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Pixel 3A may just be the start of affordable Google phones

Google is ready to bring in more Pixel users.

The new Pixel phones might not break the bank.
James Martin/CNET

The Pixel 3A isn't just a one-off affordable Google smartphone. It potentially marks the start of a family of budget devices. 

At Tuesday's Google I/O conference, the tech giant said it would continue to bring premium phone products down to a more affordable price point. The company said it plans to release phones "pretty regularly," but didn't confirm that it would continue with a two-tier phone cadence. 

"[Google's] strategy is to get as many Pixel users as we possibly can," Mario Queiroz, vice president of Pixel, said on Tuesday. "Whether it's mid-tier or premium."

The comments signal a commitment to affordable phones at a time when other handset makers are escalating prices for their super smartphones. Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy S franchise have seen steady price increases. The Pixel 3 marked Google's most expensive smartphone yet. Not coincidentally, all three companies reported struggles in the phone business over the last week. 

The company's latest smartphones, the Pixel 3A and the Pixel 3A XL debuted with Pixel 3A is Google's answer to overpriced premium smartphones. The Pixel 3A costs $399 for a 5.6-inch model and $479 for a larger, 6-inch model. The XL costs $799 for the standard size and $899 for a larger version.

The move is a response to the escalating prices of premium smartphones -- which include the Pixel 3, alongside Apple's iPhone XS and Samsung's Galaxy S10. . 

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