Battery Life

Battery life on the Pixel 3a XL should be good: The Snapdragon 670 SoC is manufactured on a 10LPP process node and the microarchitecture should be in line with the Snapdragon 845. In effect, I expect the unit to have similar efficiency as the S845 generation of flagships.

The battery capacity of the 3a XL is also relatively large: 3700mAh. It’s to be noted that Google here is advertising the rated capacity, whilst some other vendors in the last few years have started to advertise the typical battery capacity, which can be 100-150mAh higher than the rated one. Props to Google to remaining honest in their marketing numbers here.

Web Browsing Battery Life 2016 (WiFi)

In the our web-browsing test, we indeed see the Pixel 3a XL perform extremely well with a result of 11.3h. As I mentioned, the phone falls very closely to the efficiency of S845 devices with similar battery capacity: the OnePlus 6T being the closest comparison point to the 3a XL.

The phone is able to showcase much better battery life over the Pixel 2 XL and the Pixel 3 in the charts because these two phones suffer from inefficient LG panels and DDICs. Unfortunately we don’t have a Pixel 3 XL to compare to.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Battery Life

In PCMark we again see equality with S845 devices of similar capacity: Again the 3a XL falls in almost the same range as the OnePlus 6T here.

Overall, the battery life of the Pixel 3a XL is excellent. Google did well with opting not to go with LG for this line-up as I fear it would have resulted notably worse battery life results, and I hope the company does the same for the Pixel 4 phones.

Whilst we don’t have a review unit at hand to test, we expect the regular Pixel 3a to perform 15-20% worse, in line with the 23% smaller battery capacity of 3000mAh.

Display Measurement Camera - Daylight Evaluation
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  • zodiacfml - Thursday, June 27, 2019 - link

    Poor value as the Pixel 3. At $400, one can get a Samsung S8 with a Snapdragon 835 so it also fails in North America. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, June 27, 2019 - link

    ... but you don't get a very good camera. Reply
  • shabby - Thursday, June 27, 2019 - link

    But you get a slow soc with the pixel, two can play this game. I think the s8 is a more balanced solution than a midrange phone with a great camera. Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, June 27, 2019 - link

    The S8 has a pretty good camera...I mean, we're comparing Oranges to Oranges here - with the exception of low-light, I don't think people shopping for $400 phones are going to notice a difference between the Pixel 3 and S8 cameras...

    And the S8 is waterproof. And it has Qi wireless charging. And a faster SoC.

    I don't see how the Pixel 3 is going to be a hit using its slightly superior camera as a crutch.
    Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Thursday, June 27, 2019 - link

    But it has stupid rounded edges to the screen, making the S8, S9, S10 non-options for a lot of people. It's nice they went back to flat screen edges with the S10e, but they just had to add the hole-punch screen.

    The last great phone from Samsung was the S7. The only decent replacements from Samsung are in the A-series of phones.
    Reply
  • Cellar Door - Thursday, June 27, 2019 - link

    S7 battery life is poor compared to what is on the market today, the camera has great auto-focus but produces worst pictures then the s6 did. I've owned both, upclose s7 is good but any landscape or long distance and its blurry. Reply
  • MadManMark - Monday, July 1, 2019 - link

    You lost me as to why it's "people shopping for $400 phones" that aren't going to notice difference between two cameras. Implying that anyone who is looking to spend more money somehow becomes magically more discerning of differences? Reply
  • Quantify - Thursday, June 27, 2019 - link

    It doesn't really fail; it's a different option. I went with the 3a over a 2 year old flagship for a few reasons:

    1) Size. The 3a is a great size for one-handed use, to fit in a pocket, etc.
    2) Camera. Night sight and other features. Nuff said in this article.
    3) Updates. Not just security updates, but entry into beta program, and newest features (like call screening)
    4) Bands: has Band 66 and Band 71 for T-Mobile. Older flagships (including S8) often don't.
    Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, June 27, 2019 - link

    That's an interesting point. I didn't think of the superior LTE modem. Reply
  • haukionkannel - Thursday, June 27, 2019 - link

    Very True. S7 did just drop out of upgrades. S8 will be in same situation next year. So yep you get Phone for longer time buying Pixel 3a compared To old flagship. Reply

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