Gadgets for humans

Google’s reportedly making the cheaper Pixel 3 I’ve always wanted

9to5Google reports that Google is working on cheaper versions of its Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL handsets from last year, with some compromises to bring down the price – but with most of the good stuff from the 2018 flagship.

That’s great news for folks like me who are interested in a compact phone that doesn’t cost the earth.

I’ve been using and reviewing large Android phones for the past few years, and I’m growing tired of it – I don’t particularly care for the additional screen real estate, and I hate not being able to use them comfortably with one hand. If there was ever any novelty in a screen larger than six inches, it’s all but worn off for me.

I’m particularly keen on what’s being called the Pixel 3a. The smaller of the two devices is expected to feature a 5.6-inch OLED display, a mid-range Snapdragon 670 processor (a step down from the faster 845 chip), 4GB RAM and 64GB of onboard storage like the original, a 12-megapixel rear camera that performs as well as the one on the Pixel 3, and an 8-megapixel wide-angle front camera.

The Pixel 3 only has a single rear camera, but it delivers great shots, thanks to powerful software
Credit: Google
The Pixel 3 only has a single rear camera, but it delivers great shots, thanks to powerful software

It’s also slated to support 18W fast charging via USB-C for its 3,000mAh battery, and should come in at a couple of hundred dollars less than the current model, which has been discounted to $600.

That’s basically all I want in a phone right now. I’m over bezel-less designs and RAM in the double digits; I just want something that fits easily in my palm and my pocket, can take decent photos, and costs less than a full-fledged work laptop.

If Google can make this for roughly $400 and ensure it doesn’t ship with a myriad of problems like the original Pixel 3, I’ll be all over it.

This certainly isn’t everyone’s dream device; for around the expected price of the Pixel 3a, you could get a snappy OnePlus 6, or consider an option with wireless charging, like Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 2s. But I already like the look and size of the Pixel 3, and I’d be stoked if I could get a powerful mobile camera like the one it has for $400. Hopefully Google won’t keep us waiting too long to find out what’s in store.

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Published March 19, 2019 — 05:55 UTC