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    Google Pixel 3a XL review: Nails the camera game again, non-expandable storage is a limitation

    Synopsis

    Battery life is one full day on a single charge and there is support for fast charge as well.

    Agencies
    Google is on to something here because despite all the scores and stars bestowed upon other camera phones, it is the Pixel 3 that actually and consistently comes out on top,
    Price: Rs 39,999 (3A), Rs 44,999 (3A XL)
    Rating: ***1/2

    SpecsAgencies


    It was around the time of the Pixel 2 when people starting taking notice of Google’s smartphone photography prowess. These phones — designed and made by Google — didn’t feature too many fancy camera features. Instead, they relied on something else — computational photography. The idea that you can start with a good photograph and make it great using software and machine learning. The Pixel 3/3XL really cemented this notion, catapulting Google to the top of the smartphone photography game. Google is on to something here because despite all the scores and stars bestowed upon other camera phones, it is the Pixel 3 that actually and consistently comes out on top. Things like low light photography, dynamic range, beautiful colour, convincing portrait blur and just overall sharpness are what the Pixel 3 nails — each and every time. And it’s the Pixel 3 that most current phones are still trying to emulate and best.

    And that’s the starting point of this new Pixel 3a and 3a XL. Google’s idea is to take the same camera hardware (for the primary camera, at least) and cut corners on the rest of the device to give more people the benefit of the Pixel camera experience. In theory, that sounds good — but it’s not something we think will work in ultra-competitive markets like India.

    Google Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL: Unboxing And First Impressions

    Google has officially took the veils off Pixel 3 and a bigger Pixel 3 XL smartphone to take on the likes of flagship devices by Apple and Samsung. The premium Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL were introduced alongside a host of other hardware that will add to the tech giant's smart home devices. Every October, the company hosts a 'Made by Google' event to showcase the new gadgets it has been working on through the year. The Pixel 3 will cost Rs 71,000 for the 64GB variant in India and up to Rs 80,000 for the 128GB storage variant. The Pixel 3 XL will be available at Rs 83,000 for the 64GB variant and up to Rs 92,000 for the 128GB model. The pre-orders for the devices begin on October 11 in India. Watch this unboxing and first impressions video to know more. (Text: IANS)


    So lets’s talk about the cut corners to understand why. Keep in mind the price of the 3a/3aXL. The polycarbonate shell is nice but it’s a fancy name for plastic. Now that even Rs 10k phones in India have glass backs, it feels out of place — Rs 14k phones have a Snapdragon 675, better than the 670 on the Pixel 3a. The display is still an OLED thankfully but it has lost a lot of its mojo. It’s lower resolution, slightly smaller, the older 18:9 aspect ratio with thick bezels, doesn’t have DCI-P3 certification and is not as bright. The IP68 certification from Pixel 3 is gone and so has the fantastic dual front camera with ultrawide lens. The Pixel 3/3XL includes unlimited storage with Google Photos at full resolution — but 3a drops that feature. This last omission is a shame because it’s something Google could have easily included and it’s what makes the 64GB non-expandable storage less of a big deal. What you’re left with a phone that’s unmistakably a Pixel, one that takes absolutely brilliant photos, indistinguishable from the Pixel 3 photos in about 99% of scenarios. But it has cut corners that make a lot of the competition seem very, very attractive. We’re thinking of the OnePlus 7, 7 Pro, Galaxy S10e, OPPO Reno and even past flagships like Galaxy Note 8 (currently at Rs 37k). We will even ask you to consider the proper flagship Pixel 3XL which is Rs 55k now after a significant price cut.

    Google Unveils Pixel 3a at 2019 I/O: Here's What You Need To Know About The New Device

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    What's New?

    Pixel 3a was unveiled at the 2019 Google I/O event today. The Pixel 3a came with major upgrades from its predecessor. The new smartphone sports a better camera, a smarter Google Assistant and also has Digital well-being features.

    Here's a sneak peak into the specifications of Google's Pixel 3a.



    Performance wise we faced no issues — stock Android interface runs smoothly and even PUBG plays well at medium settings. Battery life is one full day on a single charge and there is support for fast charge as well.

    However, 64GB of non expandable storage is something we feel will be limiting to heavy users.

    One small caveat with the Pixel 3a camera? It’s also missing the Pixel Visual Core that the Pixel 3/3XL has. This means it can be slightly slower with HDR+ processing but the end results are often the same. The Purple-ish colour (official name) is not available in India — only white and black. Ultimately, it all boils down to how badly you want that Pixel camera. If you want it so bad that you’re willing to compromise on all these other things, go ahead by all means. It’s not a bad phone — just a little out of place in a hypercompetitive market.
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