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Google Pixel 3a. It's the camera silly (and the price) Sprint Product Ambassadors

Sprint Product Ambassador

I am on four weeks of use having moved from Samsung Galaxy S9. My experience has always been top-notch with Samsung cameras with the low light performance standing out. Portrait mode is important as well and the S9 has done well in that area although it seems complicated to use. 


Hear me now and believe me instantly, the Pixel 3a camera does everything you would want and provides an outstanding user experience. 


Do this first


One of the first things you will want to do is change the settings of your phone to turn on the jump to the camera feature and the handy flip camera mode. Jump to the camera will allow you to launch the camera even when the device is locked by double-pressing the power button. Flip camera mode allows you to toggle between the rear camera and front with a flip of the wrist. The mode for me did not seem to work as easily as I would like. 


To activate these features open the settings-systems-gestures. (See my screenshot collage) If you go to the gestures menu through the camera settings you will also get options to set a double-tap screen for zoom/switch camera and volume key control options for shutter, zoom, and volume.  



Camera use and features


The Pixel 3a has the same camera and camera software as the more expensive Pixel 3. Being pure Google, all the controls and features are simple and just what you need. You will find all you would expect from a camera in including, panorama, slow motion, time-lapse, and the super popular portrait mode. Interesting extra features include photobooth, playground, and lens. 


Rear camera video defaults to HD 1080p and can be changed to UHD 4K (30 fps) and reduced to HD 720p. The front camera defaults to HD 1080p and can be changed to either HD 720p or SD 480p. You will want to keep in mind that the free Google cloud unlimited backup for the Pixel 3a is at a reduced quality. You can change this setting through your Goole Photos account if you do not mind the data going against your overall storage quota. For me, I prefer to upload at the same quality as the picture was taken and am willing to pay for the extra storage. 


Well, what about the pictures? 


“This phone is only $399?” “This phone is only $399?” The price has become my inner chant as I am wowed by the quality of the pictures. The colors have been sharp and true with the low light performance right there with any other phone I have experienced. Flash pictures with the phone are always terrible so the low light performance is important. In general low light conditions, the phone is a champ. The Pixel also has a much-ballyhooed night sight option that when shooting in super dark conditions pulls light is just amazing. 


The portrait mode for me has been the real superstar feature. Many flagship devices are accomplishing this through the use of multiple camera lenses but the Pixel 3a does so through the software. Selecting this mode is super simple and both a portrait and a non-portrait version if each picture is saved for later review.Portrait and non-portraitPortrait and non-portrait

Some more picture examples including low light. 

00100lPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20190623092243837_COVER-COLLAGE.jpgBut wait there’s more



This is an interesting and fun camera feature that allows you to download VR Playmoji’s and Stickers that are displayed at the time you are shooting. I found the Playmoji to be an especially fun distraction as I got to hang out with a superhero including shooting video. 




This is another gimmick feature. When this mode is activated the camera will detect your movements to take a pick each time you make new facial moves. I am too old, did not have enough beer or perhaps both to find much use for this feature but am sure there have to be some folks out there that will like it. 


Photobooth takes your pic with each new gesturePhotobooth takes your pic with each new gesture

That is it! If you would like to see more picks from Pixel 3a users check out the #teampixel hashtag on Instagram. There are some amazing shots to be seen.


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

1 Comment
Sprint Product Ambassador

The VR Playmoji is really cool and neat feature.... Thanks for sharing