Google announce more budget-focused Pixel 3a

To say we saw these coming, is almost like saying ‘we think the sky is blue’, as let’s not forget, Google ain’t exactly been that great at keeping secrets. Just like the flagship, the new more budge focused Pixel 3a, leaked everywhere, but, now it’s here, we can finally evaluate just what you get for quite a decent price!

£399 for a Pixel camera alone is pretty nice.

One of the biggest problems with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL … other than a myriad of hardware problems, was of course the price, and remains so. Asking iPhone and Galaxy flagship prices for a Pixel Smartphone just isn’t plausible, but Google keep doing it anyway. It’s not even that Google’s phones are necessarily that bad, but not only are the iPhones and Galaxys of the world far more refined, they’re way more refined and definitely feel like the price.

If you were hoping for some drastic redesign for the Pixel 3a, versus the traditional Pixel 3, loosen those expectations right now … they look the same. In fact, the 3 and 3a, from a distance, are, almost, indistinguishable. The same 5.8 inch sized display, though be it slightly lower end OLED panel, but still nice to see OLED for this price point, and plastics instead of glass, but based on how awful the Pixel 3 devices are after maybe one touch, that’s a bigger plus than minus to us.

The Pixel 3a, also has a larger variant, the Pixel 3a XL, however no notch in sight, simply a 6.2 inch variant of the same Pixel 3a, which we’re actually a big fan of, for that reason.

Pixel 3a comes in Black, White and an awful pinky purple colour, whilst the larger Pixel 3a XL comes in just Black and White, and are available in 64GB for £399, or £469 respectively. Some retailers are even offering a free Chromebook with an order of a Pixel 3a, which is pretty incredible considering the already low price for these things.

Still a Pixel

There’s two things any Pixel owner will brag about when it comes to a Pixel vs any other Android phone, software and Camera, and what’s pretty incredible about the Pixel 3a, is it keeps both them things, and more;

  • 12 megapixel rear (same sensor) Camera with Google’s amazing HDR+
  • Night Sight, which for this price is incredible
  • 3 years of guaranteed software and security updates direct from Google
  • Clean, pure Android

The sacrifices

Of course it’s not all blue skies and rainbows, Google are selling a Pixel device at £399, it’s only natural to think, what gives. Well, quite a few things.

We’ve already mentioned the fully plastic design, but there’s more, that display is not Gorilla Glass protected, uses a lower grade OLED production model, and is still 1080 wide even on the XL model. The gap between the display and bezel are also considerably larger and more uneven, and whilst their is a front facing wide angle 8 megapixel front Camera, which is actually really good, there’s no secondary super wide like the Pixel 3 flagships.

Then there’s the real test, the processor. The fact that we had performance issues with a Snapdragon 845 equipped Pixel 3, worries us greatly when it comes to a Snapdragon 670 in a Pixel 3a, which itself is backed up by the same 4GB of RAM as it’s flagship cousin. We’re not gonna say this won’t go about the daily lives of any average consumer all fine, but, just expect the unexpected on Pixel devices (though we got this on the 3 as well), a bit of lag and stutter, and possible wait times, in many areas.

Summary

Despite it’s ups and downs, we are being obviously critical, though overall, we’re actually pretty impressed with the Pixel 3a. The bigger picture of where this device lives in the Smartphone market is pretty incredible, I mean, remember, this is cheaper than a OnePlus, offers clean Android experience with guaranteed off the shelf updates for 3 years, and one of the industries most loved Cameras for a really good price, so, as an overall package, we can’t complain too much about the Pixel 3a.

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