Google once again points out a feature the Pixel 3a has and the iPhone XS doesn't

Was it all the way back in February when we told you about Google testing an AR version of Google Maps for pedestrians? Time sure flies when you're covering this industry. Anyway, Google is now promoting this feature on the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL by once again offering a comparison with the infamous "Phone X." The first time, using the Pixel 3, Google compared its Night Sight feature that takes viewable pictures in low-light conditions with the same photo snapped by "Phone X" with the same lighting. The fine print in both ads reveals that the mystery phone is the 64GB Apple iPhone XS. Google repeated the comparison on a billboard put up near an Apple Store in Washington D.C.

The point of these ads is to point out that such features as Night Sight and AR navigation are available in a phone starting at $399 as compared to the $999 it costs for the 64GB iPhone XS (aka "Phone X"). Meanwhile, AR navigation on Google Maps is not to be used while driving, and to make sure that users don't become too distracted, they will be reminded to put the phone down after a certain time. If the user doesn't obey, the screen will go dark. This will also preserve battery life on the phone since AR navigation is a big power consumer.

Besides showing pedestrians how to walk from point "A" to point "B" with arrows superimposed on real-world images, AR in Google Maps will also point out famous landmarks and certain retail locations. It isn't clear whether Google has rolled this feature out to all Pixel models yet. But let's say that a Pixel 3a user has opened Google Maps to help him or her navigate while walking. If AR navigation is available, a button will appear that says "Start AR." At that moment, the regular Google Maps UI is replaced with the real world backdrop from the phone's camera.

Related phones

Pixel 3a
  • Display 5.6" 1080 x 2220 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 670, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3000 mAh
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



1. Alcyone

Posts: 396; Member since: May 10, 2018


2. Vogue1985

Posts: 459; Member since: Jan 24, 2017

ill take apples plan vanilla map with assurance am not a walking experiment for google.

3. Alcyone

Posts: 396; Member since: May 10, 2018

Options are nice to have. I've not had a chance to use the ar feature, yet. Hopefully, it will get constant updates and be as useful as what I got now. Traffic, cameras, construction and a myriad of features my iPhone never had. However, both serve(d) very well. And, I do believe it'll be a matter of time, and Apple will implement similar.

4. Nimbus

Posts: 442; Member since: Apr 02, 2018

Even Microsoft Here map can do AR navigation if they update it before apple Map,apple is usually behind in tech,guess Google like to bluff it's services and apps against its 2 rival player that it can do well even without the license and rules & regulation guidelines to other OEMs.Beside I like the map app ad comparison between map ui navigation and AR ui map navigation between pixel 3a series and iphone x series.

5. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2206; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

This is software difference and not hardware related difference.

6. Vokilam

Posts: 1201; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

I just brought the same location up on my iphone X - that is not how apple maps looks like, the buildings are in 3D (not just shapes drawn on flat surface, there's so much more information of every business, it shows lane directions. And there are AR navigation apps already in the App store, check out Go! AR app..

7. emjoigently

Posts: 152; Member since: Aug 22, 2017

Decent notifications?

8. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

After the release of ARKit more than 1 year ago, iPhones have had that functionality; check out ARCity, HotSptepper, Street Explorer and lots of other apps.

9. aegislash

Posts: 1495; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Google’s dreaming of the day that Pixel devices have even close to the number of users. I really, really doubt pointing out minuscule things like this will sway anyone.

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