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Google Pixel 3a Vs Google Pixel 3: How The Google Smartphone Specs Compare

We compare the specs of Google's flagship Pixel 3 & Pixel 3 XL smartphones with the new, less-expensive Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.

|  Google Pixel 3 in Camera Phones
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Google Pixel 3a

 

Google has introduced its new mid-range 3a and 3a XL Pixel smartphones to the World. The Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are cheaper versions of the flagship Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL but with similar specs, is it now worth spending almost twice as much on the premium models


We will, of course, answer this question fully when we put the new Pixel 3a/3a XL to the test but for now, we'll compare the specs to see how each device stacks up. 

 

What's The Main Difference? 

In one word 'processor'. The flagship Pixel 3 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor while the 3a has a Snapdragon 670 processor built in. The better processor means apps launch quicker, you'll be able to view webpages faster and when applying effects to images, the whole process will just be that little bit quicker. Is this time-saver worth an extra £400 - that's up to you. 

1/125 sec | f/11.0 | 120.0 mm | ISO 50

Google Pixel 3 

 

Cameras - They're The Same 

On the rear, you still get a 12.2MP, f/1.8 dual-pixel camera with optical/electronic IS, autofocus, dual-pixel phase detection and all of the clever photography features you expect to see on a Google smartphone. This includes Google's rather impressive night mode which is called 'Night Sight' and a great portrait mode with depth of field options and creative colour popping. HDR+ is also built in. You don't get the Group Selfe Cam but it's probably not a 'make or break' feature. 

The selfie camera is an 8MP, fixed-focus f/2.0 shooter which means Google's done away with the wide-angle and 'normal' lens duo (hence the removal of the Group Selfie Cam). The aperture is ever so slightly brighter on the 3a/3a XL, though. 

Google Pixel 3a

Display & Build 

Gorilla Glass is featured in the Google Pixel 3/3XL display while in the new mid-range options, it's Dragontrail glass. The overall build quality is just that bit nicer on the 3, too, and it's water resistant (something the 3a/3a XL isn't) and wireless charging isn't available. There is, however, a headphone jack on the new 3a and 3a XL Pixel smartphones something Google has made a U-turn on as there isn't one built into the 3/3 XL. 

As for the screen size, the Google Pixel 3 XL has the biggest measuring 6.3-inch, followed by the Pixel 3a XL at 6-inch then the Pixel 3a sits just in front of the Pixel 3 with a display measuring just .1 of an inch bigger (5.6-inch vs 5.5"). 

 

Battery, RAM & Storage

RAM/Storage is very similar but you do get a 128GB storage option with the Pixel 3/3XL. As for the batteries, they're improved in the 3a/3a XL with 3000mAh and 3700mAh batteries built-in, respectively. On the Pixel 3/3 XL, you find a 2915mAh and a 3430mAh battery. 

 

Google Pixel 3a XL

 

Other Features

The mid-range Pixels aren't water resistant and they don't offer wireless charging but they do have a headphone jack and a USB-C port. 

 

Price 

The Google Pixel 3a is priced at £399 and the Pixel 3a XL is available for £469. As mentioned, this is half the price of the flagship Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL which are available for £869 (3 XL) and £739 (Pixel 3) direct from Google (purchase them from Amazon UK and they're cheaper).

Buy Pixel 3 On Amazon UK  Buy Pixel 3 XL On Amazon UK 

 

Final Thoughts

With the mid-range Google Pixels having more in common with the flagship Google Pixel 3 smartphones than what's different, it makes them a good option for those looking for premium features without the premium price tag. So long as you don't mind the slower processor, slightly less impressive design qualities and the lack of water resistance, the Pixel 3a/3a XL, on paper, are shaping up to be a good option for photographers with the bonus that you get a headphone jack and a good camera. 

If you own a Google Pixel 2 still, it's worth considering upgrading to the 3a/3a XL as you get much better features on the newer models. However, if you wait a bit longer, the Google Pixel 3/Pixel 3 Xl may come down in price when the new Pixel flagship lands later this year. 

Compare the specs of Pixel 3, Pixel 3 Xl, Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL: 

 

  Google Pixel 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Google Pixel 3a Google Pixel 3a XL
Rear Camera 12.2MP, f/1.8 dual-pixel camera 12.2MP, f/1.8 dual-pixel camera 12.2MP, f/1.8 dual-pixel camera 12.2MP, f/1.8 dual-pixel camera
Front Camera Dual 8MP, f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle, fixed focus and f/1.8 wide-angle Dual 8MP, f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle, fixed focus and f/1.8 wide-angle 8MP, fixed-focus f/2.0 8MP, fixed-focus f/2.0
Display

5.5"

6.3"
 
5.6"
 
6"
 
Video  4K & Full HD  4K & Full HD 4K & Full HD 4K & Full HD
Stand Out Camera Features Night Sight, Portrait Mode, HDR+, Group Selfie Cam Night Sight, Portrait Mode, HDR+, Group Selfie Cam Night Sight, Portrait Mode, HDR+ Night Sight, Portrait Mode, HDR+
Battery 2915mAh 3430mAh 3000mAh 3700mAh
Weight 148g 184g 147g 167g
Width 145.6mm 158mm 151.3mm 160.1mm
Height 68.2mm 76.7mm 70.1mm 76.1mm
Depth  7.9mm 7.9mm 8.2mm 8.2mm
USB-C Yes Yes Yes Yes
Water Resistant  Yes Yes No  No 
Memory/Storage 4GB RAM, 128GB/64GB Memory 4GB RAM, 128GB/64GB Memory 4GB RAM, 64GB Memory 4GB RAM, 64GB Memory

 

More Smartphone Comparisons 

Take a look at our 'Best smartphone' section of the site to find top lists, our recommendations and more smartphone comparisons. 


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