Google unveils the mid-range Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL -- same powerful camera, much more affordable price

It’s getting increasingly difficult for hardware companies to keep their new smartphones under wraps. Leaks prior to the official announcement mean we often know all about a new device well in advance.

We already knew a lot about the new Pixel phones that Google revealed today at its I/O conference, but it’s good to have everything confirmed. If you've always fancied a Pixel smartphone but couldn't justify the asking price, then the new Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL could well provide the perfect solution.

The two devices are mid-range smartphones that keep the flagship’s superb 12.2 megapixel rear-facing camera (with Google's AI-powered HDR+ and portrait tricks), but make cuts elsewhere to ensure the device is much more affordable.

The phones are available in three colors -- Just Black, Clearly White, and Purple-ish -- and two sizes, with prices in the U.S. starting at $399 for the 5.6-inch model and $479 for the 6-incher.

Highlights, beside the main camera, include a full HD+ OLED display, an 8 megapixel front-facing camera, Bluetooth 5.0, stereo speakers, free Google Photos backup, a 3.5 mm audio jack (!) and a pure Android experience. The new phones are powered by a Snapdragon 670 processor (the pricier Pixels use the Snapdragon 845).

Both devices come with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and squeezable sides that let you perform actions such as send texts, get directions and set reminders via Google Assistant.

Specs include:

Operating system

The latest Android 9.0 Pie

Display

Pixel 3a

  • Full-screen 5.6" display/142.2 mm display
  • FHD+ (2220 x 1080) OLED at 441 ppi
  • 18.5:9
  • Always-on display
  • Now Playing
  • 100,000:1 super contrast ratio
  • True black level
  • Full 24-bit depth or 16 million colours
  • D67 white point

Pixel 3a XL

  • Full-screen 6.0" display/152.4 mm display
  • FHD+ (2160 x 1080) OLED at 402 ppi
  • 18:9
  • Always-on display
  • Now Playing
  • 100,000:1 super contrast ratio
  • True black level
  • Full 24-bit depth or 16 million colours
  • D67 white point

Cameras

  • Rear camera
  • 12.2 MP dual-pixel
  • 1.4 μm pixel width
  • Auto-focus with dual-pixel phase detection
  • Optical + electronic image stabilisation
  • ƒ/1.8 aperture
  • 76° field of view
  • Rear Camera Video
  • 1080p @ 30fps, 60fps, 120fps
  • 720p @ 30fps, 60fps, 240fps
  • 4K @ 30fps
  • Front camera
  • 8 MP
  • 1.12 μm pixel width
  • f/2.0 aperture
  • Fixed focus
  • 84° field of view
  • Front Camera Video
  • 1080p @ 30fps
  • 720p @ 30fps
  • 480p @ 30fps

Processors

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
  • 2.0 GHz + 1.7 GHz, 64-bit Octa-Core
  • Adreno 615
  • Titan M security module

Memory and storage

  • 4 GB LPDDR4x RAM
  • 64 GB storage

Dimensions & weight

Pixel 3a

  • 6.0 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches
  • 151.3 mm x 70.1 mm x 8.2 mm
  • Weight
  • 147 g

Pixel 3a XL

  • 6.3 x 3.0 x 0.3 inches
  • 160.1 mm x 76.1 mm x 8.2 mm
  • Weight
  • 167 g

Battery

  • Pixel 3a: 3000 mAh battery
  • Pixel 3a XL: 3700 mAh battery
  • USB-C 18 W adaptor with USB-PD 2.0
  • 18 W fast charging

Wireless and location

  • Wireless
  • Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz + 5 GHz 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2 x 2 MIMO
  • Bluetooth 5.0 + LE (HD codecs: AptX, AptX HD)
  • NFC
  • Google Cast
  • Location
  • GPS
  • GLONASS
  • Galileo

Network

  • 3xCA, DL 4x2/2x2 MIMO
  • Supports up to CAT 11 (up to 600 Mbps DL, CAT 5 75 Mbps UL)
  • Models G020B/G020F
  • GSM/EDGE: Quad-band (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
  • UMTS/HSPA+/HSDPA: Bands 1/2/4/5/8
  • CDMA EVDO Rev A: BC0/BC1/BC10
  • LTE: Bands 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/20/25/26/28/32/38/40/41/66
  • eSIM

Sensors

  • Active Edge
  • Proximity/Ambient light sensor
  • Accelerometer/Gyrometer
  • Magnetometer
  • Pixel Imprint --  back-mounted fingerprint sensor for fast unlocking
  • Barometer
  • Android Sensor Hub
  • Haptics

Ports

  • USB-C USB 2.0
  • Single nano SIM
  • 3.5 mm audio jack

Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are available in the Google Store "in countries where Pixel is sold" from today, and through partners beginning tomorrow.

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