Pixel 3A XL evaluation: Every little thing you want in regards to the Pixel 3, however greater and cheaper

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Google is pivoting to an entire new pricing bracket. At its annual Google I/O convention Tuesday, the tech large introduced the Pixel 3A and Pixel 3A XL. Although they’ve final yr’s title, they’re certainly new telephones that function a extra budget-friendly variant of the corporate’s fundamental flagships, the Pixel 3 ($813 at Walmart) and Three XL.

Beginning at $399 and $479 (£399 and £469 within the UK, AU$649 and AU$799 in Australia), the telephones proceed to symbolize Google’s final expression of its cell working system, Android, which is the hottest OS on the earth. Although Google’s newest flagships are struggling to promote towards its Apple and Samsung rivals, which dominate the business, Google hopes to shake up its pricing mannequin and put extra Pixels in individuals’s fingers. In spite of everything, now that the Pixel 3A telephones are almost 50% cheaper than previous generations, the corporate can now appeal to a brand new set of consumers and in the end improve gross sales.

The Pixel 3A XL has the identical digital camera because the Pixel Three telephones, however Google stripped down a couple of of its key {hardware} specs. (For a extra in-depth take a look at the digital camera, take a look at CNET’s Pixel Three evaluation.) The Pixel 3A XL can be basically a bigger model of the Pixel 3A, so if you would like extra element on what’s new with each telephones, head to CNET’s Pixel 3A evaluation too.

Usually, the Pixel 3A XL does not have as a lot of the high-end {hardware} the unique Pixel 3s have, however Google nonetheless whipped up an incredible telephone. In comparison with the “price range” choices of its rivals just like the iPhone XR ($750 at Amazon) and the Galaxy S10E, the Pixel 3A XL does not have options akin to water resistance or wi-fi charging. However if you would like an enormous display, the most recent software program from Google and also you need to take improbable images — all at a couple of tons of of {dollars} lower than the opposite telephones — the Pixel 3A XL is the telephone to get.

In any other case, learn on for the TL;DR fundamental takeaways.

Pixel 3A and Pixel 3: Fundamental variations

  • The Pixel 3A is available in a brand new colour, “Purple-ish” (along with black and white)
  • It has a 3.5mm headphone jack
  • The Pixel 3A XL has a 3,700-mAh battery in comparison with the Pixel Three XL’s 3,430 mAh
  • It is out there via Verizon, T-Cellular, Dash and US Mobile. It really works on AT&T too, however you possibly can’t purchase it straight from the service. This is extra data on learn how to get the Pixel 3A
  • It doesn’t have wi-fi charging
  • It isn’t water-proof
  • It does not have a second wide-angle front-facing digital camera
  • It does not come bundled with PixelBuds earbuds
  • It has the much less highly effective Snapdragon 670 chipset
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The Pixel Three XL (left) and the brand new Pixel 3A XL.


Angela Lang/CNET

Pixel 3A XL has a well-recognized design

Other than the Pixel 3A XL’s polycarbonate physique (as an alternative of the unique glass design) and lack of an on-screen notch, each telephones appear and feel almost similar. However the Pixel 3A XL has a decrease, 1080p decision. I did not see a distinction although with my bare eye when watching YouTube movies or studying information articles. You will need to view each shows below a magnifying glass in the event you actually need to hunt for, say, aliasing with textual content on the Pixel 3A XL.

The Pixel 3A XL’s display additionally makes use of a special sort of OLED show that options glass as its base layer as an alternative of plastic. At instances, the Pixel 3A XL seems to be punchier. Reds, yellows and oranges are hotter and whites look brighter. In distinction, the Pixel Three XL’s display is bluer and regardless of being the extra high-end gadget, it has rather more apparent colour shift.

Just like the Pixel Three XL, you possibly can nonetheless launch Google Assistant or silence an incoming name by squeezing the telephone’s sides. Be aware that you would be able to’t reprogram the squeeze to do anything. As well as, the telephone has stereo audio system, and the underside audio speaker moved from the chin to the underside fringe of the telephone.

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The Pixel 3A XL (prime) technically has a smaller show attributable to its lack of a notch.


Angela Lang/CNET

Pixel 3A XL digital camera: Similar killer low-light images

As a result of the Pixel 3A XL has the identical digital camera the Pixel 3, picture high quality remains to be wonderful. (In actual fact, the Pixel Three was our prime Android telephone of 2018 primarily based on its digital camera prowess, although it is going through stiff competitors now from the Huawei P30 Professional, which is prime to this point this yr.) Photographs are clear, vibrant and vibrant, and you’ll nonetheless modify the main focus and blur of your bokeh portraits. The digital camera additionally has the devoted low-light mode Evening Sight, in addition to Tremendous Excessive Res for zooming into objects and High Shot, which suggests one of the best picture out of a sequence.

One new characteristic is time-lapse video. You may set your frames to file at varied time intervals and there is a helpful indicator that denotes how lengthy your video might be in actual time. To save lots of battery, the viewfinder can even dim after a while, whereas the telephone remains to be recording. Usually, time-lapse movies had been clear and regular, however the high quality is not nearly as good because the iPhone XR. In a single video I shot in a darkened cocktail celebration, footage on the Pixel 3A was muddier and grainier in comparison with the iPhone XR. The time-lapse additionally regarded jerkier or extra “pulsating” than on the iPhone ($1,000 at Amazon).

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