Hardcore Android fans absolutely adore Google’s Pixel smartphones… but pretty much no one else buys them. They’re fantastic handsets, don’t get us wrong, but Google simply doesn’t have the same marketing muscle as companies like Samsung and Apple. The company also lacks the same level of cooperation with wireless carriers or other distribution partners as its larger smartphone rivals. As a result, Galaxy phones and iPhones remain top sellers and Pixel phones, for the most part, fall by the wayside. In fact, Google just confirmed on its recent earnings call that its Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL phone sales have been slower than the Pixel 2 series phones that preceded them, and estimates suggest Pixel 2 sales were pretty disappointing to begin with.
It’s great that hardcore Android fans have access to “pure Android” phones that get instant access to the latest and greatest software updates, but Google undoubtedly wants to extended the reach of its smartphone hardware. To that end, the company has long been rumored to be working on lower-cost Pixel phones. This is a great plan considering how expensive flagship phones have become in recent years, with top-of-the-line smartphones from Apple and Samsung now reaching astronomical prices of $1,500 and beyond. Google’s lower-cost Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL phones were confirmed months ago, and now a new leak reveals just about everything there is to know about these upcoming new Pixels.
If you’re anything like us, you really miss Google’s old line of Nexus smartphones. Nexus handsets offered pure Android, sleek designs, and plenty of power at remarkably reasonable prices. Google completely cancelled its Nexus phone program when it introduced its first-generation Pixel phones, but it looks like the company has now had a change of heart.
The Nexus brand might be dead and buried, but there’s no question that it will live on in spirit when the new Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are announced. According to a report we covered earlier today, the Pixel 3a will start at just $399 and the Pixel 3a XL will start at $479. Those are fantastic prices indeed, but what exactly will you get for those modest sums?
Android news blog Droid Life got its hands on a bunch of marketing materials for the upcoming new Pixel phones. Along with those images, it also received details about all of the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL’s key specs. The biggest news is that both phones will offer the same great camera experience as their pricier predecessors — including Google’s incredible Night Sight low-light photography feature. The phones will also feature fast charging tech that adds 7 hours of usage with just a 15-minute charge. Beyond that, we’re looking at dual 12.2-megapixel rear camera sensors, 4GB of RAM, 64GB or 128GB of storage, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, pressure-sensitive edges, a rear fingerprint sensor, and Android 9.0 Pie. The Pixel 3a will have a 3,000 mAh battery and a 5.6-inch screen, while the larger Pixel 3a XL will feature a 3,700 mAh battery and a 6-inch display.
Google is expected to unveil its new Pixel 3a series phones next week during its Google I/O 2019 keynote presentation.