Google’s lower-end Pixel 3 Lite could be called Pixel 3a

A newly-discovered Geekbench Browser log allegedly for the Google Pixel 3 Lite XL might have finally given us some performance numbers for the company’s lower-end smartphone. But it could have also tipped us off to a new naming convention, as the log refers to it as the “Google Pixel 3a XL.”

The benchmark landed a single-core score of 1640 and multi-core score of 4973, which is a bit over half the scores we observed for the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL proper. 

Unfortunately, the Geekbench log doesn’t name the octa-core Qualcomm processor running the tests, though its description – 1.71 GHz, ARM implementer 81 architecture 8 variant 6 part 2050 revision 13 – suggests it’s a Snapdragon 710 chip, PhoneArena estimated.

That matches the first rumor we saw of the Pixel 3 Lite/3a, though others suggested it would pack a Snapdragon 670. In any case, it’s very likely not a leading Snapdragon chip; the 845 alone runs at 1.8 GHz, and phones packing it regularly achieve multi-core scores in the 8000s. And it all but rules out packing the not-yet-seen Snapdragon 855 chip coming in phones this year.

Signs point to mid-range

Just because this Pixel 3a XL won’t get the best chip on the market doesn’t mean it’ll underperform. The Snapdragon 710 is set to be Qualcomm’s top processor for non-flagship phones, as seen in the Nokia 8.1.

The Geekbench log noted the Pixel 3a XL was packing 4GB of RAM, the same amount as the Google Pixel 3 and 3XL packed when they were released last fall. While that seems minimal considering the baseline 6GB RAM that other flagships have been packing, that will likely be plenty enough for the midrange Pixel 3a.

We’ll have to see if this log proves true, but it seems about right for a device packing a lot of the Pixel 3 line’s good components in a scaled-back, lower-cost package.

David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.