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Google Pixel 4 vs Pixel 3 vs Pixel 3a: Which Google phone is right for you? – Android Authority

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2019 noticed the discharge of two units of Google Pixel telephones for the primary time in a calendar 12 months. First we bought the Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL — the primary funds Pixels from the search large — after which got here the true successor to 2018’s Pixel Three sequence — the Google Pixel Four and Pixel Four XL.

We’ve already in contrast the Pixel Four duo with the Android competitors at massive, however how do all of Google’s current telephones evaluate as we speak? Is the Pixel Four a real improve? Is the freshly decreased Pixel Three a greater guess? Might you save much more money and seize a Pixel 3a? Discover out on this Pixel Four vs Pixel Three vs Pixel 3a comparability!

About this Google Pixel Four vs Pixel Three vs Pixel 3a comparability: I’ve been utilizing the Google Pixel Four for round two weeks and beforehand had the Pixel Three XL as my go-to day by day driver since its launch in late 2018. I additionally examined the Pixel 3a closely earlier this 12 months.

We’ll be referring largely to the smaller, vanilla Pixel fashions all through this versus. A lot of the comparability factors additionally apply to the XL vary, however we’ll spotlight any vital variations the place relevant.

Present Extra

Pixel model, refined

Google Pixel 4

  • 147.1 x 68.Eight x 8.2mm
  • 162g
  • Simply Black, Clearly White, Oh So Orange

Google Pixel 3

  • 145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9mm
  • 148g
  • Simply Black, Clearly White, Not Pink

Google Pixel 3a

  • 151.Three x 70.1 x 8.2mm
  • 147g
  • Simply Black, Clearly White, Purple-ish

The Pixel vary has had a constantly good but unassuming look ever because the Pixel 2, however the Pixel Four made some welcome tweaks to the components. As an alternative of the dual-tone glass again, the Pixel Four has a single frosted glass panel with a matte end (shiny in Simply Black) and a black, steel body. The Pixel 3a, in the meantime, has a polycarbonate rear however nonetheless feels remarkably premium.

Associated: The very best Google Pixel Four circumstances you should buy

All three Pixel fashions are available three colours. Simply Black and Clearly White are the default Pixel colorways, however every has its personal particular version too with appropriately quirky names. The Pixel Four is available in Oh So Orange, the Pixel 3a in Purple-ish, and the Pixel Three is obtainable in Not Pink. Lots of the colorways additionally include accented energy buttons with various shades of orange (or inexperienced).

Bezels are slowly being eradicated from most smartphones however Google is lagging behind a bit. The Pixel 3a has the biggest bezels of the bunch, but it surely’s maybe extra preferable than the humongous “bathtub” notch on the Pixel Three XL (mercifully not on the common Pixel 3). Issues get even weirder for the Pixel Four as as a substitute of choosing a punch gap or pop-up, Google caught with a bigger prime bezel and crammed it with a smorgasbord of sensors.

Biometrics, 90Hz shows, and Soli

Google Pixel 4

  • 5.7-inch Full HD+ OLED
  • 2,280 x 1,080 pixels, 444ppi
  • 19:9 facet ratio, adaptive 90Hz refresh price
  • Gorilla Glass 5

Google Pixel 3

  • 5.5-inch Full HD+ OLED
  • 2,160 x 1,080 pixels, 443ppi
  • 18:9 facet ratio
  • Gorilla Glass 5

Google Pixel 3a

  • 5.6-inch Full HD+ OLED
  • 2,220 x 1,080 pixels, 441ppi
  • 18.5:9 facet ratio
  • Dragontrail Glass

The sensor array on the Pixel Four permits Google’s tackle 3D face unlock expertise. We’ve seen makes an attempt at hardware-based facial biometrics earlier than however Google’s is definitely the very best Android has to supply and is lightning quick and extremely correct. That mentioned, it’s a disgrace there’s no in-display fingerprint sensor or a rear mounted scanner like on the Pixel Three and 3a as many apps are taking part in catch as much as embrace face unlock as a safety choice. It’ll even be even higher (and fewer creepy) when it is aware of when your eyes are shut.

Google Pixel 4 vs Pixel 3 vs Pixel 3a: Which Google phone is right for you? - Android Authority which, pixel, phone, google

Among the many many sensors within the telephone’s chin is a Soli radar chip, which is the Pixel 4’s huge gimmick. This permits sooner face unlock because the radar senses your method, and it additionally powers the telephone’s Movement Sense suite, which is a elaborate identify for some wildly inconsistent hands-free gestures. Google has promised extra performance sooner or later, however for now Soli isn’t a fantastic motive to select the Pixel Four over its predecessors.

Soli isn’t a killer app.

What is probably well worth the improve, nonetheless, is the Pixel 4’s 90Hz pOLED show. Google doesn’t have the very best monitor document with its Pixel shows, however this Samsung-made panel is a stunner. Sadly, the upper refresh price function is slightly buggy on the time of writing because of a weird brightness limitation. A repair is anticipated quickly.

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Every of the common Pixel telephones run at a 1080p decision whereas the Pixel Three XL and Pixel Four XL get bumped to QHD+. The excellent news is that even the funds Pixel 3a has an OLED show, so that you’ll be seeing deep blacks irrespective of your funds.

Pixel energy

Google Pixel 4

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  • 6GB RAM
  • 64GB or 128GB storage
  • Adreno 640

Google Pixel 3

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB or 128GB storage
  • Adreno 630

Google Pixel 3a

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage
  • Adreno 615

On the uncooked specs entrance, the Pixel Four lastly sees Google add extra RAM, lastly leaping from 4GB to 6GB. This seems to have solved the aggressive RAM administration points that plagued the Pixel Three as apps will keep open so much longer on the Pixel 4. It additionally will get a lift from Qualcomm’s highly effective Snapdragon 855 chipset which represents a processing leap of round 30% from the Pixel 3’s Snapdragon 845.

Learn extra: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 vs 845: Well worth the improve?

Of all of the Pixel telephones, the Pixel Four is clearly the system of selection for cell avid gamers although it’s a disgrace we didn’t get the Snapdragon 855 Plus with its improved graphics efficiency. Whereas the Pixel 3’s set-up nonetheless performs effectively sufficient, the Pixel 3a struggles with intensive 3D video games on greater settings. Fortunately, the Snapdragon 670 handles common day-to-day like a champ.

What’s the Google Pixel 4’s Neural Core?

The Google Pixel Four and Pixel Four XL boast the corporate’s best-ever software program options and digicam capabilities, that are doable due, partially, to the inclusion of the Pixel Neural Core. This little chip sits …

The Pixel 4’s CPU is joined by one thing slightly further — the Pixel Neural Core. You possibly can learn all in regards to the Neural Core and what it does right here, but it surely primarily powers all the Pixel 4’s AI trickery corresponding to real-time picture enhancing and offline speech transcription via the at present Pixel 4-exclusive Recorder app.

In case you’re shopping for the bottom mannequin of any of the Pixels you’ll be caught with a pathetic 64GB of storage and no likelihood of increasing it with a MicroSD card. That is particularly egregious on the extra premium Pixel Three and Pixel 4. You possibly can leap to 128GB, however that’ll price you one other $100 — the worst instance of storage gouging from any smartphone OEM. Sure, that features Apple.

Feeling (and sounding) actually good

Shifting on to audio, the Pixel Four has stereo audio system with one within the earpiece and one other on the underside of the telephone. This would possibly seem to be a step down from the Pixel 3’s front-facing pair, however the general depth has been improved, as has the readability at greater volumes. The Pixel 3a has an identical set-up to the Pixel Four because the weakest of the three, although it does have one thing fairly nice that the others don’t — a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Lastly, the Pixel trio all have the helpful Edge Sense function which might summon Google Assistant with a fast squeeze, they usually all have a few of the finest haptics you’ll discover in any telephone.

Better of the very best telephone cameras

Google Pixel 4

  • Fundamental digicam: 12.2MP, ƒ/1.7, OIS + EIS, PDAF
  • 2x telephoto digicam: 16MP, ƒ/2.4, OIS + EIS, PDAF
  • Selfie digicam: 8MP, ƒ/2.0, and TOF sensor

Google Pixel 3

  • Fundamental digicam: 12.2MP, ƒ/1.8, OIS + EIS, PDAF
  • Selfie digicam: 8MP, ƒ/1.8
  • Ultrawide selfie digicam: 8MP, ƒ/2.2

Google Pixel 3a

  • Fundamental digicam: 12.2MP, ƒ/1.8, OIS + EIS, PDAF
  • Selfie digicam: 8MP, ƒ/2.0

The Pixel model is synonymous with industry-leading smartphone cameras, all powered by Google’s computational images algorithms.

Google Pixel 4 vs Pixel 3 vs Pixel 3a: Which Google phone is right for you? - Android Authority which, pixel, phone, google

Google has overtly admitted that the latter is the place the Pixel digicam magic actually occurs. This turns into much more obvious whenever you understand that the 12.2MP main sensors on the Pixel 4, Pixel 3, and Pixel 3a are an identical, save for a barely wider aperture on the Pixel 4.

We’ve already examined the developments made for the Pixel Four vs the remainder of the premium Pixel household in a complete digicam shootout. What’s actually shocking is that Pixel 3a nonetheless gives a comparable images expertise at half the value. Listed here are a number of examples:

White steadiness and shade replica is way extra true to life on the Pixel 4. The Pixel Four additionally produces extra element pictures, however there’s no denying all three take dynamic and crisp photographs, even in low mild the place many telephones wrestle.

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Learn extra: Pictures phrases defined: ISO, aperture, shutter velocity, and extra

Night time Sight is an attention-grabbing case because the Pixel Four prefer to readjust the white steadiness to be a lot cooler. Within the pictures under the Pixel Three and 3a have a yellow hue which matches the orangey glow from a streetlight, whereas the Pixel Four transforms it right into a white mild. You may make an argument for both, however personally I desire the changes made on the Pixel 4.

After all, we will’t speak in regards to the Pixel Four digicam and never speak in regards to the largest change the Pixel sequence has seen thus far — the additional rear sensor. Opposite to what appears to be the hopes and desires of the web at massive, the Pixel 4’s secondary digicam is a telephoto lens that helps as much as 2x optical zoom.

Google has dabbled with zoom earlier than with the software-assisted Tremendous Res Zoom function, however that is the true deal. Zoom pictures are unbelievable on the Pixel 4. Surprisingly, although, portrait mode is now restricted to solely the telephoto shooter, so that you would possibly end up needing to take a number of steps again to seize the proper bokeh snaps.

Google Pixel 4 vs Pixel 3 vs Pixel 3a: Which Google phone is right for you? - Android Authority which, pixel, phone, google Pixel Four normal Pixel Four 2x zoom

Google Pixel 4 vs Pixel 3 vs Pixel 3a: Which Google phone is right for you? - Android Authority which, pixel, phone, google

It’s additionally a disgrace we didn’t get extra than simply 2x optical, although the largest gripe for many is the very fact Google opted for a telephoto lens as a substitute of an extremely wide-angle digicam within the first place. Maybe the Pixel 5 can have a triple-lens digicam. Fingers crossed.

Talking of wide-angles, the Pixel Three sequence truly has a secondary wide-angle selfie digicam which was faraway from the Pixel 4. It’s comprehensible that corners needed to be minimize for the Pixel 3a, however with all that prime bezel it’s shocking it didn’t carry over to the Pixel 4. Fortunately, the primary selfie shooter remains to be nice.

Gallery: Right here’s what the Pixel 4’s Astro mode can do

Android Authority’s Pixel Four content material is delivered to you by MNML Case, makers of the world’s thinnest telephone case. Save 25% in your Pixel Four or Pixel Four XL case utilizing the low cost code AAPixel4 Google’s …

As for digicam options, Google has already confirmed that its beautiful Astro mode will ultimately trickle right down to the Pixel Three and 3a. That’s unlikely to be the case for the real-time picture enhancing instruments although, as solely the Pixel Four has the mandatory Neural Core.

All in all, you’re going to have a good time taking the digicam for a spin on any Pixel telephone. If you would like the easiest the Pixel Four does edge forward, although it’s maybe not the sort of leap ahead we’ve seen between earlier Pixel generations.

Okay, let’s speak battery life

Google Pixel 4

  • 2,800mAh
  • 18W quick charging
  • USB Energy Supply 2.0
  • Qi wi-fi charging

Google Pixel 3

  • 2,915mAh
  • 18W quick charging
  • USB Energy Supply 2.0
  • Qi wi-fi charging

Google Pixel 3a

  • 3,000mAh
  • 18W quick charging
  • USB Energy Supply 2.0

Oh pricey.

In case you’ve ever used a Pixel telephone you already know that endurance isn’t their sturdy swimsuit. This was true of the Pixel 3, and it’s very true of the Pixel 4, which for causes that solely Google is aware of has a smaller battery than its predecessor.

That is particularly baffling whenever you issue within the power-hungry 90Hz show and the Soli radar tech. The Pixel Four XL fares higher with a bigger cell than the Pixel Three XL and a suitable (however nonetheless not nice!) 5-6 hours common display on time. The smaller Pixel 4, in the meantime, can drop to a measly 4 hours, and beneath heavy use as little as three.

Pixel Four battery life is abysmal.

Funnily sufficient, it’s the most cost effective Pixels that come out on prime for battery life, because the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL will take you thru at the very least a complete day with out subject.

Every of the Pixels assist 18W Energy Supply quick charging. Solely the Pixel Three and Pixel Four units have quick charging, although the compatibility is a bit in all places. Get a Pixel Stand if you wish to be secure and get some further Assistant options.

Look past the Pixels you’ll discover telephones with considerably higher battery life in any respect budgets. At this level it’s fairly clear Google doesn’t prioritize battery longevity when designing its telephones.

Elegant software program

Google Pixel 3

  • Android 9 Pie
  • Upgradable to Android 10

Google Pixel 3a

  • Android 9 Pie
  • Upgradable to Android 10
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From one excessive to the opposite, Google’s consideration to element with its Pixel software program is astounding.

Google Pixel 4 vs Pixel 3 vs Pixel 3a: Which Google phone is right for you? - Android Authority which, pixel, phone, google

The Pixel expertise is Android as Google envisions it — and that imaginative and prescient is rooted in making your entire UX as clear, medical, and pure as doable.

All three telephones have been up to date to Android 10, with the Pixel Four operating the desert-free OS improve out-of-the-box. You possibly can examine all the brand new Android 10 options right here, although it’s value noting the Pixel Four has some further bells and whistles associated to Movement Sense and the Neural Core (such because the Recorder app).

The Pixel software program expertise is Android as Google envisions it.

Each Pixel is supported for as much as three years for main OS updates and safety patches. The Pixel Three enjoys an added bonus of authentic high quality backups to Google Photographs till January 31, 2022. The Pixel 3a and, extra shockingly the Pixel 4, don’t, although the latter does include a free 3-month trial of Google One with 100GB cloud storage. That’s not fairly nearly as good although is it, Google?

Worth and alternate options

Google Pixel 4 vs Pixel 3 vs Pixel 3a: Which Google phone is right for you? - Android Authority which, pixel, phone, google

The Google Pixel Four begins at $799 whereas the Pixel Four XL pricing begins at $899. You possibly can take a look at the total particulars, together with the Pixel sequence’ newfound wider US provider availability, at our offers hub right here.

The Google Pixel Three is offered out on Google’s on-line retailer, but it surely has just lately dropped to under $500 in gross sales. Anticipate to see retailers filter out inventory throughout Black Friday in November and within the run as much as Christmas. Lastly, the Google Pixel 3a begins from $399.

Not satisfied by what Google has to supply? There are many rivals on the market to select from… and never simply from Android OEMs.

The Pixel 4’s largest rivals are the Samsung Galaxy S10 sequence and the iPhone 11 household. The iPhone 11 Professional, specifically, has a comparable digicam and a complete videography suite that’s leaps and bounds forward of the Pixel (simply you’ll want to check out iOS for some time earlier than making a everlasting swap from Android).

In the meantime, there are many extra reasonably priced telephones with comparable or higher specs such because the stupidly reasonably priced OnePlus 7T for simply $599.

The Pixel Three and Pixel 3a are in an equally tough spot for those who’re wanting solely at a specs sheet, with the Xiaomi Mi 9T Professional being the choose of the bunch. If a fantastic digicam is your dealbreaker although, there isn’t a lot on the market that may contact the Pixel Three siblings.

Google Pixel Four vs Pixel Three vs Pixel 3a: The decision

Google Pixel 4 vs Pixel 3 vs Pixel 3a: Which Google phone is right for you? - Android Authority which, pixel, phone, google

We love the present Pixel household, warts and all. Every has its personal (typically vital) drawbacks, but it surely’s simple to forgive when the digicam suite and software program design is of such a excessive caliber.

If you wish to be part of #TeamPixel your funds will inevitably decide which system is finest for you. These after a close-as-possible-to-flagship expertise on a budget shouldn’t hesitate to select up the Google Pixel 3a. It dominates its direct competitors on images and is definitely top-of-the-line mid-range telephones ever made.

In case you can’t abdomen the underpowered processor then the Pixel Three remains to be an excellent purchase over a 12 months after its preliminary launch, particularly for those who’re actually into selfies. Likewise, for those who can seize a Pixel Three on sale, you’ll get a reasonably sizeable improve over the Pixel 3a for under slightly bit further money.

The Pixel Four sequence represents the very best and worst of Google.

As for the Pixel 4? Effectively, the battery life on the smaller mannequin is unacceptably poor, 64GB simply isn’t sufficient base storage, and Soli is clearly a piece in progress.

However you then take that breathtaking digicam for a spin, glide via the patented Pixel software program powered by a blisteringly fast processor and ample RAM, watch your telephone unlock after only a fast look, and really feel these haptics and listen to the audio system.

The Pixel Four sequence represents the very best and worst of Google in a smartphone. When it’s at its worst, it’s a nightmare. When it’s at its finest, you’ll by no means need to get up.


That’s it for our Google Pixel Four vs Pixel Three vs Pixel 3a comparability! Which Pixel telephone must you purchase in 2019? Hit up the ballot under and tell us within the feedback!

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