Google, in stark contrast to Apple, isn’t typically obsessed about keeping new technologies it has been working on under wraps. That being the case, much of what we can expect from the company’s annual I/O developer conference has already leaked out. Still, Google traditionally uses I/O to officially unveil some of its more exciting new products and services — with a focus on Android, of course — and this year is no exception.
With Google I/O already underway, the search giant earlier today unveiled a number of compelling and intriguing updates to software like Google Lens, Duplex, Google Assistant, and Android. Naturally, Google saved the best for last when it introduced a line of new Pixel phones designed to be far more budget-friendly.
We’ve heard rumors about more affordable Pixel phones for a while, and Google today made it official with the official unveiling of the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. When introducing the Pixel 3a line, Google said it wanted to make a high-end smartphone experience available for all users as part of a concerted effort to deviate from the trend of ever-expensive premium smartphones.
The Pixel 3a starts at $399, which is about half the price of typical flagship phones, Google noted. The Pixel 3a XL starts at $479.99. The devices will be available in three colors: black, white, and a light purple tone. Google sided with Verizon as its official launch partner but the device will also be coming to T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular. Users can buy both Pixel devices starting today, either directly from Google or via your carrier of choice.
Notably, if you are a Verizon subscriber, you can get $100 in savings off of a new Pixel 3a if “you add a new line or switch to Verizon.”
Both devices feature an OLED display, stereo sound, Google Photos backup, and a 3.5mm headphone jack because “we heard some people want more headphone options.” The entry-level Pixel 3a will feature a 5.6-inch display while the Pixel 3a XL will feature a 6-inch display.
Camera wise, Google notes that the Pixel 3a’s software can do what other companies (read: Apple) need advanced hardware to do. With low-light photography being one such example, Google showed off the following photograph to a round of cheers from the crowd.
The battery — which Google touts as an adaptive battery — is impressive and can get up to 30 hours on a single charge and can get up to 7 hours of battery life with just 15 minutes of charging.
Other notable features include 3 years of security updates and patches.
All in all, the Pixel 3a line should be a welcome addition to the Pixel line, offering users a compelling user experience without requiring them to break the bank in the process.