Whats the difference between the Google Pixel 3 and the Google Pixel 3a?

Whats the difference between the Google Pixel 3 and the Google Pixel 3a?

Do you buy the Google Pixel 3 or the Google Pixel 3a? That has to be one of the most frequently asked questions since Google kindly sent me the Pixel 3a to be part of #teampixel. And no, this is not a sponsored post, so just making it clear before the usual barrage of DMs start…

The TLDR is that the Pixel 3a is a game changer.

No. Not in your typical New-Phone-Is-Great kinda way, but this could be the tipping point against those insane $1000 + phones.

The Pixel 3a is not the company’s “flagship phone” but that is exactly WHY it is a game changer. For the price of $399, it is available across almost every single carrier in the US. That means that more people have access to the device compared to some previous models that were only available on select carriers.

Having used the Pixel 3a as my daily phone for a little while, I can confirm that it just works beautifully and its a superb fit for most people’s needs without compromising on features or quality.

Yes, those on the bleeding edge of tech might want faster/ bigger/ power for competitive gaming or movie editing while on the go. But for the rest of the world who use their phones for emails, social media, pics of the kids, video of a night on the town, and the odd gaming, I would say that the Pixel 3a is a huge winner.

So what are the differences between the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3 anyways? Here is a snapshot overview:

The Similarities

Design and Size

At a glance, both phones have virtually the same design which has stuck with the Pixel range since day 1. The screen size tells a similar story since the Pixel 3 has a 5.5 inch screen while the 3a has a 5.6 inch screen.

Battery Life and Memory

The Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3a both have similar batteries that are 2915 mAh and 3000 mAh. Note that the Pixel 3 supports wireless charging while 3a doesn’t. 

Both models have 4 GB of RAM.

Resolution and Cameras

The devices match up when it comes to resolution too. The Pixel 3a has a screen resolution of 2200 x 1080 while the Pixel 3 comes with a resolution of 2160 x 1080.

The cameras are another aspect where they’re evenly matched as both have rear-facing cameras that are 12 megapixels and front cameras that are 8 megapixels. The Pixel 3 does have wide-angle which the Pixel 3a doesn’t.

This is a test of the Pixel 3a:

The Differences


The Pixel 3, being the flagship phone that it is, has a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845 with Octa-Core processor and Pixel Visual Core™, while the newly announced 3a comes with a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 670 with Octa-Core processor.

Headphone Jack

The Pixel 3 has Dual, front-firing stereo speakers, USB-C™ audio while the Pixel 3a has Dual stereo speakers, USB-C™ audio, 3.5mm audio jack.

So if the headphone jack is your thing, then Pixel 3a is your solution.


There’s a slight difference when it comes to storage. The Pixel 3a only comes in one model which has 64 GB of storage while the Pixel 3 comes in two different models: 64 GB and 128 GB.


Pixel 3 costs $799. Pixel 3a costs almost half that at $399. 

So in summary

I have always loved the Pixel range of phones. The video capability and its stabilization have been amazing and that the quality of the devices has been superb.

I LOVE how Google is throwing its weight behind a mid-tier phone showing that this ridiculous price creeps towards $1000 and beyond, it just beyond ridiculous for most people’s needs.

I continue to have my SIM card in the Pixel 3a and am continuously impressed with it. The full Pixel 3a review will come out once I had time to really use it in the real world and see how it behaves.

In the meantime, check out all the other cool Google announcements at its I/O developer conference

Liron Segev - TheTechieGuy

Liron Segev is an award-winning tech blogger, YouTube strategist, and Podcaster. He helps brands tell their stories in an engaging way that non-techies can relate to. He also drinks way too much coffee! @Liron_Segev on Twitter