Here’s what we know about the mysterious mid-range Pixel phone.
Google’s Pixel 3 and 3 XL smartphones are two of the very best Android devices you can buy — if you have at least $800.
We’ve heard talk of a mid-range Pixel phone for a while now, and at some point in 2019, it looks it could become a reality in the form of the Pixel 3 Lite/Pixel 3a.
Here’s everything we know so far about Google’s third entry in the Pixel 3 series!
The latest Pixel 3 Lite news
March 18, 2019 — It looks like we’ll also get a ‘Pixel 3a XL’ alongside the ‘Pixel 3a’
Last week we heard a rumor that Google’s mid-range Pixel will be dubbed the Pixel 3a. According to a new leak by 9to5Google, the Pixel 3a and 3a XL are the go-to market names for the upcoming phones, with both phones slated to be available in Clearly White, Just Black, and a third color option.
The Pixel 3a will feature a 5.6-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2220×1080, with the larger 3a XL touting a 6-inch panel. Both phones will offer 64GB of internal storage, and retain a lot of features that we’ve seen on the Pixel 3 series: Active Edge, Titan M security module, eSIM, and 18W fast charging over USB-C.
The Pixel 3a will be powered by a Snapdragon 670 and have a 12MP camera at the back along with an 8MP shooter up front, and it looks like the phone will offer similar image quality as the standard Pixels. There’s no information regarding a launch window, but it should be imminent.
March 14, 2019 — The Pixel 3 Lite might actually be called ‘Pixel 3a’
We’re still waiting on Google to announce its mid-range Pixel phone at some point this year, and when that finally happens, it looks like it may go by a name other than Pixel 3 Lite.
As spotted by XDA when digging through code in Android Q, there’s a reference to “Pixel 3a XL” as “sargo” — a codename the mid-range phone has been going by for a while now.
If this is legit, that means Google’s new handsets would be called Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL instead of Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 XL Lite.
January 17, 2019 — Pixel 3 Lite gets shown off in its entirety in hands-on video
The Pixel 3 and 3 XL were leaked extensively before their official unveil, and the Pixel 3 Lite is continuing in much the same way. Thanks to a three-minute hands-on video of the unreleased phone, we have a much better understanding of what to expect from the device. The Pixel 3 Lite shares the same design aesthetics as its siblings, albeit with a single 8MP camera up front.
The phone will also feature more modest hardware in the form of a Snapdragon 670 chipset, paired with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The rear camera is the same 12.2MP shooter that’s featured in the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, so it’ll be interesting to see if Google is able to offer the same level of image quality with the Snapdragon 670 platform.
What’s particularly interesting is the fact that the phone features a headphone jack at the top. No word as yet about an official launch, but it does seem likely that we’ll hear much more about the Pixel 3 Lite in the coming weeks.
December 27, 2018 — Pixel 3 Lite will reportedly be sold on Verizon in the U.S. next spring
Ever since the Pixel 3 Lite first appeared, it’s been uncertain if the phone would be launched in the United States. Thanks to a new report today from Android Police, that uncertainty is being laid to rest.
According to “a source familiar with the company’s plans”, Google will be launching both the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 XL Lite on Verizon in the U.S. in early Spring 2019.
That’s as specific of a date as we have right now, and unfortunately, there’s still no word on how much the phones will cost.
While not mentioned anywhere in the report, it’s expected that the two Lite versions of the Pixel 3 will also be sold via the Google Store similar to the proper Pixel 3 and 3 XL that are currently available.
December 9, 2018 — Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL compared to Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL in new renders, 360-degree video
We’ve seen an increasing amount of chatter and renders, and the latest batch of high-quality renders have appeared in a collaboration by 91mobiles and OnLeaks that features the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL — am I the only one that still thinks the name order there is a little weird? — spinning like a turntable to show off its size and ports, including a 3.5mm headphone jack sitting up top, slightly off center as it did on the original Google Pixel.
Alongside the video, 91mobiles has a comparison of the spec differences between the Pixel 3 series and Lite series, and most of it meshes with what we’ve heard before. The Pixel 3 Lite XL looks like it will sport a notchless 6-inch screen, giving it the same 18.5:9 aspect ratio as the Pixel 5.6-inch screen on the Pixel 3 Lite. With a big battery, a Snapdragon 670 instead of the Pixel 3’s Snapdragon 845, a headphone jack, and a plastic build instead of glass, the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL could indeed be tempting at the right price point, but the two details still missing are a concrete price and a release date.
With only 3 weeks left in 2018, we’ll likely have for the new year to see this new mid-range Pixel, but how long into January — or February — will we be waiting? And will the price tag that arrives with it make the wait worth it?
November 26, 2018 — Pixel 3 Lite compared to Pixel 3 XL, iPhone XR, and more in new pictures
A little over a week since the Pixel 3 Lite broke its cover for the first time, a site by the name of Wysla has shared new hands-on photos of the phone — this time comparing it to other devices that are currently on the market.
One of the most obvious comparisons for the Pixel 3 Lite is with the behemoth that is the Pixel 3 XL, and when placed side-by-side with the 3 XL, we can see just how much smaller the Lite actually is. While the Pixel 3 XL has a huge 6.4-inch screen, we’re only expecting a 5.56-inch panel on the Lite model. Compared side-by-side with the regular Pixel 3, the phones look almost the same (save for the Lite’s slightly larger bezel).
Other pictures go on to show the Pixel 3 Lite next to the original Pixel, iPhone XS, iPhone XR, iPhone 5S, and Nokia 3310.
November 16, 2018 — Mid-range ‘Pixel 3 Lite’ appears in photos with headphone jack and same great camera
Google’s Pixel 3 and 3 XL are undoubtedly two of the best Android phones you can buy. However, with prices starting at $799 for the base Pixel 3 and going up to at least $899 for the XL model, they certainly aren’t cheap. Thankfully, at least according to one Russian blog, a mid-range “Pixel 3 Lite” could soon be on its way.
Rozetked published a post on Friday, November 16 to share hands-on photos and reported specs for the Pixel 3 Lite that’s codenamed as “Sargo.” That’s a codename we’ve heard murmurings of before, and rumors of a mid-range entry in the Pixel series have been circulating since April.
As you can see from the photos, the Pixel 3 Lite looks a lot like the regular Pixel 3. It has what appears to be a plastic back, USB-C for charging, a single 12MP rear camera that’s said to be “the same as the regular Pixel 3”, and a colorful power button. The bezels surrounding the display are quite a bit thicker, and instead of an AMOLED panel, the Pixel 3 Lite supposedly has a 5.56-inch 2220 x 1080 IPS screen.
You’ll also find two speaker grills on the bottom frame flanking the USB-C port instead of front-firing ones, and to the delight of a lot of you reading this, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack up top (something the Pixel 3 + 3 XL lack).
Other rumored specs include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 (contrasting with an earlier rumor that it would use the Snapdragon 710), 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage with no microSD expansion, and a 2,915 mAh battery that supports Quick Charge 4.0.
It’s unknown which markets will get the Pixel 3 Lite, but pricing is said to be around $400 – $500 with a release expected either before the end of 2018 or at some point in Q1 2019.
All the big details
Where does the Pixel 3 Lite fit with the Pixel 3 and 3 XL?
As the name suggests, the Pixel 3 Lite will be offered as a less premium, more affordable version of the regular Pixel 3 and 3 XL. Up until now, all Pixel phones have been focused on the flagship market. As such, it’ll be interesting to see Google’s take on a phone under the Pixel brand that’s designed to be accessible to more people.
What specs are we anticipating?
Final specs for the Pixel 3 Lite obviously aren’t confirmed yet quite, but in any case, here are some of the specifications we’re currently looking forward to based on the latest rumors/leaks.
|Operating system||Android 9 Pie|
|Display||5.56-inches 2220 x 1080 IPS|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 670|
|Camera||12.2MP (same as Pixel 3)|
When will the phone be released?
Right now, the closest thing we have to a release date for the Pixel 3 Lite is either at some point before 2018 is over or in Q1 2019.
How much is it going to cost?
With the Pixel 3 and 3 XL having starting prices of $799 and $899, respectively, Google definitely has room to go down.
It’s expected that the Pixel 3 Lite could cost somewhere in the ballpark of $400 – $500, so while it wouldn’t necessarily be a budget phone, it would be a heck of a lot more affordable than its older siblings.
Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL
- Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL review
- Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL: Everything you need to know!
- Google Pixel 3 vs. Pixel 3 XL: Which should you buy?
- Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL specifications
- Join our Pixel 3 forums