Google Pixel 3a XL review

In a marketplace ruled by Samsung and Apple, Google’s Pixel smartphones may not peak the category, but since their arrival in 2014 they have got no doubt introduced the purest and absolute best Android person revel in. No bloatware, no over-the-top Android skins, simply pure Google OS. 

At a most often quiet time of the 12 months, Google shocked everyone with the introduction of mid-tier fashions for the primary time. The latest additions are the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL – somewhat priced in an age where the best smartphones, comparable to the most recent Pixel Three and Pixel 3 XL flagships, frequently spoil the four-figure barrier. 

On check here is the bigger-screened Google Pixel 3a XL handset. And with many inherited flagship options, an inexpensive price tag and a 3.5mm jack, this is the Pixel for the people.


The Pixel 3a XL has more modest specs than its flagship sibling, the most obvious of which pertains to brainpower. It is run by Qualcomm’s mid-tier Snapdragon 670 processor rather than the top-tier chipset (the Snapdragon 845) discovered within the 3 XL. 

It replaces a glass frame for a plastic one, sports activities a rather smaller, lower-res and non-HDR OLED display screen, and swaps a dual front camera for a solo snapper. There is not any 128GB garage possibility, just a single 64GB model instead, even if that feels much less of a blow when you believe there’s limitless cloud garage thru Google Photos.

It’s fairer to focus on where the Pixel 3a XL rubs shoulders with its flagship sibling – and especially where it surpasses it. The 3a XL stocks its 4GB RAM, 12.2MP rear camera and Android 9.0 Pie OS, boasts a larger battery (3700mAh in comparison to 3430mAh) and sees the return of the three.5mm headphone jack.

Google Pixel 3a XL tech specifications

Display 6in OLED 

Headphone jack 3.5mm 

Internal storage 64GB

USB-C charging port Yes

OS Android 9.0 Pie

4000mAh battery


Google’s correct Pixel Imprint fingerprint scanner has additionally been carried into the more affordable fashions, and the unique two-tone end lives on. Dimensions are extra in sync, too, with the 3a XL only 2mm taller and slightly narrower (through 0.6mm).

Design-wise, that’s the place the similarities finish. Physically, the Pixel 3a XL indisputably seems like a cheaper handset, largely because of its plastic body. But it’s nicely lightweight with out feeling flimsy or simple to break, and of course there’s that top-end 3.5mm headphone jack that’s absent on the flagship gadgets.

The 3a XL reiterates Pixel phones’ recognition for pictures abilities. The 12.2MP snapper is able to capturing transparent, natural and colour-balanced photographs and, in both vibrant and low-lit environments they square up lovely neatly to those taken at the 3 XL.

There’s everything from the usual panorama, time lapse and slow motion choices to the extra gimmicky ‘Playground’ and ‘Photobooth’ modes. Worth a point out is ‘Top Shot’, which captures up to Ninety images from 1.Five seconds prior to and after the shutter press, enabling it to make a choice the most productive one from that moment.

Pixel’s ‘Night Sight’ mode for low-light stipulations manner snaps taken throughout a gig have much more exposure, with footage clearer, brighter and visibly noise-free.

The Google Lens function, which was once previewed for Pixel users last yr, is starting to are living up to its possible. You can level your digicam over a menu and it's going to stumble on the words and translate them into your selected language; you'll establish landmarks, plants and animals; and you'll be able to open up buying groceries suggestions for equivalent items detected in a body, or even scan barcodes.


Google’s Pixel USB-C earbuds, which come in the box of the Pixel 3s, are unsurprisingly, not bundled in the box here. We plug our Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 in-ears directly into the Pixel – no dongle required – and as we fire up Tidal we are met with a clean, clear sound that’s neatly balanced and somewhat detailed.

But the Pixel 3 lacks the refinement, excitement and class-leading subtlety of a Galaxy S10+ or iPhone XS, and we will be able to’t lend a hand but really feel slightly short-changed in this front with the 3a XL too. As we examine it to the three XL, we’re essentially listening to a familiar presentation but with moderately much less readability and insight. 

The National’s Quiet Light is full and lush, with a twang to the strings and heft to the drumbeat, but expectations regarding dynamics and punch, and subsequently eye-catching engagement, should be tempered. It instances like a dodgy watch, too, which does nothing to lend a hand its snatch of rhythms. Compared to the best competitors, the Pixel 3a XL comes 2d each and every time.


That isn’t the case with the 3a XL’s display, whose 6in OLED display with an above-Full-HD 2220 x 1080 answer is very a lot a winner. The dimension approach it’s perfect for looking at Netflix, and the crispness and coloration punch on offer simplest reiterates that. It is identical in tone to the Pixel 3 XL, simply without moderately the similar level of element nuance and coloration accuracy.

We watch football highlights on YouTube and participant shirts are a marginally overcooked when put next, whilst crowds are more sharply outlined during the 3 XL. Head over to Netflix to stream Grace & Frankie in HDR and the good thing about the 3 XL’s HDR make stronger over the 3a XL shines thru, though. 

It feels slick to navigate and the Android 9.0 Pie OS is its familiarly clean, less-is-more self. Even as we juggle duties comparable to streaming, web surfing and social media apps, and fill the home screen with downloaded apps, it runs easily and successfully. As for battery existence, an afternoon of medium-to-heavy usage nonetheless leaves us with round 30 in step with cent battery ultimate.


The Pixel 3a XL is considerably less expensive than the 3 XL, and possibly the space between the mid-tier and flagship models within the Pixel line will best widen additional in October when the next-gen Pixel Four successors is introduced.

For simply over part the cost of the Pixel 3 XL (and other flagship smartphones) you get lots of its options: an OLED display, a prime digicam and a continuing Android experience, plus the 3.5mm headphone jack and a good battery life. If best Google may toughen the Pixel sound, we’d have a flawless mid-market wonder.



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