HomeReviewsGoogle Pixel 3a XL Camera Review in Daylight

Google Pixel 3a XL Camera Review in Daylight

So, without wasting any more time, let’s get this started.

Google Pixel 3a XL is finally here after a series of leaks, rumours and what not. The new ‘Affordable’ smartphone from Google comes with the not-so-affordable price of Rs 44,999.

With this, Google is trying to expand its hardware products to a mid-premium price range where OnePlus and Samsung dominate for a long time. So, to give a stiff competition to its nemesis, the company has equipped the flagship camera in the latest phone, which is also present in the Google Pixel 3. Google, during its presentation, mocked its competition in a witty way by merely suggesting that you don’t require multiple camera setup to get great shots, software enchantments and algorithm can deliver the same results. Quite a tall claim, isn’t it?

The brand was successful in building up some hype regarding the camera performance of the Pixel 3a XL. However, does it do any good? In this article, we will talk about the daylight performance of the Pixel 3a XL. So, without wasting any more time, let’s get this started.

But first, know the camera hardware!

Google Pixel 3a XL

Google has added a single 12-megapixel Dual-Pixel camera on the back with Sony IMX363 sensor, optical and electronic image stabilisation, f/1.8 aperture, 76-degree field of view, 1.4-micron pixel and an LED flash. The brand has added all the modes which are present on the Pixel 3 lineup, in this phone as well. The list includes Portrait Mode, HDR+, Super Res Zoom, Night Sight and Top Shot. For the front, the phone is loaded with an 8-megapixel shooter with 1.12-micron pixels, an f/2.0 aperture, and an 84-degree field of view. So, if you are through with the camera hardware, lets deep dive into some camera shots.

Exhibit 1: Building

Google Pixel 3a XL

The first photo we took was the shot of this building and the result was quite amazing in our opinion. The phone clicked a well-detailed shot with colour being close to the source. The sharpness was to the point and when you zoom the photo, you can actually see that the bird is an eagle. The colour of the sky seems to be natural as well. Overall, the phone did an excellent job of capturing this image.

Exhibit 2: Plants

Google Pixel 3a XL

The photo we took from this photo was exceptional as well. The colours of the plants can be easily distinguished and the phone comes loaded with a wide dynamic range as well. When you zoom into the pictures, you can see the patterns on the leaves, while the leaves appearing at the background was visible as well. This shows that the phone can capture some detailed shots when the lights are ideal.

Exhibit 3: Portrait

Google Pixel 3a XL

When it comes to portrait, the Google Pixel 3a XL does an excellent job. You can see that the phone blurs out the background entirely while highlighting the subject. The software infused bokeh effect looks quite pleasing in our opinion. We also liked the fact that the edge detection is on point and it rightly blurs the background without blurring edges of the subject, which is a common problem in most of the smartphones with Portrait mode. However, some find might it a bit blurred out in nature. The detailing was once again impressive and the colour reproduction looked close to the source.

Exhibit 4: Macro

Google Pixel 3a XL

Coming to Macro shots in daylight conditions, the result was impressive. However, we did notice that the phone was not able to focus when we took it too close to the subject. There was a prompt on the camera scene that said to move back to focus on the subject. Once that was done, the phone was able to capture a detailed shot of the subject. The colours were close to the source and the blurred background looked much more natural as compared to the one taken from the portrait mode.

Exhibit 5: Selfie and Portrait

Google Pixel 3a XL

Now let’s head to the selfie performance of the Pixel 3a XL. The photo clicked in broad daylight delivered some decent results, though it is not something extraordinary. The skin tone was captured naturally, but the background was overexposed. We also thought that the detailing could have been better while taking selfies. Coming to portrait mode, the phone does an excellent job in blurring out the background. Furthermore, edge detection was to the point, which is a good thing.

Exhibit 6: Zoom Functionality

Google Pixel 3a XL

Google has introduced Super Res Zoom feature on its Pixel 3a XL, which is also present on the Pixel 3 lineup. We clicked this photo using the zoom feature and the results are quite impressive. Although the sharpness is a bit compromised, it still manages to click a decent shot as you can see the pattern of the wall in the background. The colours were close to the source and details present in the photo was fairly decent.

Exhibit 7: Indoor Light

Google Pixel 3a XL

The photo was taken at an indoor place where there was a fair amount of natural light. As you can see, the phone delivered some excellent dynamic range and wide colour gamut is good. The brightness is to the point and so is the sharpness. However, we felt that the red was a bit oversaturated in nature, but apart from that, the phone took a good shot.

Exhibit 8: Against the Sun

Google Pixel 3a XL

The last photo we took was against the lights. The Pixel 3a XL was able to capture some good details and the silhouette created during the capture was decent as well. The phone was able to capture some details as one can see the silhouette of the leaves quite easily. Overall, the phone does a decent job here.


Coming to the final judgement, the Google 3a XL overall captures some detailed shots. The colour reproduction is quite close to the source and the sharpness is impressive in nature. The phone delivers output, which is almost identical to the Pixel 3 lineup. Using Portrait mode was a sheer delight with the Pixel 3a XL. However, it does take some noticeable amount of time in processing as compared to Pixel 3. This is mainly because of the absence of Google’s Pixel Visual Core. That said, the phone does an excellent job when it comes to the broad daylight performance, though selfie experience is not that great.

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