add in the 6.5-inch full HD+ display with a 90Hz refresh rate and the phone becomes easily worth consideration.

When Google launched the first-gen Pixel, nobody would have thought that the search giant will change the face of mobile photography. With machine learning and AI, the brand has shown us that imaging is more than the sensor, aperture, etc. The Pixel 3 XL is clearly pushing the envelope further. Hardware-wise, the phone continues to utilise a 12.2-megapixel sensor, though it offers a wider aperture of f/1.8 this time around. Interestingly enough, while the phone continues with a single shooter at the back, it features a pair of 8MP shooters on the fascia.

This morning while in class I noticed a small white smudge on my rear camera lens (bottom camera lens). I have had a MaxBoost mWallet Case on my iPhone since the day of purchase. The white smudge on the bottom rear camera lens ended up being a small fracture. There is no other damage to the phone. Not even around the rim of the camera lens. I contacted Apple Support and they said it cracked due to the magnet/metal plate in the phone case. I have been repairing iPhones for 3+ years and have never heard of magnets shattering glass. I also have never dropped this phone and when placed in my pockets it remains separate from anything else in my pockets such as keys or my wallet. Here are the screenshots of my conversation with the Apple Technician. 350c69d7ab


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