Google Pixel 3a & 3a XL Come With Flagship Camera at Half The Price

Google Pixel 3a & 3a XL Come With Flagship Camera at Half The Price

Google I/O 2019 has kicked off and with it came the launch of the more affordable siblings of the Google Pixel 3 series. The Pixel 3a and 3a XL are budget variants of the vanilla Pixel 3 series and of course have some downgrades here and there.

Both of the two budgets smartphones have the same downgraded processor chipsets, but fortunately, we get to see the same flagship grade camera with a bigger battery inside.

Pixel 3 and 3a appear to be identical twins at first, but there are subtle differences between them. For example, Pixel 3a has a speaker at the chin which is not there on the Pixel 3 and the screen on the 3a is also a tiny bit bigger. The 5.6-inch screen has a Full HD+ resolution on top of a standard OLED display. The 3a XL, meanwhile, has a slightly bigger 6-inch screen.
Instead of Gorilla Glass, Google has gone with Dragon trail glass protection which should offer a more robust protection against falls and bumps at the cost of slightly lesser scratch resistance.

One of the reasons behind the cut down on price is also due to the difference in build quality. With the 3a siblings, you don’t get any of the fancy glass or metal build but instead, you get a polycarbonate plastic chassis. The plastic is actually scratch resistant, but Google warns you about the “paint flaking off”. Also, materials like leather and denim could possibly stain the phones, so a phone cover is recommended.
The return of stereo speakers and the 3.5mm headphone jack is a welcome addition and hopefully, Google will learn a lesson and bring the same to its flagships as well.
Internals and Storage

The only major difference here over the Pixel 3 flagships is the mid-range SD670 processor. The GPU onboard is a slight downgrade as well, with the Adreno 615 instead of the Adreno 630 on the Pixel 3.

The storage capacity is the same (64/128GB) and just like with any other Google phone there’s still no microSD card slot on the phone. There’s no difference in RAM capacity either between the flagships and the new affordable line as both phones come with 4GB RAM as standard.
Camera

Usually, with mid-range phones, you’re only able to record Full HD videos, but with the 12MP primary flagship camera you can actually go up to 4K. Of course, you will also get unlimited cloud storage with Google Photos for your gallery.

For low-light images, you get the Night Vision feature for flash-free bright and detailed images. It’s one of the best ones out there. The autofocus feature lets you focus on moving objects to produce sharp images even if there’s a lot of movement going on in the frame.

The cameras on these midrangers come with both Electronic and Optical Image Stabilization, ensuring stable videography and photography, even if you have shaky hands.

Premium Google Camera features like Top Shot, Super Res Zoom and HDR+ are also still there.

It is worth mentioning here that you don’t get a wide-angle camera but the standard selfie camera is exactly the same as Pixel flagships.
Battery and Pricing

The smaller Pixel 3a comes with a 3,000 mAh battery unit, which is quite enough for a phone this size, while the larger Pixel 3a XL gets a 3,700 mAh battery. It is interesting to see that both phones come with larger batteries compared to the flagships.

The battery on the two phones is equipped with a feature called “smart battery” which learns the usage of specific apps you use the most and reduces the power drained by those apps. It does come with fast charging and Google claims that you will be able to get 7 hours of usage out of 15 mins of charge which is actually quite impressive for a phone of this level.
The starting price stands at $399 and $479 for the 3a and 3a XL respectively. The two phones are available in Just Black, Clearly White and Purple-ish color pallets.
Google Pixel 3a Specifications

CPU: Octa-core (2x 2.0 GHz 360 Gold & 6x 1.7 GHz Kryo 360 Silver)
GPU: Adreno 615
Chipset: Snapdragon 670
OS: Android 9 Pie
Networks: 2G, 3G, 4G LTE;
Display:
5.6-inch OLED, Full HD+ (1080 x 2220 pixels), (~441 ppi density)
Memory:
RAM: 4 GB
Internal: 64/128 GB
Card slot: No
Camera:
Primary: 12.2MP MP f/1.8
Secondary: 8MP
Connectivity: LTE, MicroUSB 2.0 Type C, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC
Battery: 3000mAh, fast battery charging 18W
Price: $399

Google Pixel 3a XL Specifications

CPU: Octa-core (2x 2.0 GHz 360 Gold & 6x 1.7 GHz Kryo 360 Silver)
GPU: Adreno 615
Chipset: Snapdragon 670
OS: Android 9 Pie
Networks: 2G, 3G, 4G LTE;
Display:
6.0-inch OLED, Full HD+ (1080 x 2160 pixels), (~402 ppi density)
Memory:
RAM: 4 GB
Internal: 64/128 GB
Card slot: No
Camera:
Primary: 12.2MP MP f/1.8
Secondary: 8MP
Connectivity: LTE, MicroUSB 2.0 Type C, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC
Battery: 3700mAh, fast battery charging 18W
Price: $479

Updated: February 18, 2020 — 10:55 am

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