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Google Digital Wellbeing May Be Slowing Down Pixel Phones

14 May 2019

In an interview, Google's Product Manager Soniya Jobanputra said that consumers spending almost as much as they are spending on the Pixel 3a (the sub-$500 segment) demand flexibility from their smartphones.

IF YOU WERE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE banging the door down to get your hands on a Google Pixel 3a as it went on sale, you might have had a bit of a disappointment.

Google's marketing strategy in this regard shouldn't come as much of a surprise given that we've seen the company take similar shots at Apple over the past few months. An even earlier leak suggested the phones will have at least 6GB of RAM. Google could fix these with updates though, but given how well that worked out with the Pixel 3, I wouldn't count on it.

Tested on a fresh Pixel 3a that was supplied to TechRadar for review, we didn't notice any immediate changes after disabling the feature - an experience shared with some Reddit commenters - although a considerable number of replies to the thread indicate significant boosts in speed for other handsets in the Pixel lineup.

The team at iFixit chose to teardown the phone to see how the device is manufactured. That statement is as true for the current-generation Pixel phones as it was for the first-gen models back in 2016. Especially considering it does have the famous Pixel camera built-in.

Our take: In my opinion, Google may have just added a USB-C dongle for headphones in the Pixel 3a box - just like the Pixel 3 - but that may have not created the same buzz, after all. If you're smartphone is getting slower, then you're going to use it less. With that in mind, it's even more likely now that the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will be released later this year with the exciting new hole-punch camera design that Android fans seem to love so much.

Google Digital Wellbeing May Be Slowing Down Pixel Phones