Google debuts cheaper Pixel phones after premium handsets flop

The Pixel 3a Should Scare Samsung and Apple

Active Edges, which lets you squeeze the sides of the phone to quickly summon Google Assistant have made the transition from Pixel 3 XL to Pixel 3a XL, too.

Alphabet Inc's Google launched more affordable versions of its Pixel smartphone on Tuesday at about half the price of its current models, and dropped an exclusive US distribution deal with Verizon Communications Inc, signalling a major shift in the tech giant's hardware strategy.

The new Pixel 3a device is being introduced as Apple and Samsung have boosted prices of their newest handsets to over $1,000, and with Google's flagship Pixel 3 selling from around $800.

The new Pixel 3a series is created to bring some of the best features of the Pixel series - unlimited full-resolution photo and video storage in Google Photos, latest Android OS features and security updates direct from Google, and the industry-leading smartphone camera - to a slightly more affordable price point.

Connectivity options on Pixel 3a and 3a XL include USB Type-C port, single nano SIM support, 3.5mm headphone jack, Bluetooth 5.0, and NFC. There are more carrier partners this time as well. Google last month reported fewer first-quarter Pixel sales than a year ago due to increased competition and decreased demand in the high-end market.

Whereas the Pixel 3 XL starts from £869, the Pixel 3a XL starts from £469.

More news: UK concedes it must hold EU election amid Brexit delay

The Pixel 3a is lit by a 5.6-inch FHD+ gOLED display while the Pixel 3a XL has a bigger 6-inch FHD+ gOLED display.

Google I/O 2019 has kicked off with its usual keynote full of goodies and Google-y goodness, and here is all the awesomeness that was on display! They run the same Android Pie software, and you can use the 3a in the Android Q beta program.

The two smartphones rock Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 670 processor paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage.

The camera uses a 12.2mp Sony rear lens and 8pm front snapper, with the former supporting HDR+ and 4K recording at 30fps. Whether the feature, which expands the field of view enough that you won't have to worry about a selfie stick, is worth paying the £400 premium for the flagship Pixel 3 XL model will depend on just how many selfies you take / how much you loathe being seen in public with a selfie stick.

My favourite Google phone of recent years is also the one with the lowest asking price. And it is here that the Pixel 3a's story begins. Both versions will be available in 3 colors Google calls Just Black, Clearly White and Purple-ish.

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