Google Pixel 3a Updates End This Month, It’s Time to Shop for a New Phone

Google Pixel 3a Updates End This Month, It’s Time to Shop for a New Phone

A close-up of the Pixel 3a's fingerprint sensor.

Of all the Pixel phones in Google’s backlog, the Pixel 3a is my favorite. It’s the best affordable phone I’ve ever used, and it remains relatively bug-free by Pixel standards. Unfortunately, Google will no longer offer software or security updates for the Pixel 3a or Pixel 3a XL. It’s time to shop for a new phone.

Update, 5/4/22: In a statement to 9to5Google, a Google spokesperson revealed that the Pixel 3a will receive its final update by July of 2022. That means you’re getting at least an extra month of security updates for your old phone. Nice!

As promised by Google, the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL received exactly three years of software and security updates. Both phones end their life running Android 12, which is impressive—most Android devices (especially budget phones) only receive a single OS update, if that.

A table showing the guaranteed update cycle for several Pixel phones.

Now, I’m sure you don’t need the latest Android operating system. But without security updates, your Pixel 3a will slowly grow vulnerable to hackers and malware. Google may push an emergency security update to the Pixel 3a if it discovers a major security flaw, but there are no guarantees.

I suggest replacing your Pixel 3a soon, ideally by the end of the year. Google and Samsung’s latest devices come with five years of security updates, so you may want to shop for a Pixel 6, Galaxy S21, or Galaxy S22 to avoid replacing your phone so often. (You could also wait for the Pixel 6a and Pixel 7, which launch later this year.)

If you’re shopping on a budget, you may want to replace your Pixel 3a with the Pixel 5a. It regularly goes on sale for under $400 and will receive security updates until 2024.

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