Before the Pixel 3a became the smash hit mid-ranger we know it to be today it took many laps around the rumor mill. Back in January of 2019 there had been rumors circulating that the small Pixel 3a was supposed to have a Snapdragon 670 with 4gb of ram. We know this to be true today. The 3a XL was rumored to have a Snapdragon 710 with 6gb of ram. This rumor came up due to some leaked Geekbench tests, you can find an article with more information here from Phonearena.com. Closer to announcement though, these rumors changed to fall more in line with the 3a XL we know today which shared the Snapdragon 670 and 4gb ram. The device with a Snapdragon 710 and 6gb of ram is what I hypothesize to be the Pixel 3a XL Pro.
What if though, the Pixel 3a XL was supposed to have a “Pro” version which sported that up to date processor and addition ram. More ram than its higher end counterpart, the Pixel 3, had.
We have the leaked Geekbench scores that I referenced before, however, where did this “pro” moniker come from? If you Google P’ixel 3a XL Pro” there are no search results. You get links for the Pixel 3a. No old rumors either relating to the “pro” name either. Where did this come from then and what happened to it? While I do not have much I did notice a strange reference to the device in a Google ad. In the screenshot below take a look at the first advertisement. In the “store.google.com” ad you see 3 devices listed in small text “Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, and Pixel 3a XL Pro”. I have a feeling this is the last evidence that the Pixel 3a XL Pro was close to release but cut. If you search “made by Google” there is a chance you could get this advertisement too.
What Do I Think Happened?:
I hypothesize that the “Pro” device did not make sense to keep around. First, having a “pro” mid-range device would have been confusing to have. This would have added too many devices for consumers to choose from with too many differences. Having only a regular 3a and 3a XL made for less confusion. The only difference between the two would have simply been the screen size and battery capacity. If the “Pro” had been in the mix there would have been a third device, too close to the regular XL in features that may have confused consumers. It may not have confused those of us who live and breathe technology but I could not imagine explaining to others the differences between the regular XL and the Pro.
Second, this also does not work well with the standard Pixel 3 line. There was never a difference between the smaller and larger Pixel phones aside from screen resolution, screen size, and battery size. Why should that have been any different for the “a” line of devices? Having a “Pro” device thrown into the mix could have thrown off the Pixel line as a whole. People may also think that the 3a XL Pro could be better than the regular 3 due to the “Pro” moniker. Just because a device is larger or smaller doesn’t mean they should be drastically different. That has always been a calling card of Pixel devices. The “a” line is also brand new. Google wanted to keep it as simple and close to their higher end models as possible.
Finally, what would be the point of the regular 3a XL if the Pro existed? The two devices would probably be very close in price and in feature set. The regular 3a XL would probably become forgotten and redundant. Especially if the Pro went on sale. The prices would have been too close and the “Pro” model could have been a far better buy.
The Google 3a XL Pro could have been a cool device, with not much purpose. It would have added a lot of confusion and possibly too much variety to the line. In order to get people to buy into the budget line they were forced to keep it as simple and cheap as possible. A trend we are most likely going to see with the 4a. The rumors are currently showing that we may only see a 4a and no XL model, let alone a Pro model.
I am curious what you all think of the Pro being done away with. I personally agree with Google’s decision. It kept the smaller 3a desirable, probably saved money on ordering components for devices. As well as saving the consumer a lot of unneeded confusion. I am curious to hear what you all think? Let me know if you would have gotten a Pixel 3a XL Pro. I am curious to hear about your thoughts on the matter.
Disclaimer: Only the leaked benchmarks and advertisement are factual to my knowledge. Much of this piece is of my own opinion. I have no information or proof to back up my thoughts regarding any decisions Google made regarding the Google Pixel 3a XL Pro product. This product was also not released in any market to my knowledge.