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Google Pixel 3a XL review

Google Pixel 3a XL Review - The Low-Budget Pixel Experience!

Updated by Timo Altmeyer on February 16, 2022

It is official! Google has introduced a low-budget version of the 2019 2018 released at the end of 3 on the Google I / O 3. The Google Pixel 3a and 399a XL adopt the unique pixel design, the Pixel Allroud camera with smart AI features and more. The price starts from 3 € (RRP). My impressions of the new Google Pixel XNUMXa can be found in the following test.

Our rating

Google Pixel 3a (XL)

Update October 2020

Google backed up the Pixel 3a in July against this year's one Pixel 4a replaced. Remaining stocks are still available and are offered at low prices at MediaMarkt and Saturn, among others. A Pixel 3a is currently available there for only 249 euros. A Pixel 3a XL, which we subjected to a detailed test below, is available for 289 euros.

We assume that the remaining stock will be sold out in the next few weeks. It is definitely worth checking the local markets, because the Pixel 2020a (XL) will remain a good mid-range smartphone in 3!

The Google Pixel 3a (XL) is the new budget smartphone introduced at the beginning of October 2018 Pixel 3 model series, Although the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a models hardly differ in appearance, there are some hardware adjustments to get the RRP of 399 €. In the following I deal with the Google Pixel 3a XL, which I have for the test.

Here you can buy the Google Pixel 3a.

Design, workmanship and delivery

The Google Pixel 3a XL remains true to the classic design of the Pixel family. The smartphone is available in the colors Just Black and Clearly White. The color Not Pink is reserved for the Pixel 3 (XL). The smartphone sets color accents in Clearly White, the on / off button shines in stylish orange.

Google Pixel 3a XL front side

A major difference between Pixel 3a and Pixel 3 lies in the materials used. Instead of a high-quality aluminum housing with a glass cut-out on the back, the unibody housing of the Pixel 3a is made entirely of polycarbonate. The matt coating has remained and is still extremely prone to scratches. The weight of the Google Pixel 3a XL has been reduced to 167g thanks to the plastic housing. The dimensions are 160.1 x 76.1 x 8.2 mm.

The processing of the smartphone is not objectionable. Despite the plastic housing, the Pixel 3a XL feels high-quality. The IP68 rating has been dropped. The smartphone is not waterproof! A 3.5 mm jack audio socket has also been added.

The scope of delivery includes the smartphone, a quick switch adapter from USB type A (female) to USB type C (male), a USB-C to USB-C charging and data cable, an in-ear headphone, a SIM - Needle, sticker and a quick guide.

Google Pixel 3a XL backside


 Bye notch! Google has said goodbye to this with the Pixel 3a XL. Instead, there are two thick black bars at the top and bottom. The trend of the bezel-less screen has not yet reached Google. But it wasn't to be expected with a budget Pixel 3.

The display itself is of the OLED type and has a diagonal of 6 inches with a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels. The display is protected by scratch-resistant “Dragon Trail” glass. The color reproduction is pleasant. When delivered, the smartphone is in adaptive color mode, which slightly increases the blue content and is characterized by natural white and particularly strong colors. Other color modes include “Natural” and “Amplified” modes. Manual color selection is not possible.

The display brightness can be adjusted to the ambient light using the automatic brightness mode. Manual control is also possible. The maximum display brightness is convincing, so that the display of the Pixel 3a XL remains clearly visible even in the sunshine. In the dark, the brightness is reduced to a minimum without being dazzled. An additional night and reading mode filters out sleep-disturbing blue components. Incoming notifications can be shown via the always-on function of the display. There is no notification LED.


The built-in processor is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 2018, released in August 670. The CPU of the system-on-chip manufactured in the 10 nm process is divided into 2 clusters, consisting of 6 Kryo 360 Silver cores with 1.7 GHz clock rate and 2 Kryo 360 Gold cores with a maximum of 2 GHz clock rate. The GPU is an Adreno 615. When it comes to storage, the Google Pixel 3a XL uses a 4GB LPDDR4X memory and a 64GB data memory. There is no provision for expanding the data memory using a microSD memory card.

Performance in everyday life

Despite the middle class SoC, Google has adapted the performance of the Pixel 3a very well to the Android 9 OS. The system is extremely easy to use, animations run smoothly and apps are opened quickly. When browsing the web content is built quickly and can scroll smoothly. Mobile gaming is no problem as long as the graphics are reduced accordingly in graphically demanding games. An unpleasant and the system throttling heat development under load does not occur.

user interface

The smartphone ships with Android 9 Pie. For a “Pure Android Experience”, various Google apps are already pre-installed on the system. Functions such as the Google Assistant, which provides helpful assistance to the user, are firmly anchored in the system. The Active Edge function makes the housing frame pressure-sensitive so that various apps can be controlled. Then there is the Google Update Promise. Pixel users are not only one of the first to receive new Android updates, Google guarantees security and operating system updates for a period of 3 years with the release of new models!


Attention smartphone photography fans! Surprisingly, the Google Pixel 3a uses the same main camera as the Google Pixel 3. The single main camera uses the 12.2 megapixel Sony IMX363 image sensor with dual pixel technology, 1/2.55" sensor size and 1.4μm pixel size. Other features of the main camera include an f /1.8 aperture, a dual pixel phase detection autofocus, optical and electronic image stabilization (OIS and EIS), as well as a 76° wide angle. There are differences in the front camera. Instead of two sensors, there is only one 8 megapixel sensor with f/2.0 Aperture, fixed focus and 84° wide angle.

In practice, the whole thing looks like this:


The Google Pixel 3a supports single nano SIM or eSIM. The built-in Cat 11 LTE modem delivers transmission rates of up to 600 Mbit / s in the down and 75 Mbit / s in the upload. The following mobile radio frequencies and bands are available:

  •  GSM: 850, 900, 1,800 and 1,900 MHz
  •  UMTS:  1/2/4/5/8
  •  FDD-LTE:  1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/20/25/26/28/32/38/40/41/66

 Making calls works very well with the Pixel 3a. Conversations can be conducted clearly and without background noise. The connection stability in the cellular network is also good. Telephoning via the hands-free function is slightly tinny and flat.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

The smartphone can be used in both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi. The WiFi module supports 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2x2 MIMO protocols. Bluetooth 5.0 with AptX and AptX HD codec support is present. The Pixel 3a XL did not show any abnormalities either in WLAN or with an active Bluetooth connection.

GPS and sensors

The location is determined by GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou. A GPS fix can be found quickly and accurate to within a few meters. When navigating, the Pixel 3a maintains its position precisely in both rural and urban areas.

The remaining sensors include a proximity sensor, an ambient light sensor, a gyroscope, an acceleration sensor, an e-compass, a barometer and a fingerprint sensor. NFC is available and can be used for mobile payments.


The Google Pixel 3a XL has a 3700 mAh battery. This is fully charged within 18 minutes using the 170 watt Power Delivery “quick charging function”. If you want to charge the battery by 50%, it takes about 70 minutes. With normal use, i.e. some web surfing, telephony, YouTube and WhatsApp, you can get through the day just fine. Power users have to charge the Pixel 3a XL in the evening at the latest. Compared to the Pixel 3, the Qi charging function has been omitted. So contactless charging is not possible! 

Google Pixel 3a XL review

Google Pixel 3a XL


Handy design
Good workmanship
Powerful hardware
Current Android OS with update guarantee
Good camera equipment with night mode
Good reception quality (Cat 16 LTE)
Precise GPS
NFC with mobile payment options


Not waterproof
The matt back is susceptible to scratching
No notification LED
No dual SIM
No memory expansion
No 4K60 video function


The Google Pixel 3a (XL) does not have to hide behind the "big brother". Both smartphones differ especially in detail. For those with no wireless connectivity, a second front camera, a high-end processor, and a waterproof case, the Pixel 3a (XL) is a great mid-range smartphone.

Timo Altmeyer avatar

Timo is the founder of and a real technology expert. From smartphones to e-bikes, from home cinema to smart homes, he always has his finger on the pulse of the latest trends.



  1. Sebastian

    8. May 2019 21 to: 56

    Hello, is the Pixel 3a waterproof? I would be very interested! Thank you.

    • Timo admin

      9. May 2019 18 to: 26

      Hey Sebastian, in contrast to the Pixel 3, the new 3a models are not waterproof (IP68)!

      • Sebastian

        11. May 2019 08 to: 37

        Alright, thank you very much! I tend to prefer the normal Pixel 3. In some cases this is already available for 450 €. Regards

  2. x90

    15. May 2019 10 to: 28

    Hello, I'm interested in the Pixel 3a, but I still have a few specific questions. I hope you can help me.
    1. Does the Pixel 3a also have this night mode of the normal Pixel 3?
    2. Will the Pixel 3a get the new Android Q?
    3. You write that fast charging works with Power Delivery. What about Qualcomm's Quick Charge, after all, a Snapdragon processor is installed?

    • Timo admin

      16. May 2019 09 to: 22

      Hey x90, of course I can help you with your questions.
      1. Night mode is also available on the Pixel 3a.
      2. Yes it will. The Android Q Beta for the PIxel 3a starts in June.
      3. Quick Charge is not supported despite the Snapdragon SoC! USB PD, on the other hand, is an open protocol that can be used without license fees.

      • x90

        23. May 2019 22 to: 34

        Me again. Got it for me and I'm super happy with the smartphone. The camera is awesome at the price. Night mode really top notch. The lack of Quick Charge doesn't bother me either. The Powder Delivery also loads very quickly. I can only recommend the smartphone to everyone!

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Google Pixel 3a XL


 Processor and memory 
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
GPU: Adreno 615
Internal memory: 64GB (UFS2.1)
Memory extension: no

Display diagonal: 6 inches
Display resolution: 2160 x 1080 pixels
Display Type: OLED
Screen Protector: Dragon Trail
Multitouch: 10 fingers

Main Camera: 12.2 Megapixel Sony IMX363
* Aperture f / 1.8
* 4 axes OIS
* AI mode
* Autofocus
* Dual Tone LED Flash
Front camera: 8 megapixel
* Aperture f / 2.0
* Fixed Focus
* bokeh
* 84 ° wide angle

Dual SIM: no
SIM size: Nano SIM
eSIM: Yes

GSM: 850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz
UMTS: 1/2/4/5/8
FDD-LTE: 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/20/25/26/28/32/38/40/41/66

WiFi: 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac MU-MIMO
Bluetooth: 5.0
GPS: Yes

* Ambient light sensor
* Accelerometer
* Proximity Sensor
* Hall sensor
* E-Compass
* Fingerprint Sensor

Battery: 3.700 mAh
Fast Charge: 18W Power Delivery
Qi store: Yes

Operating System: Android 9 Pie
Connection: USB-C (USB 2.0), 3.5 mm audio
Size: 160.1 76.1 x x 8.2 mm
Weight: 167g

What's in the box

1x smartphone
1x SIM needle
1x charging cable
1x charger
1x adapter
1x headphones
1x stickers
1x user manual