Android 11 on Pixel 3a assessment: Preserving on and maintaining

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Android 11 Media Notification on Pixel 3a

Android 11 Media Notification on Pixel 3aSupply: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

Android 11 has been out for a month now, and I have been utilizing it full-time on the Pixel 3a for the final two and a half weeks. This telephone was my summer time fling final 12 months, and it was enjoyable to revisit it after having been on the Pixel 4a. Going again to the 3a has jogged my memory of why this telephone was an excellent begin to a powerful sequence — although admittedly, it was slightly underpowered — and Android 11 retains the Pixel 3a safe, protected, and steady as ever.

There aren’t many 18-month-old $400 telephones which are getting Android 11 — although the quantity is far greater than it was two or three years in the past — and the Pixel 3a wears it fairly nicely. Here is how issues shook out and the place you may should be cautious with the improve.

Up to date in each approach



Google Pixel 4a

The Pixel 3a gave us an inexpensive choice with Google’s software program savvy and digital camera crispness, nevertheless it was quick on storage, and the display screen bezels have been a bit large. Google solved each of those with the Pixel 4a, which doubles the storage and provides us an even bigger display screen in a smaller profile.

Android 11 on Pixel 3a What’s new in Android 11

Android 11 power menu with smart home controls

Supply: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

Android 11 is not an enormous overhaul however targeted on extra focused enhancements to notifications, good dwelling controls, and privateness. The largest change — and the one I exploit most — is the brand new energy button menu. In earlier Android variations, the facility menu simply gave you choices to close down, restart, and emergency mode, however Android 11 provides in each a shortcut to your Google Pay and good dwelling controls.

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As somebody who has good lights in each the lounge and the lavatory — do not decide, low blue/purple lights are simpler on my eyes very first thing within the morning and final issues at night time — it is so good to simply long-press the facility button, faucet a toggle, after which get on with brushing my enamel and grabbing a bathe. It is also good for rapidly turning down the temperature when slightly an excessive amount of of the Florida warmth seeps into my house. No want for digging into separate apps, no must waste an additional 10-15 seconds with a voice command for Google Assistant, it is only a refreshingly easy shortcut.

Android 11 Media Notifications on Android 11

Supply: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

Android 11’s notifications make music and messages higher than ever.

The notification modifications you will see much less from, at the very least at first. Whereas the grouped conversations will maintain messaging notifications from fully overwhelming your notification shade, the extra alluring chat bubbles nonetheless aren’t supported by that many apps but. Probably the most enjoyable of the three — nicely, at the very least from my music-obsessed standpoint — is the change in media notifications. They now stay in Fast Settings moderately than the notification panel, and even when you have not turned on music shortly, the notification stays in Fast Settings so you’ll be able to decide up proper the place you left off.

One other small however helpful change is the addition of the brand new screenshot menu. Google has carried out a ribbon menu subsequent to screenshots the identical approach Samsung has for just a few years, permitting you to rapidly edit or share a screenshot with out having to jump over to the Pictures app. You can too take screenshots from the multitasking (Overview/Recents) web page, in addition to choose textual content from an app from the identical menu. It might not appear to be a giant deal, nevertheless it makes it simpler to tug information from one app to a different like monitoring information for a flight or package deal.

Android 11 screenshot menu on Android 11

Supply: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

General, Android 11 might greatest be described as Google taking one other move on the whetstone, sharpening up Android’s efficiency and grinding away at its older flaws. In fact, there’s all the time the possibility for issues to start out slowing down or glitching out with any milestone replace.

Android 11 on Pixel 3a The hiccups and hangs

Android 11 Home Screen on Pixel 3a

Supply: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

The Pixel 3a’s Snapdragon 670 processor nonetheless holds up fairly nicely after a 12 months and a half — together with six months as my main telephone — however I’ve seen just a few extra hangs since updating to Android 11 than on Android 10. That may must do with apps that are not optimized for Android 11 but or the truth that my Pixel 4a is sort of full as a result of it is solely acquired 64GB of storage, nevertheless it’s right here, and it is definitely value mentioning.

Probably the most noticeably occasions I see lag on the Pixel 3a are after I’m unlocking my telephone — it will take 2-Three seconds for my KLWP stay wallpaper to complete loading from the lock display screen to the house display screen — and after I’m scrolling via Reddit whereas it tries to load all of the movies and footage. It is not fixed. It is not an enormous slowdown, in truth, it is not noticeable more often than not, nevertheless it’s simply sufficient to remind you that your telephone’s a 12 months and a half previous.

Pixel 3a battery life on Android 11 Battery Life

Supply: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

The battery is the extra noticeable downslide lately on the Pixel 3a. Whereas the Pixel 3a XL’s battery was nonetheless doing nice in our one-year assessment, my common Pixel 3a is just getting me via the day after I’m spending most of it on different gadgets. Two and a half hours of display screen on time is getting me all the way down to 40% or much less most days, not that it is laborious to recharge when leaving the home is a well being threat.

It is nonetheless completely usable for the overwhelming majority of customers — I’ve 4 members of the family nonetheless fortunately utilizing the Pixel 3a XL as their each day telephone, none of them have complained for the reason that Android 11 replace. For telephone addicts and so-called “energy customers,” there could be sufficient of a slowdown to warrant an improve, however in case you’re that involved about efficiency, likelihood is you purchased a beefier telephone to start with.

One ultimate oddity I’ve discovered is that I needed to re-enroll my fingerprints after dozens of “Not acknowledged” errors. For those who’re having fingerprint glitches after the replace, delete and re-add your chosen fingers, and it ought to clear proper up.

Android 11 on Pixel 3a The way it compares to the Pixel 4a

Google Pixel 4a

Supply: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

The Pixel 4a is a major improve in nearly each approach. Not solely did the 4a get extra reminiscence and double the inner storage, nevertheless it additionally upgraded from the Snapdragon 670 to the Snapdragon 730. All that provides as much as a persistently quicker system at a lower cost than the Pixel 3a. You additionally get an even bigger display screen in a smaller-sized telephone, which simply speaks to how ridiculously giant the bezels on the Pixel 3a are.

The Pixel 4a handles Android 11 higher than the Pixel 3a, however then once more, the Pixel 4a dealt with Android 10 higher than the Pixel 3a, too. If you wish to know if it is value upgrading to the 4a proper now, the quick reply might be not except your telephone breaks, or it goes on sale for Prime Day or Black Friday. $350 is an efficient worth for a superb telephone, however you continue to have a fairly good telephone in your pocket, and I am towards spending a whole lot of {dollars} except what I’ve is damaged.

Android 11 on Pixel 3a Holding up fairly nicely

Android 11 Easter Egg on Pixel 3a

Supply: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

All in all, Android 11 provides a crop of recent, helpful options with out bogging down the Pixel 3a. The notification modifications make it simpler to maintain your conversations entrance and middle with out getting overloaded, and the faster good dwelling controls are very useful whereas we’re all spending extra time indoors. You additionally get essential privateness concerns because of the modifications to autofill and the enlargement of one-time app permissions.

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It is not a night-and-day efficiency distinction, however Google is constant its promise of providing the most recent software program updates as rapidly as doable. That is essential for a $400 telephone; at the same time as Samsung and different producers are simply beginning to undertake 3-year help lifes, the Pixel 3a and now Pixel 4a show that you just needn’t spend $800 to get a safe, up-to-date telephone.

We will solely hope that Android 12 treats the Pixel 3a in addition to Android 11 is.

Up to date in each approach



Google Pixel 4a

The Pixel 3a’s successor is sort of good

The Pixel 3a gave us an inexpensive choice with Google’s software program savvy and digital camera crispness, nevertheless it was quick on storage, and the display screen bezels have been a bit large. Google solved each of those with the Pixel 4a, which doubles the storage and provides us an even bigger display screen in a smaller profile.

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Supply from www.androidcentral.com

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