The Google Pixel 2 XL is still one of the best Android phones you can buy, but it’s not perfect. Things can always improve. With that in mind, here we’ll go over what we want from the Google Pixel 3 in 2018. Changes we want to see, or exciting and neat new features when it debuts with Android P later this year.
If Google follows its usual schedule, we’ll get a new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL in September or October. Or, maybe even a Pixel 3 XXL. And while rumors have already started, we have a little longer to wait.
We’re expecting the Pixel 3 to continue and build on the success of the Pixel 2. That means a big, beautiful display with clean and fast software. Not to mention one or two even better cameras, louder speakers, water-resistance and more.
Most likely Google will debut two smartphones in 2018, and maybe even three. It’ll probably follow a similar path as the Pixel 2, especially now that Google owns most of HTC’s smartphone division. As a result, here are the changes we want to see. Or, the changes we need to see.
Better Retail Availability and Presence
We know Google’s new Pixel 3 for 2018 will be a great phone. There’s no question about that. The biggest problem for the Pixel 2 is it’s only available unlocked or on Verizon Wireless. That cuts out millions of potential buyers.
I buy my phones unlocked, but most people don’t. Most buyers want to go into AT&T or T-Mobile and feel the phone first. Try it out, see if it’s big enough (or too big) and use features like AT&T WiFi calling. Being limited to unlocked, online sales, or Verizon is a problem we want Google to finally overcome in 2018.
When you walk into a cellular store you see the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy devices. Google needs to be right there with them if they want the Pixel 3 to succeed. We want it to, so we can buy it from T-Mobile with a monthly payment plan.
Bezels are so 2016! Phones are moving away from the big bezels of the past, and that’s a good thing. The Galaxy S9, iPhone X, and even the new LG G7 all look stunning. These are huge screens in devices that are small, portable, and easy to hold. You can get a phone with a massive 6-inch screen in the form factor of a 5.2-inch device from a few years ago.
Shrinking bezels are extremely important, and we’re confident Google will match all the latest trends. Expect something like a 5 or 5.2-inch display in the Pixel 3. Then, an even bigger 6 or 6.2-inch Pixel 3 XL. These phones will have a similar overall size and shape as the Pixel 2, only with a bigger and better screen and smaller bezels.
The only potential problem we see with shrinking bezels on a Pixel phone is the front-facing speakers. That’s a unique feature of Nexus and Pixel devices, and we doubt Google wants to get rid of them. Nor do people who love the Pixel 2. Those front-facing speakers sound great, and they have to stay even if bezels shrink.
Years ago most of Google’s Nexus devices featured wireless charging. That quickly went away with the Nexus 6P and Google’s Pixel and Pixel 2 family of phones. However, Samsung has offered wireless charging for years, Apple’s finally offering it on the iPhone X, and it’s time Google does the same.
In fact, I’d be surprised if Google didn’t add wireless charging at this point. Just because it’s a “feature-parity” thing. They must match the competition. Not to mention these days buyers have so many choices for accessories, docks, wireless charging speakers, cars and more. Even hotels and restaurants like Starbucks offer wireless charging. It’s something fairly easy to integrate, so let’s have it Google.
Better Display & NO Notch
Speaking of the display, we want something better on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. It’s no secret that Google used an LG screen on the Pixel 2 XL, and it had all sorts of problems early on. Google and LG quickly fixed most of them, and my own personal XL looks fine to this day. That said, it can and should be better.
The original Pixel has a Samsung AMOLED screen that looks gorgeous. We have a feeling Google will go back to that route and offer a 5-inch Pixel 3 and a 6.2-inch Pixel 3 XL using a Samsung AMOLED display. Well, that’s what I’m hoping for at least. The best Android phone on the market can’t have a sub-par screen.
And for the love of all things Android, please don’t have a notch. However, almost every leak suggests we’ll get not just a notch, but a big one. The latest Android P developer preview added support for the iPhone X notch. That’s likely because dozens of 3rd party (not Samsung) Android phone manufacturers added a notch to their devices. Even the LG G7 has a notch. Sadly, it looks like Google will too.
At first, we thought Google was thinking ahead by adding notch support into Android P. This way manufacturers and developers can build software, apps, and services around those inevitable notches. Now, we know it’s because they plan to follow Apple’s footsteps. We don’t know what the next Pixel will look like in 2018, but the photo above is likely pretty close. However, with the right hardware and software (from Google) and with meaningful features like Face unlock, Google can pull it off if they have to.
The original Pixel was not water-resistant, which is how mine died. With the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, Google followed Apple and added an IP67 dust and water-resistant rating. That means those phones can handle more than a splash, and go in around 3ft of water without dying.
We want Google to improve this feature and match the likes of Samsung, LG, and recently HTC, by offering a full IP68 water-resistant rating. This means you can accidentally drop your phone in around 5ft of water, or more, for over 30 minutes, and it’ll still work fine. This is one of those hidden features that’s also a life-saver. Or, it gives you added peace of mind that’s paying for.
Google needs a big screen, smaller bezels, wireless charging, and other neat features this late in the year. Especially if they want to compete with the Galaxy S10 in early 2019.
We Can Dream, Right?
In closing, we want to mention a few other Pixel 3 features you shouldn’t expect. Things that won’t happen, but it’s wishful thinking.
The new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL will not have a 3.5mm headphone jack. Google removed it last year, and they won’t go back on that choice and offer it in 2018. Well, we seriously doubt it but I’ll take a headphone jack it they want to give it to us. I’ll take a second rear camera too, but I don’t think we’ll get that either.
And finally, just stop asking. The Pixel 3 will not have a microSD slot and expandable storage. Google hasn’t offered this since the original Nexus One. We do, however, believe that Google will offer the Pixel 3 XL in 64GB, 128GB, and even a 256GB model that retails for over $1,000. That’s more than enough for most.
All said and done, expect more Pixel 3 leaks and rumors to emerge later this summer. Then, continue throughout August and into the fall until Google plans an event in September or early October to unveil both phones.