As expected, Google is launching a line of mid-range phones with many of the same features available on the company’s Pixel flagships.

The Google Pixel 3a is available starting today for $399 and up.

While the phones lack some of the premium design features of their pricier siblings, they have the same high-quality cameras, unlimited Google Photos backup of pictures taken with those cameras, and support for three years of OS and security updates.

They also have headphone jacks — something Google has dropped from its high-end phones.

The Google Pixel 3a with a 5.6 inch display has a starting price of $399, while a Pixel 3a XL with a 6 inch screen starts at $479.

Both models feature Google’s Titan M security chips, support for activating Google Assistant by squeezing the sides of the phone, and support for Google Assistant Call Screen, which helps you avoid robocalls by showing information before you pick up the phone.

Google says one of its goals for these phones was to offer many of the same features available on its high-end Pixel smartphones on devices that could sell for about half the price.

Case in point: Like Google’s Pixel 3, the Pixel 3a has a high-quality 12MP rear camera with support for features including Super Res Zoom and Night Sight. And there’s support for a software-based Portrait Mode (with a blurred background) whether you’re using the rear camera or the lower-resolution front-facing camera.

The Google Pixel 3a will also support Time Lapse camera mode, which is a new feature coming to all Pixel smartphones including the Pixel, Pixel 2, and Pixel 3 as well as the new mid-range models.

And also like Google’s flagship Pixel phones, the Pixel 3a supports AR in Google Maps, providing real-time walking directions with big blue and white arrows that show the way as you move about your environment.

Google says adaptive battery features allow the phones to get up to 30 hours of battery life, and the Pixel 3a can get 7 hours of battery life from a 15 minute charge thanks to 18 watt fast charging.

The Pixel 3a comes in three colors: black, white, and purple-ish (light purple).

As usual, you can get the Pixel 3a from the Google Store, Project Fi, or Verizon… but for the first time you’ll also be able to get the phone directly from other US wireless carriers including T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular.

Notably absent from that list? AT&T. But there’s nothing stopping you from buying an unlocked Pixel 3a and using it with AT&T’s network.

The phone will also be available starting today in Europe, Australia, Taiwan, and Singapore.

Here’s a run-down of the specs for the new mid-range Pixel phones:

Google Pixel 3a

  • 5.6 inch, 2220 x 1080 pixel OLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB of storage
  • 12.2MP Sony IMX363 camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 3.5mm audio jack + stereo speakers (bottom-facing)
  • USB Type-C
  • Rear fingerprint sensor
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon X12 LTE modem (600Mbps down/150 Mbps up)
  • 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and GPS
  • 3,000 mAh battery

Google Pixel 3a XL

  • 6 inch, 2160 x 1080 pixel OLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB of storage
  • 12.2MP Sony IMX363 camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 3.5mm audio jack + stereo speakers (bottom-facing)
  • USB Type-C
  • Rear fingerprint sensor
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon X12 LTE modem (600Mbps down/150 Mbps up)
  • 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and GPS
  • 3,700 mAh battery

Aside from the mid-range processors, how are these phones different from the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL?

  • They have plastic bodies instead of glass backs.
  • They don’t support wireless charging.
  • They’re not waterproof.
  • They don’t support Daydream VR.
  • The front cameras aren’t wide angle (and don’t support Group Selfie mode).
  • They have Dragontrail tempered glass rather than Gorilla Glass.

But those tradeoffs seem pretty reasonable for a phone that’s half the price of a Pixel 3, but which has the same stellar photography features and the same 3 years of software updates delivered directly by Google.

via Google Blog

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21 replies on “Google unveils Pixel 3a smartphones, priced at $399 and up”

    1. The headphone jack is in exactly the same place it was on the original Pixel. It’s fine.

        1. “Sorry, this comment no longer possible to edit”

          Why do I get this? All the time. @Brad? Thanks!

          1. It’s to help prevent comment spam — spammers can leave an innocuous comment and then come back later and change into a bunch of links to spammy websites. I just lengthened the amount of time you have to edit a comment a bit though, which should help a bit though.

  1. I am really curious, if the fixed mics with this generation.
    Anyone knows if it finaly records stereo sound?

  2. Time to wait for Xiaomi A3 series, much better option for Android One phone.

    1. As expected, the prices outside of USA are ridiculous.

      I can either choose to get the Pixel 3AXL, or a Samsung S10e.

      They’re equal when it comes to offering a headphone jack, battery life and accessories. However one of them has a slightly better front-firing stereo loudspeakers, better drop/durability, and a decent software support….
      ….the other has more storage, a microSD slot, more RAM, faster processor, more efficient SoC, proper water-resistance, better screen, arguably better camera, and better customer service.

      I guess the Google/HTC Pixel 3a/3aXL gives the OnePlus 7 a run for its money, which is necessary to make the OnePlus either cheaper or a flagship-device (waterproofing, USB 3.1, big battery, etc etc). However, Xiaomi is still the leader with the Mi A1/A2/A3 line for a budget stock android phone.

        1. In Australia the Samsung S10e is AU$840 (cheaper if subsidized by contract), whereas the Google Pixel 3XLa is AU$799.

          And that’s with the stupid markups we get here, there’s a much bigger/balanced market in Europe, and the S10e will see more frequent discounts and lower prices (high supply, moderate demand).

          However, the Google Pixel devices don’t get cheaper/discounted in Europe or Australia, since the price isn’t dictated by the market, but almost completely controlled by Google. It’s not surprising to see the Google Pixel 3 actually more expensive than the Samsung S10, or the Pixel 2 to the Samsung S9, or the Pixel 1 to the Samsung S8.

        1. The Pocophone is definitely for other people, not me. It has a lot of RAM and a high end CPU, with a mediocre screen. If I were to make compromises, I’d go the other way. Midrange specs, but better screen and camera. Check out my post on European BQ phones just below this one!

    2. Speaking of the previous Xiaomi A2, it’s definitely a much more budget phone than the Pixel 3a XL (which is of the two new Google phones sharing its screen size) with a more budget camera and a definitely much more budget screen. It doesn’t have headphone jack, but the Pixels traditionally have it on the wrong side anyway (see my other posts about it), so it’s a tie.

      Any love for BQ phones here? https://www.bq.com/en/landing-gama-x2

      The X2 and X2 pro just came out a year ago, so the release of an updated X3 is effectively imminent. I’ve read somewhere they have the best LCD screens for almost any Android phone(?). They have the headphone jack on the right side. They (especially the X2) definitely compete in price more with the Xiaomi A2 than with the Pixel 3a series. What do you know about the Xiaomi A3?

      1. Crippled? I’d wager fewer than 1% of all users even get close to using 64GB of phone storage these days. Hell, I’d wager not many more than that have ever used up 32GB on a phone.

        1. As the owner of a Xiaomi Mi A2 phone, I can tell you 32GB of storage is an issue. I’d probably live happily with 64GB storage though.

      2. The only Nexus/Pixel phone with an SD card slot was the Nexus One, released in 2010. “No expansion” is Google policy; there was never any chance this phone would have a card slot.

      3. I don’t know about others, but I carry about 100 GB worth of files on my phone. This is in addition to the apps and OS. Sorry, 64 GB doesn’t cut it. Removing the microSD card slot wasn’t necessary. I suspect it was more of a Marketing decision than an Engineering one.

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