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Google’s $399 Pixel 3a attacks Apple’s iPhone on the headphone jack . . . and price

Google’s $399 Pixel 3a attacks Apple’s iPhone on the headphone jack . . . and price
[Photo: courtesy of Google]

The new Google Pixel 3a phone is the anti-iPhone. It seems to include all the features missing in Apple’s signature device, and it removes the biggest annoyances–like the iPhone’s high price, lack of a headphone jack, and poor photos in low light.

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The new 5.6-inch-screen Pixel 3A will start at $399, Google says, less than half of the latest iPhones’ starting price. A 6-inch-screen Pixel 3a XL starts at $479.

The new Pixel phones, Google points out, have a 3-millimeter headphone jack, a feature Apple had the “courage” to remove a couple years ago. 

When you squeeze the sides of the 3a, the Google Assistant wakes up. And Google announced some very impressive new functionality in the Assistant today at its I/O developer conference. Responding to voice commands, Assistant can create a calendar invite, find and share photos, or create a memo. In short, it puts Apple’s Siri to shame, at least right now.

The promo video for the 3A shows a side-by-side of a low-light photo shot on the iPhone X and on the 3A. The 3A, using a software mode called “Night Sight,” produced a far brighter and clearer photo. Google also points out that all your photos are backed up for free and without limit–something Apple can’t say. The new Pixels also offer the popular Portrait Mode on both the front-facing and rear-facing camera.

As with everything else announced at Google I/O, the company stressed the privacy features. These include full encryption on the hardware. On the software side, Pixel owners will get the new privacy features in Android Q this summer

The phone will be available on all the major wireless carriers, as well as Google Fi and U.S. Cellular. The new Pixel 3a and 3a XL come in three colors: Just Black, Clearly White, and Purple-ish.

Apple will announce its new line of iPhones this fall.

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