The Pixel 3a breaks all the rules—a polycarbonate back panel, no wireless charging, visible bezels, a headphone jack, and a top-notch camera in a budget phone. Is there a method to Google’s madness? A teardown might be the only way to find out!

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crwdns2886882:0crwdnd2886882:0crwdne2886882:0 crwdns2886883:0Google Pixel 3acrwdnd2886883:0crwdnd2886883:0crwdne2886883:0

  1. Google Pixel 3a Teardown, Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 1, image 1 of 2 Google Pixel 3a Teardown, Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 1, image 2 of 2
    • This phone's raw specs aren't meant to impress, but there's quite a lot here for the price:

    • 5.6" OLED display with FHD+ 2220 × 1080 resolution (441 ppi) and Dragontrail Glass

    • Octa-core, 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor (2.0 GHz + 1.7 GHz) with 4 GB LPDDR4x RAM

    • 12.2 MP, ƒ/1.8, OIS main camera with dual-pixel phase detection autofocus; 8 MP selfie camera

    • 64 GB built-in storage

    • USB-C and a mysterious 3.5 mm "headphone jack"

    • Android 9.0 Pie

    • This budget-oriented Pixel is also defined by the specs it lacks: no wireless charging, and no ingress protection rating. It's 2016 all over again!

  2. Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 2, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 2, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 2, image 3 of 3
    • If you're in a hurry, here's a teardown TL;DR in X-ray form—courtesy of Creative Electron.

    • Those of us without X-ray powers can only see this pristine, polycarbonate exterior.

    • The polycarbonate build should be more durable than a glass back, although it's likely no match for the rigidity of the metal construction of yore.

    • One thing has persevered through the Pixel's changing materials—the partial matte finish on the back.

    • Meanwhile, this Pixel's party piece—a rear camera like the one in the rest of the Pixel 3 line—promises some serious firepower for a budget phone.

    • Turning to the front of the phone, we note how this notch-less 3a has bezels similar to the standard Pixel 3, but has just one front-facing camera.

  3. Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 3, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 3, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 3, image 3 of 3
    • The 3a looks very much like its older brother, the Pixel 3, but with fewer seams. Ours also came in a rather distinctive color, which Google dubs "Purple-ish," but which we dub "Thanos Edition."

    • That seamless enclosure points to a screen-first entry on this phone—we're hoping this will mean easier screen replacements than what we saw on the Pixel 3.

    • Dread it, run from it, but screen repairs arrive all the same.

    • Google also managed to fit a headphone jack in here—which weirdly feels like a luxury feature on this budget phone.

    • From the back, it's hard to tell the 3 and 3a apart. Supposedly that brittle glass cover makes for a more premium handset, but we can't see the difference from here.

    • The iPhone XR and Galaxy S10e would also like to take your budget smartphone dollars—but at $700+, they're not trying that hard. The Pixel 3a packs a slower processor and plastic construction, among other changes, to bring the price down a ton.

    Il est équipé d'une recharge sans fil

    Laurent Guillet - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  4. Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 4, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 4, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 4, image 3 of 3
    • What, no iOpener? Although it would help, this phone was easy enough to open without heat—a rarity these days.

    • A spongy, easily-separated adhesive secures the display—which is good for repairs. But it's probably a trade-off that also leaves this phone less than waterproof, so beware.

    • The usual tiny side bezels leave this expensive OLED panel vulnerable to our opening pick. Expecting this, we safely slice alongside the display and free it from the phone.

    • Just like old times, the display is connected to the motherboard by a single ribbon cable.

    • Rumors pointed to a "gOLED" display made by LG, but this is unmistakably a Samsung panel.

    • Spoiler alert: we're also tearing down a 3a XL, and that's got a Samsung panel, too.

    • Also along for the ride is a Synaptics S3706 touchscreen controller.

    • GigaDevice GD25LH40C 4 Mb Serial Flash Memory

    Some additional notes:

    * It’s a T3 Torx

    * The foam adhesive is a PITA to remove from the body

    * The LCD+Screen is very flimsy

    If you need a repair guide, go to the Service Manual: Google Pixel 3a Repair

    eduncan911 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Would the screen be replaceable without secondary adhesive if one were to try this? I’m having the usual 3a battery issue, but I think a quick clean up of her components will do the trick for me

    Duke Sawyer - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    • We came overprepared with our Pro Tech Toolkit and its 64 driver bits—we only need one to twirl away these Torx screws and remove the midframe, along with its embedded earpiece speaker.

    • On our way to the battery, we fold aside a couple of golden flex cables for the Active Edge sensors. In Pixels past, these cables were routed under the battery, out of sight and easy to destroy with wayward prying. It's nice to see them out of harm's way here.

    • Onward to battery extraction, where two adhesive strips stand in the way. We locate the pull tabs and they cooperate without much fuss. Success! The battery is out.

    • This battery beats out the Pixel 3's 11.2 Wh battery with its own 11.55 Wh (3.85 V, 3000 mAh) powerhouse. That falls neatly between the iPhone XR and Samsung Galaxy S10e, at 11.16 Wh and 11.94 Wh, respectively.

    I have Anroid - Samsung J3emerage

    victoriatigue53 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  5. Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 6, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 6, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 6, image 3 of 3
    • Next to come out is the motherboard, with some wiry antenna barnacles attached to its underside.

    • Our teardown engineers often develop tweezerhands as a result of their work environment.

    • Some find it alarming, but what better type of hands to pull out a couple tiny cameras?

    • The 3a inherits the well-reviewed 12.2 MP rear camera from the Pixel 3. Instead of having two 8 MP selfie cameras, the 3a only has one, averaging the ƒ/1.8 and ƒ/2.2 aperatures to a middling ƒ/2.0.

    @arthurshi what I’ve seen from you on these threads, I have a question. I am interested in locating all the microphones in the pixel 3a. Can you help me do that? Even just specifics where/what they are inside the phone would be of great help. Ultimately, I am looking to remove these components from the device.

    Anthony - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Hi Anthony!

    You may be able to de-solder the microphones from the boards, though I’m not certain if that will affect the phone startup or not (I theorize it shouldn’t). There is a microphone module on the motherboard near the camera. You should find a similarly shaped module on the on the daughterboard. Those are all that I know of that have external ports—there may be more, but it’s hard to tell without schematics.

    Arthur Shi -

  6. Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 7, image 1 of 2 Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 7, image 2 of 2
    • Let's peep at these pixels to figure out what the chips are.

    • Qualcomm SDM670 Snapdragon 670 octa-core processor + Adreno 615 GPU

    • Micron MT29VZZZAD8DQKSL-046 W.9K8 64 GB flash storage + 4 GB LPDDR4X DRAM

    • Avago AFEM-9046, probably a front-end module

    • Qorvo QM78035, probably a voltage controlled oscillator

    • Qualcomm PM670A PMIC

    • Skyworks SKY77365-11 Quad-Band GSM / GPRS / EDGE Power Amplifier Module

    • And this time around we don't get a peep at Google's Pixel Visual Core, which we saw in our last couple Pixel teardowns.

    The storage and ram are both housed in the same chip? That’s very odd, usually the storage is housed in a separate chip.

    Garr Trigger - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  7. Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 8, image 1 of 2 Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 8, image 2 of 2
    • Back side:

    • Google H1C2M Titan M security chip

    • STMicroelectronics ST33J2M0 ARM SecureCore microcontroller

    • Qualcomm WCN3990 wireless combo SoC

    • Qorvo QM78012 RF fusion module

    • Qualcomm SDR660 RF transceiver

    • NXP PN81B, probably an NFC controller w/ Secure Element

    • Murata SWUA 370 90 and Qualcomm PM670 PMIC

  8. Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 9, image 1 of 2 Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 9, image 2 of 2
    • Bonus chips!

    • Cirrus Logic CS35L36-CWZR audio amplifier

    • Qualcomm PM3003A power management

    • Texas Instruments TLV7113318DDSE 200 mA LDO regulator

    • Texas Instruments TLV70728PDQN 200 mA LDO regulator

    • Texas Instruments TLV70718PDQN 200 mA LDO regulator

    • Texas Instruments TLV73318PDQN 300 mA LDO regulator

    • Skyworks SKY13351-378LF GaAs SPDT switch

  9. Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 10, image 1 of 2 Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 10, image 2 of 2
    • And the sensors:

    • Bosch Sensortec BMI160 3-axis accelerometer/gyroscope

    • Bosch Sensortec BMP388 pressure sensor

    • AKM Semiconductor AK09915C 3-axis electronic compass

  10. Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 11, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 11, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 11, image 3 of 3
    • After the motherboard, there isn't much left in the barrel. That's not a bad thing, especially when each part comes out easily and in one piece.

    • First we fish out the fingerprint sensor, complete with its wavy tail flex cable.

    • Next, these plastic rails—serving dual purposes as both cabling routers and brackets which press the squeeze sensors in place.

    • Down at the bottom edge, we find a modular USB-C port! This is a welcome design for this high-wear component, especially since the 3a does not offer wireless charging.

    • The headphone jack also makes a cool modular comeback.

    • Down south we also spot the vibration motor—a small, round LRA (Linear Resonant Actuator) as found in just about every smartphone not made by Apple or Google. No fancy precision haptic motor for this Pixel.

    If someone wanted to leave the fingerprint component out of the phone, would it cause and operating errors to simply remove the component?

    Anthony - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  11. Google Pixel 3a Teardown: step 12, image 1 of 1
    • After running the gauntlet of this teardown, we lay out our seemingly infinite number of stones parts.

    • While taking this phone apart was far from a "snap," we did enjoy some of the throwbacks to a prior, more-repairable era.

    • How does this phone fare in the repair endgame? Check the score below to find out!

    • If you're looking for a more cinematic offering in this series, check out our Pixel 3a XL video teardown.

    • If you'd like to marvel at the innards, we've made some wallpapers for you!

  12. crwdns2878481:0crwdne2878481:0
    • Most components are modular and can be easily replaced once the display assembly is removed.
    • Repair-friendly stretch-release adhesive secures the battery.
    • The only screws are standard T3 Torx fasteners.
    • The display comes off first, but is thin and poorly supported. Foam adhesive makes the opening process relatively easy.
    • The myriad long, thin ribbon cables connecting the internal componentry can be obnoxious to work around, and are easy to accidentally tear.

Adam O'Camb


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By the way, is it true that there is no Pixel Visual Core (PVC) chip in the 3a/3a XL? Please let me know quickly.

Dinan Blueje - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Hi Dinan,

From our motherboard inspection, we don’t see anything that would resemble the PVC. It is possible, though unlikely, that it’s layered under a chip.

Arthur Shi -

This was discussed during the product launch at Google I/O. There’s no PVC in the Pixel 3a. The computational photography did a lot a work tuning every different part of GCam so that it would run quickly on the Snapdragon (don’t forget, the original Pixel didn’t have a PVC either and GCam runs on it just fine, in addition to all the unofficial GCam ports to all non-Google devices). According to reviewers this works quite well.

spinron -

QCM has DSPs internally which could be used as convolutional accelerators. Also they ship with AIX (AI accelerator) Tensorflow Lite probably goes well on these hardware engines

subash56 -

So this confirms that it's eMMC storage, right? Do we know specs?

mikewyugioh - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

The teardown shows you it’s a Micron MT29VZZZAD8DQKSL

It should speak for itself. Stop being lazy.

Steven Van -

googling MT29VZZZAD8DQKSL results in a listing that states

Multichip Packages eMCP 544Gb (2xNAND B16A TLC 256Gb+4xDRAM LPDDR4 8Gb)

and googling eMCP get me eMCP — e.MMC with LPDRAM

Squishy Squishy -

Apparently this is the first phone fully designed from the HTC team they purchased. In your opinion, is this reminiscent of HTC design?

Alex - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Why did you rush this tear down!?!? Why didn’t the headphone jack get its own pic instead of just a footnote!?! What about the headphone DAC? You also completely ignore and don’t mention the side rails for squeeze. No close up pics of those either. Your video of the 3a XL is unbelievably short. You give us one super quick mention of the circuit board where you mention only two chips and then just move on. I want to ogle all the bits and be told about all the chips and see everything nice and big so I don’t have to tear something down myself. I want to rely on your expertise in this area. More pictures of all the bits cannot hurt your reputation. This phone is a big even though its budget price. It shouldn’t get a budget teardown. You are THE one and only place someone like me can rely on to really get nice informative pictures of whats inside something like this. No one is going to do a more detailed close up than you.

Squishy Squishy - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Doing a quick roundup of the interior parts, there’s no dedicated DAC for the headphones. The audio amplifier is most probably the same as the loudspeaker, which is powered directly by the Snapdragon 670.

Natsu Kage -

Hi Squishy,

We’re honored that you choose iFixit as the site for device information! This teardown is on the briefer side of things; we mostly tried to accentuate the things that made the Pixel 3a stand out amongst its predecessors.

With that said, I’ve updated the teardown with a headphone jack shot and a link to the squeeze sensors (which have not changed since the prior Pixels). Also, stay tuned for device wallpapers!

Arthur Shi -

I’m sure iFixit would be happy to send you a quote for a more detailed teardown than the free content that they generously make available to everyone.

Blake -

Do you have screen replacements avaliable yet? This phone screen is stupidly fragile.

Kelsey Huss - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Does the 3a have a magnetic switch under the screen for folo-cases? I know past pixel and nexus devices had these, but I haven’t had any magnetic reaction on my pixel and don’t see anything in the article about one.

Sam Switzer - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Hi Sam!

That’s an interesting question. As far as I can tell, I don’t see a sensor. I also ran a magnet across the entire 3a and 3a XL surface…and couldn’t trigger anything :)

Arthur Shi -

Hi there, I planed to buy a Pixel 3a or 3a xl. I watched a video on YouTube that mentioned that glass of cellphone shattered easily when phone dropped from a foot height. Made me worry and hesitant to buy the phone. I love the whole aspect but I don’t like to be always stressful about breaking the glass. Would be my pleasure to know your point of view about the issue. Thanks so much.

hooman rostami - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

If you like the Pixel 3a, consider buying an impact-resistant case. More than the glass formulation, a well designed case will prevent screen cracks much more.

According to this article, the Dragontrail glass is just as scratch resistant as Gorilla glass, but not as bendable/impact resistant. It should still be much better than any phones that don’t use Gorilla glass.

Arthur Shi -

No heat-gun, screen first, battery easily removable, modular ports, all one type of screw… Why is this only a repeatability of 6/10? The iPhone XR got a 6 and it lacks modular ports, requires heat, and it has tri-point screws specifically made to interfere with repair.

kyle berezin - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

The foam adhesive is quite difficult to remove (I went through 5 plastic scribes).

The screen+digitizer is nearly impossible to remove without cracking it.

eduncan911 -

See Step 1 of the LCD replacement in the Service Guide: Google Pixel 3a Screen Replacement

eduncan911 -

Any indicators of some degree of water resistance?

Preston To - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Hi Preston,

Unfortunately, the Pixel 3a isn’t built for that. There are no gaskets around ports; the press connectors don’t have foam around them; the screen adhesive would let water in pretty easily.

I would suggest getting a water resistant case for it to keep it safe.

Arthur Shi -

Seriously??? A ‘BUDGET” phone costing $350-$500. (avg. around $440). Please explain what you consider a “mid-range” or “high-end”.

Rick - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Can a glass only repair be done to the screen? Also where and when will pixel 3a screen and glass parts be generally available?

Colin Williams - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Hi Colin,

As the fragile OLED panel is bonded to the glass, a glass-only repair will be very difficult (though not impossible), requiring specialty tools.

Arthur Shi -

Will you guys be carrying parts for this device?

Koray Z - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Hi Koray,

We most likely will in the future!

Arthur Shi -

why dont you sell any replacement part of the pixel 3a, cracked the oled screen and am searching to buy one? From Switzerland

Dan The Dan - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

I think my usbc port burned and I live in a country with no Google support, do you know where I could buy it from quickly? I’ve got 70% left and want to replace it asap :(

Lucia Davies - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Did you just leave out removing the metal mid-plate. You seemed to jump from removing the digitizer to removing the battery. There’s a metal mid-plate between these two to add rigidity.

B0 M0A0K - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Hey there, as listed at the top of this teardown, this is for entertainment purposes “This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Google Pixel 3a, use our service manual.” We skip a lot of steps to get to the interesting reveals, the full repair manual comes a little later.

Sam Goldheart -



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