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Pixel 3A vs. Pixel 3: how the specs compare for Google’s latest phones

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Pixel 3A Vs. Pixel 3: How The Specs Compare For Google’s Latest Phones


Pixel 3A Vs. Pixel 3: How The Specs Compare For Google’s Latest Phones

Google just took the wraps off its latest smartphone: the Pixel 3A, a cheaper version of its flagship Pixel phone that starts at just $400, or roughly half of what the more powerful Pixel 3 costs.

Pixel 3A Vs. Pixel 3: How The Specs Compare For Google’s Latest Phones

If you want to know whether the Pixel 3A is good, I’d recommend reading my colleague Dieter Bohn’s review (spoiler: it’s very good, especially for the price). But the question isn’t whether the Pixel 3A is good — it’s whether the regular Pixel 3 (and Pixel 3 XL) are good enough to justify spending twice as much.

Pixel 3A Vs. Pixel 3: How The Specs Compare For Google’s Latest Phones

First off, let’s get to the biggest difference: the processor. Simply put, the Pixel 3 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, a flagship-class Android processor (even if it is last year’s model). The Pixel 3A has a Snapdragon 670 chipset — it’s good, but it’s not the best, and the Pixel 3 will be faster to launch apps, load webpages, and process more effect-laden pictures. If that’s $400 worth of a dealbreaker for you, stick with the Pixel 3.

Pixel 3A Vs. Pixel 3: How The Specs Compare For Google’s Latest Phones


Pixel 3A Vs. Pixel 3: How The Specs Compare For Google’s Latest Phones

Pixel 3A Vs. Pixel 3: How The Specs Compare For Google’s Latest Phones

Pixel 3A Vs. Pixel 3: How The Specs Compare For Google’s Latest Phones

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

The screens on the pricier Pixels are also better, using Corning’s higher-quality Gorilla Glass instead of the Dragontrail glass on the Pixel 3A. And the build quality on the more premium phones is nicer too: the Pixel 3A is largely made of polycarbonate. It’s also not water resistant, and lacks wireless charging (although it does have a headphone jack, which its pricier sibling lacks).

And of course, there’s the rear camera, which is nearly the same for the Pixel 3A as the Pixel 3, including Google’s much vaunted Night Sight feature — probably the Pixel 3A’s biggest sell, and undoubtably the best smartphone camera on a phone in this price range.

If you’ve got a Pixel 2, we’ve included that here as well, should you be considering an upgrade. Unless you really miss a headphone jack, though, you’re probably better off just waiting for Google to release an updated flagship Pixel in the fall (especially if you’re on a two-year installment plan and bought your Pixel 2 in October 2017 when it first launched).

Ultimately, though, hard specs won’t ever tell the whole story, but at least at a bird’s-eye glance, there’s a lot more in common between the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3A than is different. And for a device that costs half as much, that’s a pretty good place to start.

Google Pixel 3A spec comparison

Specification Pixel 3A Pixel 3A XL Pixel 3 Pixel 3 XL
Specification Pixel 3A Pixel 3A XL Pixel 3 Pixel 3 XL
Display 5.6 inches 6.0 inches 5.5 inches 6.3 inches
Resolution 2220 x 1080 2160 x 1080 2160 x 1080 2960 x 1440
Processor Snapdragon 670 (2.0GHz and 1.7GHz, octa-core) Snapdragon 670 (2.0GHz and 1.7GHz, octa-core) Snapdragon 845 (2.5GHz and 1.6GHz, octa-core) Snapdragon 845 (2.5GHz and 1.6GHz, octa-core)
RAM 4GB 4GB 4GB 4GB
Storage 64GB 64GB 64GB, 128GB 64GB, 128GB
Rear camera 12 megapixels 12 megapixels 12 megapixels 12 megapixels
Front camera 8 megapixels 8 megapixels 8 megapixels, 8 megapixels(wide) 8 megapixels, 8 megapixels(wide)
Battery 3,000mAh 3,700mAh 2,915mAh 3,430mAh
Water protection N/A N/A IPX8 IPX8
Wireless charging? No No Yes Yes
Ports? USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack USB-C USB-C
Weight 0.32 pounds 0.37 pounds 0.33 pounds 0.4 pounds
Dimensions (in.) 6.0 x 2.80 x 0.30 6.30 x 3.00 x 0.30 5.70 x 2.70 x 0.30 6.20 x 3.00 x 0.30
Starting price $399.00 $479.00 $799.00 $899.00
Misc. Google Duplex spam transcription, Active Edge squeezable sides, Night Sight Google Duplex spam transcription, Active Edge squeezable sides, Night Sight Google Duplex spam transcription, Active Edge squeezable sides, Night Sight Google Duplex spam transcription, Active Edge squeezable sides, Night Sight

Pixel 3A vs. Pixel 2 spec comparison

Specification Pixel 3A Pixel 3A XL Pixel 2 Pixel 2 XL
Specification Pixel 3A Pixel 3A XL Pixel 2 Pixel 2 XL
Display 5.6 inches 6.0 inches 5.0 inches 6.0 inches
Resolution 2220 x 1080 2160 x 1080 1920 x 1080 2880 x 1440
Processor Snapdragon 670 (2.0GHz and 1.7GHz, octa-core) Snapdragon 670 (2.0GHz and 1.7GHz, octa-core) Snapdragon 835 (2.35GHz and 1.9GHz, octa-core) Snapdragon 835 (2.35GHz and 1.9GHz, octa-core)
RAM 4GB 4GB 4GB 4GB
Storage 64GB 64GB 64GB, 128GB 64GB, 128GB
Rear camera 12 megapixels 12 megapixels 12.2 megapixel 12.2 megapixel
Front camera 8 megapixels 8 megapixels 8 megapixel 8 megapixel
Battery 3,000mAh 3,700mAh 2,700mAh 3,520mAh
Water protection N/A N/A IP67 IP67
Wireless charging? No No No No
Ports? USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack USB-C USB-C
Weight 0.32 pounds 0.37 pounds 0.32 pounds 0.39 pounds
Dimensions (in.) 6.0 x 2.80 x 0.30 6.30 x 3.00 x 0.30 5.70 x 2.70 x 0.30 6.20 x 3.00 x 0.30
Starting price $399.00 $479.00 N/A $849.00
Misc. Google Duplex spam transcription, Active Edge squeezable sides, Night Sight Google Duplex spam transcription, Active Edge squeezable sides, Night Sight Squeezable sides, no headphone jack Squeezable sides, no headphone jack

Pixel 3A Vs. Pixel 3: How The Specs Compare For Google’s Latest Phones

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