The affordable Pixel 3a phones are much easier to repair than the pricier Pixel 3 series

The affordable Pixel 3a phones are much easier to repair than the pricier Pixel 3 series
The Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL break the unwritten rules of affordable phones: rather than having a mediocre camera like all others, the new budget Pixels come with the same flagship-grade camera of the Pixel 3 series. But there is more to a phone than just the camera and to find out exactly what is inside the Pixel 3a, we take a look at the detailed teardown, courtesy of iFixit.
 
And the big takeaway is that the new Pixel 3a is much easier to repair than the flagship Pixel 3 series. Thanks to its simpler construction and use of common screws, the Pixel 3a got a 6/10 repairability rating, while the Pixel 3 XL scored a meager 3/10 on the same test and the regular Pixel 3 had a 4/10 rating. 

The big takeaways are these:

  • the phones are easy to open without applying heat
  • battery replacement is easy
  • both phones feature a Samsung-made OLED panel
  • both features a regular vibration motor (unlike the fancier one on the flagship Pixel)

Images courtesy of iFixit

Images courtesy of iFixit


In the picture above, you can see the motherboard with all the chips on it and right in the middle is the Snapdragon 670 system-on-a-chip that powers the 3a and the 3a XL.

While earlier speculations pointed to lower quality screens used in the Pixel 3a series, the actual teardown confirms that both phones use AMOLED screens made by Samsung, which is good news.

You can see how easy battery replacement is on these new Pixels and get a detailed look inside them in the video right below.

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

FEATURED VIDEO

4 Comments

1. Venom

Posts: 2989; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

This is great news. A Samsung panel instead of a crappy LG panel. If there's one thing Samsung is absolutely the best at, it's making the best screens on any phone.

3. domfonusr

Posts: 1056; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

The ease of repair is even better news than the Samsung panel alone. Must admit I am impressed. The trade-off is losing the water-proofing, but hey, its a trade-off!

4. Venom

Posts: 2989; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

The ease of repair should make it easier to keep the phone long term for people who just want something that works. I've never really cared enough about waterproofing and generally these types of phones are water resistant to minor splashes and the accidental dunk or two.

2. tokuzumi

Posts: 1794; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

The ease of repair directly correlates with the level of waterproofing. Since we don't have any official IP rating, it means less glue/adhesive was used, which means less potential damage to components when attempting repairs. I hope this trend of easier to repair phones continues.

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