Product review: Google Pixel 3a
For far too long, wanting a good camera on your smartphone meant getting yourself a flagship device. Even the so-called flagship killers always fell short when it came to their camera performance.
The Google Pixel 3a seeks to alter that landscape by offering consumers a flagship quality camera in a mid-range smartphone.
Right off the bat, it makes it easy to go over the differences, the 3a gets a plastic body unlike the frosted glass that made the 3 feel a whole lot more premium. Apart from that, the rest of the phone is fairly similar to look at, apart from a few key changes. The headphone jack was an unexpected addition along with the Active Edge that launches Google Assistant. The Pixel 3a, however, is far lighter than the 3 and much like the 3 is easy to use with one hand. The 5.6-inch display, although small for the size of the phone, is Full HD+ and is an OLED panel making it fairly good for media consumption.
The biggest highlight of the Pixel 3a is the 12.2MP f/1.8 single rear camera that is the exact same module as on the far more expensive 3. Not surprisingly, the camera, aided by Google’s peerless software, helps you shoot pictures that are simply far better than a number of flagships. The only thing missing is the Pixel Visual core chip in the 3a, meaning the image optimisations take a bit longer and don’t deliver as well as on the 3. The front gets an 8MP snapper and misses out on the secondary wide-angle selfie camera- which in our opinion isn’t that big an omission.
The battery life too was incredibly impressive, with the 3000mAh battery lasting us more than a day on a regular basis. Overall performance, however, isn’t particularly impressive as a result of the mid-range processor and hardware. That being said, games run rather smoothly - possibly a result of Google’s clever optimisations.
As a stand alone product, the Pixel 3a is a very good alternative to the so-called flagship killers, especially to someone who values a great camera. But the high price certainly makes it hard to recommend, especially considering the phone retails for 400 dollars in the US. And in a price-sensitive market like India, that is a huge difference.
Dimensions: 151.3 x 70.1 x 8.2 mm (5.96 x 2.76 x 0.32 in)
Build: Front glass, plastic body
Type: OLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colours
Size: 5.6 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2220 pixels, 18.5:9 ratio (~441 ppi density)
OS: Android 9.0 (Pie), upgradable to Android 10
Chipset : Qualcomm SDM670 Snapdragon 670 (10 nm)
CPU: Octa-core (2x2.0 GHz 360 Gold & 6x1.7 GHz Kryo 360 Silver)
GPU: Adreno 615
Card slot: No
Internal: 64GB, 4GB RAM
Single: 12.2 MP, f/1.8, 28mm (wide), 1/2.55”, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
Features: Dual-LED flash, HDR, panorama
Video: 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps
Single: 8 MP, f/2.0, 24mm (wide), 1.12µm
Video: 1080p @ 30fps
BATTERY: Non-removable Li-Po 3000 mAh battery