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Image credit: Chris Velazco/ Engadget

Google unveils the lower-cost Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL

They preserve the top-tier camera features, just with more modest specs.
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Chris Velazco/ Engadget

Google's worst-kept secret in a long time is now official: meet the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. As expected, both phones are mid-tier devices aimed at people who want the Pixel line's photographic chops (not to mention a 'pure' take on Android) without the flashier hardware of the high-end Pixel 3. You still get the single 12.2-megapixel rear-facing camera along with Google's AI photography tricks (such as HDR+ and portraits), but they're now attached to more modest phones. There's 'just' one 8MP front-facing camera, no Pixel Visual Core, slightly lower-resolution displays, plastic bodies (without wireless charging or water resistance) and a Snapdragon 670 instead of the Snapdragon 845 from the flagships.

The two phones are mostly dictated by screen size. The standard Pixel 3a packs a 5.6-inch, 2,140 x 1,080 OLED display, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, not to mention the squeezable sides you can use to perform commands. Opt for the Pixel 3a XL and you'll have a larger 6-inch screen. Neither phone has a display notch, though, and they both have headphone jacks -- an unusual change of heart in an industry where few companies ever look back.

More importantly, they'll be affordable. Google is selling the Pixel 3a at $399, and the 3a XL for $479. That's roughly half of what the regular Pixel 3 models cost, and a bargain if you want the fundamentals of Google's Pixel experience without some of the frills. As for where they'll be available, they'll be on Verizon like normal as well as Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular. You can order it starting today from carriers or direct from Google.

Catch up on all the latest news from Google IO 2019 here!

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