Pixel 3a XL Review: The Best Smartphone Clark Has Ever Used


Popular smartphones from Apple and Samsung can cost you an arm and a leg, but Google’s latest Pixel phones have many of the same high-end features for half the price!

Money expert Clark Howard bought a Pixel 3a XL and has been testing it for about a month.

Clark says it’s the best phone he’s ever used, but there’s a downside he’s not thrilled about. In this article, we’ll explain the pros and cons! Let’s get started…

Here’s Why Clark Loves the Google Pixel 3a XL

There are two big pros to this phone: the price and the camera.


In May of 2019, Google introduced the affordable Pixel 3a and 3a XL models. The least expensive version is $399. Meanwhile, Google’s Pixel 3 starts at double the price — $799.

Of course, new Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy models can cost about $1,000 when they’re first released.

Clark purchased the bigger and more expensive of the two new Pixel phones. The 3a XL is $479. However, Clark traded in an old phone and paid only $179 for the new device.

Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL
Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL


You get essentially the same camera on the Pixel 3a XL as you would on a more expensive Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL.

The Pixel has a feature called Night Sight that allows you to take pictures in extremely low lighting, as well as the ultra-popular Portrait Mode.

Clark says the pictures he takes with his new Pixel 3a XL turn out great. Here are some examples:


Clark image taken from Google Pixel 3a XL

Clark image taken from Google Pixel 3a XL

The One Con for Clark…

Clark’s biggest complaint about his Pixel 3a XL is that the 6-inch screen is smaller than he’d like.

Other drawbacks according to Wired and Engadget are that it cannot charge wirelessly, isn’t waterproof and that it doesn’t have expandable storage.

If those qualities are important to you, then this phone may not be the right pick.

Key Features

Google’s Pixel 3a and 3a XL phones are solid devices with desirable features, including compatibility on the Big 4 networks: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint.

Here are the technical specifications for the Pixel 3a XL that Clark has:

  • 6’’ Full HD+ display with an 18:9 aspect ratio
  • 2.0GHz + 1.7GHz octa-core processor and 4G LTE speeds
  • Rear camera hardware: 12.2 dual-pixel, f/1.8 aperture
  • Front camera hardware: 8 MP
  • Autofocus with dual pixel phase detection
  • Optical + electronic image stabilization
  • 64GB storage
  • All day battery
  • Fast-charging
  • Pixel Imprint – back-mounted fingerprint sensor
  • Unlocked for Google Fi, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T

Final Thought 

Clark says if you’re shopping for a high-end phone on a budget, the Google Pixel 3a XL is a great value.

And when you’re ready to buy a new smartphone, it may also be a good time to look at ways to save on your cell phone plan. Here are the best plans and deals starting at $10 a month!

Do you have a Google Pixel 3a or 3a XL? Scroll down to the comments and leave your review!


More Clark.com stories you may like:

Welcome bonuses can be a great way to boost the value of a credit card. Best Credit Card Welcome Bonuses for 2022 - If you're in the market for a new credit card in 2022, you may be hoping to cash in on the hundreds of dollars in sign-up bonuses offered to new customers. Welcome bonuses and offers are a marketing tool that…
The best cell phone plans include Tello, Mint Mobile, Visible, T-Mobile, Consumer Cellular and more Best Cell Phone Plans in 2022: Deals for Every Budget - Team Clark ranks the best cell phone plans and deals! See our favorites for unlimited data, families and cheap plans starting at $10/month.