Google Pixel 4 vs Google Pixel 3: should you upgrade?

Google Pixel 4 vs Google Pixel 3: should you upgrade?

The Google Pixel 4 just launched a few weeks ago, so if you are interested in buying one, you’ll likely be wondering if it’s worth the upgrade from last year’s Pixel 3. That question isn’t as clear cut as it has been in previous years. Let’s take a look.

Pixel 3 Pixel 4
Display Fullscreen 5.5” display
FHD+ flexible OLED at 443ppi
Fullscreen 5.7″ display
FHD+ flexible OLED at 444 ppi
Ambient EQ
Smooth Display (up to 90 Hz)
Processor Snapdragon 845 Snapdragon 855
Storage and RAM 4GB RAM
64GB or 128GB UFS 2.1
64GB or 128GB UFS 2.1
Dimensions and weight 68.2 x 145.6 x 7.9 mm
2.7 x 5.7 x 0.3 inches
148 g
68.8 x 147.1 x 8.2 mm
2.7 x 5.7 x 0.3 inches
162 g
Battery 2915 mAh 2800 mAh
Rear Camera(s) 12.2MP dual-pixel
f/1.8 aperture
16MP Telephoto
f/2.412.2MP Wide
1.4 μm
Front Camera(s) 8MP wide-angle and normal
FoV cameras
Wide-angle: f/2.2 aperture, 97° FoV
Normal: f/1.8 aperture, 75° FoV
8 MP
ƒ/2.0 aperture
Biometrics Rear mounted finerprint 3D facial recognition
Charging 18W/2A USB Type C charger
Qi wireless charging
18W/2A USB Type C charger
Qi wireless charging
Headphone Jack No No
Speakers Dual front speakers Stereo earpiece, bottom
Colors Not Pink, Just Black, Clearly White Oh So Orange, Just Black, Clearly White
Price $800 at launch, $500 now $800
Software Launched with Android 9, upgraded to Android 10 Launched with Android 10


The Pixel 3 and Pixel 4 are more similar than they are different. At its core, the software is essentially the same with minor differences due to the new Pixel Neural Core or Motion Sense. Both devices are essentially the same size, coming in at barely a millimeter difference. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 4 both come with 64GB or 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage. A FHD+ OLED display is constant across both models as well.

The main rear cameras are almost the same with a f/0.1 difference in the aperture.  Both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 3 have an amazing wide front-facing camera. Along with all of this, both support Qi wireless charging and 18W/2A fast charging over USB Type-C. Both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 4 have amazing sounding stereo speakers.

Pixel 4 XDA Forums ||| Pixel 3 XDA Forums


The Pixel 4 has only a single front-facing camera, though it is 90 degrees, so it’s still pretty wide. Speaking of cameras, Google adds a second 16MP telephoto camera to the back. The Pixel 4 also has a Motion Sense sensor in the top bezel of the phone. It is used for air gestures and checking when you are reaching for the phone. Google also swaps the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor for an Apple-style 3D facial recognition setup. As for the display, it is slightly bigger coming in at 5.7-inches compared to 5.5-inches, but it is also at a taller 19:9 aspect ratio. The display also has a 90hz refresh rate for extra smoothness. To help this smoothness, Google also threw 2 extra gigabytes of RAM bringing it from 4GB to 6GB.

As for speakers, Google has switched from dual front-firing stereo speakers to a downward-firing and earpiece speaker combo. While this would normally be a little annoying because the sound quality might be lacking, the Pixel 4 speakers blow away the stereo front-firing speakers from the Pixel 3.  The Pixel 4 does have a slightly smaller battery than the Pixel 3, which may or may not be slightly worse than the Pixel 3, but that’s to be expected with a new 90hz display and radar technology. Lastly, the Pixel 4 comes in an all-new Oh So Orange color, but this is a limited edition color.

Is it worth it?

It’s probably not worth the upgrade to the Pixel 4. While it might seem like there are a lot of differences, they don’t drastically change the experience in any meaningful way. The phones are very similar in hardware and the camera isn’t a huge upgrade. Sure, you are getting a 90hz display, telephoto lens, and 3D facial recognition, but the price of the Pixel 4, even with a trade-in, isn’t worth it for three pretty minor features. If you were interested in doing it with a trade-in, Google would only be offering you up to $250.

For around $550, it’s not really worth the upgrade. Not everything is always worth it and you still might be interested in picking up a Pixel 4. If you’re still on the fence, I’d highly recommend you check out our article on the differences between the Pixel 4 XL and Pixel 3 XL to and which one is right for you.

About author

Max Weinbach
Max Weinbach

Former Contributor to the XDA-Developers Portal.

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