What could the ‘A’ stand for in Pixel 3A? Let’s discuss

Google has officially released the Pixel 3A, it's the latest smartphone that serves as a cheaper, midrange entry point into the company’s Pixel lineup. For more on the phone, check out Dieter’s review, but we’re here to talk about the Pixel 3A’s name. Or more specifically: what does the “A” stand for?

Most of the Google Pixel 3A’s moniker makes sense on the surface: “Google,” who, you know, sells the phone. "Pixel," to demonstrate that it is of a similar stock as its pricier kin, with comparative guidelines and brand philosophies - especially around the camera quality - to coordinate. "3," since that is the ebb and flowage of Pixel telephone Google is on, and the 3A is on a fundamental level a watered-down Pixel 3.

But what about the A? It’s here that things become much more difficult because, like Apple and its iPhone XR and XS phones, Google has decided to differentiate its phone models with an inscrutable letter appended to the name. And, in lieu of an official explanation from Google, the task falls on us to try to unravel the mystery behind Google’s branding. Here are our best guesses:


As noted before, the Pixel 3A is a lesser version of the regular Pixel 3 — an average, or maybe an acceptable model for those who are willing to settle for poorer specs and build quality in exchange for a cheaper phone.


The Pixel 3 costs $799. The Pixel 3A costs $399. It’s way more affordable, and given how important the price point is to Google’s overall sales pitch here, it could very well be the meaning of the lettered designation.


After Google released the Pixel 3 last fall, the Pixel 3A is quite literally another Pixel 3.


Because it has a 3.5mm headphone jack. Pass the aux cord.


Google probably employs some Canadians, who may have had a hand in designing or naming the phone. In Canada, specifically, “eh” or “ay” is used to indicate a question, as in “Are you sure this is a Pixel 3?”. Given the similarities between the two phones on the surface and in terms of features, it’s a plausible mistake to make.


Sometimes, life is just a disappointment and things don’t turn out to have meaning. As physics tells us, it’s impossible to truly know everything about an object, and perhaps — like the iPhone XR before it — there’s just nothing behind the “A” in the Pixel 3A’s name but an endless, meaningless void.


..or maybe it’s just the phone of choice for The Fonz.

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