They look similar, but the Pixel 3a vs 3 are actually really different.
The Pixel 3 was released in September 2018, with the 3a being unveiled in April 2019. And despite the Pixel 3 being a few months older than the 3a, it’s a much more premium device, and I can’t stress this enough. If you look at images of the Pixel 3 vs 3a side-by-side on the web, they may look close to identical, but the truth is that they feel very different in the hand. Whereas the refurbished Pixel 3 feels like a direct competitor to Apple’s iPhone thanks to its premium top-of-the-line components and feel, the Pixel 3a does not create the same impression: it feels “plasticky” and cheap, almost like a children’s toy.
More recommended reading: if you’re interested in comparing budget smartphones, then perhaps you’d find our Pixel 3a vs Moto G7 comparison interesting :D
When it comes to comparing performance on the Pixel 3 vs 3a, you can expect the Pixel 3 to pack a much heavier punch than the Pixel 3a thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip, which may not sound like a big deal to the standard user, but this was a top-of-the-line processor in 2018. The Pixel 3a, meanwhile, was packaged with a mid-tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor in order to save on costs and produce a cheaper phone.
What does this actually mean for the standard user? You can expect the Pixel 3 to be about 50% faster when opening apps, multitasking, or just browsing the web.