Does the plastic housing of the Pixel 3a bother you?

Does the plastic housing of the Pixel 3a bother you?
The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL were Google's first phones to sport wireless charging, a feature sorely missed on their predecessors, but now we are back to square one with the midrange Pixel 3a and 3a XL that are unapologetically plastic and need plugging in to charge.

There were times in smartphone history when metal was becoming the new plastic, but its material kingdom reigned quite briefly, taken over by glass sandwich designs. It's not just premium design that phone companies are after with their glass-y casings, though. Wireless charging would heat metal bodies to ungodly heights, so Apple had to also bite the bullet and move to glass iPhones, just when it introduced wireless charging to the lineup.

Glass looks premium and lets you top up your phone sans cables but it has just as many negatives - it is prone to cracking very easily when dropped, and is a fingerprint magnet. Thus, replacing a shattered rear now costs a pretty penny and is, in the case of iPhones, more expensive to repair than the screen itself.

Looking around, there are barely any metal or plastic phones left, so Google's new midrangers feel like a refreshing change of pace for some, with their durable bodies that you can just dust off when they hit the pavement. 

This, however, may take away from their look and feel for some, given that plastic is usually associated with cheaper electronics, even the polycarbonate housing of the Pixel 3a/XL. This is why we wanted to ask you if, a couple of years after plastic phones went into a coma, you are now bothered by the housing of Google's new midrangers.

Does the plastic housing of the Pixel 3a bother you?

Yes
18.81%
No
81.19%

Related phones

Pixel 3a XL
  • Display 6.0" 1080 x 2160 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 670, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3700 mAh

FEATURED VIDEO

31 Comments

1. cncrim

Posts: 1557; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

With 399 and top notch software and camera, you cant complain too much beside plastic may feel cheap but it can last for years.

2. notfair

Posts: 687; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

We don't want phones made out of glass that breaks and scratch easily, moreover we want a bit thicker phones to accommodate larger batteries and avoid the RETARDED CAMERA BUMPS!

11. AbhiD

Posts: 575; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

None of which is applicable here. Neither pixel 3a has bigger battery nor plastic should be necessarily replaced by glass. Ever heard about METAL? ALUMINIUM? STEEL?

15. User123456789

Posts: 400; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Metal = scratches easily than glass and plastic, loses paint easier, NFC goes to front , no Qi charging (for those who like this feature)

30. mootu

Posts: 1373; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

And? The 3a has a plastic back and doesn't have Qi, so your point is? Also plastic is no tougher than metal when it comes to scratching and glass backs are just way too delicate when it comes to drops and knocks. Give me metal anytime over the other options. I use a Honor Play as a work phone and i bought it specificly for it's metal back.

3. Larry_ThaGr81

Posts: 489; Member since: May 26, 2011

No, simply put you get what you pay for.

22. miketer

Posts: 493; Member since: Apr 02, 2015

Pixel a series - you get more than what you pay for.

25. Venom

Posts: 3014; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I got more than what I paid for. The plastic build is actually very good and not as cheap looking as people think. It actually feels lightweight and not chunky at all.

4. Phonehex

Posts: 732; Member since: Feb 16, 2016

Whatever the material , it's covered by a case anyway for 99% of people.. so how does it matter ?

7. Fred3

Posts: 341; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

Alot of people carry their phone naked. that's why you see so many broken ones on sale on ebay. Their motto is "why have a good looking phone if no one can see it"

9. BuffaloSouce

Posts: 1175; Member since: May 01, 2017

It does matter. A polycarbonate body will cost less than a phone with glass body...

5. dnomadic

Posts: 372; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

My phone goes in a case, so it always feels like plastic. There is something satisfying when you feel it for the first time, but after that ALL PLASTIC ALL THE TIME.

6. Landon

Posts: 1232; Member since: May 07, 2015

That's why I liked the Samsung Active product line so much. It was a durable phone that never needed a case.

8. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1158; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

I don't care about the plastic, I do however care that it doesn't have more than 64GB storage, no expandable storage and no dual SIM support. That makes it a no-go for me in 2019. It's a shame Google keeps making devices that come up short in areas.

19. Godlymansean

Posts: 281; Member since: Apr 14, 2017

Yeah but to an average user 64gb is more than enough. Not "short" imo at 400$

29. mahima

Posts: 714; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

Yep...but average user buys pixel?

10. jboston511

Posts: 1; Member since: May 17, 2019

I'm personally relieved it has plastic/polycarbonate body. I'd much rather have a cheaper and more durable phone. Glass looks cool but it makes things heavier and more fragile, and since my phone is in a case 99% of the time give me plastic!

12. CEDEOTB

Posts: 342; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

Polycarbonate will even take a beating. As good as glass feels and looks it'll crack or shatter. Metal Unibody's were the best of both worlds.

13. torr310

Posts: 1619; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Phone pricing has been going up year after year. Though I have bought $700+ phones for years, I would love to buy premium phones without premium outfit but premium specs only, if they could be in the $500 range.

14. User123456789

Posts: 400; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Better than metal. Some phones lose paint even with case on ...

16. legend921

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 19, 2017

I have no issues with the polycarbonate backing. I actually like the pixel 3a a lot. I don't miss the "premium" feeling of a glass and metal phone. Top notch camera in a mid-range is what I have been wanting for a long time.

17. User123456789

Posts: 400; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Sharp Aquos Zero uses carbon fiber

18. HildyJ

Posts: 332; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

I prefer plastic to glass because it won't shatter (and I never use a case) and to metal because it's radio transparent. The fact that it's cheaper is a bonus. The only back I would pay extra for is real wood or leather like my old Moto.

20. Donbenie

Posts: 248; Member since: Aug 04, 2013

99.9% of the time,my phone is in a case.Doesn't matter to me if it's made of plastic,especially if there is an added benefit of the said phone being cheaper..

21. miketer

Posts: 493; Member since: Apr 02, 2015

Plastic is more durable and long lasting. It's a better option for the professional businessmen. Let the glass be for the fashionistas.

23. LEEDAQ

Posts: 154; Member since: Aug 07, 2018

not everyone needs the wireless charging

31. middlehead

Posts: 434; Member since: May 12, 2014

Plastic bodies don't stop wireless charging. It being a "glass only" feature is an industry lying to you. Metal is the only material that had problems with it, and even that is solved. Doing wireless charging through metal is possible, but prohibitively expensive.

24. japkoslav

Posts: 1373; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

Better than glass ... lighter ... less fragile so who gives a shi.. it's not as shiny.

26. oldskool50

Posts: 503; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Well, other OEMs went back to plastic phones too. No one had an issue with it. So no one should now.

27. Seanetta unregistered

The old Nokia Lumia phones were a great example of rock solid polycarbonate

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.