The Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are the company’s new mid-range smartphones, in fact, these are the first two mid-range Pixel phones in general. Both devices are made out of polycarbonate (plastic), and some of you may wonder how durable they are because of it. Well, JerryRigEverything decided to test out the Pixel 3a in order to see what’s going on.
Just a note, the Pixel 3a, and Pixel 3a XL are the same in terms of the design and build, so this test basically applies to both devices. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL flagships which were announced last year are made out of metal and glass, for the most part, so it will be interesting to see how the Pixel 3a stacks up next to them.
The video showing this durability test is embedded down below, and we’ll go over it in this article. The first test the source conducted is the scratch test, and do note that the Pixel 3a series includes Dragontrail glass protection on top of the display, not Gorilla Glass.
The Pixel 3a’s display got scratched up with a level 6 pick, while deeper grooves were noticed when a level 7 pick was used. This is something you’d expect out of modern Gorilla Glass display protection as well. In other words, keys and coins in your pocket should not be able to scratch the display.
The phone’s front-facing camera is protected by that same glass, while the phone’s earpiece is protected by a layer of metal mesh which is glued on top of it. As already mentioned, the phone is made out of plastic, though we’re looking at really strong plastic here, so the phone should be durable enough. Even if you scratch it, or ding it, the layer below it is the same color as the top layer, so such dings should not be too noticeable.
The phone’s dual-LED flash on the back comes with plastic on top of it, while the phone’s main camera is protected by a layer of glass. The fingerprint scanner is also covered by plastic, though scratching it will not affect its performance, at all.
When exposed to flame, the Pixel 3a’s display managed to last for 20 seconds, until pixels started shutting off and white marks started appearing as a result of it. The display never recovered, but this is not exactly your everyday situation, JerryRigEverything does this part more for fun than anything else.
The last test, and the one that is probably most interesting to the vast majority of you is the bend test. The Pixel 3a did bend quite a bit when pressure got applied to both its back and front sides, but it reverted back to its normal position and continued working fine afterwards. The display did not pop out or anything of the sort, which is a great sign.
All in all, it seems like Google did a fairly good job with the Pixel 3a in terms of build quality. The phone seems to be quite durable, especially considering its materials and build quality. Some people still prefer plastic build, though, as it’s more resistant to drops, it’s usually hard enough, and it’s less slippery than metal and glass. If you’re one of those people, and would like to save up some cash, and get a great camera along the way, well, the Pixel 3a may be the right phone for you.