Google has announced the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. The two devices offer many of the same camera capabilities as the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, along with a similar design, but at a fraction of the price.
Here's how the Pixel 3a and 3a XL compare to the Pixel 3 and 3 XL.
What's the same?
- Rear camera
- Android Pie
The Pixel 3a and 3a XL offer many of the same camera capabilities as the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, including Google's Night Sight for low light photography. They also share a similar design ethos with a two-tone rear, circular fingerprint sensor and a coloured power button.
The Pixel 3a and 3a XL run on Android Pie, like the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL so they deliver a very similar user experience and they have the same RAM too at 4GB.
The Pixel 3a and 3a XL also have Active Edge squeezable sides like the more expensive models.
What's different between the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3?
Though there are many similarities between the Pixel 3a models and the Pixel 3 models, there are also a number of differences.
- Pixel 3a/3a XL: From £399
- Pixel 3/3 XL: Currently from £589
The Pixel 3a costs £399, while the Pixel 3a XL costs £469.
The Pixel 3 meanwhile, is currently on offer on the Google Store, starting at £589, while the Pixel 3 XL starts at £719, making them quite a bit more expensive than the mid-rangers.
- Pixel 3a: 151.3 x 70.1 x 8.2mm, 147g
- Pixel 3: 145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9mm, 182g
- Pixel 3a: 160.1 x 76.1 x 8.2mm, 167g
- Pixel 3 XL: 158 x 76.7 x 7.9mm, 184g
The Pixel 3a and 3a XL come with a polycarbonate unibody instead of the glass and metal combination found on the flagship Pixels.
The mid-rangers are also slightly larger and heavier than the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, respectively, and they aren't water resistant like the flagship models.
- Pixel 3a/3a XL: 8MP front
- Pixel 3/3 XL: Dual 8MP front, Group Selfie
Though the rear camera hardware is the same between the Pixel 3a and 3a XL and the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, the mid-rangers only have one front camera instead of two. They also don't have the Group Selfie functionality like the Pixel 3 and 3 XL.
The Pixel 3a and 3a XL have a single 8-megapixel camera with 1.12µm pixels, an f/2.0 aperture and an 84-degree field of view. The Pixel 3 and 3 XL have dual 8-megapixel front cameras with a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens.
The wide angle lens has a f/2.0 aperture and a 107-degree field of view, while the telephoto lens has a f/1.8 aperture and a 75-degree field of view.
- Pixel 3a/3a XL: Qualcomm SD670, 4GB RAM
- Pixel 3/3 XL: Qualcomm SD845, 4GB RAM
The Pixel 3a and 3a XL have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 chipset under their hoods and both offer 4GB of RAM.
Both the Pixel 3 and 3 XL run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 with 4GB of RAM so the Pixel 3a and 3a XL aren't as powerful as the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, though they should still be very capable.
- Pixel 3a/3a XL: 64GB
- Pixel 3/3 XL: 64GB and 128GB
The Pixel 3a and 3a XL come in one storage option only of 64GB. The Pixel 3 and 3 XL come in two storage options of 64GB and 128GB. None of the device offer microSD support for storage expansion.
- Pixel 3a: 3000mAh
- Pixel 3: 2915mAh
- Pixel 3a XL: 3700mAh
- Pixel 3 XL: 3430mAh
The Pixel 3a and 3a XL both come with larger batteries than their more expensive siblings.
The Pixel 3a has a 3000mAh capacity compared to the Pixel 3's 2915mAh, while the Pixel 3a XL has a 3700mAh compared to the Pixel 3 XL's 3430mAh battery. All offer fast charging with up to 7 hours of use in 15 minutes, but only the Pixel 3 and 3 XL have wireless charging capabilities.
- Pixel 3a/3: 5.56-inch, Full HD+
- Pixel 3a XL: 6-inch, Full HD+
- Pixel 3 XL: 6.3-inch, Quad HD+
The Pixel 3a comes with a 5.56-inch display with a Full HD+ resolution and an aspect ratio of 18.5:9, which is very similar to the Pixel 3, though the Pixel 3a has a slightly taller display.
The Pixel 3a XL meanwhile, has a 6-inch display with a Full HD+ resolution and bezels at the top and bottom of the display, while the Pixel 3 XL has a 6.3-inch display with a Quad HD+ resolution and a notch at the top of the display, allowing for minimal bezels.
- Pixel 3a/3a XL: 3.5mm headphone jack
- Pixel 3/3 XL: No 3.5mm headphone jack
The Pixel 3a and 3a XL both feature a 3.5mm headphone jack and USB Type-C for charging.
Both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL opt for USB Type-C and no 3.5mm headphone jack. A USB Type-C to 3.5mm adapter is included in the box though.
- Pixel 3a/3a XL: Just Black, Clearly White, Purple-ish
- Pixel 3/3 XL: Just Black, Clearly White, Not Pink
The Pixel 3a and 3a XL will come in Just Black, Clearly White and a Purple-ish colours.
The Pixel 3 and 3 XL are available in Just Black, Clearly White and Not Pink colours.
The Pixel 3a and 3a XL hold a lot of promise. They offer many of the same camera capabilities as the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, including Google;s Night Sight, whilst also delivering the same RAM, Android Pie experience and a similar design, albeit not as premium.
They drop the processing power a little and the screen resolution and display design in the case of the XL model, but the mid-rangers reintroduce a headphone jack, larger batteries and slash almost half off the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL's original prices.
Based on our experience, the Pixel 3a and 3a XL are hard not to recommend for their price tags.