Unlike past Pixel releases, it appears Google isn't done with their current lineup. Rumors have it that Google plans to put out two new phones that act as budget variants for their existing devices. And based on the leaks, it looks like one of these variants might be better than its non-budget counterpart.
According to rumors, the Pixel 3a XL is the budget variant of the Pixel 3 XL. When rumors first started to appear, we learned of some of the changes Google is making to reduce the cost, such as a plastic exterior and the removal of one front-facing camera. This led us to believe its main selling point would be that it would use the same camera as the Pixel 3 XL for potentially almost half the price.
But as the leaks continue to hit the web, we are learning that the Pixel 3a XL isn't just a downgrade. The new budget phone will actually have things not found in the Pixel 3 XL, some of which Pixel fans have been wanting for years.
New rumors indicate that the Pixel 3a XL will have an additional 2 GB of RAM for 6 GB total. This would make it the first Pixel phone to use more than 4 GB of RAM, putting it on par with most Android flagships for once. That combination should make this phone special. With a more than capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 at the helm, the Pixel's optimized version of Android, and 6 GB of RAM to work with, the Pixel 3a XL should be one of the fastest budget phones on the market.
Rumors also indicate both the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL will bring back the headphone jack. If this turns out to be true, this would be one of the few examples of an OEM bringing back the beloved port, and it would make the Pixel "a" lineup one of the only phones to still support it. This whole package is rumored to be priced around $400–$600, nearly half of the Pixel 3 XL's MSRP.
Although early rumors indicated the contrary, recent leaks have suggested the OLED panel from the flagship models will remain. This means even at a price tag rumored to be as low as nearly half the cost of the Pixel 3 XL, the Pixel 3a XL will still have a gorgeous display with deep blacks and potentially support for HDR.
With the Pixel 3's legendary camera, a better-than-midrange SoC, more RAM, and a headphone jack, the Pixel 3a XL is an exciting offer. Like Apple's iPhones, Google phones typically have a poor dollar-to-spec ratio, making them at least a bit overpriced on paper. But these "a" models may finally buck that trend.
While the downgrades in other areas will affect some people's decision, this should still fall into that magic category of "great phone that happens to have a budget price." The 6 GB of RAM alone makes it a value buy, as you can now run more apps in the background. But then when you factor in things like Google's 3-year full OS upgrade support and the headphone jack, the Pixel 3a XL looks like a great buy.
If you're interested in learning more about the Pixel 3a XL and the smaller Pixel 3a, we've been rounding up all the latest rumors on these phones for the last few months. You can see all the details at the link below.