Pixel 3a vs Pixel 3 | Should I upgrade?

What is it with Google and its new phones leaking ahead of the official reveal? It appears as though the Google Pixel 3a and Google Pixel 3a XL are both very real if all the recent leaks are anything to go on. How does the Pixel 3a compare to the flagship Google Pixel 3, though? Find out in this handy Pixel 3a vs Pixel 3 guide. Below, we’ll go through the leaked specs of the Pixel 3a and 3a XL, comparing them to those of the Pixel 3 and XL. Should you upgrade your Google Pixel? We’ll let you know.

Pixel 3a vs Pixel 3 | Specs

Pixel 3a vs Pixel 3

Thanks to several different leaks, we know pretty much everything there is to know about the Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL. The leaks have been so extensive that even Google accidentally uploaded the phone to its official website. Both the 3a and 3a XL specification benchmarks have been uploaded to Geekbench, too. Take a look at how the leaked specs of both compare to those of the standard Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL.

The Google Pixel 3a and XL specifications are as follows:

  • Pixel 3a | Pixel 3a XL
    • Operating System: Android 9 | Android 9
    • Memory: 3593 MB | 3593 MB
    • Processor: 8 Core ARM Snapdragon 670 1.71 GHz | 8 Core ARM Snapdragon 670 1.71 GHz
    • Display: 5.6″ 1080 x 2220 OLED | 6″ 1080 x 2160 OLED
    • Battery: 3,000 mAh | 3,700 mAh
    • Cameras: 12.2 MP Dual Pixel cameras, 8 MP front camera | 12.2 MP Dual Pixel cameras, 8 MP front camera
    • Storage: 64 GB | 64 GB

As you can see from the specs listed above, the Pixel 3a phones are good but rather unspectacular. These are mid-range phone specs. There is a little bit more to them, however. The Night Sight feature of the Google Pixel 3 phones is present, as is the three years of included security and OS updates. They’ll also come with a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, which is handy. How though, does this compare with the Pixel 3 and 3 XL?

In terms of pure power, the Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL are behind the flagship Pixel 3 and 3 XL. The multi-core scores for the four phones (courtesy of Geekbench) are as follows:

Simply put, the Pixel 3a and 3a XL will not be upgrades over the standard Pixel 3 and 3 XL. The processors of the Pixel 3 and 3 XL phones offer a base speed of 2.5 GHz over the 1.71 GHz of the 3a series. Which will make everything perform much faster. If you’re after the biggest phone of the four, too, the Pixel 3 XL boasts a 6.3″, highly impressive screen. While we don’t have the full list of specs available for the Pixel 3a phones, it’s safe to say that the screen quality likely won’t be on the same level. The reported built in standard 3.5 mm headphone jack will prove helpful, though.

All told, the Pixel 3a and 3a XL won’t be as nice to use as the flagship Pixel 3 phones. You’ll be choosing a plastic shell over the swish aluminum and Corning Gorilla Glass frame of the Pixel 3 if you opt for the 3a or XL, too. Of course, the official specs of the Pixel 3a could be better than what has been leaked. Google will likely officially reveal the phones on May 7 at its Google I/O keynote. We’ll have to wait and see the full reveal to know absolutely everything about the phones.

Pixel 3a vs Pixel 3 | Price

Pixel 3a vs Pixel 3

Although we are still a few days away from the suggested unveiling of the Pixel 3a and 3a XL, there have been rumors about price-points. This is the best part. For a phone with those specs, it appears as though the Pixel 3a and 3a XL will set you back $399 and $479 respectively. That’s an absolute steal. Especially when compared to the $799 and $899 64 GB editions of the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, respectively.

While you won’t be getting a phone that’s as powerful or sleek, the significant drop in price will prove a substantial factor for many. The rumored specs for the Pixel 3a and 3a XL are more than good enough for a phone that appears to be targeting a price of under $500 for a 6-inch screen. The camera could be just as good, too, which might be the ultimate decider for many. An interesting one, this.

Pixel 3a vs Pixel 3 | Should I upgrade?

Pixel 3a vs Pixel 3

While it is too soon to say anything with clarity about the leaked Pixel 3a and 3a XL, they do appear to be great phones for their price-points. You will be getting the better phone if you opt for the older Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL. This is thanks to its superior processor, a reportedly nicer finish, and better screen quality.

For under $500, however, the Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL look set to offer a more premium smartphone experience at a more mid-range price. While definitely not cheap, the quality of the cameras and battery alone could well prove deciding factors for many. Another draw is the built-in 3.5 mm headphone jack that is missing on too many smartphones these days. You will also be able to buy it in white, black, and a light purple color.

It seems as though you won’t be upgrading if you opt to swap your Pixel 3 for a Pixel 3a. Indeed, it appears as though it’s a downgrade in overall quality. Whether or not the Pixel 3a is worth it, however, is entirely dependant on what you want from a phone. If you’re after a solid phone with a quality camera and decent battery life, the Pixel 3a or 3a XL might just be the phone for you. If you want high-end, you’d be better off buying the Pixel 3 or 3 XL. Ultimately, it’s up to you.