Google Pixel 3a: This Changes Everything

– This is the Google Pixel 3, and this is the Pixel 3A. What’s the difference? A few specs, a couple features, and hundreds of dollars. (upbeat music) The Pixel 3A might look almost exactly like the Pixel 3, but it has the potential to be a turning point for smartphones in the U.S. See, while my fellow phone geeks, of course, know what a Pixel is and why it’s important, the majority of regular folks don’t. Because it doesn’t matter how great it is to have guaranteed software updates or even a camera that kicks out the most striking photos, if the phone is only sold on one carrier at the same price as iPhones and Galaxy’s with much more eye-catching designs, people aren’t gonna buy the thing. When I was building this video, the seven-month-old Pixel 3 was on sale for $200 off, but even so, it started at a buck shy of $600. Well, with the Pixel 3A, Google is changing the game.

The camera is nearly identical to that of the Pixel 3, right down to the censor. The software is the same too, including the squeeze shortcut for Google Assistant with guaranteed three years of updates. The phone comes in two sizes, just like before, but instead of being available only on Verizon or Google Fi, the Pixel 3A will hit the shelves of almost every U.S. carrier. And it will start at $399. That’s just over half the price of the cheapest Samsung Galaxy S10, over $100 cheaper than the most recent OnePlus phone. Until now, the best value in mobile for U.S. shoppers. If it delivers on its promises, the Pixel 3A will become the new go-to for Android users on a budget. It won’t even be close. (upbeat music) Now, look, Google had to make compromises to hit that price.

The Pixel 3A is polycarbonate instead of glass, and while it’s only a gram lighter than the 3, you can definitely tell you’re holding a plastic phone. Beneath that skin, there’s no wireless charging coil, as there is on the Pixel 3. Up front, the glass is Dragontrail instead of Gorilla Glass 5. There’s no dust or water resistance rating, and the Pixel 3’s double selfie cameras with their 75 and 97 degree lenses have been condensed to a single 84 degree front-facer. Meanwhile, beneath the casing, the top shelf processor of the Pixel 3 has been replaced with the mid-tier Snapdragon 670 backed up by just 4 gigs of RAM and 64 gigs of storage with no micro-SD card. Now, after just a day of using the phone, it’s impossible for me to say how much that Snapdragon downgrade will affect the speed over time. Right now, the only place I can see a slowdown is in photo processing, which takes about two to three seconds longer on the Pixel 3A in Night Sight mode. It’s also too soon to say how the battery will hold up. Its capacity is almost identical to that of the Pixel 3, and that’s not great news.

The latter has never been an endurance champion. In fact, about the only spec change most will be happy to see is the return of the headphone jack. But I keep coming back to those pillars of the Pixel. The features like call screening, the Titan M security chip, the guaranteed updates. Then, there’s the crazy video stabilization, and those very, very good portrait shots. Those Night Sight low-light photos that are some kind of magic. Folks, this is the camera that’s kept the Pixel 3 in my pocket for seven months.

It’s a photographic force, and now, you can get it for $400, that’s crazy. (upbeat music) You fellow phone geeks I talked about before might see this as a return to the halcyon days of Android when phones like the Nexus 5 walked the edge between quality and value. Well, the Nexus family never broke into the mainstream because Google wasn’t really trying to make that happen, and the Pixel hasn’t made it big because it’s been relatively rare and also overpriced. Well, the 3A solves the pricing problems, and Google’s renewed hardware ambition might just do the rest. And now, again, it’s only been a day, and I never recommend you run out and buy a product based solely on first impressions, especially a product like this, which comes on the heels of the Pixel 3’s spotty reputation. But if the Pixel 3A does what it’s designed to do, does it well, I really believe that it’s about to change everything. (upbeat music) Folks, if you don’t dig the just black, clearly white, and new purple-ish paint jobs, use some of the money you saved on a Pixel 3A to grab yourself a skin from today’s sponsor.

With premium vinyl skins in every finish from concrete to carbon fiber to black marble, dbrand is the perfect way to spice up the Pixel 3A’s low-key look, hit the link in the description for yours and thanks to dbrand for sponsoring this video. (upbeat music) My friends, this is just day one of Google I/O, and if you wanna see a ton of behind-the-scenes fun from the show, including me baking cookies with some familiar faces, I’m sharing it on Instagram, @theMrMobile, follow me there, subscribe at the same handle on YouTube, and just my typical disclosure for press events, Google provided travel and lodging to attend Google I/O, no other compensation was requested or provided, and Google was not granted copy approval, they’re seeing this video at the same time you are.

Until next time, thanks for watching and stay mobile, my friends. .

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