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Google Pixel 3a XL vs Pixel 3 XL: How they differ?

10 May 2019 7

Finally after tons of leaks and rumors the Search engine giant Google wraps off the cover from the much awaited mid-rangers Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a XL. As expected both the phones will be available at a very tempting price tag. Google is offering the XL variant of newly announced Pixel 3a series under $500 which certainly will attract buyers.

Like always we put the latest phones in a head-to-head confrontation to know in detail the real similarities and differences. We already compared the standard Pixel 3a against the Pixel 3a XL. Today we will put the latest Pixel 3a XL against Google's premium Pixel 3 XL. There are many Google fans who want to grab the Pixel 3 XL but hesitated due to the hefty price tag.

We are hopeful this comparison will help you better understanding the differences what Google brought to reduce the price tag of Pixel 3 XL. Being the cheaper variant the Pixel 3a XL certainly compromises on few aspects. For instance, it comes with single snapper and thick bezels at the top of the bottom of the display. It lacks dual front-facing speakers and much more. Without any further delay, let's kick off with the design.

76.1 x 160.1 x 8.2 mm
6 inches - 2160x1080 px
76.7 x 158 x 7.9 mm
6.3 inches - 2960x1440 px
Go to comparison page

The difference in the design department is quite evident as Google ditched the glass and metal sandwich design of Pixel 3 XL in favor of polycarbonate for the Pixel 3a XL. It is understandable Google opted cheap material to reduce the price tag.

Google's traditional 2 tone finish isn't going anywhere. If you don't hold the devices, you may not find the difference in the finish. Both have a glossy portion on the top featuring rear camera and LED flashlight whereas the textured portion has a fingerprint scanner and G logo. The camera setup on both the phones is at the top left corner.

The front-facing side design is entirely different on both the phones. The Pixel 3a XL feature thick bezels at the top and bottom of the display whereas the Pixel 3 XL has a deep notch and prominent bezel at the bottom. The Pixel 3 XL has dual front-facing speakers whereas the Pixel 3a XL has stereo audio setup.

The Pixel 3 XL display is protected with the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and the Pixel 3a XL has Dragontrail glass covering the front. The Pixel 3a XL comes with splash water and dust resistance capabilities but lacks the IP-ratings. On the other hand, the Pixel 3 XL is an IP68 certified phone which means it can resist up to 1.5 meters deep water for 30 minutes without any damage.

The Pixel 3a XL dimensions are 160.1 × 76.1 × 8.2 mm and weigh 167g whereas the Pixel 3 XL is slightly less tall and thicker at 158 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm. It weighs 184g. For connectivity the Pixel 3a XL has the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack and USB-C port, the Pixel 3 XL rely on the USB-C port for headphones and charging. In terms of color options, the Pixel 3a XL is available in Just Black, Clearly White, Purple-ish. The Pixel 3 XL is also available in three colors only including Just Black, Clearly White, Not Pink.


The good thing is Google opted OLED display panel even for the mid-range phone. Both the Pixel 3a XL and Pixel 3 XL comes with OLED panels that's why the color vibrancy, accuracy, saturation, and deep blacks are equally good on both the devices.

The Pixel 3a XL features a 6.0-inches OLED display with Full HD+ screen resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels. The display aspect ratio is 2:1 and the pixels density is 402 pixels-per-inch. The Pixel 3 XL has an even bigger display of 6.3-inches with Quad HD+ screen resolution of 1440 x 2960 pixels. The display pixels density is 523 pixels-per-inch. Due to a larger display and better screen resolution, the Pixel 3 XL has an upper hand in the display section.


Both the phones fall in the different category that's why we can't expect the mid-range Pixel 3a XL to have similar hardware like the Pixel 3 XL. Being the flagship phone the Pixel 3 XL is running on the Qualcomm's Octa-core Snapdragon 835 chipset whereas the Pixel 3a XL is powered up by the Qualcomm's Snapdragon 670 SoC.

Both the phones come with 4GB RAM. The Pixel 3a XL native storage is 64GB which isn't further expandable whereas the Pixel 3 XL is available in either 64GB or 128GB variants. It also lacks support for memory expansion.

Specs Pixel 3a XL Pixel 3 XL
Display 6.0-inches 6.3-inches
Screen resolution 1080 x 2160 pixels 1440 x 2960 pixels
Chipset Snapdragon 670 Snapdragon 845
Storage 64GB Non-Expandable 64GB, 128GB Non-Expandable
Rear camera 12.2MP 12.2MP
Front camera 8MP Dual 8MP
USB Type-C Type-C
3.5mm headphone jack Yes No
IP68 No(Splash resistant) IP68
Battery 3,700mAh 3,430mAh
Software Android Pie Android Pie

Surprisingly the Pixel 3a XL comes with larger battery cell as opposed to the Pixel 3 XL. The Pixel 3 XL was packed with a 3,430mAh battery cell which wasn't enough to keep the giant display lights on. That's why it was considered one of the weakest point of the device. Fortunately, Google addressed this issue with the latest Pixel 3a XL, it comes with 3,700mAh battery cell.

Due to lower screen resolution and larger battery cell, the Pixel 3a XL battery cell will certainly last longer. Both the phones have USB-C port for charging. Due to polycarbonate rear, the Pixel 3a XL doesn't have support for wireless charging. Both the phones support fast charging, the Pixel 3a XL comes with 18W charger straight out of the box.


On paper, the camera setup on both the devices is nearly identically except the secondary selfie snapper on the Pixel 3 XL. Both have 12.2MP snapper on the rear side. The Pixel 3 XL was one of the best camera phone announced last year. The HDR+ feature improves the shots quailty by combining frames. The Night Sight is quite an extra ordinary in squeezing light during low-light conditions. The Pixel 3 XL performs equally good in low-light conditions. The AI prowess enhances the capturing experience to the fullest. Last but not least the portrait mode work works efficiently on both sides.

Although the Pixel 3a XL also shares similar cameras setup the processing speed may be not as fast as the Pixel 3 XL due to lack of Pixel Visual Core. Up front the Pixel 3 XL has dual cameras, the primary 8MP snapper has a wide aperture to capture good shots in low-light conditions whereas the secondary snapper is 8MP wide-angle sensor. The Pixel 3a XL has single wide-angle 8MP selfie snapper.


As OS both the phones are pre-installed with Android Pie straight out of the box. Both will be amongst the first to receive the Android Q update. Both the phones will be getting the latest Software and security updates for the next three years. Overall the UI experience on both the phones is the same.

Special goodies

Both the phones have Active Edge feature which allows the user to easily access the Google Assistant by simply squeezing the body. The Duplex feature is available on both the phones to book appointments using AI Assistant. Other goodies include Google Lens, digital well-being and much more.


The Pixel 3a XL can be grabbed at a price tag of $479 whereas the Pixel 3 XL base model is almost double expensive at $899. Both phones support all major carriers in the US and across the globe. The Pixel 3 XL was available exclusively via Verizon whereas the Pixel 3a XL is being offered by a number of carriers in the US. You can also purchase via online retailers like Amazon, Best Buy and official Google store.


Being the flagship model the Pixel 3 XL is better than the Pixel 3a XL in a number of aspects. The Pixel 3 XL has better screen resolution, glass body, flagship hardware, and solid cameras setup. On the other hand, the Pixel 3a XL comes with superb OLED display, mid-range hardware, one of the best cameras in its class, fairly large battery cell and above all affordable pricing. So if you are looking for better value for the money the Pixel 3a XL looks promising.

If you don't have enough budget to grab the Pixel 3 XL, the Pixel 3a XL emerge as a solid alternative below $500. In the end, we would like to hear our readers thoughts regarding the Pixel 3 XL vs Pixel 3a XL in the comments section below. Stay tuned for more comparisons.

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



Google Pixel 3a XL vs Pixel 3 XL: How they differ?
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The Pixel 3a XL is definitely quite cheaper at $479 than the Pixel 3 XL's price, which is way ahead. A bit taken aback to see such a huge difference in the price tag.


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