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Google Pixel 3a vs Pixel 3a XL: An in-house battle

09 May 2019 5

Last year in October Google wraps off the cover from two premium Pixel 3 lineup phones. Like the predecessors both the devices were powerhouses and emerged as one of the best flagships announced in 2018. Recently Google confirmed the Pixel 3 lineup sales were low due to the hefty price tag. The tech giant debuted two new Pixel 3 lineup phones at the I/O 2019 developers conference.

The company launched Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL as an affordable mid-range phone to attract buyers who are willing to spend hefty amounts on their next phone. The new Pixel 3a duo shares a lot of aesthetics with the premium variants. For instance like the flagship models both the Pixel 3a rely on the camera prowess as one of the key selling aspects. Like always we will put the latest Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL in a head-to-head confrontation to know in detail how the latest budget-friendly Google phones compete against each other.

Both have different goodies to attract buyers, We are hopeful this comparison will help you better deciding which smartphone is worthy to be your companion. Without any further ado let's kickoff with the design of both the phones.

70.1 x 151.3 x 8.2 mm
5.6 inches - 2220x1080 px
76.1 x 160.1 x 8.2 mm
6 inches - 2160x1080 px
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The Pixel 3a is packed with a slightly larger display than the standard Pixel 3, however, in terms of looks, it shares a lot of aesthetics with it. As expected the company replaced the glass and metal sandwich body with polycarbonate. Considering both the phones are budget-friendly options that is why it is understandable why Google shifted from the glass.

Unlike the Pixel 3 lineup, the Pixel 3a series doesn't have dual front-facing speakers instead the company opted stereo audio setup. Both have earpiece speakers and one bottom firing speaker to provide stereo audio experience. Although the Pixel 3 XL unawkward notch is gone, however, both the phones have thick bezels at the top and bottom of the display.

The rear design of Pixel 3a lineup is exactly the same as the Pixel 3 series. You will get the two-tone finish, the upper glossy portion has single snapper and LED flashlight whereas the matte portion has a circular fingerprint scanner. The best thing is Google brought back the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack with the Pixel 3a lineup. In terms of color options both the devices are available in Just Black, Purple and Clearly White.

Both the phones lack the IP rating but comes with splash resistant layer. This means the device can resist rainwater but can't be dunked in pool water. For connectivity, both the phones have the USB-C port. The Pixel 3a dimensions are 151.3 × 70.1 × 8.2 mm and weigh 147g whereas the Pixel 3a XL is significantly larger and wider at 160.1 × 76.1 × 8.2 mm. It weighs 167g.


The Pixel 3a sports a 5.6-inches OLED display with Full HD+ screen resolution of 1080 x 2220 pixels. The display aspect ratio is 18.5:9 and the pixels density is 441 pixels-per-inch. On the other hand, the Pixel 3a XL comes with a 6.0-inches OLED display panel. The display aspect ratio is 2:1 and the screen resolution is 1080 x 2160 pixels. The display pixels density is 402 pixels-per-inch.

Thanks to better aspect ratio and pixels density the Pixel 3a display is sharper than the Pixel 3a XL. Both have a g-OLED display so you don't have to worry about colors accuracy, saturation, and deep blacks. The colors vibrancy is equally good on both the panels. No matter which smartphone you opt both have pretty great OLED display panels.


Under the hood, both the phones are packed with similar hardware. As expected both the phones are running on the Qualcomm's Octa-core Snapdragon 670 chipset. The Octa-core chipset is accompanied by 4GB RAM. In terms of performance both the devices are super slick and smooth in handling HIFI games and heavy multi-tasking.

The built-in native storage on both the phones is 64GB which isn't further expandable. Another good thing is it comes with custom-built Titan M chip to provide special protection against sensitive data. Despite the fact both the phones lack flagship chipset but the stock Android optimization makes both the phones impressively fast.

Specs Pixel 3a Pixel 3a XL
Display 5.6-inches 6.0-inches
Screen resolution 1080 x 2220 pixels 1080 x 2160 pixels
Chipset Snapdragon 670 Snapdragon 670
Storage 64GB Non-Expandable 64GB Non-Expandable
Rear camera 12.2MP 12.2MP
Front camera 8MP 8MP
USB Type-C Type-C
3.5mm headphone jack Yes Yes
OS Android Pie Android Pie
Battery 3,000mAh 3,700mAh

Although the difference between the two phones in terms of the display isn't quite huge the difference in the battery cell is quite prominent. The Pixel 3a lights are kept on by a 3,000mAh battery cell whereas the Pixel 3a XL has slightly larger 3,700mAh battery cell. Despite having larger display the Pixel 3a XL will last longer than the Pixel 3a on a single charge.

Even on heavy usage both the phones last one day on a single charge. The Pixel 3 series was packed with modest battery cells, So its good to see Google brought larger battery cells on the Pixel 3a series. Due to the Polycarbonate body both the phones lack support for wireless charging. The good thing is both the phones support Power Delivery 2.0 fast charging. Both are shipped with 18W charger straight out of the box. The company claims 15 minutes charge will provide you 7 hours battery life.


Google Pixel phones are known for settings new standards in the camera department even with single rear snapper. The Pixel phones single snapper outperform phones with triple rear cameras. Once again Google opted the 12.2MP snapper on the rear side which we already saw on the flagship Pixel 3 phones. However, it won't have clever image processing like Pixel 3. Still, the Pixel 3a lineup has enough goodies to outperform other phones in the category.

Up front, the selfie snapper is an 8MP module. Both the cameras bring Super Res Zoom, Night Sight, Portrait shot and other AI goodies to enhance the overall capturing experience. No matter which smartphone you opt both have pretty superb cameras setup.


As OS both the phones are pre-installed with the latest Android Pie straight out of the box. Both the phones certainly will be getting new major OS and security updates for the next three years. The best thing is Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL owners don't have to wait months for the latest updates instead the devices will be amongst the first to receive the latest updates. In the software department, both the phones are on the same level.

Special goodies

Although both the phones fall in the mid-range category Google retained the Active Edge feature introduced with the Pixel 3 series. You can squeeze the phone to access the Google Assistant. Google is offering free YouTube Music Premium access for three months if you activate the latest phones before Sept 30.


The Pixel 3 can be purchased at a price tag of $399 whereas the Pixel 3a XL is slightly more expensive at $479. For the first time, Google Pixel phones will be widely available from all major carriers in the US. You can grab either of the phones from Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and USB Cellular. Both phones also support the AT&T network. Google official store and other retailers are also offering phones.


Both the phones are a pretty solid option in the respective price tag. In the design department, both the devices have a similar design with a polycarbonate body. The Pixel 3a has smaller but sharper display whereas the Pixel 3a XL larger display is slightly less sharp. The hardware and software are on the same level on both the phones. The Pixel 3a XL will last longer due to the larger battery cell.

In the end, if you want a slightly larger display and battery cell you will have to pay $80 more. Overall both the phones are tempting in this price range. Feel free to share your thoughts with fellow readers regarding the Pixel 3a vs Pixel 3a XL in the comments section below. Stay tuned for more comparisons in the coming days.

  • The Google Pixel 3a XL isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.
  • The Google Pixel 3a isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.



Google Pixel 3a vs Pixel 3a XL: An in-house battle
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There are as many similarities between the Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL as you will find differences. You can call it both a list of similarities and differences.


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