With the increasing costs of flagships nowadays, it's a good thing that smartphone makers have been releasing midrange options that can get the job done almost as well as the top-of-the-line models.
Arguably, the Samsung Galaxy A50
and Google's Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are among the best of the best around in the middle tier, but between them, which is better?
Galaxy A50 vs. Pixel 3a
Under the hood, the Galaxy A50 has an Exynos 9610, 4 or 6 GB of RAM, and 64 or 128 GB of internal storage that's expandable up to 1 TB with a microSD card. Meanwhile, the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL both have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 670, 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of native storage, and neither of them have a microSD card slot.
When it comes to the screen, the Galaxy A50 sports a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with a 2,340 x 1,080 resolution and 403 ppi that's protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 3. On the other hand, the smaller Pixel has a 5.6-inch OLED display with a 2,220 x 1,080 resolution and 441 ppi, while the larger one has a 6.0-inch OLED display with a 2,160 x 1,080 resolution and 402 ppi. Both are topped with Dragontrail Glass, which is considered to be inferior to Gorilla Glass.
On the camera side of things, the Samsung contender has a triple-camera setup on the back — a 25-megapixel wide lens, an eight-megapixel ultrawide lens, and a five-megapixel depth sensor — and a 25-megapixel wide snapper on the front. The Pixels only have a single 12.2-megapixel wide camera on the back and an eight-megapixel wide sensor on the front. The number of lenses doesn't automatically decide which one is better, though. For instance, the Pixel line has typically been among the top
in DxOMark's rankings, after all.
The Galaxy A50 has the largest battery out of the three, coming in with a 4,000 mAh pack. The Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL have 3,000 mAh and 3,700 mAh batteries, respectively. A larger capacity doesn't necessarily translate to better battery life in real-world usage, though.
For the record, all three of them have headphone jacks, a big plus over the current brood of flagships, and each and every one of them run on Android 9 Pie out of the box, although the Galaxy A50 does come with Samsung bloatware.
The Bottom Line
The Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL have a couple of advantages here, namely the popular Pixel-exclusive features such as Call Screen and Night Sight. They are also promised to get two years' worth of Android updates and three years of security patches. The Galaxy A50 wins on the display, since it does have AMOLED as opposed to OLED.
The Galaxy A50
is also cheaper at $349.99 and comes with expandable storage. The Pixel 3a
starts at $399, and the Pixel 3a XL at $479.
In short, it's only a matter of which factors are more important to the user — timely software updates and exclusive features for the Pixels or a more attractive price tag, expandable storage, and an AMOLED display for the Galaxy A50 — to determine which one is the better midrange smartphone here.