Google Pixel 3a review
A Pixel phone at half the price
Our Google Pixel 3a review finds a Pixel phone that is half the price on the original Pixel 3 and half the price of most premium smartphones. Priced from £399 (handset only), buying this mobile phone will ensure you are one of the first to get the latest features and one of the first to get the Android Q OS, upon its release.
There aren’t too many differences between the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a, so this really is a purchasing offer worth pondering upon.
High-resolution display and stereo speakers
The Google Pixel 3a has a 5.6” full-screen OLED display with FHD+ resolution (2,220x 1,080 pixels). You will enjoy a visual treat with superb contrast, deep blacks, and vibrant colours. The phone has an Always-on Display, so you can see crucial information and updates at a glance.
The phone is available in three colours; Just Black, Purple-ish, and Clearly White. The polycarbonate body is fairly thin at 8.2mm and very light at 147g. For video and music, there is a stereo speaker that fires sound forwards with great effect.
Android Sensor Hub
The Google Pixel 3a has a fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 2.0GHz octa-core processor with 4GB RAM. Of course, this is slightly less powerful than the one used on the Pixel 3, but you are unlikely to notice any difference.
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Google has used its Android Sensor Hub, a coprocessor that offloads the job of monitoring and processing sensor data from the main processor. This improves performance and power efficiency, which is fantastic news.
Phone Set Up
The Google Pixel 3a uses the Pixel Imprint fingerprint sensor and this is traditionally placed on the back face. Your personal data on the phone is protected by the Titan M security chip.
When you move your content over during setup, you will find a 64GB internal memory. There is no microSD card slot and hence no way to expand the memory. This shouldn’t be a concern however because of online cloud storage solutions, such as Google Photos and Google Drive.
The Android 9 Pie operating system brings with it the Google Assistant and with Active Edge you can simply squeeze the phone to activate the assistant. The Google Assistant can be used for many tasks such as finding answers, sending text messages, setting reminders, getting directions, playing music, and viewing your photos.
You will be one of the first to get new features as a Pixel owner. The phone comes with the guarantee that you will get 3 years of OS and security updates.
AR in Google Maps
If you navigate on foot, then you are in for a real treat with a preview of AR in Google Maps. Forget following a blue dot on a map and instead see turns overlaid on the real world.
When you approach junctions, the Pixel 3 prompts you to move the phone left or right. When the turn comes into view you will see three large arrows pointing right at the street you need to take.
Camera & Video
The Google Pixel 3a has a 12.2MP camera and Night Sight. Night Sight allows you to shoot in the dark without a flash while capturing unbelievable amounts of colour and detail.
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With Portrait Mode, the depth editor allows you to change the depth of field (background blur). It also lets you use features such as Colour Pop, which softens the background by reducing the amount of colour, all the way down to black and white.
The Google Pixel 3a can record video at 4K quality and an 8MP portrait camera is built-in for capturing selfies. Further camera features include:
- Top Shot
- Super Res Zoom
- Google Lens
- Motion Auto-Focus
Your photos are stored and backed up in Google Photos and with unlimited storage, at high quality, you can save all of your photos and videos.
All day power and fast charging
The Google Pixel 3a offers all-day power with a 3,000mAh battery that can last up to 30-hours. Working in the background is Adaptive Battery and this software learns the apps you like most and reduces the power consumption of those that you only occasionally use.
A fast 18W charger is included in the box and in just 15 minutes you can get up to 7 hours of battery.
Written by: Michael Brown