Google Pixel 3a VS 3a XL: What’s the Difference?


Google Pixel 3a vs Google Pixel 3a XL
full review

It’s rare to find two brand-new phones so closely aligned in specification, yet so distant in price. While the Pixel 3a will cost just £399/US$399 when it goes on sale tomorrow, the Pixel 3a XL costs an extra £70/$80 for, well, not a lot extra.

Both Pixels feature the same core hardware, and the exact same software. The 12.2Mp primary camera, a key selling point for Pixel 3a, is also a constant across the range. So what is the difference?

Aside from the price, all that differs between the two is size. While the Pixel 3a has a 5.6in screen, the Pixel 3a XL has a 6in panel, both Full-HD+ OLED displays. Once upon a time in the smartphone market that meant for a significant difference in size, but with the pair adopting trendy new tall aspect ratios (18.5:9 and 18:9 respectively) this is no longer the case. There is just 6mm separating the two in height, 8.8mm in width, and 20g in weight. Both fit into an 8.2mm-thick chassis.

So while the Pixel 3a XL’s panel is going to be marginally more useful for watching media, playing games and getting stuff done, don’t expect a huge difference between the two – certainly not enough to justify the extra outlay for most people.

That said, with a larger chassis the Pixel 3a XL is also able to fit a higher-capacity battery – 3700mAh against the 3a’s 3000mAh. Until we’ve had the opportunity to run extensive testing it’s difficult to see how much difference this will make. Google says the XL will offer 14 hours of video playback compared to the 3a’s 12, and up to 18 days of standby rather than the 3a’s 13.

Both phones support 18W fast-charging, and both can offer up to 7 hours of use from a 15-minute charge.

Pixel 3a and 3a XL go on sale on 8 May 2019 via the Google Store and retailers such as Carphone Warehouse, EE, Argos and Mobile Phones Direct.

Read the full specification comparison in the table below, and read more details on what the new phones offer here.

Pixel 3a vs 3a XL specifications 

  Pixel 3a Pixel 3a XL
Price £399/$399 £469/$479
Display 5.6in Full-HD+ (2220×1080) gOLED,
441ppi, 18.5:9, Always-on Display
6in Full-HD+ (2160×1080) gOLED,
402ppi, 18:9, Always-on Display
Battery 3000mAh
7 hours life in 15 mins charge
12 hours video playback
3700mAh
7 hours life in 15 mins charge
14 hours video playback
Dimensions 151.3×70.1×8.2mm 160.1×76.1×8.2mm
Weight 147g 167g
Design Polycarbonate unibody, available in Just Black, Clearly White, Purple-ish  
Processor 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 octa-core, Titan M security module
Graphics Adreno 615
Memory 4GB LPDDR4X RAM
Storage 64GB
Rear Camera 12.2Mp Dual-Pixel Sony IMX363
Autofocus with dual-pixel phase detection
Optical + electronic image stabilisation
f/1.8 aperture
76-degree field of view
1/2.55″ image sensor
1.4um pixel width
720p video at 30/60/240fps, 1080p video at 30/60/120fps, 4K video at 30fps
Front Camera 8Mp
1.12um pixel width
f/2.0 aperture
Fixed focus
84-degree field of view
480p video at 30fps, 720p video at 30fps, 1080p video at 30fps
Sensors Active Edge
Proximity/Ambient Light sensor
Accelerometer/Gyrometer
Magnetometer
Pixel Imprint (rear-mounted fingerprint sensor)
Barometer
Android Sensor Hub
Haptics
Charging USB-C 18W adaptor with USB-PD 2.0
Ports & Slots USB-C 2.0, single Nano-SIM, 3.5mm audio jack
Media Stereo speakers, 2 mics, noise suppression
Connectivity Dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 2×2 MIMO
Bluetooth 5.0 LE (AptX, AptX HD, LDAC)
NFC, Google Cast
Software Android 9 Pie, with at least three years of updates

The Pixel 3a and 3a XL were announced at Google I/O 2019 alongside the Google Nest Hub Max (reviewed here) and a public beta of Android Q.

Specs

Google Pixel 3a XL: Specs

  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 6in Full HD+ (2160×1080) 18:9 OLED, 402ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 octa-core processor
  • Adreno 615 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage, no microSD support
  • 12.2Mp f/1.8 rear camera with dual autofocus
  • 8Mp f/2.0 selfie camera
  • Active Edge
  • Pixel Imprint rear fingerprint sensor
  • Stereo speakers
  • Headphone jack
  • Dual-band 11ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0 LE with aptX HD
  • GPS
  • NFC
  • Nano-SIM
  • USB-C
  • 3700mAh battery
  • 18W Fast charging
  • 160x76x8.2mm
  • 167g
  • Available in Just Black, Clearly White and Purple-ish

Google Pixel 3a: Specs

  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 5.6in Full HD+ (2220×1080) 18:9 OLED, 441ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 octa-core processor
  • Adreno 615 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage, no microSD support
  • 12.2Mp f/1.8 rear camera with dual autofocus
  • 8Mp f/2.0 selfie camera
  • Active Edge
  • Pixel Imprint rear fingerprint sensor
  • Stereo speakers
  • Headphone jack
  • Dual-band 11ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0 LE with aptX HD
  • GPS
  • NFC
  • Nano-SIM
  • USB-C
  • 3000mAh battery
  • 18W Fast charging
  • 151x70x8.2mm
  • 147g
  • Available in Just Black, Clearly White and Purple-ish
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