Google Pixel 3a XL review

A cheaper way to get a large Pixel

Google Pixel 3a XL
Image Credit: TechRadar

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Google has set itself a conundrum here: is there actually still any reason to buy a Google Pixel 3 XL? The Pixel 3a XL has most of the highlights of that phone, for basically half the price.

When it comes to spec, you’re certainly losing out compared to the 3 XL. The chipset is less powerful, the screen has a lower resolution and it’s not waterproof, but there’s still enough here to make for a pretty impressive package.

As phones get more and more expensive, it’s interesting to see Google enter this cheaper end of the market – and with another impressive device that we like the look of, and which works as well as you’d hope it to.

Who’s this for?

The Google Pixel 3a XL is for anyone who doesn’t want to spend the best part of $1,000 / £1,000 on their smartphone, but still wants to be able to take some amazing photos with its rear camera.

Some of the best camera tech we’ve ever seen on a phone is at your fingertips here, and it’s impressive to see it on a device this affordable.

If you’re after the best performance a phone can deliver, the Pixel 3a XL probably isn’t for you, but for most users the fact that they’ll be able to load up and run apps and games quickly and without any problems will be enough.

Should you buy it?

If you’re after an affordable alternative to the increasingly expensive top-end devices out there, yes is the answer.

This isn’t a cheap phone, but it offers a lot for the money, and can compete with impressive mid-range handsets like the OnePlus 7.

Overall, buy this if you want a top camera on your phone, but don’t want to spend thousands. If you want blistering performance or a stunning-looking display this won’t be able to offer that.

Then again, do you really need it to?

The competition 

Not convinced by the Google Pixel 3a XL? Here are our other recommendations for you...

Google Pixel 3a 

If size is the main thing putting you off the Pixel 3a XL, you should consider picking up the Pixel 3a instead – it’s a largely similar phone to the XL version, but it has a slightly smaller screen, and a smaller battery as well.

Read our Google Pixel 3a review

Honor View 20 

This handset isn’t available everywhere, but if you can find it it’s a worthy competitor to the Google Pixel 3a XL, offering top-end spec and features, and a similar display to the Pixel 3a XL.

Read our Honor View 20 review

iPhone XR 

It’ll cost you quite a bit more money, but if you’d rather have an iPhone you may want to opt for the most affordable of Apple’s latest handsets. It has most of the top-end features you’d expect from an iPhone, but it’s a similar price to the Google Pixel 3.

Read our iPhone XR review

Image Credit: TechRadar

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.