Pixel 3a vs Pixel 3 Comparison: Eight (8) Major differences

Pixel 3a vs Pixel 3

Google recently unveiled the budget versions of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL to thousands of attendees at its I/O 2019 conference in California. Dubbed the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, both devices sport watered-down specification of the original Pixel 3 flagships.

But how different are the devices? In what areas are the new low-priced Pixel 3 different from the earlier released model? The Pixel 3a is $400 cheaper than the regular Pixel 3. What are the differences? Find out below.

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Pixel 3a vs Pixel 3: The differences

Pixel 3a vs Pixel 3

1. Build

While both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a have identical design, the build material used on both devices are a lot different. The original Pixel 3 was built out of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back and aluminum frame, the new Pixel 3a’s body is entirely composed of plastic with Dragontrail Glass covering the display.

The front and back Gorilla Glass covering of the original Pixel 3 positions the device as more durable and premium than the Pixel 3a.

2. Display

The Pixel 3a comes with a 5.6-inch OLED display while the original Pixel 3 ships with a 5.5-inch P-OLED (or POLED) display. POLED is a somewhat new type of LED display and it differs from the Pixel 3a’s OLED display in that it uses a Polyethylene (plastic) substrate. OLED displays use glass substrates.

The effect of using plastic substrate in lieu of glass in POLED displays allow for thinner display and consequently, thinner devices. This is one of the reasons why the original Pixel 3 (7.9 mm) is slimmer than the new Pixel 3a (8.2 mm) device.

3. Chipset

Both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a use chipsets manufactured by Qualcomm built on the 10nm process technology. The latter, however, comes with a Snapdragon 670 chipset while the former has a Snapdragon 845 chipset under the hood.

The Pixel 3’s SD845 chipset is, of course way powerful that the Pixel 3a’s chipset.

4. CPU

Both the Pixel 3 and 3a’s CPU comprises of eight cores (i.e. Octa-core) but their core configuration and clock speed are different. The original Pixel 3 boasts of a 2.5GHz clock speed while the Pixel 3a maxes out at 2.0GHz.

In addition, the Pixel 3 comes with four (4) Kyro 385 and four (4) Kyro 385 Silver cores. The Pixel 3a, on the other hand, comes with two (2) less-powerful Kyro 360 Gold and six (6) Kyro 360 Silver cores.

5. Selfie Camera

There is a single 8MP 24mm wide selfie camera with an f/1.8 aperture on the front of the new Pixel 3a. The original Pixel 3 comes with two front-facing sensors — a primary 8MP (28mm) wide-angle lens with f/1.8 and a secondary 8MP (19mm) ultra wide-angle lens with f/2.2.

6. Headphone jack

The 3.5mm headphone jack made a return on the new Pixel 3a since Google ditched it on the Pixel 2. The 3.5mm headphone jack, as you know, is absent on the regular Pixel 3 smartphone.

7. Battery Capacity & Charging

The Pixel 3 is powered by a 2915 mAh battery while, surprisingly, the Pixel 3a comes with bigger battery juice — 3,000mAh. However, despite the big battery size, the new Pixel 3a cannot be charged wirelessly. The Pixel 3 smartphone, on the other hand, supports QI wireless charging.

8. Price

The original Pixel 3 launched with a starting price of $799. The new Pixel 3a will cost only $399. A massive $400 difference.

Pixel 3a vs Pixel 3

Device/Specs  Pixel 3Pixel 3a
Dimension & weight 145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9 mm / 148 grams151.3 x 70.1 x 8.2 mm / 147 grams
Display 5.5-inch 1080 x 2160 pixels POLED display (443 ppi density) with Corning Gorilla Glass 55.6-inch 1080 x 2220 pixel OLED display (441 ppi density) with Asahi Dragontrail Glass
CPUQualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845Qualcomm SDM670 Snapdragon 670
GPUAdreno 630Adreno 615
Operating systemAndroid 9.0 PieAndroid 9.0 Pie
Internal storage64GB or 128GB (no SD card slot)64GB (no SD card slot)
Rear camera12.2 MP, f/1.8, 28mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, OIS, dual pixel PDAF12.2 MP, f/1.8, 28mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, OIS, dual pixel PDAF
Selfie camera8 MP, f/1.8, 28mm (wide), PDAF
8 MP, f/2.2, 19mm (ultrawide), no AF
8 MP, f/2.0, 24mm (wide), 1.12µm
USB3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
Battery2,915 mAH Lithium-Polymer battery with Wireless charging3,000 mAH Lithium-Polymer battery
ColorClearly White, Just Black, Not PinkJust Black, Clearly White, Purple-ish
Price$799$399