Well it’s been six months since Google sent us our Google Pixel 3a and in that time we’ve gotten to thoroughly test this device so in this video we’re going to go over our favorite features of the GooglePpixel 3a, some things we didn’t like, and our ultimate recommendation on whether or not you should buy it.
Let’s dive in. The Pixel 3a has a pretty good and simple value proposition: a smartphone with an incredible camera and software, at an affordable price. Overall I’d say the Pixel 3a delivers on that promise, even for people coming from an iPhone like myself.
The phone is very easy to use and let’s first talk about that transfer process. While it can take a long time to transfer all my data from an iPhone to my Pixel 3a, overall the process was pretty seamless especially if you already have a Google account.
Pretty much all the apps I had on my iPhone were available on Android. I could go through and decide which ones I wanted to pull over as well as what personal data like photos and text messages I wanted to migrate over as well.
So what do I like about the phone? Well first let’s talk about the camera since that’s one of the main selling points of this device. Google basically took the camera that can be found in the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL and put it inside the Google Pixel 3a which means this phone just takes really great photos.
I mean it takes some of the best photos of any phone and with the phone at this price point, these photos are hard to beat, even when you compare the photos to the Pixel 4XL that I have the difference between them is noticeable though not as much as you may expect the pixel for excel will often look better in auto mode because the Pixel 4 has a second optical lens an auto white balancing feature and can follow fast-moving subjects way better and it also has a tweaked processing core that will end up just making the photos look better.
The OLED screen on the 3a is also pretty good. It’s not flagship quality, but it’s definitely something I could use every day. Sure I wish it had a 90 Hertz refresh rate screen, but at this price point you’re just not going to get it.
Some other great things about the phone are at surprising snappy performance, I mean even after six months going in between apps and the animations on this phone still feel pretty fluid. Now I’ve often heard from owners of other pixel phones over the years that their phones slow down over time but so far I have not noticed that happening with my 3a.
The battery life on this phone is actually pretty great and has lasted me well throughout the day and considering that this phone is not the XL version, that’s pretty impressive. another great thing for a lot of people out there who haven’t switched to wireless headphones or earbuds yet is that the 3a comes with a headphone jack, a rarity nowadays for phones.
Now let’s talk software with the Pixel 3a. Android 10 on the 3a is great it feels snappy and pretty fast for phone at this price point. It’s Android the way Google intended it to be and with Pixel phones, you get updates from Google first just like when you have an iPhone as soon as Apple releases a software update, you can download it so with the Pixel there’s no more waiting for your phone manufacturer or your carrier to push an update to your phone.
Plus if you’re coming from an iPhone, like I did, you’ll find Android’s gesture navigation to be very similar to iOS. Also another great thing about the Pixel 3a is the integration with the Google Assistant.
If you love using your Google Home, Nest Hub, or Nest Minis or any other Google Assistant enabled device you may have at your home, you’ll be really happy with the Google Assistant integration on the Pixel 3a.
It’s not quite as good as the Pixel 4 XL because the Pixel 4 XL actually has the assistant running locally on the device, but still with the 3a it’s pretty good. Alright now on to some of the downsides of this phone and do keep in mind some of these are downsides simply because of where the phone is in terms of price point.
First downside there’s no waterproofing with this phone so if you drop it in the bathtub or in the shower or whatever, like yeah…you’re putting in a bag of rice and keeping your fingers crossed. I feel like in 2019 you should have a phone that is waterproof or at least some sort of water resistance to the phone and it’s forgivable at this price point, but I still consider it a downside.
Number two, no face unlock. Now of course we wouldn’t expect the Pixel 3a to have face unlock because the Pixel 4 and 4 XL came out after the 3a did, but after playing around with the Pixel 4 XL now for almost a month and getting used to the face unlock system which is so good on the Pixel 4, the pixel 3a’s method of authentication while good, just seems very inferior compared to the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4XL.
So I now consider it to be somewhat of a downside but again forgivable at this price point. Another downside is now that the Pixel 4 is out you can see all the cool camera features with the pixel 4s camera like shadow and exposure controls within the camera app and a live preview of HDR Plus, which is something you just will not get with a 3a.
Also when the 3a has hdr+ enabled it takes much longer than the Pixel 4 to actually take and process the photos which could potentially cause you to miss your shot. Alright, recommendation time. Do I recommend the Pixel 3a? Yes, I think it’s a great choice for budget conscious consumers who don’t need the latest and greatest tech or don’t want to spend flagship level prices.
It’s great for people who just want a phone to do the regular things they’re used, to it to be good at phone calls, text messaging, reading the news, social media, and of course, especially with the Pixel 3a, taking photos.
I think it’s a great choice for those consumers. For graphics intensive gaming, it’s probably not going to be as good of a choice for those use cases. This would also make a really great choice for a first phone for your son or daughter if it’s finally that time that they need their own smartphone.
So if one of those use cases applies to you, I would seriously consider looking at a Google Pixel 3a or 3aXL. Now there is a caviet there though and that is we’re doing this video six months after this product’s launch and that means we’re already halfway into the product life cycle until there is likely going to be a new version.
Just because that’s how phones work, they have a very short lifespan in terms of a technology product, and technology products typically have very short lifespans. So that means Google is likely to announce a Google Pixel 4a and 4a XL this spring if they decide to keep to the same calendar like they did for this year, so maybe worth it to you to not get the 3a and 3a XL and take a wait-and-see approach if you don’t need a new phone right away.
On the flip side though, with the holidays coming up there are likely going to be very good deals on the Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL and that may be worth it to you to go ahead and jump on one of those deals during the holiday season.
Whichever way you decide to go all I can say is I don’t think you’ll regret going with the Pixel experience. So far I’ve been very happy with the Google pixel 3a and for the Google Pixel 4 XL which is actually the main phone I use right now as my daily driver.
Well anyways that’s it for our review of the Google Pixel 3a, thank you so much for watching, if you’d like to stay up to date on everything Google Pixel and Google products, make sure you’re subscribed to the channel and if you like this video, make sure to hit that thumbs up button below.
For 6 Months Later, I’m Josh Teder, thanks for watching.