Pixel 3a: Release date, price, colours and specs
Google has officially unveiled its hotly anticipated cheaper line of Pixel smartphones: the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. They’re essentially less powerful versions of the flagship Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, and cost hundreds of pounds less too.
Read on for everything you need to know about Google’s latest smartphone line, including price, release details and what the 3a will bring to the table.
Pixel 3a review – What’s our view?
We’ve spent five days reviewing the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL devices, and you can read our extended impressions here.
- Is this the best cheap phone? Google Pixel 3a review: hands on
- Or should you spend more and get the XL: Google Pixel 3a XL review hands on
Pixel 3a release date − Where can you buy the Pixel 3a in the UK?
You can purchase the Pixel 3a right now, through the Google Store, Carphone Warehouse, Currys PC World, EE, Argos and Mobile Phones Direct.
Pixel 3a price
The Pixel 3a costs £399, while the larger Pixel 3a XL will set you back £469.
For that, you get 64GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM − that’s the only configuration available. Sadly, neither the 3a nor the 3a XL offer expandable storage.
Google has a lot riding on the 3a, with Ruth Porat, the CFO of Alphabet, recently admitting that the Pixel 3 isn’t selling as well as its predecessor, because of “recent pressures in the premium smartphone market”.
Pricing, ahem, may have also been a factor. Google’s Pixel 3 launched last year with a £739 price tag (the Pixel 3 XL had a starting price of £869 at launch), which was a big step up over the previous generation Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, which had starting prices of £629 and £799.
Pixel 3a colours
You have a choice of three colour schemes for both the Pixel 3a and its XL sibling: ‘Just Black’, ‘Clearly White’, and ‘Purple-ish’.
As its name suggests, the third option is actually not very purple at all. It almost looks like a white Pixel that’s had a little too much contact with a new pair of jeans. That’s not to say it doesn’t look nice. It’s just not purple.
Pixel 3a specs
Screen, size and battery aside, the Pixel 3a and 3a XL are identical. But let’s start with the differences.
The Pixel 3a is the smaller of the two handsets, featuring a notchless 5.6-inch, 2220 x 1080 OLED display (~441ppi) with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio and curved corners. It measures in at 151.3 x 70.1 x 8.2mm and weighs 147g.
The Pixel 3a XL’s OLED display is also notchless and curved at the corners, but measures in at 6 inches. It has an aspect ratio of 18:9 and a 2160 x 1080 resolution (~402ppi). It comes in at 160.1 x 76.1 x 8.2mm and 167g.
The regular Pixel 3a is loaded with a 3000mAh battery, while the larger 3a XL has a 3700mAh cell. Both handsets support fast charging through the 18W adapter included in the box, with Google claiming you’ll get up to seven hours of use from a 15-minute blast.
The 3a duo are powered by Qualcomm’s mid-range Snapdragon 670 processor and, as mentioned above, the only configuration available for both the 3a and 3a XL is 4GB of RAM and 64GB of (non-expandable) storage.
Both phones are clad in plastic rather the the glass and metal of Google’s flagship Pixel line, but they still look a lot like the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. There’s that familiar two-tone rear, as well as fairly chunky bezels and a hefty chin and forehead above and below the display.
Read more: Best Android phones
The Pixel 3a and 3a XL are equipped with a single 12.2-megapixel rear camera and a single 8-megapixel front-facing camera. Google has also brought its Night Sight, Top Shot, Portrait Mode, and Motion Auto Focus tricks to the party.
The Pixel 3 is one of the best camera phones we’ve ever come across, and we’re hopeful that the 3a will live up to the name. Our first impressions have been promising.
Both handsets also run a pure version of Android 9 Pie, and feature stereo speakers, Active Edge squeeze support, a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and a headphone jack. There’s no waterproofing, so treat them with care.
Are you tempted by the Pixel 3a or Pixel 3a XL? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.