Here’s what to expect from the new Google Pixel 3a series

Now that Google have seen their high-end Pixel 3 (and its XL iteration) become one of the front-running smartphones of the past 12 months, the company have released their mid-range expression: the Google Pixel 3a.

The “a” series, which also has an XL version, aims for a similar experience to one of the best smartphones on the market, just at a much more accessible price point. Released in Australia this week, the device starts at AU$649, which easily positions it as one of the best valued smartphones to date, especially when considering the features included.

The Pixel 3a sports a 5.6 inch OLED display with 2220 x 1080 res, while the XL model bumps that up to 6 inches and 2160 x 1080. They are both using the efficient Android 9 Pie, and both come with 4GB RAM and a Snapdragon 670, which is slightly lesser from the 845 found under the hood of the 3 and 3 XL. Storage options are 64GB or 128GB.

You’ll find no difference in the camera set-up across both devices, which means a 12.2MP on the rear and 8MP on the front. Like the 3, the biggest value here will be in computational photography, with a complicated AI system that has proven to work incredibly well when it comes to sharpening and enhancing photos, especially in low-light situations (yes, Night Sight is included).

The Pixel 3’s excellent battery life will also carry over to its mid-range brethren, seeing as the 3a has a sturdy 3,000mAh battery and the XL has a 3,700mAh battery. That should amount to around 30 hours on a full charge.

Notably, the devices come with a headphone jack, which for the past few years has been a sorely missed feature on current gen devices. Those who don’t mind the slightly chunkier body and plastic construction should easily forgive the regression if it means better convenience where audio experience is concerned.

Aside from a downgraded Qualcomm chipset, lack of waster resistance and wireless charging, and a plastic design which is less premium, but still very attractive, those opting for the cheaper 3a series are definitely not going to be missing much.

The Google Pixel 3a will set you back AU $649 while the XL comes in at AU $799. Both are available in Australia now.

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy-Editor-At-Large of the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.