||Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
||6-inch 18:9 (2160x1080) FHD+ OLED Display, 402ppi
||64GB UFS 2.1
||12.2MP Dual-Pixel f/1.8, 76º Standard Angle, Autofocus, OIS and EIS
||8MP f/2.0 84º FoV, Fixed Focus
||4K at 30fps, 1080p at 30/60/120 fps, 720p at 30/60/240 fps
||3,700 mAh Li-Po, non-removable
||Android 9.0 Pie
||6.3 x 0.3 x 3.0 Inches (160.1 x 76.1 x 8.2 mm)
||5.89 ounces (167 grams)
||802.11ac Wi-Fi 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, Radio, NFC, USB-C, 3.5mm Audio
||Clearly White, Just Black, Purple-ish
||$479 - Find It @ Amazon
As you can see above, there's a fair amount of top and bottom bezel on the Pixel 3a XL and at 6.3 inches tall it's a fairly large device. As such, under the hood is a 3700 mAh battery that powers Qualcomm's Snapdragon 670
Mobile Platform. This is a mid-range SoC designed to offer competent performance and 4G LTE connectivity, along with AI engines and support for the latest dual camera features with Qualcomm's Spectra 250. In addition, on-board is Qualcomm's Adreno 630 graphics engine which, as you might surmise, is a step down from Adreno 640 that's found in Qualcomm's current top-end Snapdragon 855 chip, though it is at least a current-gen derivative. More on this later.
Also on board is 4GB of LPDDR4X DRAM and 64GB of Flash storage, along with Google's Android 9 (Pie) OS. And yes, boys and girls, that's a 3.5mm headphone jack you're looking at there. Huzzah! On the downside, however, Google doesn't specify an IP water resistance rating for their new Pixel 3a devices, so don't expect to go for an accidental dip with one. It may survive, but you're on your own here. Also, I don't know about you, but I personally appreciate the almost lime-green/yellow power and screen lock button on the side of the Purple-ish color of the Pixel 3
series. It makes finding that button all that much easier, whether in dimly lit situations or perhaps slightly happy hour impaired?
Finally, with the Pixel 3a XL we get both a bottom-firing speaker and a top-firing speaker from the earpiece area. This stereo speaker setup offers surprising volume and decent fullness for a smartphone. We still get a faint bit of break-up at high volumes, but all in all, the Pixel 3a XL sounds better than the average smartphone on the market, whether it be in speakerphone mode or piping some music in a pinch, without a set of buds at your disposal.
With the new Pixel 3a XL we received the standard assortment of accouterments; a lit pack and SIM slot key tool, along with an AC fast charge adapter and USB-A to USB-C sync and charge cable. We also received an optional fabric-clad case for the Pixel 3a XL, which we must say certainly helps with "gripability" and looks snazzy too.
On the back side of the Pixel 3a and 3a XL you'll find its very convenient fingerprint scanner that has fast response times and good accuracy. To be honest, we still aren't enamored by front mounted or in-glass display mounted scanners. Pointing our index finger back in this little circular indentation just feels more ergonomic and natural when you pick up a phone. Also, on the back side is the exact same rear-facing camera of the higher-end Pixel 3 XL flagship
with its Sony IMX363 sensor. You get a wide F1.8 aperture here, as well as both electronic and optical image stabilization and Google's famed Night Sight mode for low light photography. Google's camera technology since the original Pixel series has received copious praise and we found the Pixel 3a XL to offer image reproduction that is best of breed on the market still. We'll dive into performance here shortly but suffice it to say that shutterbugs will not be disappointed.
Pixel 3a XL Display - 6-Inches, OLED, Bezels And No Notch
The last, but certainly not the least primary feature of the Pixel 3a XL is its display. After all, this is what you're going to be staring at for probably far too many interruptions during the course of a busy day. Here we'd offer that Google's selection of OLED panels was fairly spot-on for its price point. It's not a particularly bright display. In fact, we had to turn it up a bit to hit expected output for our battery test which you'll see later in this review, but it does get the job done in daylight and with good color accuracy and vibrancy. Also, you'll note the traditional deep, clean blacks and inky saturation associated with OLED technology. This display may not be up to par with Samsung's AMOLED technology
of the Galaxy S10 series, or the 90Hz OLED nirvana of the OnePlus 7 Pro (review inbound) but for the price especially, we're more than happy with its performance and we think most mainstream consumers will be as well.
So that's the Pixel 3a XL's hardware setup, let's look at some software and camera action...