When it comes to design, the last company to wow anyone has been Google with its pixel phones. Although some adore the minimalist looks of Google Phones, some just straight out hate it for any lack of spark and ‘boring design’. Things might be changing with the expectation of the Pixel 4, but for now Google has decided to get itself a few more months by introducing a budget-friendly pixel device, the Pixel 3a.


Same old, same old is the case here with the new Pixel being a slight overhaul compared to the original Pixel 3. The main distinguishing factor would be the absence of the peculiarly large notch; however, the chin and bezels are still large and it comes to show how inexperienced google is in the design department.

The display is Full HD+ and OLED, with a resolution of 2220 x 1080, and because of the relatively small screen size the pixels per inch count is rather high at 441. These specs combine to make the screen more than adequate to use for a variety of features – it’s not as impressive as the Pixel 3, with a rather limited max brightness and weaker colour reproduction, but it’s still a step above the displays on other phones at this price point.


This one department is where Google’s software maturity shines brightest. The camera of the Pixel phone has always been commended for its excellent skills and is probably the best in the market. The Pixel 3a has similar camera setup: 12.2MP f/1.8 single rear snapper and 8MP front-facing camera are the same, although the latter isn’t joined by the second, wide-angle selfie snapper found on the Pixel 3.

The lack of an image processing chip makes the image processing weaker to the Pixel 3, but that is understood given the price point.


The Google Pixel 3a runs on a Snapdragon 670 chipset, which is a noticeable downgrade from the Pixel 3’s Snapdragon 845, and it’s evident when you’re using the phone – the interface feels a little bit slower to navigate, apps take a tiny bit longer to load, and it takes longer for the phone to spring to life when you put your finger on the fingerprint sensor.


Saying that, the processor was adept when it came to playing games, running PUBG Mobile on the highest graphical settings with a high frame rate and level of detail, so the weaker chipset isn’t a deal-breaker if gaming is a big part of your daily routine.

When it comes to battery life, Keeping the Pixel 3a ticking over is its 3,000mAh battery, which is fairly small as power packs go, although it’s a little bit better than the Pixel 3’s 2,915mAh battery. In practice this was enough to see us through the day, although it didn’t have much charge left towards the evening, and it felt like the battery life was a step above the Pixel 3’s, likely both due to the bigger battery and less demanding chipset on the newer device.

Another Pixel 3 feature which the Pixel 3a doesn’t get is wireless charging – instead, you’re going to have to rely on the Pixel 3a’s 18W charging, which took roughly half an hour to charge the phone up 25%, however we did miss the ease and versatility that wireless charging represents.

All-in-all, this might become a really famous phone for Google as it enables the budget market to enjoy the latest goodies that latest versions of android have to offer and since this would be a Pixel device, it will always be first in line.


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