Google Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL Reportedly Lack Support for In-House Daydream VR Platform

It is surprising to see Google’s own phones miss out on VR content from the in-house platform.

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Google Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL Reportedly Lack Support for In-House Daydream VR Platform

Google is yet to explain the exact reasons behind the VR incompatibility in detail.

Highlights
  • Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL won’t support Daydream VR content
  • Pixel flagships remain compatible with Daydream View headset
  • There is no word if Daydream VR support can be enabled via an update

Google Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL were announced to an enthusiastic response at the Google I/O 2019. After all, the new mid-range Pixel phones claim to offer a flagship camera output and smooth Android experience with timely updates at a much lower asking price than the Pixel 3. But the price reduction has also resulted in compromises such as no dual front cameras on the Pixel 3a pair, lack of wireless charging support, and a less premium polycarbonate build. Another setback that is not as well-highlighted is the lack of Daydream VR support. Yes, Google's own phones are incompatible with the in-house VR platform.

While the company has not gone into much detail as to why the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL don't support the VR platform, the decision has reportedly been made after encountering “resolution and framerate” issues. However, it is not clear whether the aforesaid issues have something to do with the display used on the Pixel 3a pair or if there are any VR-linked limitations associated with the Snapdragon 670 SoC powering the two phones.

Whatever the root cause may be, it is a bit surprising to see a Google-made phone being incompatible with the company's own Daydream VR platform. What this means is Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL users won't be able to enjoy VR content by mounting the phone on a supported VR headset like Google's own Daydream View VR headset, both the first gen and the second gen iteration.

However, if you own any of the flagship Pixels, be it the original Pixel, Pixel 2 or the Pixel 3, they play well with the Daydream View headset. While cost-cutting in the hardware department makes sense, eschewing the in-house VR platform support is certainly a surprise, and a little disappointing as well. So, no VR content from the Daydream ecosystem for Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a users, and a step back for Google at the same time.


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.

  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Camera
  • Value for Money
  • Good
  • Very good cameras
  • Good software features
  • Guaranteed updates for three years
  • Stereo speakers
  • Bad
  • Expensive
  • Weak processor and low storage for the price
Display5.60-inch
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 670
Front Camera8-megapixel
Rear Camera12.2-megapixel
RAM4GB
Storage64GB
Battery Capacity3000mAh
OSAndroid 9 Pie
Resolution1080x2220 pixels
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Camera
  • Value for Money
  • Good
  • Very good cameras
  • Good software features
  • Guaranteed updates for three years
  • Stereo speakers
  • Bad
  • Expensive
  • Weak processor and low storage for the price
Display6.00-inch
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 670
Front Camera8-megapixel
Rear Camera12.2-megapixel
RAM4GB
Storage64GB
Battery Capacity3700mAh
OSAndroid 9 Pie
Resolution1080x2160 pixels
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Nadeem Sarwar Aside from dreaming about technology, Nadeem likes to get bamboozled by history and ponder about his avatars in alternate dimensions. More
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