The Google Pixel 3a XL consistently takes better photos than the iPhone XS but costs under $500. Even the triple-camera OnePlus 7 Pro can’t best the Pixel in tricky lighting. With a great portrait mode and an unbeatable “Night Sight” feature for dark scenes, the Pixel 3a is just as capable as its more expensive brother, the Pixel 3.
The downside is that, to get to its $399 price point, Google had to trim costs elsewhere. The Pixel 3a ships with a significantly slower midrange processor than the normal Pixel. Apps are noticeably slower to open, photos take a while to process and graphics-intensive games feel choppier. And while it still has good colors and brightness, the screen has big bezels that make the phone look noticeably cheaper.
Finally, as with the OnePlus 7 Pro, there’s no official water resistance and the Pixel 3a isn’t able to charge wirelessly. If you prioritize the clean software and amazing camera of the normal Pixel, the Pixel 3a’s the cheapest way to get it.