Here’s everything you need to know about Google’s wallet-friendly version of the Pixel 3
Release date and price
The Pixel 3a was released on 8 May, a day after its announcement, and true to its claim its price was set at roughly half that of the Pixel 3 – the only power/storage option of 4GB RAM and 64GB will set you back around £399.
The Pixel 3a looks very similar to the Pixel 3, the body sporting rounded edges and a two tone design – however, the Pixel 3a’s rear is made from plastic as opposed to the glass used on the Pixel 3. This means the phone is lighter, despite being slightly bigger than the Pixel 3 so some users might feel the end result is less ‘premium’.
The position of the rear camera and flash stays the same, as does the volume, power buttons and the charging port, the Pixel 3a also has a headphone jack – reportedly rare on mid-range handsets.
The Pixel 3a falls short when it comes to speakers, only having one front facing speaker compared to the two on the Pixel 3, meaning the quality of audio is somewhat lower on the budget version.
The phone’s display measures at 5.6 inches, which is relatively small – if this is a concern, you might consider the Pixel 3a XL. It’s full HD+ and OLED, and its resolution sits at 2220x1080, making the overall display clear and suitable for higher detailed images – but still falls short of the Pixel 3.
Like the Pixel 3, the 3a includes Active Edge technology which lets you bring up the Google Assistant by squeezing the phone’s edge – but it might require slightly more force than its older cousin.
In terms of the camera, the overall image quality is close to what you’ll get with the Pixel 3 – the 3a sports a 12.2MP f/1.8 single camera on the rear. However what the 3a doesn’t have is the Pixel Visual Core imaging chip – this means the phone is slightly slower at processing images and not quite as smart when it comes to optimising.
Overall however, for the price of the phone the rear camera is more than decent – it also has features like Top Shot and Night Sight, again keeping it mostly in line with the Pixel 3.
The selfie camera clocks it in at 8MP, but there is only one compared to the Pixel 3’s two front-facing lenses. It’s not a huge difference, considering the far lower price of the handset.
The Pixel 3a uses the Snapdragon 670 chipset, downgraded from the Pixel 3’s Snapdragon 845 – as a result the phone does feel slightly slower in general compared to high-end options. But having said that, it’s not ‘slow’ – holding up well in its own right and clocking in at 2.0GHz + 1.7GHz.
The battery in the 3a weighs in at 3,000mAh, and the battery life is impressive – possibly even better than the Pixel 3 thanks to the less demanding chip set. However it won’t benefit from wireless charging capabilities – even though the plastic material used could technically still support it.
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Pixel 3a specs
|Sim Card Type||Nano|
|Form Factor||Candy Bar|
|Size||70.1mm x 8.2mm x 151.3mm|
|Battery Type||Lithium Polymer|
|Display Size||5.6 inches|
|Resolution||1080 x 2220 inches|
|Pixels Per Inch||441 ppi|
|Touch Screen Type||Capacitive|
|Processor Cores||Octa Core Cores|
|Primary Camera||12 MP|
|2nd Camera||8 MP|