Google Pixel 3a XL - My first pixel and boy am I impressed
Since now all carriers can carry Google Pixels as the exclusive agreement has ended I was lucky enough to get my hands on the Pixel 3a XL. This is Googles mid-tier device and in no way am I thinking this is mid-tier. If you do not know the specs the basic run down is the device has a 6" display comes with 64 Gigabytes (GB) of storage, 4GB of RAM, 12.2 Mega-Pixel(MP) rear camera with a 1.8 aperture and a 8MP front facing camera with a 2.0 aperture. The device is equipped with a 3700 mAh battery providing 30 plus hours of use and has a quick charge of 7 hrs in 15 minutes. The device is also equipped with a Qualcomm 670 Processor.
While this processor is not the flashy 855 processor in the Pixel 3. The 670 is not that far off when it comes to specs. The Qualcomm 670 has a Kyro 360 CPU with 8 cores providing up to 2.0Ghz. It is embedded with a Adreno 615 visual processing system. Six of the main cores handle the day-to-day operations while the remaining two handle higher more data intensive operations like gaming and watching videos. The 670 chips sports a 3x20Mhz carrier aggregation allowing up to 600Mbps download and has a 2x20Mhz upload providing around 150Mbps.
As with all my phones I run a series of benchmark tests to determine the phone's ability to handle its processor and memory available. I like to know where my phone stands in comparison to other devices. I have tested the device using 4 different performance management software each yielded some great results. When I run my tests, I do this first before setting up any other application or service. I have minimal services running in the foreground or background so as to not skew my results. I also make sure my battery operational temperature is around 24-26 degrees Celsius with the CPU Temperature around 40 degrees Celsius. After my Initial testing I then perform a CPU throttling Test.
This performance test again measures the GPU's ability and the CPU processing power. Geekbench 4 scores are calibrated against a baseline score of 4000 (which is the score of an Intel Core i7-6600U). Higher scores are better, with double the score indicating double the performance. The Pixel 3a XL handled itself quite well with a single-core score of 1639 and Multi-core of 5169. In comparison the Pixel 2 XL scored 1868/6218. The processor is showing signs to be able to handle heavy usage with some high end gaming and heavy CPU needs being met. For the Graphics computational test, the Pixel 3a XL scored a RenderScript score of 6509 whereas the Pixel 2 XL had 7445.
PCMARK for Android
Utilizing the work 2.0 performance test the application ran its myriad of tests checking processing, picture manipulating, and editing ability of documents, navigating interweb and data manipulation. Along with this test I evaluated the Computer Vision option which aims to focus on the device’s performance with image recognition tasks. Finally, the Storage test which checks for the devices ability to handle fast smooth stutter-free performance when accessing storage content. Work 2.0 performance yielded a score of 7288, Computer vision came in at 3833, and the Storage component was 11472. All these scores are in line with high end multitasking devices. For comparison the Pixel 2 XL scored 7405/3593/7410 in the same tests.
With 3DMark I ran the Sling Shot Extreme which utilizes the OpenGL ES 3.1 or Vulkan graphics API. Graphic tests are based on a 2560 x 1440 screen resolution. The Slingshot ES 3.1 - Demo program is extremely demanding to get the results it looks for. The applications also test the devices rendering abilities, graphic intensive ability. It is geared for evaluating a devices ability to handle high end computations for graphic rendering and video playback. It is computed via a graphics test and a physics test to measure CPU performance. The Pixel 3a XL rendered an initial score of 1628 for OpenGL ES 3.1 and 1544 for Vulkan. My test was 33% better than others with the same model. In comparison the Pixel 2 XL had 3587 / 2900. The Pixel 3a XL scored 48% better thank results from all other devices.
Antutu Benchmark & 3D Rating
This Benchmark application measures multiple layers of evaluation from memory performance, CPU integer Performance, and 2D 3D graphics Performance. The overall results of this test yielded a score of 159094 while the only comparison I could find is on the pixel 3 which held a score of 271929. This score came back with the device handling a 3D game performance at a high quality mode. CPU processor also confirmed to support large apps with excellent multitasking. This device is listed as defeating 37% of other user devices who ran the same test.
CPU Throttling Test
This throttling test runs a sustained performance test of the CPU. It is not a benchmark test. The test is trying to apply 100% load to the CPU. My test ran with 20 threads for 15 minutes. The CPU showed a performance rating of maximum 136,178 Giga Instructions Per Second (GIPS) an Average of 132,0925 GIPS and a Minimum of 122,015 GIPS was seen. Based on the results the CPU was showing throttling down to 92% of max performance ability. From what I can see there is barely any throttling occurring.
From my testing the Pixel 3a XL while it is a mid-tier device from my testing it showing to be able to handle higher end graphic intensive applications. It may not be the top processor but it is no low end one either.
Enjoy and remember never use your phone or tablet while driving, be safe and healthy.
Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee