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Switching to a Pixel 3a from any iPhone newer than the iPhone 6 is just silly

Published May 13th, 2019 7:31AM EDT
Pixel 3a vs. iPhone XR
Image: Zach Epstein for BGR

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Google last week unveiled the Pixel 3a series and launched a trade-in promo that would allow you to swap an older smartphone for either the Pixel 3a or the Pixel 3a XL. Google indicated it would be willing to pay you up to $610 for an iPhone XS Max trade-in towards a Pixel 3a/XL purchase. But switching from an iPhone flagship to a Pixel 3a mid-range phone is incredibly silly unless you decide to switch an iPhone 6 or older for Google’s new phone.

Google has ramped up its Pixel 3a promo, and it’s clearly taking hits at the iPhone XS series in its newest billboard, as seen in the following image, via 9to5Google:

Image source: 9to5Google

Google says it’s $399 Pixel 3a does better night photography than the $999 “Phone X” from the competition. We all know that’s the iPhone X, or, better said its successor, the iPhone XS. Even if Google’s Night Sight photo mode is remarkable and puts Apple’s low-light photography to shame, that’s an incredible narrow-sided way to compare these phones. Make no mistake, the Pixel 3a phones aren’t the equivalent of iPhone XR or the Galaxy S10e for that matter. Google’s cheaper phones pack mid-tier hardware compared to Apple’s and Samsung’s cheapest new flagship.

Aside from taking photos at night, you probably want to use your phone for plenty of other things. While a $399 phone with incredible photo skills sounds excellent, the phone is still a mid-range handset whose performance pales when compared to the iPhone.

Switching from an iPhone 6s or newer to the Pixel 3a phones makes zero sense.

The Snapdragon 670 processor in Google’s phone paired with its 4GB of RAM give it benchmark scores of over 1600 (single-core) and nearly 5200 (multi-core).

Image source: Geekbench

The iPhone 6s and iPhone SE both reach 2400 and 4100 in the same tests, which means these phones will give you a much better smartphone experience than Google’s brand new phone. These phones were released in September 2015 and March 2016, respectively, and they still run strong. Newer iPhones deliver even better performance, so there’s really no reason to swap them for a mid-range Android device, not even one that’s made by Google.

Image source: Geekbench

If you really want to switch your iPhone for a new Android phone, then go for the Pixel 3 flagship phones. Although, I would point out that the Pixel 3 phones still suffer from performance issues, the kind you wouldn’t expect from a flagship Android handset — that’s one other reason you shouldn’t swap an iPhone 6s or newer for the Pixel 3a series. Even better, if you want to trade-in your iPhone, then get a Galaxy S10, Huawei P30, or OnePlus 7 instead. It’d be a much better deal.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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