When Google launched the Pixel line in 2016, it was its entrance into the premium smartphone market. It has since made strides, but not enough to make it a major player. To combat this wall, it is now turning its eyes towards the mid-range market which is budding with a rich option of devices that offer great value at a great price. The Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL will be its first to inclusions into the mid-range, as Google diversifies its smartphone options.
We've heard news about what this new line is supposed to offer—cheap price tag, impressive camera, best Android software—and we now know exactly what this phone will offer as Google recently unveiled it at its Google IO keynote. There's a lot to get to, so without further ado, here is everything you need to know about the Google Pixel 3a.
What's new with the Pixel 3a and 3a XL?
The first thing we should mention is that the Pixel 3a is very different from the Pixel 3. Where as the latter offers the cutting-edge in smartphone technology, the Pixel 3a offers some of that, but not all of it, in an affordable package. That means it isn't packing every feature we've come to expected out of the Pixel line.
With that being said, don't mistake the Pixel 3a for a bad phone. It is a very good phone. Though Google had to make some concessions—plastic body, no wireless charging, no waterproofing—it still delivered a very promising phone that should be very enticing for people looking to buy a new phone in the mid-range market.
Google made sure to include the two most important elements the Pixel line is known for: the best Android software and high performing camera. That means it'll receive the timely and constant updates for at least two years and it has the very same camera as the highly praised Pixel 3 camera.
Where does the Pixel 3a fit with the Pixel 3 and 3 XL?
The Pixel 3a will slot right under Google's existing flagships. The Pixel 3 and 3 XL come in the $700 and $800 range while the Pixel 3a and 3a XL will come in at $399 and $479 respectively. This puts it on the high end of the mid-tier mark, but it's still affordable enough to appeal to customers who don't want to spend upwards of $700 on a good smartphone.
Here are the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL specs
|Category||Pixel 3a||Pixel 3a XL|
|Display||5.6-inch OLED||6-inch OLED|
|Screen resolution||2160 by 1080
|2220 by 1080
|Processor||Snapdragon 670||Snapdragon 670|
|Rear Camera||12.2MP, f/1.8, OIS||12.2MP, f/1.8, OIS|
|Front Camera||8MP, f/2.0||8MP, f/2.0|
|Body||Polycarbonate unibody||Polycarbonate unibody|
|Dimensions||151.3 x 70.1 x 8.2 mm||160.1 x 76.1 x 8.2 mm|
|Colors||Just Black, Clearly White, Purple-ish||Just Black, Clearly White, Purple-ish|
The two phones are basically the same, except for the size of the display and battery. Each share the same processor, memory, storage and camera. Google did something unique in including the same Pixel 3 camera in its affordable Pixel 3a, changing the camera game for the mid-tier smartphone.
It's still the same 12.2MP camera with f/1.8 with optical image stabilization and the same great software features like Night Sight and portrait mode.
Where Google did make some concessions was with processor. The Pixel 3a will come with the Snapdragon 670 processor, unlike the Snapdragon 800 series that has been available with the more premium Pixel devices. However, it did keep the same 4GB of memory with the less expensive options. This might hint that the Pixel 4 will get a bump up in RAM later this year.
One of the main differences between the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a is with hardware. Unlike the aluminum and glass body of the Pixel 3, the Pixel 3a will boast a polycarbonate unibody that will help offset its cheaper price tag.
When will the Pixel 3a be released?
The Pixel 3a and 3a XL is now available through Google's site. Additionally, the phone will also be available with Verizon, Google's main carrier partner for the Pixel line, and for the first time ever, Sprint and T-Mobile. This is a major step for the Google as it adds three more carriers to offer the Pixel line. Previously it only relied on one, that being Verizon. The lone holdout so far is AT&T. No word on if or when it'll offer the Pixel 3a.
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