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As an Apple for life kind of gal, it was very difficult to get me to part with my beloved iPhone. Entrenched in a world full of blue bubble iMessages and spontaneous FaceTimes, a lot would have to happen to get me to part ways with Apple (or their phones, at least). But the Google Pixel 3 has changed my mind. And while I’m still familiarizing myself with the Google Android operating system (which admittedly, isn’t as seamless of a transition as I would like), there is one feature of the Pixel that blows the iPhone out of the water. It’s the Pixel 3’s camera, my friends. Not only do you get unlimited Google Photos storage until 2022, but the quality of the images is incredible. Check out these side by sides versus the iPhone XS.

Don’t even get me started on Night Sight, the feature that somehow delivers crisp, clear photos even in low lighting. No more of that glaring flash at the most inopportune moments (and getting substandard results to boot). Do you really want to be that person in the dark, moody concert venue busting out that flash just to get a perfect shot for Instagram? With Night Sight, you can do it for the ‘gram without drawing any unnecessary attention to yourself. It’s a win/win.

But don’t just take our word for it. AuthenTech’s Ben Schmanke reviews Night Sight here (comparison pics with the iPhone XS come around the 4:17 mark), and the proof is all in the photos.

That isn’t enough for you to switch, you say? Well what about Google Lens, which now creepily identifies one billion (!!) items? The innovative function, for all you budding detectives out there, lets you search what you see. Just point your camera at that stranger’s shoes and find out where she got them without ever having to engage in any human interaction. Google Lens can identify clothes, books, plants, buildings, paintings, text (and yes, it can convert photos of text into actual typed text) and so much more.

Yes, it isn’t always 100 per cent accurate, but it did recognize photos of Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Meghan Markle and Will Smith and for that I am mildly impressed. (I only say “mildly” because it did not recognize Kate Middleton and Michael B Jordan during my extremely rigorous and highly scientific testing.)

Finally, the camera option I’ve really had fun with is Google’s Playground AR Camera Effects. Adding Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and various other Marvel superheroes into your mundane everyday photos and videos is a novelty that seems to never get old.

 

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Hot tip: they also make work meetings exponentially more fun.

The Loop

WHO IT’S FOR:

Anyone looking for a new phone and who wants to take their camera mode to the next level.

HOW MUCH?

From $799

WHERE TO FIND IT:

Google

Tis the season to be jolly (and a bit stressed from shopping, list-making, cooking and more shopping). But don’t get yourself too worked up, because we’re here to help you cross those names off your list one day at a time, one gift at a time. From now through December 24, we’re wrapping up daily gift ideas, Monday through Friday, so you can get back to more important festive pursuits, you know, like drinking eggnog. We’re going to make this so easy, you’ll want to shop this way every year.