Google Pixel 3a Review

June 7, 2019 | Amy Davies |


We’ve long been fans of the Pixel range of phones. They may be fairly simple in operation and design, but you’re rewarded with excellent photos in a range of different conditions.

Since it’s a Google phone, you’re also running a “clean” version of Android, which looks and feels sleek and runs quickly. This is even more important for the Pixel 3a, which has a mid-range processor and might struggle if it was running a more complex “skin” over the top of standard Android.

We had no doubt that the image quality from the Pixel 3a would be excellent, as Google has brought over the same camera despite a range of other cost-cutting exercises to bring the price of the phone down.

Images directly from the Google Pixel 3a's camera are great, with vibrant colours and nice levels of sharpness. The Portrait mode creates good shallow depth of field effects, while we continue to be impressed by just how well the Night Sight option performs.

One criticism to lay at the feet of Google Pixel phones is the simplicity of the native camera app. You can shoot in raw format, but it’d be good to have a bit more manual control - even if it was hidden away in a “Pro” type mode, such as we see on other Android phones like the Samsung S10+ and the Huawei P30 Pro.

On the other hand, being straightforward to use is appealing to those who don’t want to bother with anything more complicated and just want a simple point and shoot.

Another issue is only having one lens. That feels unusual in the modern smartphone market, but it is comparable with many other mid-range phones.

If your main concern is the quality of the onboard camera - and you can live with a slightly less refined build quality - then this is a good opportunity to get your hands on a Pixel phone with a fantastic saving. For that reason, the new Google Pixel 3a comes highly recommended.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4
Ease-of-use 5
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 5