4 features that Apple's brand-new iPhone SE is missing that Google's Pixel 3a phones from last year have

Google Pixel 3a XL Google Pixel 3a XL
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  • Both the new Apple iPhone SE and last year's Google Pixel 3a start at $400, making them some of the cheapest high-end smartphones on the market.
  • The Pixel 3a comes with a few useful features that the iPhone SE lacks, like a larger always-on display and a camera mode for shooting in the dark.
  • The Google Pixel 3a is also one of the few smartphones available that still has a headphone jack.
  • Overall, the Pixel 3a may be a better choice for those who prioritize having a large screen and a good low-light camera, but the iPhone SE offers some advantages, too.
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Smartphone shoppers no longer have to expect to spend close to $1,000 to get a device with many of the modern features you'd find on the latest flagships from Apple, Google, and Samsung.

Over the past year, some of the world's biggest tech companies have released more budget-friendly versions of their popular smartphones. The latest of those devices is Apple's iPhone SE,2020欧洲杯夺冠热门 a $400 iPhone launching on April 24 that looks a lot like the iPhone 8, home button and all, but should be as powerful as the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro.

The iPhone SE inherits many features from Apple's iPhone 82020欧洲杯夺冠热门: a glass and aluminum design, a 12-megapixel camera, and a 4.7-inch screen with a Touch ID-enabled home button beneath it. Its camera also supports Portrait Mode for sharpening subjects against a slightly blurred background, and it runs on the processor that powers Apple's top-of-the-line iPhone 11 and 11 Pro.

But Google's Pixel 3a, which the company announced last spring, may have more to offer depending on what you're looking for. Compared to the iPhone SE, the Pixel 3a shines when it comes to its screen and the variety of camera features it offers.

2020欧洲杯夺冠热门That being said, the iPhone offers some advantages over Google's phone too, particularly when it comes to the processor and available storage options.

2020欧洲杯夺冠热门Both phones offer a fingerprint scanner and a single-lens 12-megapixel camera.

2020欧洲杯夺冠热门If you're trying to decide between the Pixel 3a and iPhone SE, Google's device may be the better option if you care about the following features. 

The Google Pixel 3a has a larger screen that should offer richer contrast and deeper black tones compared to the iPhone SE.

Google Pixel 3a XL
The Pixel 3a
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Google's standard Pixel 3a has a 5.6-inch OLED screen with 441 pixels per inch. The iPhone SE, by comparison, has a smaller 4.7-inch LCD display with 326 pixels per inch.

OLED display panels typically offer better contrast and can produce deeper black levels than LCD screens. Apple uses OLED screens on its more expensive smartphones, like the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max.

Rumors suggest that all the new iPhones in Apple's 2020 fall lineup will have OLED screens.

 

The Pixel 3a's screen can show information like the time and notifications even when the screen is off.

Google Pixel 3a XL
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The Pixel 3a has an always-on display that can show the time, weather, notifications, and the names of songs playing nearby even when the screen is turned off.

2020欧洲杯夺冠热门That means you can view such information at a glance without having to reach for your phone.

While several Android phones offer always-on displays, Apple has not brought such a feature to its iPhones. 

The Pixel 3a's camera also supports Night Sight for shooting clearer photos in the dark, whereas the iPhone SE lacks Apple's Night Mode.

Pixel 3a
The Google Pixel 3a's camera
Jeff Chiu/AP

The Pixel 3a inherited one of the Pixel 3's most beloved features: Night Sight. As its name implies, Night Sight uses machine learning to adapt to your environment and capture more light when necessary. 

2020欧洲杯夺冠热门Apple introduced a similar feature last year with the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. But this feature isn't present on the iPhone SE.

2020欧洲杯夺冠热门Otherwise, the Pixel 3a and iPhone SE seem to have similar cameras. Both have a single-lens camera that's roughly the same resolution (Apple's is 12 megapixels while Google's is 12.2 megapixels) with the same aperture of f/1.8.

Both also support Portrait Mode, although both Apple and Google offer some extras that the other lacks.

The Pixel 3a, for example, offers Google's Top Shot, which captures stills before and after you press the button to make sure you're capturing the best version of the scene. 

The iPhone SE also has Apple's QuickTake feature, which  lets you easily switch between photo and video mode by pressing and dragging the shutter button. Plus, the iPhone can shoot 4K video at a higher frame rate (60 frames per second) compared to the Pixel 3a (30 frames per second). 

The Pixel 3a is also one of the few smartphones to still come with a headphone jack.

Google Pixel 3a XL
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Google's Pixel 3a has a 3.5mm headphone jack, meaning you can continue using your favorite pair of wired headphones without requiring a dongle.

The iPhone SE only includes Apple's Lightning connector, so you'll have to either use the included dongle to connect your standard headphones, opt for Bluetooth wireless headphones, or use a pair of Lightning headphones like the EarPods Apple includes in the box. 

Is it worth choosing the Pixel 3a over the iPhone SE?

Google Pixel 3a XL
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

At $400, both the Pixel 3a and iPhone SE are compelling choices for smartphone shoppers on a budget.

If having a large, vibrant screen and a camera that can snap clear photos in the dark are important to you, the Pixel 3a may be the better choice. 

But the iPhone SE also has a few advantages over the Pixel 3a that are worth taking into account. Its biggest asset is its processor; the iPhone SE runs on Apple's top-of-the-line smartphone chipset, whereas the Pixel 3a is powered by a midrange Qualcomm 670 processor from 2018.

That processor will likely hold up just fine for most daily tasks, like browsing the web, checking email, streaming video, and taking photos.

But the newer and faster processor in Apple's iPhone SE means it'll probably continue to feel fast and snappy for a longer period of time.

The iPhone SE is also water resistant unlike the Pixel 3a and comes in multiple storage options (64GB, 128GB, and 256GB, versus the Pixel 3a's 64GB).

2020欧洲杯夺冠热门All told, the Pixel 3a is probably the right choice for Android fans that care about having a large screen that can show information even when the display is inactive, a camera that's better-equipped to take photos in the dark, and a headphone jack. 

If you're not partial to Android and are looking for a phone with faster performance, more durability, and extra storage, check out the iPhone SE. 

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SEE ALSO: There isn't really anything new about Apple's latest iPhone — and that could be the best thing about it

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