Two weeks in and I’m still looking for the Pixel 3’s ‘It’ factor

There are a lot of reasons why you should buy a new phone. Typically, the decision to buy a new smartphone is spurred by the fact that you own a device that’s a few years old, is running slow and can’t keep up with your daily needs. Newer devices are always faster, sleeker and come with cameras which are substantially better than the one we’ve been holding onto.
While there’s no shortage of great Android devices to choose from these days, it’s actually becoming harder to choose the right phone to fit your individual needs. All these devices offer incredible performance and new software tricks which promise to make your life easier, but many of them simply lack that “It” factor that sets them apart from the competition.
I purchased the new Pixel 3 a few weeks back and have been using it as my daily driver as I’ve been working on my Pixel 3 review (I promise, it’s almost done). The phone looks good and has all the features you’d want in a flagship Android smartphone, but I’m still not sure what the phone’s “it” factor is. Some will point out that the Pixel 3 runs stock Android or that its camera is phenomenal, but it’s honestly no better than last year’s Pixel 2. And in making that comparison, the Pixel 2 actually comes out ahead since the new Pixel 3 made its debut with a $150 markup.

The only real distinguishing factor that the Pixel 3 has to offer is its secondary selfie camera which features a 19mm ultra-wide angle lens. If you’ve seen my Pixel 3 versus Pixel 2 camera comparison, it’s hard to miss the dramatic difference that the wide-angle lens has to offer. That being said, the LG V40 also sports a wide-angle lens up front in addition to a triple-camera setup on the back of the phone.
Making things worse is the Pixel 3 RAM management issue. Google has promised that a fix is in the works, but it’s disappointing that the issue existed in the first place. Google could have skirted the issue by equipping its phone with 6GB of RAM  — something that’s become the norm on all other flagship devices these days. Instead, we have a phone with the same amount of RAM as last year’s device and software that kills off background apps at its own discretion.
Maybe I’m just being too picky or maybe I’m just not seeing it, but I don’t think Google’s Pixel 3 has an “it” factor.

Eminem’s Jimmy Kimmel performance of “Venom” was recorded with the Google Pixel 3

Google is out to show the world that the new Pixel 3 has the best smartphone camera money can buy. The Pixel 3’s new and improved camera capabilities appear to be better than last year’s Pixel 2 and definitely outperform anything we’ve seen from Apple, Samsung, LG and most of the other big smartphone players (we have yet to see how the Pixel 3 compared with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro).
While the Pixel 3 isn’t yet available for purchase, Google has kicked off a promotional blitz for the phone by using the Pixel 3 to record Eminem’s performance of his “Venom” single which was recorded for the Jimmy Kimmel Show in the Empire State Building. Most of the video was recorded on the outside the Empire State Building at night. While the overall video quality doesn’t look as impressive as it would if it had been recorded with a real camera, the extreme lighting conditions in the video show that the Pixel 3 can handle its own.
The video has already accrued more than a million views since it was published last night. We wouldn’t be surprised if it gets a few million more views by the end of the week. We’re still waiting for our Pixel 3 to show up to test out its photo and video capabilities for ourselves, but we’ve definitely been impressed with what we’ve seen so far from the Pixel 3. Feel free to share your thoughts on the video in the comments below.