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Google Pixel 3a XL vs OnePlus 6T: Battle to be the next flagships killer

13 May 2019 5

Finally, the wait is over as the tech giant Google unveiled the much-awaited mid-range phones Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. Both the phones share a lot of aspects with the flagship Pixel 3 series. The Pixel 3a XL is certainly a pretty good option for those who are willing to grab the phablet Pixel phone at an affordable price tag. The Pixel 3a lineup brings a number of tempting features to lure buyers.

Most likely the Pixel 3a lineup will bring back the time when Google fans were able to purchase stock Android Nexus phones at an affordable price tag. The success of Nexus phones was due to their great value for the money and stock Android OS experience. Under the Pixel branding so far Google introduced flagships at a hefty price tag. It's good to see Google bringing back the glory of mid-range stock Android phones under Pixel branding.

The Pixel 3a XL brings the same UI experience as its premium counterpart. The good thing is Google retains the same primary snapper we had seen on the Pixel 3 series. Like always we already put the latest Pixel 3a XL against a couple of phones. Today we will put the latest Pixel 3a XL in a head-to-head confrontation against the flagships killer OnePlus 6T. The Pixel 3a XL costs slightly below $500 whereas the OnePlus 6T is slightly above $500.

It will be certainly an exciting competition between the two phones competing for an almost similar price range. Those who are willing to grab the Pixel 3a XL will certainly consider the OnePlus 6T. Our comparison will help out buyers easily deciding which smartphone is better in what aspects. Both have different selling aspects. without any further ado, let's start with the design.

76.1 x 160.1 x 8.2 mm
6 inches - 2160x1080 px
74.9 x 157.5 x 8.2 mm
6.41 inches - 2340x1080 px
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Design

Google introduced deep notch with the Pixel 3 XL, fortunately, the company ditched the notch instead brought back the design of the thick bezel. Being a pocket-friendly phone it comes with a polycarbonate body instead of glass and metal sandwich. The polycarbonate rear comes in a two-tone finish. The upper glossy portion comprised of single snapper and LED flashlight whereas the bottom matte portion has a fingerprint scanner. The two-tone finish and polycarbonate body looks a bit dated.

On the other hand, the OnePlus 6T comes with glass and metal-clad design. The front-facing side has dewdrop notch at the top of the display with thin bezels around the display. On the rear side, you will get dual snappers aligned vertically in the center with LED flashlight. The glossy rear comes with an attractive finish which looks quite luring. It comes with an under-glass optical fingerprint scanner.

Both the phones have USB-C port for connectivity and charging. The 6T lacks the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack whereas the Pixel 3a XL has the traditional headphone. Both the devices lack the IP ratings but Google claimed the Pixel 3a XL is splash and dust resistance.

The Pixel 3a XL dimensions are 160.1 × 76.1 × 8.2 mm and weigh 167g whereas the OnePlus 6T measures at
157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2 mm and weighs 185g. In terms of color options, the Pixel 3a XL will be available in Purple-ish, Just Black and Clearly White. The OnePlus 6T comes in midnight black, Mirror black, and Thunder Purple colors. Due to a glossy finish and premium design, the 6T has an upper hand in the design department.

Display

Both the Pixel 3a XL and OnePlus 6T features an OLED display panel. Its good to see Google opted OLED panel for the mid-range phone as well. The Pixel 3a XL comes with a 6.0-inches display panel 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. It doesn't have notch design instead it comes with thick bezels at the top and bottom of the display.

The OnePlus 6T is packed with a significantly larger display of 6.41-inches with Full HD+ screen resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels. It has ultra thin dewdrop notch at the top of the display. The display pixels density remains 402 pixels-per-inch.

Hardware

Under the hood, both the phones have different hardware. The OnePlus 6T comes with the flagship level hardware whereas the Pixel 3a XL is a solid mid-range phone. The Pixel 3a XL is powered up by the Qualcomm's Octa-core Snapdragon 670 chipset whereas the 6T is running on the Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 chipset. In terms of raw power and clock speed, the 6T has more muscle than its counterpart.

The Pixel 3a XL is available in one configuration only with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. On the other hand, the OnePlus 6T comes in three configurations with either 6GB, 8GB or whopping 10GB RAM. The built-in storage options are 128GB and 256GB. Both the phones lack support for memory expansion via MicroSD.

Specs Pixel 3a XL OnePlus 6T
Display 6.0-inches 6.41-inches
Screen resolution 1080 x 2160 pixels 1080 x 2340 pixels
Chipset Snapdragon 670 Snapdragon 845
RAM 4GB 6GB, 8GB, 10GB
Storage 64GB Non-Expandable 128GB, 256GB Non-Expandable
Rear camera 12.2MP 16MP+20MP
Front camera 8MP 16MP
USB Type-C Type-C
3.5mm headphone jack Yes No
IP68 None None
OS Android Pie Android Pie
Battery 3,700mAh 3,700mAh
Battery

Despite the fact, the Pixel 3a XL is a mid-range phone but it comes with a fairly large battery cell of 3,700mAh. The battery juice will be popped up by an 18W fast charger. Due to the polycarbonate body, the Pixel 3a XL lacks support for wireless charging.

The 6T lights are kept on by a 3,700mAh battery cell. In terms of fast charging, it has 20W Warp charge which requires less time to recharge the battery as opposed to Pixel 3a XL. Although the 6T has glass rear it doesn't have wireless charging support.

Camera

Last year the Pixel 3 lineup phones were considered as one of the best camera options available in the market. Fortunately, Google retained the same sensor of 12.2MP for the Pixel 3a XL which we witnessed on the Pixel 3 XL. The only drawback in ISP isn't as fast as the Google flagship phones. Not just that Google also brought all the AI goodies to enhance the capturing experience. The Night Sight mode allows the user to squeeze the best light in low-light conditions. Up front, the selfie snapper is an 8MP module.

Both the front and rear cameras feature Portrait mode to capture amazing bokeh shots with the accurate depth-of-field. Google utilizes the AI prowess to capture of depth-of-field instead of the secondary sensor. Overall the camera setup on the Pixel 3a XL is certainly the best-in-class.

On paper, the 6T dual rear cameras setup looks impressive. The primary sensor is 16MP with f/1.7 aperture whereas the secondary sensor is a 20MP module with f/1.7 aperture. The secondary snapper provides optical zoom up to 2x. The front-facing selfie sensor is 16MP with f/2.0 aperture. The cameras setup on the 6T doesn't provide customization options like the Pixel 3a XL. Overall camera results of the Pixel 3a XL are better in almost all sorts of scenarios. If you are looking for a camera-centric phone the Pixel 3a XL is certainly a better option.

Software

As OS the OnePlus 6T is pre-installed with Android Pie straight out of the box with Oxygen OS skin over it. The Oxygen OS custom skin has thin bloatware and brings a number of extra goodies. For instance, it comes with an encrypted apps locker and many other customization options. OnePlus track record of rolling latest software updates is also pretty good.

On the other hand, the Pixel 3a XL is pre-installed with the vanilla version of Android OS straight out of the box. Being a Pixel lineup phone it will be amongst the first to receive the latest software for a couple of years and security updates for the next three years.

Special goodies

The OnePlus 6T comes with an under-glass optical fingerprint scanner. It was the special aspect at the time of launch but this year we had seen Huawei and Samsung brought flagships with an under-glass scanner. The Pixel 3a XL has Active Edge feature which means you can access Google Assistant by simply squeezing the body. The Now Playing provides details regarding the music being played on the device. The AR navigation in Google Maps is worth appreciating.

Price

As far as the pricing is a concern, the Pixel 3a XL can be grabbed at a price tag of $479. Nearly all major US carriers are offering the phone except AT&T, however, your unlocked model will work on AT&T network. The device is available from online retailers as well.

The 6T base model with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage can be purchased at $550. It is available from T-Mobile in the US. It supports other major carriers as well except Sprint.

Conclusion:

The competition is quite fierce as both the phones are neck to neck in many aspects. In the design section, the 6T has an advantage of glass build and attractive dewdrop notch. In the display department, both the phones are on the same level as both have an AMOLED display and 402 pixels density. The 6T performs better due to flagship hardware.

In the software section, the Pixel 3a XL has an advantage of stock version and also getting new updates at a much faster speed as opposed to OnePlus 6T. The Pixel 3a XL battery will perform better due to better optimization and smaller display. The cameras setup on the Pixel 3a XL is a way better performer than the 6T. Last but not the least the Pixel 3a XL is $70 cheaper which makes it an attractive option.

In the end, we would like to hear our readers thoughts regarding the Pixel 3a XL vs OnePlus 6T 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 OnePlus 6T isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.

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Google Pixel 3a XL vs OnePlus 6T: Battle to be the next flagships killer
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