Google’s Pixel smartphone lineup is amazing. The smooth UI, the perfect integration between different Google services and a state of art camera setup demonstrating the power of computational photography.
But keeping the specs aside, most of us are users of budget smartphones. We do not care about brand values and just needs to get a near premium feel in a rather restricted price range. This was exactly the point where Pixel missed out. And with the release of Pixel 3A, the’re trying woo the ‘budget audience’.
Let’s move on to the review of the much anticipated review of the Google Pixel 3A. Remember – the title may be the spoiler.
The Pixel 3A features a 5.6 inch notchless FullHD OLED display. The colors do look better on Pixel 3A rather than Pixel 3, to be honest. Fonts are crisp & the colors are accurate. It also supports Always ON standby functionality.
The front display glass is manufactured by Asahi Glass co. and is referred as “Dragontrail glass” and the Pixel 3A XL also sports the same. We haven’t done any scratch tests (lets wait for JerryRigEverything’s video).
Pixel 3A comes with 4GB RAM just like the original Pixel devices. We’re not sure about whether Google will reconsider the inclusion of more RAM in the upcoming Pixel phones. But for now, it’s 4GB. Regardless the Android experience is snappy.
The disappointing part is the processor. Yes – the Pixel 3A has a Snapdragon 670 inside which is not a great chip and we’d expected atleast a Snapdragon 710 for this smartphone, or they could’ve included Snapdragon 845 itself.
Storage options max out at 64GB and there’s no room for a microSD card inside. The real bummer.
There is a slight lag issue the moment we try to open a graphic or CPU intensive app, but once it is loaded, there is no issues. Over time, the most used apps are cached for preventing future bottlenecks.
It sports a 3000 mAh battery with Adaptive Battery feature and bundles an 18W fast charging. There is no wireless charging support for this.
Exterior and Design
The Pixel 3A has a polycarbonate finish (plasticky). This is Google’s way to cut costs maximum.
Google has decided to keep the headphone jack this time. The 3.5mm jack is on the top and a USB-C charging port and the speaker at the bottom. The speakers aren’t stereo and the sound quality is very mediocre.
The right side we have the colored power button and the volume rockers. The device does not feature an in-display fingerprint scanner, hopefully reserved for the Pixel 4. The capacitive fingerprint scanner is on the rear with the single camera and flash.
There is one thing you should be aware of – The phone is NOT WATER RESISTANT.
When its a Pixel, you need to talk about the camera. The Pixel 3 has suport for Google Lens, ARcore and almost all camera features available on the original Pixel lineup. Most images are indistinguishable from original Pixel 3. It is definitely better than iPhone XR (touted to be a budget iPhone X, lol), The 3A lacks Google’s custom Visual Core processor. This doesn’t make a visible difference in quality – but the images take longer time to save.
The 12.2-megapixel sensor and f/1.8 lens on the back are the same as the Pixel 3, as is the single 8-megapixel selfie cam on the front. There is no shutter lag for taking any kind of pictures. The OIS + EIS combo comes handy when you hand is not stable. The Night Sight & an all new Timelapse features are present in the Pixel 3A.
- Snapdragon 670 Chipset
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB Storage w/o expandable support.
- 5.6 inch OLED display
- 12MP rear camera & 8MP front camera.
- 3000mAh battery
- 3.5mm Headphone jack
The Pixel 3A is Google latest and the most inexpensive phone right now. There’s some serious cost cutting measure taken by the company. Nonetheless, it still makes a good choice if you think about the camera performance. But the Snapdragon 670 on a Pixel device is slightly weird. And the storage option limited to 64GB – Google does include free Drive storage as in the case on other Pixel phones.
But the main confusion still remains – and it is created by the Pocophone F1. With the Snapdragon 845 based Poco F1 lying around – recommending Pixel 3A to someone becomes much more harder than ever.
Go for Pixel 3A if you need the best stock Android experience and camera at a slightly lower price than Pixel 3. The price tag of $399 is justified in some cases – but not entirely. And in some markets like India, the Poco F1 still seems the best option.
*Original photos sourced from GSMArena & AndroidCentral