While Google is known primarily for its high end Pixel phones, the company rather took the market by surprise with the arrival of the Pixel 3a. This mid-ranged offering brought all of the software goodness of Pixel phones in a smaller and less powerful package. Samsung in the meanwhile is also busy launching mid-ranged offerings of its own. Its most recent announcement, the Galaxy A50, is a stellar device with hardware to match the Pixel 3a. So which one is the better midrange smartphone of the two, Pixel 3a vs Galaxy A50? We’ll take a closer look at the hardware as well as other attributes to find out.
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Pixel 3a vs Galaxy A50 Best Midrange Smartphone
Although the Pixel 3a may seem like a midrange device, it does possess hardware attributes of most flagships. On the hardware front, it comes with a 5.6-inch 2220 x 1080 resolution OLED display, offering better sunlight visibility compared to standard LCD panels. Interestingly, Google here is going with Asahi’s Dragontrail Glass and not Corning’s Gorilla Glass as we’ve seen on innumerable devices so far. There’s 4GB of RAM and 64GB of non-expandable storage on board here. To avoid confusion, Google is only selling one storage/RAM variant of the Pixel 3a.
There’s a 12.2MP camera on the back with decent camera tricks. The Pixel 3a uses an 8MP camera on the front for selfies and video calls. The phone packs a 3,000 mAh non-removable battery under the hood, and thanks to Android 9.0 Pie, battery optimization features are top of the line here. The phone packs the 10nm octa-core Snapdragon 670 SoC, which offers optimum performance and is tailored to work with the latest Android operating system.
As is the case with any other Pixel device, the Pixel 3a will be one the first smartphones to get major Android updates. Google also offers a fast battery charger (18W) along with the Pixel 3a, so it’s pretty much on par with high-end offerings available in the market. Fortunately, Google has retained the 3.5mm headphone jack, so those with wired earbuds no longer have to use adapters.
Customers will also get the goodness of Google Assistant with the Pixel 3a, working in tandem with your connected IoT devices.
The design of the Pixel 3a is very similar to a few older Pixel phones we’ve seen over the years. This means the annoying rear mounted fingerprint scanner is back, which makes for a very unpleasant user experience. Since there’s no dual-camera setup here, you will find the rear panel to be somewhat minimalistic. Unsurprisingly, the back is made of plastic, which helps Google cut down costs. So there have been a few compromises made here. Google sells the Pixel 3a in Clearly White, Just Black and Purple-ish color variants, continuing the tradition of providing odd color names for its phones.
The Pixel 3a is a midranger but certainly isn’t priced like one. Online retailers, including Google’s own store, offers the Pixel 3a. This can be quite a lot compared to some other midrange phones on offer. But with the promise of 3 years of continuous software support, this may not be a big price to pay in the long run.
Samsung’s presence in the midrange market is well felt. The South Korean manufacturer bolstered its hold in the segment with the release of the Galaxy A50 recently. This phone packs a mammoth 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2340 x 1080. So right from the start, the Galaxy A50 has a significant advantage over the Google offering. Moving on, the Samsung midranger comes with an exciting triple camera layout on the back, offering 25MP, 8MP, and 5MP sensors together. The front houses a 25MP camera as well and can take some decent selfies and videos.
While it’s not running Qualcomm’s silicon, the Galaxy A50 packs its own Exynos 9610 SoC which is expected to be very efficient thanks to the 10nm architecture. It houses a massive 4,000 mAh battery which is offered with a 15W Fast Charger, allowing you to juice up the phone in practically no time. You also get 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage here, which again is an advantage over the Pixel 3a.
Android 9.0 is running by default here on top of the company’s One UI. There’s a headphone jack and USB C slot as well. The most fascinating feature here is the under-display fingerprint scanner, a big step up over the Pixel 3a’s rear mounted sensor.
This is an area where the Galaxy A50 will score a lot of points. Thanks to its large display real estate and minimal bezels, customers get all the goodness of the display without any of the clutter. The back, however, leaves a lot to be desired. Much like the Pixel 3a, Samsung has decided to go with plastic for the back panel. While this certainly helps save costs, it significantly affects the appeal of the smartphone. We also commend the fact that Samsung has not added any unnecessary hardware clutter on the Galaxy A50, keeping it simple and minimalistic.
This is where things get even more interesting as the Galaxy A50 is available online at a price cheaper than the Pixel 3a despite being better and arguably better looking offering. You can get this in Black, White, and Blue colors.
As you can clearly see, the Pixel 3a is somewhat lacking in a few areas. It seems like Google rushed into the launch of the handset, or perhaps Samsung just had the advantage of launching its phone slightly later in the industry.
In any case, the Galaxy A50 is a much better phone in terms of hardware, while the only thing going for the Pixel 3a is its pure Android software. But if you have to make a determination between the two, you would be hard pressed not to go with Samsung’s offering, simply for the kind of tech it has on board.
Do you agree on the Pixel 3a vs Galaxy A50 sentiments? Share your thoughts in the comments below.