Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL: Everything you need to know

The Pixel 3a and 3a XL will be coming to the U.S. with T-Mobile

Credit: 91Mobiles

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL may already be considered two of the best Android phones out there, but they’re not cheap, and it looks like Google may be preparing some lower-cost alternatives. Rumors say Google is working on a pair of midrange options for those who want a Google smartphone experience, but don’t want to pony up the cash for the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL.

Here’s what we know so far about the phones called either the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL, or the Pixel 3a and 3a XL.

Pricing, name, and release date

It looks like the Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL could be well and truly on the way. We’ve recently seen confirmation that T-Mobile will be supporting the new Pixel line, ending Verizon’s exclusive period with Google’s phones. This means previous rumors that Verizon would launch the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL in the United States are likely to be true as well. All in all, this puts the early speculation that the Pixel 3a range would only be sold in markets like India, China, and Russia out to pasture. Expect the Pixel 3a in the U.S.

Google has begun teasing something for May 7, with the tagline “Help is on the way.” While it’s not totally certain that the teaser is for the Pixel 3a series, considering we’ve been hearing rumors about the phones for a while now, and the fact that it was expected that they would launch before summer, it’s a solid assumption to make that the teaser is for the phones. May 7 also happens to be the first day of Google I/O, so the new phones may be launched on stage at the event.

While we’ve been using Pixel Lite and Pixel XL Lite for some time now, new evidence suggests Google’s midrange Pixels could go by another name entirely. We’ve seen some strong evidence that Google’s new midrange phones would be known as the Pixel 3a and 3a XL, but nothing as strong as the evidence that emerged over the weekend. Google accidentally posted the “Pixel 3a” name on its own website over the weekend, essentially confirming the name.

google pixel 3 sarco news 3a names store
Credit: The Verge

According to the above screenshot from The Verge, the name appeared on a list underneath the Pixel 3, and although the link itself goes to a (currently) dead page, it’s more than strong enough to confirm the new Pixel range’s name.

This comes after other evidence of the new range’s name. Previously, evidence found in the recently released Android Q beta signposted the two phones could be named the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL.

Thanks to some digging into code by XDA Developers, we could see entries for the “Pixel 3a XL” alongside the entries for other Pixel phones. This was probably the strongest evidence we’d seen for the branding for the new phones before Google’s own leak.

As midrange options, you’ll definitely expect to pay a little less for these Pixel phones than the regular Pixel phones. The leaks so far indicate the phones will end up costing between $400 and $500, several hundred dollars less than the regular Pixel phones. The latest leak, from WinFuture, suggests the Pixel 3a will come at 450 euros, or around $500, though pricing for the Pixel 3a XL isn’t yet known.


Should we expect the Pixel 3a range to be much less powerful than the Pixel 3 range? That seems the most likely outcome — but how much of a downgrade could we expect?

In a report from WinFuture, which cites a number of European online retail sources, the Pixel 3a will offer a 5.6-inch screen and 64GB of storage, while the Pixel 3a XL is touted as having a 6-inch display along with the same 64GB of storage. The report also notes that while both phones will be available in black and white, there will be a third “Iris” color that will mix blue and violet.

A previous leak from a Geekbench score which claims to be for the Pixel 3a XL, equipped with a Snapdragon 710 — largely in line with previous rumors that the larger phone would come with this processor. It’s likely the smaller Pixel 3a will be equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor, which has so far been largely featured in phones targeted at Asian markets.

RAM numbers are high even on midrange phones these days, and the same Geekbench results show the Pixel 3a XL may come with 6GB of RAM. We expect there to be other configurations available, and wouldn’t be surprised to see both models start at 4GB. There’s no mention of storage space, but 64GB seems likely. Most other midrange phones would come with a MicroSD card slot to boost storage, but sources have noted the apparent lack of such a slot.

On the back, there’s a 12-megapixel camera, while the front of the device has an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. Powering it is a 2,915mAh battery.

Design and display

Will the midrange Pixels look the same as the Pixel 3 and 3 XL? In this video posted by 91Mobiles, both the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are apparently shown in a full 360-degree render. It states the display sizes for both phones will be 5.6 inches and 6 inches, as well as some other details like the plastic body and return of the 3.5mm headphone jack. Interestingly, it seems the Pixel 3a XL lacks its bigger brother’s divisive notch.

The first indication of a Pixel 3a was leaked online by Russian tech blogger Rozetked, who posted a hands-on video of an unreleased Pixel 3. The Pixel 3a sports a similar style to the Pixel 3, but only has a display resolution of 2220 x 1080. It also appears to have a headphone jack, unlike the other two Pixel 3 devices, and a slightly thicker polycarbonate build.


When you buy a Pixel phone, you expect a great camera. so how about the Pixel 3a? Rumors claim the Pixel 3a has the same 12.2-megapixel camera sensor as its flagship siblings, and if it does, that’s a huge selling point for the phone. The photo samples you see here are apparently those taken with the Pixel 3a.

We’ll update this article as we hear more about this possible new midrange Pixel line.

Updated on April 17, 2019: The Pixel 3a and 3a XL are likely coming to the U.S. with Verizon and T-Mobile.


Step into Childish Gambino’s musical universe with the Pharos AR app

Childish Gambino seems to be on a mission to take over everyone's smartphones. Now you can experience his musical and visual universe through his new Pharos AR app, available on Android now and iOS soon.

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.

Tired of choosing between Windows and Mac? Check out these Chromebooks instead

We've compiled a list of the best Chromebooks -- laptops that combine great battery life, comfortable keyboards, and the performance it takes to run Google's lightweight Chrome OS. From Samsung to Acer, these are the Chromebooks that really…

Panasonic Lumix S1R vs. Sony A7R III: Which pixel-shift powerhouse is better?

The Lumix S1R and Sony A7R III are different in design, but similar in performance, and both offer pixel-shift high resolution modes which pull even more detail out of their already high-resolution sensors. Here's how they compare.

The excellent Moto G6 is just $99 from Google Fi for a limited time

Getting a cheap smartphone can be a great way to squeeze value out of your dollars. Motorola's Moto G-range has always been good value, but never better than this: Get the Moto G6 for just $99 from Google Fi.

iFixit's teardown might show the reason the Galaxy Fold keeps breaking

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.

Before buying a Fitbit, check out these Garmin fitness trackers under $100

The Apple Watch is a great fitness tracker, but it's not cheap. Thankfully, there are plenty of fitness trackers under $100, and they offer many of the same features. Here are the best fitness trackers under $100.

Need a minute to yourself? Buy some alone time with the best tablets for kids

Looking to keep those tiny fingers and brains busy? Tablets aren’t just for grown-ups, and many are kid-friendly! Here's our list of the best tablets for kids, with parental controls and plenty of tempting features to satisfy your…

Bigger isn’t always better: 5 of the smallest smartphones worth buying

Phones are getting larger and larger, but what options exist for the small-of-hand, or people who just want a phone they can use one-handed? In a world of phablets, some of the smallest smartphones can still pack a punch.

Waze vs. Google Maps: Which map app should you be using?

Waze and Google Maps are two of the most popular apps for those looking for turn-by-turn navigation, yet there are some notable differences to point out. Here, we examine both to decide which offers the best feature set.
Health & Fitness

Google’s redesigned Fit activity tracker is now an iOS app

Google Fit has landed for iOS. The activity tracker offers the same clean design that arrived with the major revamp of the Android version a year ago, with features such as Move Minutes and Heart Points also included.

Stunning photo shows Honor 20 will get the full Moschino designer treatment

Honor will launch the Honor 20 on May 21, at an event taking place in London. A special Moschino version will also be revealed, potentially with a Lite version, and perhaps even another model also showing up on the day.

Leak says Huawei will supply 5G equipment to the U.K., but with a caveat

A leak from the U.K.'s National Security Council says Huawei has been approved to supply certain 5G infrastructure equipment, but not the core components related to secure aspects of the network.

Smash your carrier shackles with the best unlocked phones

If you want the freedom to switch carriers at will or you prefer to get your phone directly from the company that makes it, you'll want to buy an unlocked smartphone. These are the best unlocked phones you can buy in the U.S.