There have been several leaks and speculations regarding the Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL. A midrange device with more or less the similar camera capabilities of the flagship Pixel 3 devices, well, that’s enough to get excited. And with the unadulterated version of the Android OS on the system, the phone surely deserved all sorts of attention. Although there were barely any new features left to reveal after the tremendous amounts of leaks, Google organized an I/O event and announced these devices.
Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL Overview
Since the Google Pixel devices always shine on the imaging department, let’s talk about its cameras first. Both the phones feature a single camera setup at the back, which uses a 12.2MP Sony IMX 363 sensor. It is the same sensor used on the flagship Google Pixel 3 devices.
In addition, these cameras also come with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and Electronic Image stabilization (EIS). Google has also generously added computational photography prowess in the device, which is almost in the same level of the flagship Pixel 3 devices. The Pixel 3 and 3a XL also comes with the Pixel 3 XL’s Night Sight and portrait mode prodigy.
On the front, however, the phone comes with a single selfie shooter. Pixel 3 and 3a XL sport an 8MP shooter to capture the selfies. With the hardware like the flagship device, Google’s sales proposition goes as straightforward as saying, “This is the cheapest Pixel camera you can get.”
Talking about the display, the smaller one or the Pixel 3a comes with a 5.6-inch gOLED display whereas the bigger one gets a 6-inch panel. Since we have never heard anything about the gOLED displays and Google didn’t divulge anything about it in the launch event, we suppose it to be a proprietary name for OLED screens in the Google Pixel devices. The display lacks any sort of notches or punch-hole cutouts. However, Google has incorporated thick bezels on the top and on the bottom, which looks rather antiquated. Nonetheless, Google has included Dragontrail glass protection on the top to prevent accidental damages during the falls.
On the performance part, the phone gets a midrange Snapdragon 670 chipset. The chipset comes mated with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard memory. Sadly, there is no SD card slot on the phone. So expanding the storage is quite impossible. Also, the phone only comes in a 64GB variant, which is a bummer for the people who have to work with a large number of files on their phone.
Software-wise, the phone boots on Android Pie out of the box. Since the device is from Google itself, there won’t be any type of bloatware on the phone. Plus, Google also promises regular software update and security patches for a considerable amount of time. Talking about the battery, the smaller one boasts a 3000mAh battery whereas the bigger one flaunts a decently big 3700mAh one. The device comes wrapped inside a dual-tone polycarbonate back offering a strong resemblance with the flagship Pixel devices.
Google Pixel 3a vs 3a XL vs Redmi Note 7 Pro vs Realme 3 pro
|Google Pixel 3a||Google Pixel 3a XL||Redmi Note 7 Pro||Realme 3 Pro|
|5.6-inch gOLED display||6-inch gOLED display||6.3-inch IPS LCD display||6.3-inch IPS LCD display|
|Asahi Dragon Trail glass protection||Asahi Dragon Trail glass protection||Gorilla Glass 5 protection||Gorilla Glass 5 protection|
|Full-HD+ (2220×1080 pixels) resolution||Full-HD+ (2160×1080 pixels) resolution||Full-HD+ (2340×1080 pixels) resolution||Full-HD+ (2340×1080 pixels) resolution|
|Snapdragon 670 Chipset||Snapdragon 670 Chipset||Snapdragon 675 Chipset||Snapdragon 710 Chipset|
|Adreno 615 GPU||Adreno 615 GPU||Adreno 612 GPU||Adreno 616 GPU|
|4GB RAM||4GB RAM||4/6GB RAM||4/6GB RAM|
|64GB Internal Storage||64GB Internal Storage||64/128GB internal Storage||64/128GB internal Storage|
|No SD card slot||No SD card slot||Storage expandable up to 256GB (SD Card uses SIM2 slot)||Storage expandable up to 256GB (SD Card uses dedicated slot)|
|12.2 MP rear camera, f/1.8, OIS, dual pixel PDAF||12.2 MP rear camera, f/1.8, OIS, dual pixel PDAF||(48 MP, f/1.8) + (5 MP, f/2.4) dual rear camera||(16 MP, f/1.7) + (5 MP, f/2.4) dual rear camera|
|8MP, f/2.0 front camera||8MP, f/2.0 front camera||13MP front camera||25MP, f/2.0 front camera|
|Android 9.0 Pie||Android 9.0 Pie||Android 9.0 Pie with MIUI 10 on the top||Android 9.0 Pie with Color OS 6 on the top|
|3000mAh battery||3700mAh battery||4000mAh battery||4045mAh battery|
|Price: $399||Price: $479||Price: ~ $202 (4/64GB)||Price: ~ $202 (4/64GB)|
When it comes to the price, the smaller Pixel 3a is priced at $399/£399 whereas the bigger one is more expensive at $479/£469. In India, the device has been priced at INR 39,999 and INR 44,999 for the 3a and 3a XL devices respectively.
The Pixel 3 and 3a XL are undoubtedly the best midrange camera phones. With their hardware setup and computational photography, they can even outdo some of the flagship devices in the market available right now. However, other than cameras then is nothing much to like about the phone. At almost half the price, there are more powerful devices like the Realme 3 Pro and the Redmi Note 7 Pro. The Realme 3 Pro and Redmi Note 7 Pro also come with bigger displays, bigger battery and with an option to expand the storage. Although the Pixel 3a devices outweigh all of the midrange devices on the software front, it may not be an absolute deal breaker for the most.
Since Xiaomi is on the verge of launching a Snapdragon 855 powered smartphone (maybe Pocophone F2) and Realme is also striding to launch Realme X (SD730 powered phone), I guess it’s better to wait for those devices. Since Realme and Xiaomi have a history of pricing their smartphones aggressively, we hope Realme and Redmi offer better value for money than these Pixel devices. Apart from a powerful processor, the Realme and Redmi phones also usually come with better design and premium built, I think it’s worth the wait. Also, the upcoming OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro could be a better option at around a similar price (in India), which is launching on the 14th of May.