As hugely anticipated and extensively leaked, Google finally launched its first mid-range smartphone at its ongoing developer conference Google I/O. And while much of the details about the devices had been leaked previously- all of them turned out to be true; the official launch gave us the opportunity to have the first hands-on experience. So, let’s get right into it:
By looks of it, Pixel 3a does not in any way looks the cheaper sibling of original Pixel 3. That doesn’t mean there are no differences. The most notable is the switch from glass body on Pixel 3 to Polycarbonate body on Pixel 3a. Despite the plastic body, the phone doesn’t look cheap and feels sturdy in hand. Along with the regular Black and White color variants, there is now also a Purple-ish color option that has a fresh glow to it without being too distinct. The plastic body, however, means there is no wireless charging for the device.
At 5.6-inch the display of Pixel 3a is slightly larger than 5.5-inched Pixel 3. While with a 6-inch display, Pixel 3a XL has a slightly smaller display than the 6.3-inched Pixel 3. The most significant downgrade, however, has been in the chipset segment. As you would expect, the new devices are powered by a mid-range Snapdragon 670 SoC, down from the premium SD 845 in Pixel 3. Housing 4GB memory and 64GB storage, both the phones are available in only one configuration- a departure from the norm of offering numerous variants. The phone is powered by a battery of 3700 mAh capacity, enough to last a full day with moderate usage.
Cameras are the crown jewel of the Pixel lineup and with Pixel 3a, Google promises to stand by that reputation. Night Sight, Portrait Mode, Panoramas, Motion Shots- everything that’s been raved about Pixel 3 camera is present on Pixel 3 as well. Though the camera is yet to undergo extensive tests, initial results clearly show that it carries the same gene of Pixel 3 and is definitely the best camera in the segment.
For selfies, however, Pixel 3a seems to have made a compromise. There is a single lens and thus the wide portrait capability of Pixel 3 is missing.
You get Android Pie out of the box and with 3 years of guaranteed updates, you would be eligible to receive up to Android S on this device.
The Pixel 3a retails at $399 while the larger Pixel 3a XL comes with a price tag of $449. Both the devices will be available in the same markets as Pixel 3.
At half the price of Pixel 3, there is absolutely nothing to dislike about these phones. If you want a piece of the best camera, the reliability of Google updates without burning a hole in your pocket, go grab these new phones.