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 52 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...


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
Tech Daily

Overall the Pixel 3a is a great device that offers the same great camera and mostly stock Android but at half the price of the Pixel 3/3 XL and other flagship Android phones.

- Sachin Bahal, Tech Daily
PCWorld

The Google Pixel 3a has the right combination of great, good enough, and affordability to rival phones that cost twice as much.

- Michael Simon, PCWorld


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


Google released the Pixel 3a on May 7, 2019.


The Pixel 3a price will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. You can compare Google Pixel 3a prices from around the web here on The Informr.


Google backs up the Pixel 3a with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your Pixel 3a has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Google support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Google's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.



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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.

Pixel 3a Specs

Overview
Release date May 7, 2019
Regions available USA, Canada, UK
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 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
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
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
Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 3000 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
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
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology OLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 2220 pixels
Pixel density 441 pixels
Size 5.6 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
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
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet Yes
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
ƒ/ 1.8
Resolution
12+ megapixels
Dual lens
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
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
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Stereo
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
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
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Critic Reviews


Talk Android

The affordable Pixel champion

from 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 anything but cheap (although it is plastic).

Read full review

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 anything but cheap (although it is plastic).

Read full review

Less

Digital Camera World

Flagship imaging in a mid-range handset

from 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 flagsh...More

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 features in the process. While it isn't perfect - you can get more power for the price and focal lengths elsewhere, it's still the obvious choice if you want a flagship point and shoot camera without a flagship price tag.

Read full review

Less

DxOMark

A very capable device for photography

from 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 an...More

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 bokeh rendering the main notable exceptions.

Read full review

Less

Tech Daily

Amazing camera with great low-light performance

from Tech Daily

Overall the Pixel 3a is a great device that offers the same great camera and mostly stock Android but at half the price of the Pixel 3/3 XL and other flagship Android phones.

Read full review

Overall the Pixel 3a is a great device that offers the same great camera and mostly stock Android but at half the price of the Pixel 3/3 XL and other flagship Android phones.

Read full review

Less

PCWorld

A budget phone that acts like a premium flagship

from PCWorld

The Google Pixel 3a has the right combination of great, good enough, and affordability to rival phones that cost twice as much.

Read full review

The Google Pixel 3a has the right combination of great, good enough, and affordability to rival phones that cost twice as much.

Read full review

Less

Notebookcheck

Surprisingly good

from Notebookcheck

Despite its rather old-school design, the Pixel 3a is a very compact device that is nice to handle thanks to its plastic back cover. While the Pixel looks rather bland on paper, its everyday performance is very pleasing. The results the Pixel manages to get out of its two single cameras on the fr...More

Despite its rather old-school design, the Pixel 3a is a very compact device that is nice to handle thanks to its plastic back cover. While the Pixel looks rather bland on paper, its everyday performance is very pleasing. The results the Pixel manages to get out of its two single cameras on the front and back are impressive. We were also impressed by the very good speaker and vibration motor that set the Pixel 3a apart from its competition.

Read full review

Less

Gear Diary

It’s an amazing phone, and it won’t break the bank

from Gear Diary

With the Google Pixel 3a (and the larger Pixel 3A XL), Google has released a phone that is affordable, looks and feels great and promises an excellent smartphone experience. The cameras are among the best I have tried in a smartphone, and the device is fast enough that there aren’t any slowdown...More

With the Google Pixel 3a (and the larger Pixel 3A XL), Google has released a phone that is affordable, looks and feels great and promises an excellent smartphone experience. The cameras are among the best I have tried in a smartphone, and the device is fast enough that there aren’t any slowdowns, stutters or hiccups … and you get all that for under $400.

Read full review

Less

The Wirecutter

Best Android smartphone

from The Wirecutter

The best version of Android with guaranteed updates through May 2022, plus class-leading camera performance, makes the Pixel 3a feel as good as phones that cost twice as much.

Read full review

The best version of Android with guaranteed updates through May 2022, plus class-leading camera performance, makes the Pixel 3a feel as good as phones that cost twice as much.

Read full review

Less

New Atlas

Mid-range smartphones never looked so good

from New Atlas

Every phone is a compromise, and with the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, Google seems to have picked the right compromises to make: you still get that fantastic camera, and you still get the pure Android experience that Google phones are known for. You will notice the areas where Google has cut back,...More

Every phone is a compromise, and with the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, Google seems to have picked the right compromises to make: you still get that fantastic camera, and you still get the pure Android experience that Google phones are known for. You will notice the areas where Google has cut back, whether it's the lower resolution of the screen, or the slight delay in switching between apps, but in the end they're not enough to take much away from what is a very good value-for-money proposition.

Read full review

Less

The Wirecutter

A more capable budget phone

from The Wirecutter

The Pixel 3a has most of the features that make the $800 Pixel 3 an amazing phone, including an industry-leading camera, responsive performance, and guaranteed updates, and it costs half as much.

Read full review

The Pixel 3a has most of the features that make the $800 Pixel 3 an amazing phone, including an industry-leading camera, responsive performance, and guaranteed updates, and it costs half as much.

Read full review

Less



User Reviews


Carl Miller

phone service frustrated the hell out me

I hate this phone because the service comes from Egypt they have a thick accent wicth is hard to understand. The phone was sold without a prtective case.