Note: We may earn commissions (at no cost to you) if you buy through links on our site. Learn more.
NOTE: This model is discontinued and may no longer be available to purchase new. See the latest cell phones or compare used prices.

Google Pixel 3a review

8.4/10 AVG.
RATING



8.4/10
Informr score
The Google Pixel 3a currently has an Informr score of 8.4 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 53 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

Verdict

The Pixel 3a offers a compelling mix of features and design that proves cutting the right corners is everything in the mid-tier phone market and Google knows it.

What's good

  • Great camera
  • All-day battery life
  • Respectable performance
  • Guaranteed updates
  • Stock Android
  • Price

What's bad

  • No microSD support
  • Hard to see in bright lighting

With guaranteed, fast updates and industry-leading cameras, the Pixel series is a great choice for anyone looking for the pure Android experience. With the Pixel 3a, Google looks to create a budget-friendly alternative to their popular top-tier phone lineup. But can they manage to duplicate their success at a lower price point? Reviewers have had time to use the Pixel 3a and are weighing in...

Design

All plastic chassis which looks nearly identical to the pricier Google Pixel 3. Reviewers loved the look though noting it was comfortable to hold and looked far nicer than an all-plastic phone usually does.

You’ll find a fingerprint sensor in the middle of the rear shell which reviewers found responsive and accurate. They even kept the Active Edge feature allowing you to squeeze the phone to launch Google Assistant.

New Atlas notes, “They’re solidly put together, and feel well-built in the hand, but if you’re wondering where Google has made compromises to get to this price point, the design is one of those areas.”

Display

Around front, you’ll find a 5.6-inch OLED display running at 2280-by-1080 pixels. Reviewers found it plenty crisp for reading text and enjoying movies and games. But some found the maximum brightness and color reproduction less than stellar. Still, most considered it more than acceptable for daily use.

What Hi-Fi notes, “In terms of pure detail, the Pixel 3a gives a crisp image at what is just beyond 1080p resolution. Faces are not as hair follicle-accurate as with 4K but there’s still plenty of texture.”

Performance

The 2Ghz Snapdragon 670 processor with 4GB of RAM provided respectable results -- especially considering the price of the phone. While launching apps might take a little longer than more powerful phones, reviews indicate things chug smoothly along once started. Many reviewers were surprised at how competent the phone was for gaming as well -- a fact that will only improve with the launch of Google Stadia -- Google’s cloud-based game streaming service -- in Fall 2019.

TechRadar summed up opinions well, saying, “... While we did notice a few issues with the performance in normal use, for example when navigating the user interface, as well as longer than expected waits for the camera post-processing software to work on pictures we took, it didn’t ruin our experience with the handset…”

Software

The phone ships with the latest version of Android -- 9.0 Pie. In terms of the interface, you’ll get pure Android experience with zero bloat. As a Google phone, you can also count on fast updates for three years from the release date. The phone is already slated to be one of the first running Android Q.

Storage

The Pixel 3a includes 64GB of internal storage. However, with no microSD expansion support, you’ll need to uninstall a few apps or limit your downloads once things fill up. Still, for the price, the storage allotment is generous.

Cameras

The Pixel 3a features the same outstanding camera which wowed reviewers with the higher-priced Pixel 3. The pair of 12MP front- and rear-facing cameras with optical image stabilization produced consistently detailed images in most cases.

However, the camera lacks the Pixel Visual Core of the pricier model so some effects, filters, and processing were weaker overall. Even when they worked, the phone was slower to process images. This made rapid-fire snapping a bit difficult.

Still, in terms of a phone with a camera that you can launch and shoot without worry, the Pixel 3a presents an excellent value in its price bracket.

TechRadar praised the camera, saying, “... the Pixel 3a’s camera isn’t bad – in fact, it’s pretty fantastic given the price you’re paying for this phone. It was a little slow to focus and the shutter speed wasn’t lightning-fast, but the pictures it took had great quality; they were bright, detailed, and depth effects were rendered well.”

Battery Life

Reviewers had nothing but praise for the Pixel 3a’s battery life. The 3,000mAh battery provides more than enough to get through the day -- especially if you let Google’s Adaptive Battery technology take control of your power management. With USB Type-C 18-watt fast charging, you’ll also find top-offs speedy should your power run low during the day.

Audio

The phone’s dual front-facing speakers were liked well enough by reviewers. The 3a also sees the reappearance of a 3.5mm headphone jack -- a feature many reviewers missed in the Pixel 3.

_

The Takeaway

Most reviewers had no problem recommending the Pixel 3a. It’s small enough to slip in your pocket, offers excellent performance, and features a camera that punches way above its price bracket. Tack on guaranteed updates and a sleek design and it’s easy to see why the phone was so popular.

The Wirecutter awarded the Pixel 3a (and its larger sibling, the Pixel 3a XL) the title of “Best Android Phone for Most People.”

What Hi-Fi liked most aspects of the phone, saying, “[The Pixel 3a is] fine phone for video and photography, it’s just a pity that the audio doesn’t quite match.”

T3 said, “Sure, Google has cut some corners… the plastic body doesn’t feel as premium, the lack of water and dust resistance means you’ll have to be more careful out and about, and the ability to shoot ultra-wide selfie shots will be sorely missed. That said, we’re not sure these are worth paying twice as much as the Pixel 3a and getting the flagship Pixel handset instead.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
2 GHz
Screen Size
5.6"
Camera
12+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


TechRadar

The Google Pixel 3a doesn’t feel like the affordable cousin of a high-end phone – it feels more like a powerful and impressive mid-range handset in its own right, with great specs and useful features inherited from the Pixel 3 that you won’t find in many other similarly-priced devices.

- Tom Bedford, TechRadar
Top Ten Reviews

With a fantastic camera and OLED screen, the Google Pixel 3a is punching well above its weight as a budget smartphone. If you’re looking for a bargain but don’t want to skimp on features, the Google Pixel 3a is the phone for you.

- Ian Stoke, Top Ten Reviews
Talk Android

Seeming to draw inspiration from the earlier Nexus philosophy, the Pixel 3a offers a top-notch Android experience at a bargain price. You’re getting a solid OLED display, one of the best cameras at any price, a pure Android experience with the fastest update schedule and a slick design that’s anythi...

- Erik Slaven, Talk Android
Digital Camera World

The Pixel 3 was something of a unicorn when it launched - despite packing just one camera, it was able to outperform dual and triple cameras thanks to Google's smart software enhancements. The Pixel 3A brings this excellent imaging experience to a midrange price-point, stripping back a few flagship...

- Basil Kronfli, Digital Camera World
DxOMark

The photography proposition remains broadly the same, however, and the Pixel 3a’s single-camera solution boasts the same basic specifications as the more expensive model. Accordingly, image quality for still images is pretty similar for the two devices, with some differences in white balance and bok...

- Paul Carroll, DxOMark


Prices (Where to Buy)




Ask the Community


No questions for the moment.


Resources


Helpful Links Share / Embed

Maybe one of your friends will find this review helpful? Please help us spread the word.


Quick view

Screen Size
5.6"

The Google Pixel 3a's screen size is 5.6 inches with 1080 x 2220 pixels resolution.

Processor
2 GHz

There is a Qualcomm SDM670 Snapdragon 670 (10 nm) Octa-core 2 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 9.0 Pie (Update Available: 10) operating system (OS).

Camera
12+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 12+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 8+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
64 GB

Internal memory is 64 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
3000mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 3000 mAh battery. Google's performance ratings are 840 minutes.

Pixel 3a Specs

Overview
Release date May 7, 2019
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CDMA:
800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/2100 /800/850/900/1800/2600/2300/2500 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, 1xRTT, EV-DO, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 9.0 Pie (Update Available: 10)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm SDM670 Snapdragon 670 (10 nm) Octa-core 2 GHz
Internal Storage 64 GB
RAM 4 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.18 W/kg
Body: 1.17 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 3000 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Up to: 360 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 840 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 13 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Clearly White, Just Black, Purple-ish
Dimensions [H x W x D] 15.2 x 7.1 x 0.8 cm (6 x 2.8 x 0.3 in)
Weight 147 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof No
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology OLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 2220 pixels
Pixel density 441 pixels
Size 5.6 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Unknown
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touchscreen, Asahi Dragontrail Glass
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer Unknown
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX, aptX HD
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet Yes
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
ƒ/ 1.8
Resolution
12+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Brightness control, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, ISO, Multi-shot, Night mode, Panorama, Self-timer, HDR
Video Recording Formats
MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
Aperture F2.0
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, M4A, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, ASF, AVI, FLV, H.264 / AVC, MKV, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Stereo
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Unknown
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter Unknown
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX, PDF
Weather Yes
Stocks Unknown
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps
More
Additional comments
Related Links Google Pixel 3a Reviews
Where to buy Google Pixel 3a
Suggest a correction