Big screen option

Pixel 3a XL

The smaller one

Pixel 3a

The Pixel 3a XL is the bigger of Google's two new mid-range Pixel phones that usher in a new era for the line. However, it still carries on the legacy for great hardware, fantastic software experience, and a terrific camera. The only difference between the XL and the normal model is the 6-inch OLED display and gigantic battery.

$479 at B&H

Pros

  • Same great Pixel features
  • 6-inch OLED display
  • Robust 3,700mAh battery
  • Snapdragon 670 processor
  • 12MP camera

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Bigger screen and battery are the only difference
  • No wireless charging
  • Polycarbonate unibody

The new Pixel 3a offers fans of the Pixel line an affordable and compact phone that delivers on everything that makes the line so special. The 5.6-inch OLED display is big enough to deliver amazing media and small enough to fit comfortably in your hand for one-handed use. Plus, the Snapdragon 670 processor and 4GB of RAM ensure a zippy and fast software experience.

$399 at B&H

Pros

  • Same great Pixel features
  • Compact size
  • 5.6-inch OLED display
  • Snapdragon 670 processor
  • 12MP camera

Cons

  • Small battery
  • No wireless charging
  • Big bezels
  • Polycarbonate unibody

In unveiling the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, Google is now offering consumers a much easier entry into the Pixel line that has only offered premium devices up until this point. You can go with either one, but unless you absolutely need a smaller phone, go with the Pixel 3a XL as it offers the same features along with a bigger display and battery for only a slight price jump.

What's the same and what's different?

There are more similarities than differences between the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. About the only major difference is size and price, but it's still good to compare the two side by side to see how they stack up.

Category Pixel 3a Pixel 3a XL
Price $399 $479
Display 5.6-inch OLED 6-inch OLED
Screen resolution 2160 by 1080
441ppi
2220 by 1080
402ppi
Processor Snapdragon 670 Snapdragon 670
Memory 4GB 4GB
Storage 64GB 64GB
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
Battery 3,000mAh 3,700mAh
Dimensions 151.3 x 70.1 x 8.2 mm 160.1 x 76.1 x 8.2 mm
Weight 147g 167g
Colors Just Black, Clearly White, Purple-ish Just Black, Clearly White, Purple-ish

As you can see, unless you hone in on display size and price, you'd think they were the same device, and that's not a coincidence. Google did this for a reason: to offer the same experience in two different sizes.

Each device comes with the same polycarbonate body, a stark difference from the aluminum and glass body of its more expensive brothers. That was a decision to keep the price as low as possible by Google and to be perfectly honest, we'll take a high-quality plastic body for a great overall device, including display and camera, if we can spend less.

Powering the two devices is the Snapdragon 670 processor with 4GB of RAM. The processor is a step down from the 800 series each Pixel device has come with, but again, this is all to keep the price down. This spec offering should deliver a smooth Android Pie experience considering it is bloatware free.

Both phones also come with a Full HD+ OLED display that offers Always-On functionality and 12.2-megapixel (MP) dual-pixel camera that offers autofocus, optical image stabilization, and Night Sight. None of this is super new for Pixel owners.

Where the two begin to differ is in size, which applies only to the display and battery.

Where the two begin to differ is in size, which applies only to the display, battery, and price. The smaller Pixel 3a comes with a 5.6-inch display and 3,000mAh battery while the bigger Pixel 3a XL comes with a 6-inch display and 3,700mA battery. As for price, the smaller model retails for $399 and the bigger one goes for $479.

Each offer the same unique Pixel experience Google has been perfecting for a few years now.

Who should buy the Pixel 3a?

Really only two kinds of people should buy the Pixel 3a: those who covet a compact size phone and those who are very price conscious. The key selling feature of the standard Pixel 3a is its size, making it perfect for one-handed use. It also doesn't hurt that it costs $80 less than the bigger option.

Who should buy the Pixel 3a XL?

The Pixel 3a XL is for everyone else. It costs more, but it's certainly worth the extra $80 with a bigger display and battery, which most people prefer anyway. It's something people are willing to pay extra for. Besides that, you'll get the very best software experience Google has to offer in a new hardware design that should make it a unique device from the get-go.

Bigger is important

Pixel 3a XL

Impressive features in a spacious body with a big screen

If size matters to you, go with the Pixel 3a XL. Not only do you get a bigger 6-inch display, you also get a bigger 3,7000mAh battery that should help your phone last longer. Besides that, it delivers the same Google experience you've come to love with the Pixel line.

Small size matters

Pixel 3a

The best Google experience in a compact size

The Pixel 3a is for those looking for the best Google has to offer in a compact size. You get the same hardware, software and camera experience all the while getting a phone that fits perfectly in the hand and costs less.