Google talks Pixel 3a headphone jack, camera optimizations, and manufacturing


The Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL launched at I/O 2019 with {hardware} SVP Rick Osterloh framing the units as permitting “high-end experiences at a more accessible price point.” An interview with a Google product supervisor final week supplies extra perception into the telephones, together with the choice to incorporate the headphone jack and the way Google’s manufacturing capabilities have improved.

Google manufacturing

Product supervisor Soniya Jobanputra was interviewed throughout a dwell present at I/O and defined how Google has improved its manufacturing course of over the previous three years.

We actually have year-over-year improved our manufacturing. After we began out, we had different individuals constructing our telephones for us. We are actually a full contract producer. We design and construct our personal units.

The unique Pixel and Pixel XL have been manufactured by HTC, with the Pixel 2 getting the identical remedy. LG was chargeable for the Pixel 2 XL resulting in a wildly inconsistent design language and construct, particularly with the show.

Final yr’s Pixel three was a definite distinction in high quality, whereas improvement of the Pixel 3a was led by that ex-HTC team in Taiwan the place Google has a significant presence. The interview additionally revealed that Google has a design staff in Chicago working along with Mountain View-based designers.

Headphone jack

The reappearance of a headphone jack on the Pixel 3a has been warmly obtained, however this interview means that it will likely be restricted to the mid-range going ahead. Apparent advantages for Google embrace permitting customers to leverage current headphones and never having to incorporate an adapter or USB-C headphones.

We debated on this headphone jack, however we actually felt that buyers at this value level, on this value tier, actually wanted flexibility and that’s what that headphone jack provides you.

Google referred to digital audio as “the ultimate way to consume your audio.” Apparently, Google at I/O introduced a partnership with Qualcomm to assist OEMs make headphones with Assistant and Quick Pair.

Digicam optimizations

As specs and usage have confirmed, the rear digital camera on the Pixel 3a is an identical to final yr’s flagships.

The {hardware} that we’ve picked for these cameras shouldn’t be mid-tier. It’s premium {hardware}. In reality, the imager on the rear is the very same imager that we use on our premium units. The entrance imager can be the identical regular area of view imager that we use for our premium units.

Google’s software program groups then labored to optimize processing given the Snapdragon 670 and lack of Pixel Visible Core. It’ll be fascinating to see whether or not working round these constraints will enhance the effectivity on higher-end units sooner or later:

They optimized each final side of the digital camera options to get them to work on right here. Every particular person function was revisited by the staff to not solely optimize the algorithms, however to optimize the general expertise to work on these specific units.

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