I remain amazed at my kids' ability to watch shows on a phone. It's a generational thing, of course, as well as a matter of convenience. You use the device that's best available to you. And for kids of a certain age, it's all about the phone.
(Yes, I'm absolutely working on that. But I see it as no more different than when I couldn't keep my paws off our Apple IIc when I was young.)
Our eldest daughter is in the market for a new phone, seeing as how she's practically battered my original Pixel XL. She's lobbying hard for an iPhone.
I have other plans.
The bottom line is that the Pixel 3a (and the Pixel 3a XL) are the perfect phones for young teens, and for young teens who are going to ingest way more online video than is healthy. (Again, I'm working on that.)
It all comes down to two things: Price, and performance.
You almost can't beat price, in this case. The Pixel 3a runs $399 . The Pixel 3a XL is $479 . Either way, that's damned near half the price of an iPhone Xr, to say nothing of the $999 iPhone Xs. Even the iPhone 8 — no spring chicken anymore, even if it still is a good phone — still retails for $599.
And I'll use that same argument against the recently discounted Pixel 3 ($599) and Pixel 3XL ($699).
Don't worry that the Pixel 3a uses a "lesser" processor than the Pixel 3. Don't worry that the screen is a lower resolution of 1080p. (Well, the Pixel 3a XL anyway.) We're not streaming anything live higher than 1080p on a phone anyway. And 4K video is wasted on a display that size. Most folks simply can't tell the difference — to say nothing of a teenager who's doing a million different things at once anyway.
So, yeah. You can't beat the Pixel 3a on price. And performance should remain right up there for quite some time as well. The only two companies I trust to not screw me on software updates are Apple and Google. The Pixel 3a will continue to get software updates for quite some time. (And while that's more important to Dad than it is the kid with her nose buried in YouTube, it doesn't make it any less important.)
So that's price, and that's performance. My two boxes are checked. And as far as content, that's taken care of, too. It doesn't matter what you use to stream video, be it YouTube or Snapchat or DirecTV Now or Hulu or whatever, it's available on Android. And generally speaking the experience of using Sling or YouTube TV or whatever is exactly the same on Android as it is on an iPhone. (Not that my kid believes me, but this is the sort of thing I get paid to try, right?)
Plus, Chromecast is still very much a thing. And while Chromecast also is available on iOS, it's a better, more native experience on Android.
Again, tell that to the kid who really wants iMessage. But me? I'm more concerned about getting the best bang for the buck. And if all you're mostly doing is watching video, you simply can't beat the Pixel 3a for that.
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