Google Pixel 3a was announced at I/O 2019. It is the trimmed down version of the flagship phone Pixel 3 that was launched last year in October. We get a chance to spend some time on the phone. So let’s see how the phone performs and looks and is it worth to buy it.
Design and Display
The look and feel wise phone appears similar to Pixel 3. It has got a unibody design, a polycarbonate back with glossy shade and matte finish. The phone is very light and compact and measures only 151.3 * 70.1 * 8.2 mm and weighs 148 gm. The phone is available in three colors including Black, Clearly White and Purple-ish.
At the front, the phone features a 5.6-inch display. But the front-panel has got very thick bezels at the top and bottom. The screen is protected with an AGC Dragontrail strengthened glass, unlike Corning Gorilla Glass which Google used in their flagship phone Pixel 3A.
At the right side of the phone, there is a volume rocker button and power On/Off button. At the top, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack while USB-C port at the bottom of the device. There’s only one front-facing speaker instead of two in Pixel 3. At the back, there is a fingerprint sensor to unlocking the phone.
One of the most useful features of the Google Pixel 3 is Active Edge, which lets you squeeze the edges of the handset to summon Google Assistant, and this is also present on the Pixel 3a. The phone lacks IP68 rating that means, it means the phone is not dust and water resistant.
Google Pixel 3a would have a 5.6-inch display with a resolution of 1080 x 2220 pixels and 441 PPI (Pixel per Inch). The display is not as good as Pixel 3. It gets reasonably bright outdoors and also sufficiently dim indoors. With a peak of 401 nits, this display comes in well below the 488-nit average. The phone also lacks HDR10 video support and is suited only for regular videos.
If you try to watch anything on a bright sunny day with maximum brightness then also you will face a problem and complain.
Processor and Performance
The phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor with Adreno 615 Graphics coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage. Despite cheap variant, Google optimized its processor pretty well. At odd time phone lags but overall it performs smooth and snappy. You will notice lag problem While playing games for longer duration and using camera app too much. The camera app takes around 2-3 seconds to launch which is a bit longer if we consider other phones in the same price range like OnePlus 7 Pro or Galaxy S10e.
The phone comes with only 4GB RAM so it is not fast enough. You will absolutely notice it when you’re opening an app for the first time in a while because it will take a second or so longer to load than it would on more expensive phones.
The overall benchmark scores for the phone is above average. It scored a total of 5,199 for multicore and 1,632 for the single core in the system-wide Geekbench 4 test. For 3DMark Ice Storm test, it scored 27,084.
In terms of optics, the phone features a single camera of 12.2MP with an f/1.8 aperture. On the front, it features an 8MP camera sensor for selfies and video calling. Pixel 3A lacks Google’s custom Pixel Visual Core processor, so it has to do its image processing on the main CPU and GPU. You could observe the difference when trying to save the photo and view it in a gallery, it will take 2-3 seconds to open the save image. Pixel 3A camera includes many features including Night Sight, dancing AR cartoons, Top Shot, and the new Timelapse feature coming to all Pixel phones.
Quality wise we could not able to find too much difference between Pixel 3A and flagship Pixel 3. On broad daylight, the photo looks clear and natural. But the camera quality does not compete with phones like Huawei P30Pro and Galaxy S10. Even when you take portrait images, the depth-of-field effect and blur are spot on.
The picture clicked in low-light with Night sight are gorgeous. The colors are brightened – thanks to Google’s image processing algorithm – with no noise and a slight flare. The overall images look balanced and bright. Pixel 3a also gets a new feature called time-lapse video where you can set frames to record at various intervals. The videos shot on Pixel 3a, in general, were clear and steady.
The Pixel 3a has a 3000mAh battery inside it. Google has optimized its battery very well. It will last all day if you are a regular user. In fact, in our test, it showed that Pixel 3A battery lasted longer than Pixel 3. The battery easily lasts 14-15 hours for a moderate user.
One negative point about the Pixel 3A is that it doesn’t come with wireless charging. But it does have an 18W fast charging support, which took about an hour and a half to charge the phone to full, although it gives you 7 hours of battery life with just 15 minutes of fast charging.
At the launch, the Google Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL are running Android 9 Pie but later this year they will get the Android Q update when the next version of Android arrives.
The phone comes with 3 months free subscription to YouTube Music. The phone comes with a Call Screen feature, which is powered by artificial intelligence to deal with unidentified callers. The phone also features a Digital Wellbeing which keeps track of your phone usage and helps you bring it down.
The Pixel 3A is priced at Rs. 39,999 ($399). The smartphone is available exclusively via Flipkart in Black and White color options.