Google Pixel Camera is way overrated

In the USA, the testers regularly praise Google Phones in the highest tones - and for many gadget fans, the pixels are the best Android devices of the year. The new Pixel 3a also starts with great praise.

The problem for Swiss fans. Like its predecessor, the latest pixel is not officially available from us. Of course there are importers who get the device abroad. You can also do this yourself, for example via the MeinEinkauf.ch shopping service, which has a delivery address in Germany.

You pay the normal price like German customers, i.e. 399 euros for the Pixel 3a. Plus CHF 14.90 for customs clearance and forwarding the parcel. But you can also benefit from the official promotions, for example at Saturn there is also a Google Home Mini free of charge.

A price of 400 to 450 francs is half as much as pixel phones have previously cost on Google. The everyday test has to show what is really available for this.

The Google Pixel 3a has the best camera in the mid-range

The greatest strength of the new Google smartphone is the camera system, which has been taken over more or less integrally from the top version. The lens itself is also available in many other models, namely a 12-megapixel sensor from Sony. But nobody gets as much out of the software as Google.

Automatic pictures are sharp, rich in contrast and show natural colors. Sometimes the Pixel 3a tends to be a bit yellowish, but that's the only point of criticism. It is also outstanding how well the software copes with situations in which the differences in brightness are large. For example a bright sky, plus a subject in the shade. This is perfectly balanced without appearing artificial.

Incidentally, this also applies to the selfie camera with 8 megapixels. It also shoots pleasing portraits with a blurred background, with the main camera these become a little more precise. Other manufacturers have great difficulty with two lenses to achieve a similarly good result as Google purely with the software.

Not to forget the night mode, which is just as good as Huawei's and takes amazingly good photos even in the dark, in which you can see more than the naked eye.

Unfortunately, the design and equipment are only mid-range

You shouldn't expect much from the design. The 5.6-inch device has a high-resolution OLED screen like the top devices, but it doesn't really come into its own. The edges are too thick, especially at the top and bottom. A really boring device without a visual highlight. And the pixel is not outstanding in terms of touch either: The back is made of plastic, which is of high quality but feels cheaper than glass or metal.

The clearest compromises compared to its big brother, the Pixel 3, have to be made in the 3a with the processor. Instead of a Snapdragon 845, a Snapdragon 670 is used. At least with 4 GB of RAM. Thanks to pure Android, the Google phone still runs quite smoothly.

It is also a shame that the 64 GB memory cannot be expanded as in the expensive model - there is also no larger version on offer. This is doubly a shame because you don't get unlimited Google photo storage like with the Pixel 3, at least not in full resolution.

The battery, on the other hand, is even slightly larger. The 3000 mAh doesn't sound like much, but thanks to the system that uses resources sparingly, that's enough for more than a day.

Conclusion: attractively priced, solid overall package, outstanding camera

If you are not looking for a spectacular smartphone but rather prioritize the operating system and camera, you should take a closer look at the Google Pixel 3. You have to do without things like dual SIM or wireless charging, but you get a good overall package that can even compete with the top class in three areas.

The camera is unique in this price range and is one of the best photo systems currently available. There is also the pure Android 9 Pie with a three-year update and upgrade guarantee and the high-quality OLED screen.

Published: May 28, 2019, 1:16 pm
Last updated: May 28, 2019, 2:53 p.m.