Google Pixel 3a / 3a XL one-month review: The People’s Pixels

by birtanpublished on October 1, 2020

a common complaint in google's pixel
phones is that they don't do enough to
justify their high price tags so what if
you get most of what makes a pixel great
for significantly less cash I've been
using the Google pixel 3a and 3a Excel
for the past months and I've got to say
outside of one or two relatively small
areas this has been a really faithful
recreation of what I enjoyed so much
about the regular pixel 3 and pixel 3
excel in fact depending on your
priorities there are a few good points
for buying these instead of the more
expensive Google phones so this time
we've got a 5.6 inch pixel 3a and a 6
inch pixel 3 axl both run a snapdragon
670 processor which is basically an
under clocked version of the higher-end
snapdragon 710 with 4 gigs around 64
gigs of storage both are plastic though
you wouldn't really know it from the
hand feel compared to the metal and
glass pixel threes the biggest towel
actually is the weight going from the
humungous 190 gram 1 + 7 pro the pixel
3a XL feels almost comically light it's
kind of a refreshing change oh and you
get a real actual 3.5 millimeter
headphone jack – I'm mainly using
wireless headphones these days but I
know this will make a lot of people
happy just don't hold your breath this
feature to carry over to the pixel for
later in the year as for audio visuals
the lack of front-facing speakers makes
these phones large bottom bezels that
little tougher to justify but the volume
and richness of the sound from the
bottom firing speaker and the earpiece
tweeter is pretty decent you won't be
able to fill out an entire room with the
sample of 3 al 3 XL but it's also not as
tinny as you might expect from a cheaper
handset the displays they're fine
nothing special in direct sunlight but
perfectly serviceable 1080p panels in
both models and no not though that does
come at the expense of larger bezels on
both sides the something else these
phones have the regular pixels don't
bigger batteries the Delta with a
smaller pixel 3 a versus the pixel 3
isn't huge less than a hundred milliamp
hours in fact but with a less
power-hungry chip the 3a is able to last
longer and the 37 hundred million power
in the 3x L is almost 10 percent bigger
than that of its Big Brother again
consider these are running well power
chips and it's not surprising that I'm
getting pretty great battery life out of
them noticeably better than the more
expensive pixel siblings for both sizes
it's around an hour of extra use for the
way I use them I wasn't exactly getting
terrible battery life out of the pixel
3xl but I do appreciate the extra safety
net the 3/8 XL gives me what I'm using
it out and about both pixel three A's
ship with the same 18 more USB PD
charger as the high-end models for
reasonably quick refills though
unfortunately there's no wireless
charting included the bigger deal with
these new pixels is what isn't different
compared to the three and three XL going
back to using these is a very familiar
experience all the Google features like
assistant now playing for finding songs
in the background and of course the
pixel launcher are exactly as I expected
to find them the Bixel UI is still great
and it's still my favorite way to
experience Android it's also important
is that these phones come with Google's
three-year update promise you're
guaranteed speedy platform updates until
the middle of 2022 which is pretty much
unique for phones in this price bracket
another thing largely unchanged is the
exceptional pixel camera experience
these are basically the pixel 3s cameras
were the same hdr+ goodness that makes
that camera so damn good you do lose the
optional wide-angle selfie camera but
the single front-facing camera has a
focal length that's right in the middle
of the pixel threes regular and
wide-angle front faces so you kind of
get the best of both worlds I don't need
to tell you that the pixel 3 takes
phenomenal photos even in low-light with
the still excellent night sight mode the
same processing is running on these
phones only because the process is
slower and there's no dedicated pixel
visual core that processing takes a
little bit longer and it means it's easy
to get the pixel 3 a to kind of throttle
down when taking a bunch of pictures in
quick succession it also means that
computationally intensive things like
portrait shots and nitesite shots do
take a little longer and because you're
still limited to just four gigs of RAM
the pixel 3a will quickly dump apps out
of memory in the background when you're
using the camera so the pixel 3 A's
camera isn't exactly the same it is
slower and frankly the fact there's only
one camera front and back is a
compromise in itself these days plenty
of other companies are quite happy to
sell you a dual camera phone around the
same price point so there are a couple
of things at play here first these new
cheaper pixels are able to faithfully
recreate much of the pixel free
experience because so much of what makes
those phones great
is the software and not the hardware on
the other hand it's kind of always been
the case that high-end pixels have
targeted higher price points in the
hardware alone could justify pixels
whenever the greatest value phones never
the best in terms of raw speed storage
capacity battery life or the like google
has always liked to pretend the normal
rules of hardware specs didn't apply to
them so whether the pixel three A's
unique combination of strengths make it
the best phone for the price is
certainly debatable for think it depends
on where you are in the world in markets
like India you can get a one plus seven
with higher specs fast software updates
and a comparable camera for much less
with me personally though if I was in
the market for something around the 399
mark in the US I'd have a hard time
recommending anything besides the pixel
3a Series that's it for now hit the
subscribe button for more pixel and
Android Q coverage coming soon and head
to android for a full
written review thanks for watching and
I'll see you next time


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