Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL unveiled: same cameras, slower chipsets and $399 starting price

Ro, 07 May 2019

Google finally pulled the curtains on its long-awaited budget smartphones - the Pixel 3a and 3a XL. They can be considered as spiritual successors to the affordable Nexus series, which were the Google phones before the Pixels came to be. With a more affordable price tag and the same rear cameras, the new Pixel 3a and 3a XL aim to reach wider audiences.

The smaller Pixel 3a, it packs a notch-less 5.6-inch OLED panel with FHD+ (1080 x 2220px) resolution and Dragon Trail protection on top. It's powered by the Snapdragon 670 chipset with Adreno 615 GPU. Interestingly, the handset also sports the same amount of memory as its more expensive sibling - 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. microSD card expansion isn't an option though, as is usual the case with the Android purebreds.

Google Pixel 3a in White, Purple, and Black colors Google Pixel 3a in White, Purple, and Black colors Google Pixel 3a in White, Purple, and Black colors
Google Pixel 3a in Clearly White, Purple-ish, and Just Black colors

The camera setup is shared with the big Pixel 3 - 12.2MP Sony IMX363 main sensor on the back with f/1.8 aperture, 1.4µm pixels and optical image stabilization. In theory, the phone should be able to match the more expensive Pixel's camera performance. The front camera is also the same - 8MP unit with f/2.0 aperture.

All the high-end camera features are available here as well - Night Sight, Top Shot, Super Res Zoom and HDR+.

The battery is rated at 3,000 mAh and supports 18W of fast charging over the USB Power Delivery standard.

The bigger Pixel 3a XL adopts the same hardware but in a slightly bigger package. The display is once again OLED with FHD+ (1080 x 2160px) resolution but it reaches 6.0". It doesn't have a notch like the Pixel 3 XL, but its bezels are notably thicker. Battery is bigger too - 3,700 mAh.

To keep the cost low, Google used plastic to build these phones so there's no fancy frosted glass or metal this time around. And as we already noted, the front glass isn't Gorilla Glass, but Dragon Trail instead.

Somewhat surprisingly though, we see the 3.5mm audio jack make a comeback and the stereo loudspeakers along with it. The Active Edge feature is here to stay too.

The handsets come in three colors - Just Black, Clearly White and Purple-ish with all of them featuring color accent power buttons. But they differ from the original Pixels' so you can distinguish them easier.

The Pixel 3a costs $399, while the Pixel 3a XL is $479 and both are already available in all countries where Google sells its phones, save for India, where they'll arrive on May 15.

In the US Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular, Spectrum Mobile (Charter), C Spire and Google Fi will be offering the two phones.


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Reader comments

  • Anonymous

old timer, old specs, old design, nothing innovation in hardware and charge a big dollars. great job google.

  • Anonymous

this device is great to recommend for anyone isn't tech savvy and just want a great camera with minimal software experience would buy it but too bad its not available in my region

I hope Google continues to make the Pixel "a" series phones like Samsung did with their S10e. Obviously, the S10e is the better phone. But for me, it's about being interested in this Pixel 3a, per se. It's about the successors. This is a decent start...