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Review Google Pixel 3a XL 4/64 GB


Google Pixel 3a

SPECIFICATION

NETWORK
Technology : GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE


BODY
Dimensions : 160.1 x 76.1 x 8.2 mm (6.30 x 3.00 x 0.32 in)
Weight : 167 g (5.89 oz)
Build : Front glass, plastic body
SIM : Nano-SIM, Electronic SIM card (eSIM)

DISPLAY
Type : OLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size : 6.0 inches, 92.9 cm2 (~76.3% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution : 1080 x 2160 pixels, 18:9 ratio (~402 ppi density)
Protection : Asahi Dragontrail Glass, Always-on display

PLATFORM
OS : Android 9.0 (Pie)
Chipset : Qualcomm SDM670 Snapdragon 670 (10 nm)
CPU : Octa-core (2x2.0 GHz 360 Gold & 6x1.7 GHz Kryo 360 Silver)
GPU : Adreno 615

MEMORY
Card slot : No
Internal : 64 GB, 4 GB RAM

MAIN CAMERA
Single : 12.2 MP, f/1.8, 28mm (wide), 1/2.55", 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
Features : Dual-LED flash, HDR, panorama

SELFIE CAMERA
Single : 8 MP, f/2.0, 24mm (wide), 1.12µm
Features : HDR

SOUND
Loudspeaker : Yes, with stereo speakers
3.5mm jack : Yes, Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic

COMMS
WLAN : Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth : 5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD
GPS : Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO
NFC : Yes
USB : 2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector

FEATURES
Sensors Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer

BATTERY
Type : Non-removable Li-Po 3700 mAh battery
Charging : Fast battery charging 18W, USB Power Delivery 2.0


REVIEW

Design

It has the same iconic design as the Pixel 3, a lightweight, unibody design and a matte finish with a glossy shade on the back (it's made out of polycarbonate though instead of glass like the Pixel 3). Also, the interestingly colored power button is still there to provide a pretty cool touch. You can also still launch Google Assistant or silence an incoming call by squeezing the phone's sides (Google calls this Active Edge).

Display

Vibrant, color-accurate 6in OLED display, it's as good, if not a little better than it's senior Pixel 3 phones. Sadly, it has thick bezels, for a 2019 phone.

Software

Of course, one of the key selling points of the Pixel series, is the clean, stock version of Android directly from Google, along with three years of promised updates (which are generally delivered almost as soon as they are launched). Then there are some interesting Pixel only (at least as of now) features like Call Screen, which screens spam calls and telemarketers and shows you a live transcription of the conversation so you can decide whether to accept or reject a call.

There's also Digital Wellbeing which helps curb phone usage by giving you info about how much time you're spending on the phone and it lets you set time limits for apps. To help reduce eye strain, you can schedule Night Light to turn your screen to a yellowish, sepia color, andthere's an option for grayscale too. 

Performance

Pretty good performance, with the Snapdragon 670 chipset at the core, while it's of course not as powerful as the flagship Snapdragon 845 on the Pixel 3 phones, you are unlikely to notice much of a difference in daily use (except with high-end games).

Well, a 4GB RAM continues to be a bit limiting for Pixel phones, if you are used to a 6GB/8GB RAM phones, you will find that not as many apps stay open in the background.

Camera

The biggest plus point of the Pixel 3a series is that it packs the same grade-A camera as the Pixel 3 series, with the same amazing Night mode. Photo quality is excellent, images are clear, bright and vibrant. You can still take portraits with that dramatic, depth of field effect and adjust the focus and blur of the picture after you take the shot. The phone still has Top Shot, which helps you choose the best image out of a series, and Super Res Zoom, which improves detail when you zoom in at faraway objects.

There's also a new feature to record time lapse videos, you can condense between 50 seconds or 20 minutes of recorded footage into 10 seconds and the results are pretty good. Overall, the Pixel 3a series, along with the Pixel 3 series continues to be the second best overall camera experience on any smartphone (the first spot is now taken by the Huawei P30 Pro).

Unfortunately, it's 'Night Sight' processing is a little bit slower now (compared to the Pixel 3) due to the less powerful processor. There's also no second wide angle front facing camera like the Pixel , so wide "group selfies" are out.

Audio

Well, it has a headphone jack finally lol! (unlike the senior Pixel 3 series), also, Stereo speakers are pretty good too.

Battery

Very good battery life with a 3700mAh battery, along with some good software optimization, you will comfortably get 1.5 days of use.

CONCLUSION

The Pixel 3a series, apart from the pure 'Pixel' experience, brings the same amazing camera of the senior Pixel 3 series to a lower price bracket, and does that while making relatively minor compromises in terms of processing power. If you are looking for the best shoot as you go cameraphone, at the lowest price point, the Pixel 3a series is the one to get.

Unfortunately, there will be tough competition though from 2 other great 'budget flagship' phones, such as the OnePlus 6T (which will give you twice the amount of built in storage, a faster processor, and a solid camera, even if it's not as good), and the Galaxy S10e (which gives you a more striking design, water resistance, wireless charging, more onboard storage, and almost as good camera).
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