Google Pixel 3a & 3a XL: Release Date, Price, Specs, Colors, for OLED Phone

"We didn’t compromise on the capabilities and performance you’d expect from a premium device."

Google launched two mid-range Pixel phones on Tuesday to complement its current Pixel 3 and 3 XL flagships, during its I/O developers conference. Rick Osterloh, Google’s SVP of hardware, praised the Pixel 3a and 3a XL for being the lowest-priced smartphone pair Google has ever released. But these are not your average mid-range phones.

The new Pixels pack high-end flair in an affordable body. Google plans on leveraging its Android operating system and roots in machine learning to deliver a premium experience without a four-figure p rice tag. Even with a bargain price, the 3a and 3a XL could prove to be a tempting upgrade for anyone who held off on last year’s Pixel 3 debuts.

“We challenged ourselves to see if we could optimize our software and A.I. to work great on more affordable hardware,” said Osterloh. “So we can deliver high-end experiences at a more accessible price-point. We didn’t compromise on the capabilities and performance you’d expect from a premium device.”

google pixel 3a
The Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL are available in black, white, and purple in 13 different countries.

In a time when the cost of the latest iPhone can hit $1,000, giving consumers access to top-of-the-line software with affordable hardware could be a winning strategy to convert Samsung and Apple users into Pixel fans.

Here’s everything Google announced about its two new smartphones at I/O:


Pixel 3a & 3a XL Release Date and Cellular Carriers

Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL are now available for purchase online on the Google Store or through select cellular carriers. The company now supports Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, and Google Fi.

Pixel 3a & 3a XL Price

  • The 5.6-inch Pixel 3a will start at $399, with its baseline 64-gigabytes of internal storage.
  • The 6-inch 3a XL will also start with 64GB of memory and will retail for $479.

Google isn’t offering any more memory options, but all images and video will be stored using Google Cloud storage at no extra cost. This way users don’t have to worry about running out space on their phones when they need to take pictures at a wedding or birthday.

The only drawback is that users will need internet connection to backup images and videos.

google pixel 3a price
The Google Pixel 3a will start at $399. The 3a XL will retail for $479.

Pixel 3a & 3a XL Displays: OLED

Both the 3a and 3a XL are substantially cheaper than their $800 and $900 predecessors, yet they’ll retain many of the Pixel 3 and 3 XL’s high-end features. Most notably, the 3as will keep the Pixel 3’s swanky organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays. These displays began rolling out in Nov. 2017 with the iPhone X, and are still generally restricted to high-end launches.

The 3a’s 5.6-inch OLED screen will support 2,220 x 1,080 resolution with no notch. The larger, 6-inch variant will come with 2,160 x 1,080 resolution and also skip out on a notch.

This is in stark contrast to the iPhone XR, Apple’s attempt at a lower-cost smartphone. Apple’s colorful, $749 handset opted for a 6.1-inch liquid crystal display (LCD) screen to reduce the cost of implementing an OLED display.

The fundamental difference between the two is that OLED pixels produce their own light, while LCD displays use LED lights. OLED screens can be controlled pixel-by-pixel, while LCD screens lack that sort of precision. This enables OLED screens to generate crisper, brighter, and more accurate colors.

OLED screens have quickly become the standard for all of today’s premium smartphones. Samsung’s Galaxy S10 smartphones and Apple’s iPhones XS and XS Max all tout OLED screens. Google joins that roster at a much lower price compared to its competitors.

google i/o pixel 3a
The Pixel 3a and 3a XL will come with OLED displays, instead of LCD screens for more vibrant colors.

Pixel 3a & 3a XL Cameras:

The Pixel 3 and 3 XL have been praised for their vibrant photos and artificial intelligence-powered camera features, like Night Sight.

Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL promise to match the expensive hardware in other phone cameras with “software optimizations.”

“With software optimizations we found our way to bring exclusive software features and industry leading image quality into Pixel 3a so photos look stunning in any light,” said Sabrina Ellis, Google VP of product management. “What other smartphones cameras try to with expensive hardware we can deliver with software and A.I., including high-end computational photography.”

Both the 3a and 3a XL will come with the classic 12.2-megapixel rear camera lens that has been present on Google phones since the original 2016 Pixel. This sensor should be able to snap the same stunning photos the Pixel 2 and 3 have become known for. But both phones will come with one downgrade.

Each Pixel 3a has only one 8MP front camera, as opposed to the two sensors embedded in the front of the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. Google also put an ultra-wide lens on last year’s flagships to allow users to zoom out when they’re taking selfies. That said, Google’s most show-stopping camera feature — its Night Sight and Portrait modes — will still be accessible on the the 3a models.

google i/o 2019 pixel 3a
The Pixel 3a and 3a XL will also support many of Google's premium camera features, like Night Sight that brings dark photos to life using machine learning to fill in the gaps left by darkness.

Pixel 3a & Pixel 3a XL Specs:

The rest of the phones’ specs will be very similar to those found in the Pixel 3. The biggest difference will be the downgrade from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chipset to the Snapdragon 670. Users, however, are unlikely to notice: The 670 architecture is only slightly older than the 845, and has performed almost identically in some outside tests.

Pixel 3a Specs:

  • Screen: 5.6-inch OLED with 2,220 x 1,080 resolution.
  • Memory: 64GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM
  • Battery: 3,000mAh, that’s up to 30 hours of battery life but doesn’t support wireless charging.
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 64-bit Octocore at 2 GHz and 1.7 GHz Adreno.
  • Ports: 3.5mm headphone jack, single nano SIM card slot, and a USB 2.0 USB-CTM.
  • Rear Camera: 12.2MP, 1.4 μm pixel width, f/1.8 opening, and an angle of view of 76-degrees.
  • Front Camera: 8MP, 1.2 μm pixel width, f/2 opening, and an angle of view of 84-degrees.

Pixel 3 XL Specs:

  • Screen: 6-inch OLED with 2,160 x 1,080 resolution.
  • Memory: 64GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM
  • Battery: 3,700mAH that does not support wireless charging.
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 64-bit Octocore at 2 GHz and 1.7 GHz Adreno 615 Graphics
  • Ports: 3.5mm headphone jack, single nano SIM card slot, and a USB 2.0 USB-CTM.
  • Rear Camera: 12.2MP, 1.4 μm pixel width, f/1.8 opening, and an angle of view of 76-degrees.
  • Front Camera: 8MP, 1.2 μm pixel width, f/2 opening, and an angle of view of 84-degrees.
google i/o 2019 pixel 3a

Pixel 3a & Pixel 3a XL Colors and Design:

The new phones will come in white, black, and purple, as opposed to the pink variant that launched with the Pixel 3.

Other than that? The design for both phones remained largely the same, with its two-tone rear panel. The major aesthetic differences on the 3a models are no notch, the inclusion of a headphone jack, and the absence of an extra front-camera.

A new, cheaper chapter for has just begun for Google’s line of smartphones. And with these features — OLED, Night Vision — at this price point, consumers have a lot to be excited about.

Media via Google, Google / Danny Paez