Google has finally lifted the covers from the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL – the two highly anticipated and heavily leaked mid-range phones from the company targeted at an audience who want the Pixel experience at an "affordable" price. The Pixel 3a duo can be regarded as the watered-down versions of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL with some downgrades in the hardware department, but the phones claim to offer the same flagship camera experience and fluidic Android experience with a promise of timely software updates. While the Pixel 3 phones are already on sale in India, the Pixel 3a duo will be available next week. Let's take a look at how the Pixel 3a pair and the flagship Pixel 3 duo differ in terms of specifications, design, build, and pricing.
The Google Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL come in a single 64GB variant, with the Pixel 3a priced at Rs. 39,999, while the Pixel 3a XL carries a price tag of Rs. 44,999. The release date for both the smartphones in India has been set at May 15, with registrations set to start at 12:30pm IST on Wednesday, May 8 via Flipkart. The two phones will be available in Clearly White and Just Black colour options in India.
In comparison, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL both come in 64GB and 128GB variants. The base variant of the Pixel 3 is currently available at Rs. 56,999 from Flipkart, while the 128GB variant will set you back by Rs. 65,999. As for the Pixel 3 XL, the 64GB variant of the phone can currently be purchased at Rs. 61,999, while the 128GB version is listed at Rs. 73,999 on Flipkart right now.
The Pixel 3a duo shares a lot of design elements with the smaller Pixel 3 and looks almost identical, but the glass build of the Pixel 3 is gone in favour of polycarbonate on the Pixel 3a duo. Moreover, the mid-range Pixels have a bottom firing stereo speaker compared to the front firing stereo unit on the Pixel 3. However, the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL feature a 3.5 headphone jack, unlike the Pixel 3 pair.
Talking about specifications, the Pixel 3a sports a 5.6-inch full-HD+ (1080x2220 pixels) gOLED display with an aspect ratio of 18.5:9, while the Pixel 3 features a slightly smaller 5.5-inch full-HD+ (1080x2160 pixels) flexible OLED display with 18:9 aspect ratio. The display of the Pixel 3a is a hair larger and has a higher resolution than the one on the Pixel 3.
Coming to the Pixel 3a XL, it comes equipped with a 6-inch full-HD+ (1080x2160 pixels) gOLED display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. On the other hand, the Pixel 3 XL flaunts a larger 6.3-inch QHD+ (1440x2960 pixels) flexible OLED display with 18.5:9 aspect ratio. Aside from the display size and resolution, the Pixel 3a pair comes with Dragon Trail glass protection, while the display on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
As far as internals go, both the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are powered by the octa-core Snapdragon 670 SoC paired with 4GB of LPDDR4x RAM. In comparison, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL draw power from the Snapdragon 845 SoC ticking alongside 4GB of RAM.
Coming to the cameras, the Pixel 3a pair sports a single 12.2-megapixel camera with the Dual-Pixel Sony IMX363 sensor on the back. It comes with optical and electronic image stabilisation support, has an f/1.8 aperture, 76-degree field of view, 1/2.55-inch sensor, and 1.4-micron pixels. The Pixel 3 also has the same rear imaging hardware consisting of a 12.2-megapixel dual-pixel camera with 1.4-micron pixel size, f/1.8 aperture, and a 76-degree field-of-view.
The front cameras is where the Pixel 3a has made a downgrade as it features a single 8-megapixel sensor with 1.12-micron pixels, an f/2.0 aperture, and an 84-degree field of view. In comparison, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL sport dual front cameras - an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens with f/2.2 aperture, 97-degree field of view, and an 8-megapixel normal lens with f/1.8 aperture, 75-degree field-of-view with phase detection autofocus.
As far as features go, the Pixel 3a inherits the camera tricks like Night Sight, as well as HDR+, Portrait Mode, Super Res Zoom, and Top Shot from the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Moreover, Active Edge squeezable sides are also present on the Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. Also, the Titan M security chip inside the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL is present on the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL as well.
Both the mid-range Pixels run the latest version of Android 9.0 Pie, and will get a minimum 3 years of OS and security updates. The phones support the company's AR Core framework for augmented reality applications. The aforesaid features are present on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL as well, complete with the promise of 3 years of OS and security updates for the flagships.
Another key difference between the Pixel 3a duo and the Pixel 3 pair is the battery capacity. The Pixel 3a packs a 3,000mAh battery, while the Pixel 3 comes equipped with a slightly smaller 2,915mAh battery. The Pixel 3a XL, on the other hand, features a 3,700mAh battery, which is larger than the 3,430mAh battery inside the Pixel 3 XL. Support for 18W fast charging is common, however, the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL miss out on support for wireless charging.
The Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL's connectivity suite is identical with support for 4G VoLTE, Wi-FI 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, NFC, a 3.5mm headphone jack on top. Pixel 3a measures in at 151.3x70.1x8.2mm, and weighs 147 grams, while the Pixel 3a XL measures in at 160.1x76.1x8.2mm and weighs 167 grams. On the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, connectivity is handled by 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth v5.0 + LE, USB Type-C (v3.1) port, NFC, GPS/ A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou, and Google Cast.
Has Google Pixel 3a's pricing ruined its prospects in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
|Overall NDTV Rating|
|Battery Life Rating|
|Value for Money Rating|
|Model||Pixel 3a XL||Pixel 3a||Pixel 3 XL||Pixel 3|
|Release date||May 7, 2019||May 1, 2019||October 1, 2018||October 1, 2018|
|Launched in India||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Dimensions (mm)||160.10 x 76.10 x 8.20||151.30 x 70.10 x 8.20||158.00 x 76.70 x 7.90||145.60 x 68.20 x 7.90|
|Battery capacity (mAh)||3700||3000||3430||2915|
|Colours||Just Black, Clearly White||-||Just Black, Clearly White, Not Pink||Just Black, Clearly White, Not Pink|
|Screen size (inches)||6.00||5.60||6.30||5.50|
|Resolution||1080x2160 pixels||1080x2220 pixels||1440x2960 pixels||1080x2160 pixels|
|Protection type||Asahi DragonTrail||-||Gorilla Glass||Gorilla Glass|
|Pixels per inch (PPI)||402||441||-||443|
|Processor||1.7GHz octa-core (4x2.1GHz + 4x1.7GHz)||1.7GHz octa-core (2x2GHz + 6x1.7GHz)||2.5GHz octa-core (4x2.5GHz + 4x1.6GHz)||2.5GHz octa-core (4x2.5GHz + 4x1.6GHz)|
|Processor make||Qualcomm Snapdragon 670||Qualcomm Snapdragon 670||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845|
|Dedicated microSD slot||-||-||No||-|
|Rear camera||12.2-megapixel (f/1.8, 1.4-micron)||12.2-megapixel (f/1.8, 1.4-micron)||12.2-megapixel (f/1.8, 1.4-micron)||12.2-megapixel (f/1.8, 1.4-micron)|
|Rear autofocus||Phase detection autofocus||Phase detection autofocus||Phase detection autofocus||Phase detection autofocus|
|Front camera||8-megapixel (f/2.0)||8-megapixel (f/2.0, 1.12-micron)||8-megapixel (f/2.2) + 8-megapixel (f/1.8)||8-megapixel (f/2.2) + 8-megapixel (f/1.8)|
|Operating system||Android 9 Pie||Android 9 Pie||Android 9.0||Android 9.0|
|Wi-Fi standards supported||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac|
|Bluetooth||Yes, v 5.00||Yes, v 5.00||Yes, v 5.00||Yes, v 5.00|
|Number of SIMs||1||1||1||1|
|Active 4G on both SIM cards||-||Yes||-||-|
|Ambient light sensor||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|3D face recognition||-||-||Yes||-|