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DxOMark: Pixel 3a camera is nearly as good as iPhone XR, costs $350 less

The Google Pixel 3a is roughly half the price of the Pixel 3, $350 cheaper than the iPhone XR.

Published onJuly 19, 2019

Google Pixel 3a Purple-ish Rear Tree

The Google Pixel 3a camera system is nearly identical to the regular Pixel 3’s while costing half as much. However, the lower-grade hardware in the Pixel 3a left us wondering just how similar photo quality would be between the two devices.

According to camera review site DxOMark, the Google Pixel 3a camera is only one point off from both the Google Pixel 3 and the iPhone XR. The Pixel 3a is roughly $350 cheaper than the iPhone XR.

DxOMark’s score for the Pixel 3a’s rear camera is an even 100, while the Pixel 3 and iPhone XR have scores of 101. The two highest-scoring smartphone cameras on DxOMark’s list — the HUAWEI P30 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G — both have a score of 112, for reference.

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The Google Pixel 3a camera now bests flagships from 2018, including the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, the OnePlus 6T, and the Xiaomi Mi 8.

In other words, when it comes to getting the best 2019 smartphone camera for the least amount of cash, DxOMark says that the Pixel 3a is the best choice.

Here are two photos from DxOMark’s review. One is from the Pixel 3a and the other is from the Pixel 3. See if you can determine which one is which (don’t cheat!):

The photograph on the left is from the Pixel 3 and the photo on the right is from the Pixel 3a.

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Pixel 2 XL and 3a XL cameras

Unfortunately, DxOMark hasn’t yet reviewed the front-facing camera on the Pixel 3a, so we don’t know how that fares in comparison to the Pixel 3. However, it still hasn’t tested the front-facing camera on the iPhone XR, either, despite that phone launching in September of last year, so we might need to wait a while.

Since the camera hardware, processor, and other internal specs are the same for the Google Pixel 3a XL, we can only assume the photo quality of that device will be equal to its smaller sibling. The Pixel 3a XL starts at $479, roughly $420 cheaper than the Pixel 3 XL and $270 cheaper than the iPhone XR.

Does this make you more interested in buying a Google Pixel 3a? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

NEXT: Google Pixel 3a XL camera review: Category leader

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