Phone Comparisons: Google Pixel 3a XL vs OnePlus 7 Pro

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This may seem like an odd comparison, well, that's because it is. One is a mid-range phone, while the other one is a flagship-grade device. The price difference between these two phones is probably enough for most people to make up their mind, but some of you may be trying to decide whether spending all that extra money on the OnePlus 7 Pro is worth it, which is why we're.

These two phones do have some comparable points, that's for sure, cameras come to mind first, while OnePlus' OxygenOS is often hailed as a great alternative for people who would like to step away from Pixel phones, but still want to keep that stock Android essence. We will compare these two phones across a number of categories, as per usual, let's see how many of those categories can the Pixel 3a XL claim for itself, if any.

Specifications

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Design

These two phones do not exactly look similar, not at all. They could not be more different when it comes to the design, and for most of you, that's a good thing, as it should be an easy way for you to decide which one you like more. The Google Pixel 3a XL offers a more modest design, as the phone is made out of polycarbonate (plastic), and it sports noticeable bezels above and below the display.

The device includes a single camera on the back, and that camera is placed in the top-left corner of its back side. A regular, capacitive fingerprint scanner sits on this phone's back side, while the device is considerably lighter than the OnePlus 7 Pro, as it weighs only 167 grams compared to the OnePlus 7 Pro's 206 grams.

The OnePlus 7 Pro, on the other hand, does not include display holes or notches, same as the Pixel 3a XL, but unlike Google's' mid-ranger, the OnePlus 7 Pro is made out of metal and glass, and it is almost completely bezel-less. This phone is actually narrower than the Pixel 3a XL, despite the fact its display is a lot larger.

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The Pixel 3a XL is 76.1mm wide, while the OnePlus 7 Pro measures 75.9mm in width. The OnePlus 7 Pro is just a little bit taller than the Pixel 3a XL, while it is also a bit thicker. The Pixel 3a XL includes a 6-inch display with an 18:9 display aspect ratio, while the OnePlus 7 Pro sports a 6.67-inch panel with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. That, in addition to the fact that the OnePlus 7 Pro's display is curved, makes it possible for the device to be narrower than the Pixel 3a XL.

All in all, it's hard not to give this category to the OnePlus 7 Pro, as it offers a more premium design, not to mention that it looks considerably better than the Pixel 3a XL. If you'd like a less slippery phone, or you like polycarbonate build for some reason, the Pixel 3a XL is the phone for you.

Winner: OnePlus 7 Pro

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Display

These two phones offer considerably different displays, which is not surprising considering that they belong in different categories altogether, and the difference in their price tags. The Google Pixel 3a XL features a 6-inch fullHD+ OLED panel, while the OnePlus 7 Pro ships with a 6.67-inch QHD+ Fluid AMOLED display, which is also curved.

The Pixel 3a XL's panel is protected by Asahi Dragontrail Glass, while the OnePlus 7 Pro's comes with Corning's Gorilla Glass 5 protection, if our sources are accurate, as the company did not really list out the version of Gorilla Glass it is using.

The OnePlus 7 Pro's display is not only sharper, but it is HDR10+ certified, and it comes with a 90Hz refresh rate, which will result in extremely fluid operation (hence the name). If you do not like curved panels, or you simply find the OnePlus 7 Pro's display too large, the Pixel 3a XL's display is a solid alternative. Its display supports an always-on function, and it offers those deep AMOLED blacks.

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All things considered, the OnePlus 7 Pro's display is amongst the best out there, it's made by Samsung, and it has been properly tuned by OnePlus, plus it has all those bells and whistles that we've mentioned, so it is superior to the Pixel 3a XL's panel. Once again, considering the Pixel 3a XL's price tag, though, its display is more than adequate for the vast majority of people.

Winner: OnePlus 7 Pro

Performance

Both of these phones perform well enough, but the OnePlus 7 Pro is superior in this regard. The Pixel 3a XL managed to avoid tons of bugs that crawled into the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, and its stock build of Android does make it run fairly good, but the sheer power of the OnePlus 7 Pro comes to light here, along with its high refresh rate display, and solid software.

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The OnePlus 7 Pro is equipped with the Snapdragon 855, which is one of the most powerful mobile chips in the market, along with 6GB, 8GB, or 12GB of RAM. On the other hand, the Pixel 3a XL ships with the Snapdragon 670 64-bit octa-core processor, which is one of Qualcomm's mid-range processors, but not the company's best mid-range chip.

The performance gap between these two chips is considerable, and in addition to that, the Snapdragon 855 is a more power efficient chip (7nm compared to 10nm). You will definitely feel the performance boost from the OnePlus 7 Pro (in pretty much every way), as you should, considering its status, but the Pixel 3a XL performs surprisingly great, it will be fast enough for the vast majority of users.

Winner: OnePlus 7 Pro

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Battery Life

This category was a bit more difficult to compare than it seems, mainly due to sheer options on the OnePlus 7 Pro. The Pixel 3a XL comes with a fixed resolution of 2160 x 1080, and a 6-inch display, while the OnePlus 7 Pro's 6.67-inch panel can shift between fullHD+ and QHD+ resolutions, automatically or manually.

The OnePlus 7 Pro's refresh rate is the main factor here, though. If you set this phone to a 90Hz refresh rate (which is set by default, actually), it will drain the battery a bit more than the 60Hz refresh rate, we've actually noticed quite a bit of difference. When set to 60Hz refresh rate and auto display shift, the phone easily beats the Pixel 3a XL, even when set to QHD+ at all times.

If you, however, opt to keep the display at 90Hz refresh rate, the two phones are much closer in terms of battery life, but we still noticed a bit better results from the OnePlus 7 Pro. This will depend on your usage, for the most part, as battery life can vary from one user to the next, quite a bit, in fact.

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When it comes to charging, the OnePlus 7 Pro wins without a problem. The device comes with 30W Warp Charge fast wired charging, which can recharge your phone from zero to 100-percent in only 60 minutes. The Pixel 3a XL offers considerably slower charging at 18W, but it's still fast enough for most people, and even faster than the one the Galaxy S10 series offers (15W).

Neither of the two phones offer wireless charging, nor reverse wireless charging, in case you were wondering. All things considered, the OnePlus 7 Pro gets this category as well, though both phones are really good when it comes to battery life.

Winner: OnePlus 7 Pro

Cameras

You have probably heard of the Pixel 3a XL's great camera performance, and there's a good reason for that. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are still amongst the best camera performers out there, and the Pixel 3a XL comes with the same main camera as those two phones.

The Pixel 3a XL's images, when compared side-by-side with the ones taken with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are hard to tell apart, impossible even. If you're looking for a great all-around camera, and are not looking to spend a lot of money, the Pixel 3a XL is the way to go, as it can perform great in basically any situation, even in low light, thanks to its Night Sight mode.

The OnePlus 7 Pro, on the other hand, offers really solid camera experience out of the box, and more versatility than the Pixel 3a XL. The end results, though, are not as good, at least not at the moment. The Pixel 3a XL is still superior in low light, while in regular light the Pixel 3a XL's images are a bit more contrasty and fuller, though the OnePlus 7 Pro's images look more true-to-life in such conditions.

The OnePlus 7 Pro does have access to 3x lossless zoom thanks to a separate lens, and you're' also getting a dedicated wide-angle camera here, while the Pixel 3a XL opts for software solutions. All in all, most people would probably be more pleased with the Pixel 3a XL's camera output, at least at the time of writing this article, though the OnePlus 7 Pro's output is also quite compelling.

Winner: Google Pixel 3a XL

Conclusion

We did not get a chance to mention that both devices offer stereo speakers, though the OnePlus 7 Pro comes with Dolby Atmos sound on top of that. Both phones pack in Bluetooth 5.0, while both include two SIM card slots. The Pixel 3a XL includes one nano SIM slot, and one eSIM card which is baked into the phone.

The OnePlus 7 Pro, on the other hand, offers two nano SIM card slots. Neither of the two phones offers storage expansion. If you're looking for a headphone jack, the Pixel 3a XL is the only phone you'll find it on, as the OnePlus 7 Pro does not include one, you'll need to use wireless earphones / headphones, or opt for a dongle.

There are many differences between these two devices, which is to be expected considering the price gap, and a completely different set of consumers they're aiming for. If you're happy with mid-range phones, and are looking for a solid performer that has a great camera, the Pixel 3a XL will serve you just fine, and will get updates before the OnePlus 7 Pro.

If you're looking for a great flagship, that is solid all around, and can compete with pretty much everything out there, the OnePlus 7 Pro is a great choice. All in all, OnePlus' flagship wins this comparison overall, as expected.

Winner: OnePlus 7 Pro

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Assistant Editor

Kristijan has been writing for Android Headlines since 2014 and is an editor for the site. He has worked as a writer for several outlets before joining Android Headlines, and has a background in writing about Android and technology in general. He is a smartphone enthusiast that specializes in Android applications, and that platform in general. Contact him at [email protected]

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