Google has finally revealed when the much leaked Pixel 3a and 3a XL smartphones will be launched. Although the search giant hasn’t clearly mentioned the names of these devices, it has told us “something big is coming to the Pixel universe.” May 7th will see Google I/O kicking off, and that’s the day on which we can expect the mid-range Pixel handsets to be launched. Over the last few weeks, we have been greeted by several big leaks that have given us a clear idea about what these two phones will bring with them. Today we’re going to give you a full lowdown on everything we know about the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL so far.
How much will the new Pixels cost?
The whole purpose of the Pixel 3a range seems to be providing respite to those who wish to own a Pixel, but cannot cough up the high amount of cash that the current models are demanding. There are strong indications that these new handsets will be aimed more at developing markets like India. There is also talk that the Pixel 3a and 3a XL will be cheaper in India compared to other markets. A while ago, reliable leakster Roland Quandt had revealed via Twitter that the import price for the two phones was $300 and $350, which translates to around Rs 20,850 and Rs 24,330, respectively. However, these are import prices, so the final asking amounts will definitely be different.
The more recent leaks came from a Reddit user, who reported that the Pixel 3a (Sargo) will cost CAD 649 (~$490), whereas the Pixel 3a XL (Bonito) will be sold at CAD 799 (~$600) in Canada. These are more believable prices, but with talk of the phones being cheaper in India, let us wait and watch whether that rumour holds any ground.
Return of the jack
Marketing materials for the original Pixel devices had poked fun at Apple for removing the 3.5mm jack, but quite embarrassingly, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 handsets had taken the same jackless route. It’s hence quite a relief to see the headphone jack making a comeback. Right from when rumours about the Pixel 3a started making the rounds, we knew that these smartphones are going to ship with headphone jacks. Leaked images clearly show the presence of the jack on the top surfaces of both the devices. Whether this means that the jack will be returning on the Pixel 4 smartphones as well, is still a mystery though.
Design and display
With the aim of bringing wireless charging onboard, the Pixel 3 adopted glass as the primary material for its rear surface. But the Pixel 3a and 3a XL aren’t expected to offer that feature, and will hence be dressed in polycarbonate material. They will still however, maintain the split-finish visor design that all the previous Pixel models are known for. You will still find the singular rear camera placed on the top-right corner and the centrally positioned fingerprint reader. A USB Type-C connector will of course be present at the bottom, along with the speaker. We’d have loved to see front-firing speakers on these devices, but that’s the way things are aligned right now.
The smaller Pixel 3a will ship with a 5.6-inch display with a resolution of 2,220 x 1,080 pixels, while the larger 3a XL model will come with a 6-inch, 2,160 x 1,080 screen. Both these panels will be OLED in nature, which spells good news for those who consume a lot of content on their phones. Neither of the two models will offer full-screen front surfaces, but a plus point to that is that there will be no notches to deal with.
The same cameras?
There are strong indications that the Pixel 3a would sport the same rear camera as that of the Pixel 3, and that’s great news. This particular 12MP camera is terrific at clicking photographs, and is accompanied by an excellent set of features. Prime among those is Night Sight, which allows you to snap photos in nearly dark environments. And then there’s other stuff like Top Shot, Super Res Zoom and much more. But unlike the Pixel 3 models, the 3a models are supposed to ship with single front facing cameras, the resolutions of which are still unknown.
While previous reports were suggesting that the Pixel 3a smartphones will utilise the Snapdragon 710 chipset, new leaks have pointed out that it could be the Snapdragon 670 model instead. Google could end up using the Snapdragon 670 for the Pixel 3a, and the 710 for the Pixel 3a XL. Both are strong mid-range SoCs from Qualcomm, which come with octa-core Kryo 360 processors and Adreno 616/615 GPUs. Whatever the chipset, what’s certain is that great performance will be on offer with these two handsets. The base models for both the phones are likely to feature 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. As for the battery, it has been speculated that the Pixel 3a will come with a 2,915mAh power cell, whereas the 3a XL will come with a slightly larger pack.
These Pixel 3a models signify a big change in strategy from Google. With two separate lines of smartphones in the market, the company is aiming for bigger targets. It only remains to be seen whether it gets the pricing right. If it does, the 3a and 3a XL can really be predicted to be huge successes.