The Google Pixel 3a camera really is as good as the flagship model

One of our favourite aspects of the Google Pixel 3a series is the manufacturer’s commitment to keeping the camera experience firmly in the upper echelons.

In our review, we heaped praise on the series for lowering the barrier of entry for anyone who wanted a fantastic camera on a smartphone, and its ability to outperform handsets that cost twice the price.

While there was a slight lag in the focusing and processing of images, we really couldn’t tell the difference between the results when placed side-by-side.

Our impressions of the camera have now been backed up by the DxOMark site  (via 9to5Google), which specialises in reviewing the cameras rocking our favourite handsets. It has released its score for the Pixel 3a.

It achieved a score of 100, only one point shy of the 101 score achieved by the Pixel 3 phone. To put that into context. it’s a score topped by only 15 smartphones ever, topping out at the 112 score offered to the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and Huawei P30 Pro.

Related: Google Pixel 3a vs Google Pixel 3

It’s also just one point shy of the camera score afforded to the iPhone XR smartphone from Apple, which at $749 is almost twice the price of the $399 Pixel 3a. In fact when it comes to photos, the 3a matches the Pixel 3 and the iPhone XR, the score is just dragged down a little by the video performance.

How has Google been able to achieve these heights while charging under $400 for the phone. Well the company has stuck with the same 12.2-megapixel single sensor, with a f.1.8 aperture lens and an optical image sensor. Much of Google’s camera magic comes in the back-end.

As mobile editor Max Parker points out: “Much of what makes Google’s cameras so impressive is the processing, rather than the actual hardware. You’ll find the same sensor on numerous other handsets, yet none of those come close to matching Pixels in terms of image quality.”

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