Google’s Midrange Pixel 3a Goes on Sale Today Starting at $399

Google Pixel 3a

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Google is returning to the midrange smartphone market with its new Pixel 3a smartphones, which start at $ 399 —or half the price of a standard Pixel 3 phone.

The Pixel 3a and larger 3a XL—which will go for $ 479— were designed to bring Google’s smartphone technology to the masses at a more affordable price, the company’s hardware chief Rick Osterloh said today at Google I/O.

“There’s been a really troubling trend in the smartphone industry. To support the latest technology, everyone’s high-end phones are getting more and more expensive, so we challenged ourselves to optimize our software and AI to work on more affordable hardware,” he said.

Google Pixel 3a

So how did Google lower the price? The products will swap the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processors found in the Pixel 3 and 3 XL for the less-powerful Snapdragon 670 chipset. Google has also downgraded the front-facing camera from a dual lens system to a single lens setup. Full specs can be found here.

The phones are also plastic as opposed to the Pixel 3’s aluminum body, but Google says the Pixel 3a devices will still offer a premium feel. Both products promise to offer up to 30 hours of battery life on a single charge. The new Pixel 3a phones will also come with a much-wanted perk: a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The 3a sports a 5.6-inch, 2,220-by-1,080 OLED screen, while the larger 3a XL boasts a 6-inch, 2,160-by-1,080 display.

Both phones arrive today on the Google store. They’ll also be available through Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular, as well as Google Fi. Customers will be able to choose from three colors: black, white, and purple.

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