Ever since Google announced the $399 Pixel 3a phone, reviewers and people are going bonkers over its pricing. It has also led to lots of speculation and questioning as to where the company cut corners in order to make the pricing possible.
When you look in-depth into the new phone, there are a couple of compromises made and one of the biggest ones is the display. It is an OLED display which is awesome and has better resolution too but the company choose to pick a competitor instead of Corning Gorilla Glass. The glass technology is the one that pioneered smartphones in the first place and is considered more reliable among buyers.
The newly launched Corning Gorilla Glass 6 is easily one of the best in its category. It is not used in older smartphones but newer devices such as the OnePlus 7 and the Samsung Galaxy S10 series smartphones make use of it. The advantage is that it allows users to wirelessly charge their devices and is also very sturdy as it can easily withstand up to 1-meter drops for about 20 times.
Just don’t try to drop your newly purchased smartphone so many times to test its durability. Google, however, has a solid reason to adopt Asahi’s Dragontail glass because the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are budget smartphones which don’t support wireless charging. It is aimed at customers who wanted a no-frills solution that has the best camera at a very affordable price.
By choosing not to purchase Gorilla Glass, the company managed to keep the cost of the phone much lower. Another reason is that Corning has made their new product much thinner and has reduced its overall footprint which is ideal for large phones with thin bezels. The Pixel 3a series is not focused on such a design but rather has no bezels and provides stereo speakers.
When put together, it sounds like a very reasonable decision which can save a few dollars. It also made the phones more durable because Google’s own Pixel 3 phones use a glass back and glass panels for wireless charging. But they are not reliable in the long run whereas Pixel 3a has polycarbonate plastic body which also sports a scratch-resistant display and should be a reliable phone even if you handle it rough. Asahi may get momentum because of this adoption and might soon be used by entry-level and mid-range smartphones in the near future.