Google Pixel 3a XL
Don’t think of the new 3a XL as just Google’s cheap new phone — that’s selling it short. It might not have the same kind of horsepower as the original Pixel 3, but the 3a XL offers just about everything else that made last year’s models compelling at a steep discount. Even beyond the basics, the 3a XL features a few touches that fans have been clamoring for, like a headphone jack and the biggest battery Google has ever put into a Pixel. In building this phone, Google tried to bring some of its best work to a wider audience, and the work has paid off. Here’s hoping it doesn’t fall prey to the kind of performance issues that started to plague the Pixel 3 after launch.
- You get the Pixel’s best features on a budget
- Reliable performance for the price
- Good camera performance
- Much-improved battery life
- It has a headphone jack!
- No water resistance or expandable storage
- Unclear so far if performance will degrade like the original Pixel 3
- Screen isn’t quite as crisp as the 3 XL’s
Pixel 3a XL
- Critic Reviews (10)
- User Reviews (14)
- 83AVERAGE CRITIC SCORE10 ReviewsWired90Review: Google Pixel 3a XLThe Pixel 3A and 3A XL deliver a remarkably good camera, speedy interface, regular feature/security updates, a headphone jack, a semi-durable design, and an affordable price.CNET80Everything you like about the Pixel 3, but bigger and cheaperThe Pixel 3A XL has the best camera for its price and a generously-sized screen. But if having a fast processor and more memory is a priority, get the OnePlus 6T instead.Android Authority80Come for the camera, stay for the experienceFor the most part, the Pixel 3a XL makes the right compromises to hit a more affordable price point. This is the same Pixel experience you get on the full-fat Pixel 3 right down to the image quality.Pocket-Lint80A cheaper route to that Pixel cameraThere's plenty of appeal in the PIxel 3a XL, not least being able to get a great Pixel camera for a lot less money. But compared to rivals at this price point, it's still a hard sell.The Verge80Google Pixel 3a XL reviewAm I recommending this phone? Yes. If you want a phone between 300 and 500 bucks, you won’t find a better option.Hardware Zone80Google Pixel 3a XL reviewThe question is, is this lower premium attractive enough to lure you to ditch your current Samsung or Huawei phone (which may even have "better" specs) to give the Pixel a go?The Inquirer90The best pure Android phones not a lot of money can buyRather than see these phones as Pixel-Lite models, we'd say they are more like a new generation of Nexus phones, showcasing the potential of Android without breaking the bank, only this time with Google's hand firmly on the hardware design tiller.Digital Trends90A class-leading camera at half the price?Between the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL, the phone you should buy largely depends on whether you want a bigger screen or a smaller phone. Battery life is comparable, though the Pixel 3a XL will last slightly longer.Expert Reviews80Cut-price Pixel is a stunning smartphoneThis is a phone that’s not only far more reasonably priced than most modern flagships, but also looks good, feels just as responsive and takes photos that are equally amazing.Stuff80Google Pixel 3a XL reviewAll the best bits of the Pixel 3 XL for less cash - but Google needs to up its design game next time.
- 83AVERAGE USER SCORE14 ReviewsDaxden90May 20, 2020Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - EngadgetRed90March 22, 2020Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!Bottom Line: This phone has a great quality/feature to price point ratio.The Good:There are so many advantages to a pure Android experience that I have a difficult time when using any device that has been preloaded with it's own launcher and OEM apps. The camera has been excellent (but not spectacular) and very stable (what good is a great camera if it freezes refusing to take photos or crashes?) Night Sight is the real deal and allows capturing low-light images in reasonable quality that have previously been impossible to get. Otherwise, the Google Camera app is a bit light on features, but what it does it does pretty reliably.The processor provides reasonably snappy performance. I still experience occasional lags and slowdowns, so you can definitely tell its specs are a compromise between performance and price, but nothing so bad that it limits or interferes with functionality on an ongoing basis.The best thing about this device is the type and placement of the fingerprint sensor. I had a Nexus 6p and had sorely missed the rear-placement of a physical fingerprint reader. I find frontside and in-screen fingerprint to be an ergonomics nightmare, forcing awkward positioning in one-handed operation that is not only uncomfortable, unnatural, and more cumbersome to initiate. The rear positioning of the sensor on the 3aXL allows comfortable and quick access to the sensor and is more reliable and quick to operate than other types of sensors I have used (Moto4X and S10+, for instance). It also has the added benefit of being usable as a gesture input to pull down/push up the notification tray, which is remarkably intuitive and efficient.Headphone jacks are great to have. Wouldn't base a device purchase on it being a requirement, but I like that I can fall back to unpowered headset in a pinch or for extra music quality.Since it's a Pixel device, updates are frequent and roll out quickly. Even the Motorola Android One program phone I had didn't ever get feature updates but this phone has received several in a shorter period of ownership.I like how Android 10 does a good job of cuing users about undiscovered capabilities and guiding them to use them. HD calling capability that is actually supported by my provider has been nice and I might never have tried it if Android hadn't clued me in.The Meh:Screen quality is good, but not spectacular. You won't be wowed but, conversely, you won't find yourself particularly bothered by anything about it either. What's great about it is that it at least can display information on the lock screen without sucking the life out of the battery.The design is unremarkable. The plastic back and colored buttons give off a kind of high quality toy vibe, if anything. However, I always use a case as insurance against fumble-itus, so it ends up not really mattering. Unlike the physical fingerprint sensor, the Active Edge (squeeze sides) gesture activation has not made much, if any, impact. I have never found a compelling reason to use it and find that I forget it even exists without anything tactile to remind me. By default, Active Edge is relegated to triggering Google Assistant, but there are several other readily available triggers for that so there was never any incentive to use it.Bluetooth on Android 10 is a crapfest. I don't know why Google still can't seem to fix connection/reconnection reliability problems so many years since they took over their Bluetooth stack. So many times I have answered a call where a BT device that's shown as connected is not made available to the phone app or media blares out of the handset speakers when it suddenly decides to ignore connected headsets. This is more on Android OS in general than the phone, as my previous pure Android devices experienced these types of problems as well. Conclusion: I don't like spending laptop-type money on a handheld device, not the least reason being it is inherently subjected to risk of damage or loss. I tend to look for the highest performance and spec ratio to price, while eschewing proprietary UIs and OEM apps as much as possible. The Pixel line has consistently excelled in the value category while it's long-term support also boosts the device longevity of usability. At the price point that Pixel 3a/3aXL have been at a few months ago, I can confidently say I've never have such a good phone for the money (although the Nexus 6P was close, at the time).Tin80March 21, 2020Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!The best phone at this price. Love the camera, battery life, and call screening feature. Things that could be better, screen to body ratio, screen scratches easily, and limited storage capacity.PAUL90March 20, 2020Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!Compared my iphone6 I appreciate the screen size, battery life, sound quality, camera and gps. The only feature I don't appreciate is how banners appear. The bubble on the iphone was much more obvious to see. Some glitches with pixel launcher app causing notification dots to disappear. I also wish it was thinner.Joshua80March 20, 2020Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!The best thing about this phone is the battery life. With average use it can last for two days without a charge. Another plus is the high quality stereo speaker setup and the headphone jack. The camera is not as good as even the original pixel but it isn't bad at all. For the price, I would highly recommend it.Joel100March 20, 2020Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!Three and a half days of battery life. Ridiculous camera. Zero performance issues, fast and fluid almost four months in. Got it for $329 from Google Fi. In a perfect world the screen could be a little brighter at full brightness, but on the flip side it will get really dim for viewing at night or in a dark room. For me, I finally feel like I have the Holy Grail of phones. Battery life. Camera. (oh, and of course, it is a Pixel, so the whole monthly updates thing)I80March 20, 2020Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws. - Engadgetkeestu50March 20, 2020Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!Requires a restart every now and then after playing games, Google pay app flickers the top screen when open for a while and there is no micro SD card slot. Bought it as a downgrade so as to upgrade later to a proper super phone once 5G matures.Kevin100March 20, 2020Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!Amazing phone!! For the low price it has high speed, good screen quality, camera quality and lots more!! It was amazing!!!John90March 19, 2020Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!I'm a long time Android user, ranging from Nexus phones to a string of HTC's starting with the M7.The 3a XL is exactly what I hoped it would be, a barely watered down premium phone at a fraction of the price. Monthly updates, decent components, and a headphone jack.My one complaint would be storage. Google needs to either up the storage, or allow for an SD cardIsaac90March 19, 2020Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!The camera and OLED display scream flagship hardware, but the price says mid-range. I have used several different phones but the only mid-range was the Essential PH-1. The hardware on that phone is mildly similar to that of the 3aXL, but I would take the Pixel Everytime. The apps are stable and I have never had any connection issues. I recommend anyone not looking to pay $800+ on a phone to get this one.Pokstar80July 10, 2019Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws. - Engadgetandro70May 13, 2019Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition. - EngadgetRya70May 8, 2019Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!it';s okay