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We compare the best mid-range phones: Pixel 3a and Galaxy A50

The real battle of cell phones is fought in the so-called mid-range. The competition in this segment is numerous and very wide. It fits from more modest phones to monsters with features of "badge ships". The Google Pixel 3 and the Samsung Galaxy A50 are clearly two of the best mid-range phones you can buy these days. The Galaxy A50 offers a screen without bezels, solid specifications and a versatile set of three-lens cameras. For only $ 350 dollars, it is difficult to give arguments against. But the Google Pixel 3a claims to be the best, and for $ 400 dollars it is a strong competition for the Samsung phone (and any other). If we put both face to face, which of the two is better? We get you out of doubt.

Specifications

Google Pixel 3aSamsung Galaxy A50
Size151.3 x 70.1 x 8.2 mm158.5 x 74.7 x 7.7 mm
Weight147 grams166 grams
Screen size5.6 inch OLED6.4 inches AMOLED
Image Resolution2,220 x 1,080 pixels (441 pixels per inch)2,340 1,080 pixels (403 pixels per inch)
OSAndroid 10Android 9.0 Pie (under One UI)
Storage capacity64GB64GB, 128GB
MicroSD card slotNoS, up to 1TB
Tap-to-pay serviceGoogle PayGoogle Pay, Samsung Pay
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 670Samsung Exynos 9610
RAM4GB4GB, 6GB
CameraRear: Single 12.2MP

Front: 8MP

Rear: Triple 25MP, 8MP, and 5MP

Front: 25MP

Video2160p at 30 frames per second, 1080p at 120 fps, 720p at 240 fps1080p at 30 fps
Bluetooth versionBluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 5.0
PortsUSB-C, 3.5 jack for headphonesUSB-C, 3.5 jack for headphones
Fingerprint sensorS (at the rear)S (on screen)
WaterproofResists splashingNo
Battery3,000mAh

18W Fast Charge

4,000mAh

15W Fast Charge

App StoreGoogle Play StoreGoogle Play Store
Network supportAT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, VerizonAT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon
ColorsJust Black, Clearly White, Purple-ishBlack, White, Blue, Coral
Price$ 400$ 350
buy onGoogleSamsung

Performance, battery life and charge

The Samsung Galaxy A50 is equipped with Samsung's own Exynos 9610. It is a solid processor and attended long sessions of the PUBG Mobile game with only a few lost frames. However, the Pixel 3a Snapdragon 670 provides smoother overall performance, without any of the problems we occasionally saw on the A50. Both phones start with 64 GB of internal storage, but the A50 has a 128 GB variant and support for a MicroSD card, which gives it an advantage.

The 3,000 mAh battery of the Pixel 3a will give you great use value for one day, but the 4,000 mAh battery of the A50 is more powerful. Use it moderately and the A50 will last you two days. You also won't have to let it rest for a long time, thanks to the fast recharge of 15W USB-C. The Pixel's 18W charge is a bit faster, but not much. Nor is the wireless charging capacity.

In this section both are very close. The Pixel has a smoother performance, but the A50 really shows what a big battery can do. It is a draw for us.

Winner: tie

Design and durability

These phones represent two quite different models. The Galaxy A50 emulates an elegant flagship with thin bezels, while the Pixel 3a is much more modest, with thicker bezels. The A50est made of plastic, but strives to pretend it isn't. In its majority it does a good job of resembling glass, and the rainbow effect is nice, but it feels cheap. That is something you will have to deal with in the Pixel, but thanks to the frosted polycarbonate, the 3rd does not attract as many fingerprints and looks better for longer.

Since both phones are made of plastic, durability is less worrisome than with glass phones. If you want them to be free of scratches and protected against shocks, you should probably buy a case. However, there is no water resistance in any of the phones, so be careful in the pool.

With a tie in durability, it all comes down to design. The Galaxy A50 is undoubtedly the most modern of the two, but we still prefer the Pixel 3a. Polycarbonate is less likely to scratch and attract fewer fingerprints, and although the bezels are larger, there is no notch for those who hate notches. We give this point to Pixel 3a.

Winner: Google Pixel 3a

screen

the best mid-range phones

It is a pleasant surprise to see the OLED panels in these two mid-range phones, and both are very attractive. The 5.6-inch glass OLED screen of the Pixel 3a has a resolution of 2,220 x 1,080 and 441 pixels per inch (dpi). As it is OLED, it produces excellent levels of black and beautiful colors. The 6.4-inch AMOLED screen of the A50 has a resolution of 2,340 1,080, and that larger size means it's not as sharp as the Pixel's, but the bezelless design means the content feels more immersive in the A50. The Pixel has a slightly higher contrast ratio, but we believe that the larger screen of the A50 deserves victory here.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy A50

Camera

the best mid-range phones pixel 3a hands on 10 768x768

The Samsung Galaxy A50 is equipped with three lenses in a rear camera module. There is a 25 megapixel main lens, along with an 8 megapixel wide angle lens and a 5 megapixel depth sensor. There is also a 25 megapixel lens in the front. On paper, the A50's camera may seem far superior, since the Google Pixel 3a has a unique 12.2 megapixel rear lens and an 8 megapixel front lens.

But that is not the case. While the Galaxy A50 takes some excellent photos, the Pixel 3a tends to create better images in general. Samsung HDR and background or effect blur bokeh They can be a bit aggressive, and the A50 has a low light. The Pixel 3a handles low light situations better than some of the flagship phones, and that even without Google's incredible Night Sight mode. With the same software you will find in the amazing Pixel 4, the Pixel 3a is the winner here.

Winner: Google Pixel 3a

Software and updates

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It is Android in both cases, but although the two phones share a platform, there are big differences between them. The Pixel 3a runs an Android version with some extras. The Galaxy A50 also works with Android, but is hidden under Samsung's custom One user interface. It is more customizable than Pixel's Android, but it also has its own disadvantages: there is a lot of inflated software (blotware), and is still linked to Android 9.0 Pie, while the Pixel runs Android 10.

This difference highlights one of the biggest shortcomings of the Galaxy A50: the speed of updating. Samsung has never been the fastest to update its phones, and the A50 is no exception. Although we have no doubt that Android 10 will arrive over time, it is not before 2020 is well into place. On the contrary, the Pixel 3a already has Android 10 and receive subsequent updates near the day of its launch. Google’s dynamic update is too strong for Samsung and the Pixel wins this time.

Winner: Google Pixel 3a

Special features

the best mid-range phones dsc 0964 768x768

The Android version of the Pixel may be less busy, but there are still many special features that can be found. Most are based on the incredible artificial intelligence of Google, which allows things like the Now Playing function, which identifies the songs that are played near you, the call screening screen of spam and the useful AR mode for Google Maps. You can also interact with the Google Assistant, which you can activate by pressing on the side of your phone.

Although it comes with all the usual features of Android, the Galaxy A50 does not have many of the special features that you will get on one of Samsung's flagships, so the Pixel 3a has a great advantage in this category. The on-screen fingerprint scanner recovers some points, but is slow and not particularly reliable. It's pretty clear that Google's phone has a significant advantage here.

Winner: Google Pixel 3a

Price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy A50 is currently available for $ 350 dollars on Verizon, Sprint and Xfinity Mobile. If you prefer to buy it unlocked, Best Buy, Amazon and Samsung.com are the places to go.

The Google Pixel 3 is also available for $ 400 dollars at T-Mobile, Sprint, U.S. Cellular and Verizon. Run on AT&T networks, but the operator is not selling the phone itself. You can also buy it unlocked in Google Store.

General winner: Google Pixel 3a

There are many reasons to recommend the Samsung Galaxy A50. It is a very good looking phone, with a beautiful AMOLED screen and an extremely versatile camera. In addition, it has an excellent price of $ 350 dollars. However, we believe it is worth paying the extra $ 50 for the Google Pixel 3a. It is possible that the Google phone does not have the screen without bezels of the A50, but the camera is incredible, its performance is excellent and the updates are extremely fast.

None of this means that the Galaxy A50 is a bad phone. On the contrary, it is an excellent mid-range model that has excellent value for money. It's simply that Google's Pixel 3a is much better. Unless you're a Samsung fan, you want to insert a MicroSD card or s, or you care about the size of the batteries, the Pixel 3 is worth that extra $ 50 dollars.

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