Updated on 2019-05-12 by Sylvester Avijit Gomes
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The Nexus line of smartphones from Google was the dream phone for every stock android fanboy out there. It ran the latest version of Android from the company in the version they wanted Android to be, vanilla that is. It had flagship specs and flagship class cameras. The best part all of this was available at an extremely affordable price that made flagships from other companies choke.
But all of that ended when Google released the last phone from the Nexus lineup in 2015. Nexus 6P and 5X were the last of its generation nexus phones. Google fanboys were hugely disappointed. Then Google announced the pixel lineup in 2016 and it had the best camera, the latest processor and the promise of OS updates for 2 years. However, what had changed was the price point that was now resonating with the flagships of other companies.
All of this changed in this year Google IO when the Pixel 3A and the 3A XL was announced for a mere $399 and $479 respectively. Thus, the question is after 4 years is this the much-awaited resurrection of the Nexus lineup or is there more to what meets the eye?
Today we look into the review and pros cons of Google Pixel 3A XL. Like always read on to find out the Pixel 3A XL specifications, features and all the details the phone comes with and if it is worth buying this phone.
So, in order to make this review simple to understand we would like to talk about the 5 boxes of a smartphone. That a smartphone must check in order for it to be called a good phone. Build and design, Display, Battery life, Camera and finally Performance are the boxes that make a good smartphone. Like always if you have checked each of these boxes you have got a great smartphone.
When you first unbox the phone, you will be greeted by the phone itself. Followed by a type B to type C OTG adapter, 3.5mm headphones and an 18W Type C fast charger. The design is very reminiscent of the original Pixel 3 series. Now the Pixel 1,2 and 3 were all flagship phones and carried a glass and metal construction. However, to get to the low point Google had to cut some corners and there are 3 major ones:
1. The Pixel 3A XL is a budget smartphone and is this made of a unibody Polycarbonate. This is just a fancy name for plastic.
2. To keep the price point low wireless charging was removed.
3. The IP rating is no more seen in the phone as that would add up to the cost of the device.
All of that said not everything is all bad. On the right-hand side resides good tactile power and volume rockers. The power button also has an accented color on it. On the top, we have the secondary microphone and the headphone jack, thank you Google. The left side remains clean apart from the Sim card slot, it is to be noted that the 3A series also has support for e-sim. This makes the Pixel 3A a dual sim phone. Sadly, there is no support for micro SD card. The bottom of the phone house the primary speaker the secondary being located on the display front in the form of the earpiece which doubles as a speaker forming a stereo setup. The type C port is also located at the bottom. The primary camera sits at the back of the phone with the fingerprint scanner sitting in the middle of the phone. For color option, at the time of writing this review, only 2 colors are available through Flipkart. Just black and Clearly white.
All-in-all google did cut some corners for the under 50000 price tag but it won’t take away from the user experience as we’d be using a back case anyways.
Now where Google did not cheap out. Yes, it’s true that the Gorilla glass 6 from the Pixel 3 is downgraded to a dragon trail one. However, what Google didn’t cheap out on is the actual panel. The 3A XL gets a 6 inch 18:9 FHD+ OLED display running at 2160X1080 with a 402ppi. The use of OLED displays means that content consumption is going to be great especially taking into consideration the use of the stereo speakers. The panel is made by Samsung and is simply amazing.
The good news is that Google has done a pretty good job in the display department.
The 3A XL get a larger battery when compared with their elder siblings launched in 2018. The Pixel 3A XL gets bumped with 3700mAh from the 3450mAh on the 3XL. This coupled with the lower resolution display and the much low-powered processor gives the 3A series better battery life than their siblings. Google also adds 18W fast charging and includes an 18W fast charger in the box. The overall battery department is definitely a bump as far as the elder siblings are concerned. You can easily live with this battery for one complete day and the fast charger can provide you a backup for 7 hours in just 15 minutes of charging if you need a top up anytime during the day.
Coming to the most awaited part of a smartphone review especially when it is Google Pixel. The Camera. Now, probably the main reason why most of you all are probably reading this review is because of that legendary camera rather cameras on the 3A XL. This is one department which is simply a no brainer. The 3A XL gets the exact same camera that is seen on the elder siblings. However, do note this that the secondary ultra-wide-angle selfie lens on the OG Pixels is not included in the 3A XL. With that said let us bring in some specs, shall we? The rear camera is a 12.2MP F1.8 dual-pixel lens while the selfie shooter is an 8MP F2.0 lens.
This is basically the point and shoots the lens of smartphones. Color science coming from the lens is on point. Natural color reproduction with tad oversharpening. In the end, the pictures that come out of the rear camera is simply amazing. The same goes for the front-facing selfie camera. Natural look selfie with perfect natural color reproduction and plenty of details. The hardware of the camera is backed Google’s own heavy image processing. Honestly speaking if you want absolutely best camera in the under 45000 price range, there isn’t a second phone that even comes near the vicinity of the Pixel 3A XL.
Again, to bring down the price, Google had to go for a lower-end processor. However, even if months before leaks confirmed that the 3A series is going to have a 600 series processor, we were really hoping that at least a 700 series processor was used. This said the 3A series comes with a Snapdragon 670 and this really is a huge disappointment. I mean at a much lesser price range the Redmi Note 7 pro comes with a Snapdragon 675 while the Realme 3 pro comes with a Snapdragon 710. The 670 is a 10nm based processor that’s clocked at 2GHz. The GPU front is handled by the powerful Adreno 616. This is backed by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of un-expandable storage.
The phone scores an AnTuTu of around 1,60,000 which is certainly not enough for an under 50000 smartphone especially with OnePlus 6T and OnePlus 7 series are using the best available processor
Now the 670 will be enough for day to day task and will also play the highest end games but at medium settings. Even after that, there will definitely be frame drops as we are dealing with only 4GB of RAM. The googly good news is this that the Titan M security chip is present in the Pixel 3A. Just when we thought that Google could not cut any more corners, we realize that they opted on omitting the legendary Pixel Visual Cores (PVC). The PVC is responsible for the extremely fast processing of images. While taking pictures it will definitely be evident in the processing of pictures as it might take a well 3 to 5 seconds extra on the 3A series.
Now, where Google makes up for the corners it cut is in the software. And boy it is good. This is stock, vanilla, untouched Android we are talking about. This is the very vision of Android as Google deemed it to be. The Pixel 3A series comes with the latest and greatest Android 9 Pie out of the box. What is even better is this that you can also jump on to Android 10 aka Android Q Dev preview 3 with the pixel 3A series. The best part you get promised OS and security updates for 3 whole years.
Let us wrap this review up. A few things to be mentioned before coming to the Indian price of the 3A series. It's true that Google did cut some corners in the build, processor, the intangibles like waterproof and wireless charging. That said the phone that you get for $479 is simply amazing considering the good build quality, best of the camera quality and the all lit software.
We had said earlier in the introduction mentioned this question “Thus, the question is after 4 years is this the much-awaited resurrection of the Nexus lineup or is there more to what meets the eye?”
If you have noticed I keep mentioning $479 from the very beginning and how I have praised the 3A series with respect to that. This is because of the Indian price of the Pixel 3A XL which resides at a massive 44999. At this price, the 3A series becomes completely pointless. Sadly, this isn’t the resurrected Nexus series and sadly the 3A series does not make any sense in the Indian market.
This is truer when the launch of the much-awaited OnePlus 7 series is imminent. Honestly speaking if Google doesn’t drop the price of the 3A series I am pretty sure it is not gonna turn any tables especially considering that the OnePlus 7 series is gonna be in the same price range and also is the direct competition now with a better processor, hardware specs and sort of an equivalent or better camera.
If you would like to read the reviews given by customers who bought Google Pixel 3A XL, check out the links below
The best price of Google Pixel 3A XL is around Rs. 44999. The prices keep changing so please check the latest price and available deals & offers at links below
Google Pixel 3A XL has one of the best display and camera with latest stock Android software but it still fails to impress for a very high price point. The processor is very average and the phone misses out on some of the top features from Google. At the under 45000 price point, it would be tough to recommend this phone considering OnePlus 7 unless you are a Google fanboy.