According to GSMArena, Pixel 3a XL is Google’s attempt to return to the affordable high-end smartphone portfolio. After capturing users with the Nexus line, Google moved into the super premium segment with the launch of the first Pixel phone in 2016.
Since then, the company has always received “disgruntled” feedback from users. They claim that Google shifts from something that users can access to something that primarily serves as a marketing medium.
However, Pixel 3a XL is not Nexus. What we have here is not an affordable high-end smartphone, which is what Nexus has shown in the past. Instead, what we’re getting is a discounted version of the Pixel 3 that was launched last year at a lower price, respectively.
Google Pixel 3a XL specifications
- Body: Unibody polycarbonate, Asahi Dragontrail, Black, White, Purple
- Screen: 6.0 inch, resolution 2160 x 1080, 402PPI, 18: 9, OLED, support feature always-on display
- Rear camera: Sony IMX363, 12.2MP f1.8, dual-pixel autofocus, OIS, dual LED flash, 4K video
- Front camera: 8MP f2.0, fixed focus, 1080p video
- Software: Android 9 Pie
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 670, 2.0GHz + 1.7GHz, Adreno 615, module Titan M Security
- Memory: 64GB memory UFS 2.1, RAM 4GB LPDDR4X
- Battery: 3700mAh, fast charging USB-PD 18W
- Connection: Single SIM / eSIM, LTE-A, 3xCA, DL 4×2 / 2×2 MIMO, download CAT 11 600Mbps, upload CAT 5 75MBps, Wi-Fi 2.4 + 5GHz 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0 + LE, NFC, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, USB-C 2.0, 3.5mm audio
- Misc: Stereo speakers, capacitive fingerprint sensor, Active Edge pressure sensor, YouTube Music Premium registration package for 3 months.
The price is 400 USD for Pixel 3a and 480 USD for Pixel 3a XL, only half compared to Pixel 3/3 XL (800 USD / 900 USD). What do we have to trade to get this price?
There are compromises in design, slower processors and one of the front cameras is missing along with a few other things. On paper, that doesn’t seem so bad, especially when Google moved the rear main camera of Pixel 3 to Pixel 3a. The software experience is exactly the same, with almost every feature announced for the Pixel 3 available on the new device.
It seems this is a fair tradeoff. But how do users want to use this device daily? And how to compete in the high-end mid-range smart phone market even more fiercely than the flagship segment, especially when OnePlus is about to launch new products at the same price but part More prominent hard?
Open the box Google Pixel 3A XL
Pixel 3a XL packaging is almost the same as the more expensive Pixel 3 XL. Both come with USB-Power Delivery 18W fast charger with USB-C 2.0 cable, USB-C adapter to USB-A and headphones. While Pixel 3 XL comes with Pixel USB-C headset, Pixel 3a XL comes with standard in-ear headsets with 3.5mm connectors.
Neither Pixel 3a nor 3a XL comes with a protective case in the case. Google will sell the case with fabric material for Pixel 3a XL.
Design Google Pixel 3A XL
Pixel 3a XL has the same design language as the Pixel 3 series. Along the back, we see a two-tone finish that comes with a color power button on the side.
Pixel 3a XL is about the same size as the Pixel 3 XL but a bit shorter and thinner. Pixel 3a XL is nearly 20g lighter than its predecessor.
While all previous Pixel smartphones use different metal and glass combinations for the camera body, the Pixel 3a XL phone is the first product made of polycarbonate. The entire back and sides are an unibody shell but with a two-tone finish to give it the familiar look of the Pixel series. At first glance, it’s hard to distinguish any difference and only when we examine it more closely can we know that the back is plastic.
Although it is definitely effective in deceiving you into thinking it is metal or glass but slightly disappointed when Google uses polycarbonate in this price range. Almost all phones in this price range today use aluminum or glass for their bodies; In fact, some phones in the much lower price range have also used metal and glass.
The plastic is definitely more durable in some cases than both metal and glass. It will not break when you drop the phone like a glass and is not concave or bent like metal. However, plastic is a soft material, so it is more easily scratched than metal and glass.
Moreover, Pixel 3a XL also has no water or dust resistance compared to its more expensive sibling, so that is another factor affecting the durability of the device.
But so far, the biggest problem with design is on the front. Despite the lack of long-eared rabbit ears like two predecessors, Pixel 3a XL has thick screen edges like devices from 2016.
Although the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are not new in 2018, but for a phone in 2019, most publishers have tried to remove the screen border at the highest possible level. At first glance, this phone looks like you have a three-year device in hand and is not something that has just been released.
In other design changes, the speaker is now moved to the bottom of the phone. This does not affect performance much, but it makes it easier to cover the speakers.
One thing we want Google to change is the layout of the power and volume buttons. Google still “persists” to choose to hold the power button above the volume buttons, which makes the power button hard to reach with your right thumb when you hold the phone in portrait mode and hard volume buttons Go to your left index finger when you hold the phone in landscape mode. This awkward layout also makes it difficult to take a screen shot with one hand. Every other OEM puts the buttons in the right direction or on either side of the phone.
Overall, the design has a big step back from the more expensive Pixel 3 phones. Google seems to have been unaware of the time that has passed since their last Nexus release and the progress has happened since then. In addition, the competitive mobile market is getting tougher and consumers know it.
Screen Google Pixel 3A XL
Pixel 3a XL has an 6-inch OLED screen, 2160x1080px resolution. The screen is protected by Asahi Dragontrail glass rather than Corning Gorilla Glass used on more expensive Pixels.
Compared to Pixel 3 XL screen, Pixel 3a XL screen is slightly shorter and has a much lower resolution. It also lacks HDR10 video support and is only suitable for regular videos.
However, the screen on Pixel 3a XL is great. It has reasonable brightness when outdoors and indoors.
It has good viewing angles and does not show any strip, black or dirty screen effects. Color accuracy in standard sRGB mode is also at the best in the industry and also supports DCI-P3 content.
The lack of HDR is a small defect, but remember there is currently little HDR content for users to experience. The YouTube application can simulate it in software but looks no different from the SDR version.
The screen on Pixel 3a XL also overcomes a major annoying problem with the Pixel 3 XL screen, which is a touch-related incident. Pixel 3 XL display has immediate sensitivity to the edge of the glass, making it easy to trigger accidental touches all the time, making users uncomfortable to use. Pixel 3a XL has no such problem.
Overall, the screen on Pixel 3a XL is one of the best screens you can find on any phone today. However, although the rabbit ears are removed, the screen border is too thick to be the minus point of the device.
Software Google Pixel 3A XL
Pixel 3a XL runs on Android 9.0 and is currently in the March security update, while Pixel 3 XL has an April patch. It is likely that Google will update this device with the May security patch in the coming days.
Speaking of software experience, Pixel 3a XL is closer to the more expensive Pixel 3 XL. First of all, you get the same Android experience with some of Google’s added services and features.
One of these features is the Active Edge, which allows you to squeeze your phone to activate Google Assistant. You also get “Call Screen”, a revolutionary new feature that can answer calls on your behalf (only available in the US and Canada). Digital Wellbeing keeps track of your phone usage. Wind Down will automatically turn on Do not disturb mode at night and rotate the gray scale screen so you don’t abuse your phone before going to sleep. Finally, a notable name is Flip to Shhh, which allows you to activate the DND mode by simply flipping the phone and holding the phone face down.
Although Google has some smart features in the operating system, they prevent users by cramming dozens of gimmicks into every corner of the installed application. The basics are here, along with a few extra features and if you want more (there’s always an application that meets your needs).
This gives you more control over the applications and features available on your device and only the things you really want or need.
Needless to say, this will not appeal to everyone but it provides a clean, no-messy user experience and is always easier to add than remove it.
Google has made some minor cuts with Pixel 3a XL. First, you no longer receive unlimited backups, no photos and videos compressed on Google Photos. It is still unlimited, but can no longer be compressed. Secondly, Pixel 3a XL also does not support Duplex, the Google Assistant feature can make voice calls on your behalf to make an appointment or make a reservation.
Also, and this is more hardware issue, the great tactile feedback introduced with Pixel 3 devices has also been downgraded a bit. It works similarly on Pixel 3 devices, but the feedback itself is no longer a light knock, but a sharp jerk every time you press the button. It is clear that the vibration engine on Pixel 3a XL is not as complicated as on Pixel 3 XL.
However, the software experience on Pixel 3a XL is still one of the best of any Android smartphone.
Efficiency Google Pixel 3A XL
Pixel 3a XL uses Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor, 4 GB RAM and 64 GB memory capacity. This is the first time we’ve seen a mid-range chipset on Google smartphones, since the company always uses the best available at the time for all previous Pixels as well as Nexus phones.
When it comes to composite benchmarks, Pixel 3a XL is predictable for a mid-range chipset. They are mediocre numbers and it is hard to expect much from the 600 series chipset.
However, if there was ever a good example of how false benchmark data might be, Google Pixel 3a XL is the case. We have known for many years that when it comes to software optimization, Google engineers can rank second in the Android smartphone world. However, we have never really had the opportunity to really appreciate it because the phone is always running top processors.
With Pixel 3a XL, software optimization really shines. According to GSMArena reporter, after a few days of trial use of the phone (they were pre-sent by Google), they said it was impossible to distinguish Pixel3 XL from the more expensive (running significantly more powerful processor).
The level of optimization here is huge; It seems that Google engineers have tried to exert all the power that the Snapdragon 670 can have and bring experience that sometimes goes far beyond some of the more powerful Android phones out there. Launch applications, scrolls and practical multitasking are perfect. Even in the Camera app – and we will discuss the following image quality – Pixel 3a XL is shooting as fast as the more powerful ixel XL. Pixel 3a XL takes about half a second to process and save HDR + images. This is despite the fact that Pixel 3a XL lacks Pixel Visual Core image processor found on Pixel 3 XL.
Gaming performance is also good. GSMArena tried some popular games and Pixel 3a XL works as well as any flagship. Most Android games are optimized for medium to low-end devices and therefore high-end devices often don’t really benefit from high-end graphics GPUs. Pixel 3a XL has no problem with these games, the big screen and stereo speakers mean it’s quite fun to play games.
The only real knot with performance is memory. Like the more expensive model, Google once again equipped Pixel 3a XL with 4GB of RAM. With a few applications, the phone will manage well but when you start opening a few more times you will see the phone struggling to keep previously opened applications in memory.
In addition, we are really impressed with how well Pixel 3a XL is used in everyday tasks. We just hope the device will be able to maintain this performance for at least a few years from now.
Article reference from: GSMArena