Samsung Galaxy A50 vs Google Pixel 3a: Which mid-range shooter should you buy?

As premium smartphones regularly blast through the thousand-dollar threshold, there’s a new battle beginning among mid-range handsets. Last month Google unveiled the Pixel 3a, which sacrificed speed for stellar photography at an affordable price. Now Samsung is doing the same with Tuesday’s surprise U.S. launch of the Galaxy A50. Let’s take a look at how these phones stack up:

Samsung Galaxy A50 vs Google Pixel 3a: Size and display

If you’re looking for a small phone, the Galaxy A50 isn’t it. Where the Pixel 3a comes in two sizes, the A50 has a single 6.4-inch model, which is just as big as the Galaxy S10+. The A50 uses Samsung’s Infinity-U display, which includes a notch to contain the front camera and the speaker and rounded corners, while the Pixel 3a has a more traditional forehead for the camera and sensors:

  • Galaxy A50: 6.4-inch FHD+ 2340 x 1080 AMOLED
  • Pixel 3a: 5.6 inch FHD+ 2220 x 1080 OLED
  • Pixel 3a XL: 6-inch FHD+ 2160 x 1080 OLED

However, thanks to a notch at the top of the screen for the front camera and speaker and slim bezels, the A50 is dimensionally smaller than the 3a XL and not much bigger than the 3a:

  • Galaxy A50: 158.5 x 74.7 x 7.7mm
  • Pixel 3a: 151.3 x 70.1 x 8.2 mm
  • Pixel 3a XL: 160.1 x 76.1 x 8.2 mm
samsung galaxy a50 Samsung

The Galaxy A50’s 6.4-inch display is just as immersive as the Galaxy S10+.A

Design-wise, the Pixel 3a looks very much like the Pixel 3, right down to its two-tone back. Galaxy A50 isn’t quite a Galaxy S10 clone, but it’s a good-looking phone for the price. Instead of a hole, it has a notch at the top of the screen for the front camera and speaker. The bezels are visible but very thin, though there is a decent-sized chin at the bottom. Both phones are made of plastic, but the A50’s shimmery “Prism” paint job gives it a decidedly premium feel.

Samsung Galaxy A50 vs Google Pixel 3a: Processor and specs

As mid-range phones, you’ll find specs that are a step below premium, but not bad at all:

Galaxy A50

  • Processor: Quad 2.3GHz + Quad 1.7GHz
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB

Pixel 3a/3a XL

  • Processor: Snapdragon 670
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB

Samsung is using the 10nm Exynos 9610 in the A50, which matches up very well with the 14nm Snapdragon 670, which has a quad 2.2GHz and 1.84GHz cores. In benchmarks, the two chips performs extremely similarly, and each phone should be able to handle most tasks well, especially with OS and app optimizations. Both phones also include a headphone jack.

The 64GB of storage should be enough for all but the most demanding of users. The A50 also includes an SD card slot (up to 512GB). Like the Pixel 3, the Pixel 3a doesn’t include a storage slot.

As far as biometrics go, the Pixel 3a has a standard fingerprint sensor on the rear case, while the A50 includes an optical fingerprint scanner inside the front display. Both phones run their respective versions of Android 9 Pie, and the A50 ships with Samsung’s new One UI.

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